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Albertsons’ Clairemont, Calif. store, one of the first fuel cell operating stores on the west coast and part of the Supervalu family of grocery stores, was recently honored with the 2011 Sustainable Project of the Year award by the Association for Retail Environments (A.R. E.).
“From its inception, the goal was to provide our Clairemont customers with a redesigned store format that not only expanded our service departments but afforded them a shopping environment where our carbon footprint was minimized from floor to ceiling,” said Albertsons Southern California Division president Sue Klug. “And from the positive feedback we’re receiving, no doubt it was the right thing to do. Our Clairemont customers appreciate shopping at a store that is demonstrating its commitment to the environment through word and deed.”
The store received this honor for its “clearly defined integrated design approach, high benchmarking goals and waste reduction features.” Opened September 1, 2010, the 55,000 square-foot grocery store was built to LEED Silver specifications with sustainable features including:
- Highly efficient LED lighting in the dairy and frozen food cases that reduce energy consumption by more than 50 to 65 percent;
- Photo sensors in 33 skylights that measure the amount of daylight from the store’s 33 skylights and adjust the electric light levels accordingly, saving energy;
- Night curtains that are pulled over all open cold cases in the evening to seal in cool air and reduce spoilage and energy costs by up to 25 percent;
- Water-saving faucets and fixtures installed in the restrooms to reduce the amount of water used by more than 45 percent and
- Glycol secondary refrigeration system to minimize refrigerant change, achieving Greenchill Gold certification from EPA.
Another environmental “first” for this store is the on-site co-generation fuel cell powering system. Nearly 90 percent of the Clairemont store’s electricity is powered by a PureCell Model 400 System, a 400-kilowatt fuel cell from UTC Power, a Connecticut-based company and fuel cell pioneer.
Highly energy efficient and virtually pollution-free, the PureCell system produces electricity through an electrochemical process. Its byproduct, thermal energy, is used for hot water, heating, and refrigeration, resulting in an overall energy efficiency of approximately 60 percent, nearly twice the efficiency of the U.S. electrical grid. By generating most of its power onsite, Alberttsons is able to reduce the burden on the local power grid and its impact on the environment.
Also giving the Clairemont store high marks is its waste reduction initiatives. Aiming for zero-waste classification, the store instituted an aggressive recycling program in lieu of trash compactors, established new operational procedures and educated the store team on how to best implement them. With excess product donated to a local food bank, Albertsons Fresh Rescue recycling program helps the store come close to this goal.
“The only competition focused on sustainable retail design, the A.R.E. Sustainability Awards honors retail projects for outstanding green building achievement,” commented A.R.E’s sustainability and design programs Manager Jo Rossman, LEED, AP, GPAP. “The Project of the Year must not only demonstrate that it’s exceptional in three areas of green building, but meet industry standards of aesthetic and functional design. The Albertsons Clairemont team wowed the judges with its holistic achievement.”
The A.R.E. is a Hollywood, Fla. based non-profit trade association representing the retail environments industry. Its mission is to advance the success of its 600+ membership companies involved in importing, exporting, consolidating, installing, project management, and engineering design. Membership includes store fixture suppliers, retail design firms, visual merchandising products suppliers as well as material and equipment suppliers for the retail environments industry.
Albertsons operates 453 Albertsons and Lucky supermarkets in Southern California, Southern Nevada, Idaho, Montana, North Dakota, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming.