Whole Foods Market Takes A Giant Leap Toward Renewable Energy

You might know Whole Foods Market as the health food grocery store with interesting choices for people from all walks of life, from meat eaters to strict vegans. And don’t forget the plethora of yummy samples all around the store just waiting to please your taste buds. The shopping experience at Whole Foods is fun and exciting, as it is full of unique items that regular grocery stores do not carry.

As part of their list of core values, Whole Foods strives to “practice and advance environmental stewardship”, notes the Whole Foods Market website.

“Supporting sustainable agriculture. We are committed to greater production of organically and bio-dynamically grown foods in order to reduce pesticide use and promote soil conservation.

“Reducing waste and consumption of non-renewable resources. We promote and participate in recycling programs in our communities. We are committed to re-usable packaging, reduced packaging, and water and energy conservation.

“Encouraging environmentally sound cleaning and store maintenance programs.”

Whole Foods is ready to roll out a whole new program in the attempt to increase the amount of renewable energy used by the stores by placing solar panels on a large portion of their locations, notes CBS News. Although Whole Foods will not be going off the grid completely, as the panels can only supply from 5 to 25 percent of the total energy used, the market will be increasing the Whole Foods’ “solar energy portfolio by a whopping 400 percent, while also supplying the electric power grid with cleaner power.”

Whole Foods Market’s global leader in sustainable energy, Kathy Loftus, had the following to say about the new solar energy panels.

“This program showcases an exciting step in Whole Foods Market’s efforts to increase support for renewable energy as well as lower energy costs. We strive to live our core values of environmental stewardship, as well as serving and supporting our local and global communities.”

Food and Business News reports that Whole Foods has entered into a partnership with two different solar panel installation companies, NRG Energy, Inc. and SolarCity, to install the solar panels and all equipment needed for the solar run systems.

The senior vice president of business solutions at NRG, Rob Gaudette, says the company is happy to work with Whole Foods because they are on the same page regarding renewable energy.

“Their vision and mission aligns with NRG’s approach to driving smarter, cleaner energy solutions while continuing to serve customers, neighbors and the community. We’re committed to providing our customers, like Whole Foods Market, with energy solutions that support both sustainability and economic growth.”

Kathy Loftus also says that Whole Foods Market hopes to bring a larger amount of renewable energy into the communities served by their stores.

“We’re thrilled to work with NRG to bring about this multiple stakeholder view of our clean energy goals while simultaneously maximizing the utilization of resources.”

SolarCity will provide custom designed solar power systems, and Whole Foods Market will further save money with the partnership with this company through the purchase of power from SolarCity. The price of this power will be greatly reduced from mainstream power prices, and Whole Foods Market also has the option to freeze the price point for an extended period of time.

If you loved Whole Foods Market before, now there’s more to love about this company. It’s refreshing to see evidence that Whole Foods stays true to their mission statement and core values.

[Photo by Tony Dejak/Associated Press]