04 Apr '11, 6pm
How does your supermarket stack up to the world’s greenest grocery store?
The Whole Foods in Dedham, Mass. is bringing new meaning to the word “greengrocer.” It’s a showcase facility, which means it basically tries out all the company’s environmental best practices to see how they work in the wild. The result is a store with an inspiring combination of architectural and procedural innovations: The building’s steel frame is 100 percent recycled. A white roof reduces climate control bills and emissions. The building draws power from a 400 kWh fuel cell and 80 kWh solar panels, which provide 90 percent of its energy. Skylights reduce the need for artificial lighting. The kitchen exhaust systems only run on demand, not all the time. The store reuses 80 percent of its waste, and much of what it uses (grocery bags, cash register tape) is 100 percent recycled.