Austin, Texas [RenewableEnergyAccess.com]
What Whole Foods Market calls the "largest wind energy credit purchase in the history of the United States and Canada" may well be true, with 100 percent of the company's electricity used in all of its stores, facilities, bake houses, distribution centers, regional offices and national headquarters in the U.S. and Canada to be supplied by the purchase of wind energy credits.
"Whole Foods Market's commitment to wind power is providing an outstanding example of environmental leadership."
-- Kurt Johnson, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Green Power Partnership director
Further, the natural and organic foods supermarket claims it is the only Fortune 500 Company to date to do so. Whole Foods Market selected Boulder, Colorado-based Renewable Choice Energy as its exclusive supplier of renewable energy credits.
"Whole Foods Market has made the largest-ever corporate purchase of renewable energy credits in the nation," said Kurt Johnson, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Green Power Partnership director. "Whole Foods Market's commitment to wind power is providing an outstanding example of environmental leadership."
Tom Gray, Deputy Director of American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) said, "The record-breaking purchase of wind power by Whole Foods shows how easy it is to support the development of a clean, safe, domestic, renewable source of electricity like wind with the simple power of the pocketbook. In making this decision, Whole Foods has joined a growing list of corporations, utilities, universities, and private citizens who are actively supporting development of wind energy through their power purchasing decisions."
To help evaluate options and facilitate the purchasing process, Whole Foods Market involved the Washington, DC-based nonprofit environmental think tank, World Resources Institute (WRI). Since 2000, WRI has been working with a number of Fortune 500 companies to increase their use of renewable energy. "Whole Foods Market's historic purchase has set a new benchmark for the industry," said Jonathan Lash, WRI president.
As of December 9, 2005, Whole Foods Market purchased more than 458,000 MWh of renewable energy credits from wind farms. This purchase will avoid more than 700 million pounds of carbon dioxide pollution this year. To have the same environmental impact, more than 60,000 cars would have to be taken off the road or more than 90,000 acres of trees would have to be planted.
With the Whole Foods Market's motto being "Whole Foods, Whole People, Whole Planet", it follows that the company would choose renewable energy. "Whole Foods Market is a leader in the natural and organic foods movement, and that involves caring about our communities and respecting our environment," said Michael Besancon, Whole Foods Market Southern Pacific regional president and Green Mission task force leader. "This purchase of wind energy credits is a natural extension of that leadership and is integral to our core values."