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Natural and organic foods retailer Whole Foods Market was one of four organizations and the only grocer to receive the Green Power Partner of the Year award from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). This is the third time Whole Foods has received the award.
The Green Power Partner of the Year award honors EPA Green Power Partners who distinguish themselves through their purchase, leadership, overall strategy, and impact on the green power market. Whole Foods was recognized for increasing its green power purchasing to include nearly 818 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) of green power in 2010, which is enough green power to exceed 100 percent of the company's purchased electricity use. According to the EPA, 818 million kWh of renewable energy credits (RECs) is the equivalent amount of electricity needed to power more than 71,000 average American homes annually.
"Whole Foods Market has committed to reducing our energy consumption by 25 percent per square foot by 2015 and uses a comprehensive alternative energy approach to reduce reliance on fossil fuels including a mix of on-site solar power and fuel cells and electricity offsets from wind power," said Kathy Loftus, global leader of sustainable engineering and energy management for Whole Foods.
The Austin, Texas-based grocer received the honor at an October 20th awards event at the National Renewable Energy Markets Conference in Portland, Ore.
For 2011, Whole Foods has committed to purchasing RECs from NextEra Energy Resource's EarthEra program, 3 Degrees, and Renewable Choice Energy. This will be the fifth year the company has offset 100 percent of its purchased electricity use.
Whole Foods currently ranks third on EPA's National Top 50 Partners list, which highlights EPA Green Power Partners that have completed the largest annual voluntary purchases through July 6, 2010. The company was the first Fortune 500 company to purchase wind energy credits for 100 percent of its electricity use across U.S. operations. From 2004-2007, Whole Foods earned EPA Green Power awards, and in 2006 and 2007, the company received Green Power Partner of the Year Awards.