Sustainability Update From Austin

By: Neal Zeren
18 June 2012

There’s less than a month to go until the grand opening of the Whole Foods Arbor Trails Market and we’re so excited to share just a few of the notable green building accomplishments.  After opening on June 19th, we’ll publish the full account of successes; but for now, we’re proud to announce the following:

On-Site Renewable Energy

In April of 2010, Whole Foods Market announced its commitment to reduce energy consumption at all stores by 25% per square foot, by 2015.  Accomplishing this objective requires increased and strengthened commitments to incorporate energy efficient design strategies and advanced systems that dramatically reduce energy consumption. Subsequently, Whole Foods has installed 62 solar panels on the Arbor Trails Market rooftop.  Annually, this system will produce 19,078 kWh of electricity, thus reducing their impact on the local Austin Energy utility and further mitigating the negative environmental impacts associated with the building’s energy use.


The Arbor Trails refrigeration system has been designed and will be maintained to meet the criteria outlined in the GreenChill Advanced Refrigeration Partnership developed by the Environmental Protection Agency. By transitioning to more environmentally friendly refrigerants, reducing the overall amount of refrigerant utilized in their systems, and carefully monitoring and mitigating any refrigerant leaks, Whole Foods has adopted the most advanced green refrigeration technologies and environmental best practices. These efforts have distinguished Whole Foods from other grocers and have earned the Arbor Trails Market a Green Chill GOLD level of certification!

Recycling and Construction Waste Management

On December 15, 2011, the City of Austin adopted the goal of achieving Zero Waste by the year 2040.  Overall, the aim is to keep at least 90% of discarded materials out of the landfill.  In support of this objective, Whole Foods directed those involved with the construction of the Arbor Trails Market to recycle as much as possible throughout construction. At this time, we’re proud to announce that these extensive recycling efforts have allowed for over 93% of the waste generated by the construction of this facility to be diverted from Austin’s landfill!

As you can see, the Arbor Trails team has been working hard to create an environmentally responsive, specialty grocery store that demonstrates Whole Foods commitment to sustainable and responsible building and business practices.  We look forward to sharing the final project attributes, and invite you all to join us at the opening ceremonies on June 19, 2012.  Cheers!

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