The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced today that Whole Foods Market of Austin, Texas, has increased its ranking to No. 3 on EPA's National Top 50 list of the largest green power purchasers. This increased ranking further demonstrates Whole Foods Market's commitment to protecting the environment and builds upon its existing partnership with EPA's Green Power Partnership.
Whole Foods Market is purchasing more than 817 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) of green power annually, which is enough green power to meet 109 percent of the organization's U.S. electricity use. Whole Foods Market is buying a combination of renewable energy certificates and utility green power products from 3Degrees and Austin Energy. This demonstrates a proactive choice to switch away from traditional sources of electricity generation and support cleaner renewable energy alternatives.
“Whole Foods Market is leading the way in showing how green power can protect the environment,” said EPA Regional Administrator Al Armendariz. “Taking action on climate change and improving air quality are two of our highest priorities. By using renewable power sources, we can change the way we generate electricity and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.”
In addition to its listing on the National Top 50 list, Whole Foods Market also ranks No. 2 on the Top 20 Retail list and No. 3 on the Fortune 500 list.
The Green Power Partnership is a voluntary program that encourages organizations to buy green power as a way to reduce the environmental impacts associated with conventional electricity use. The Partnership currently has more than 1,200 partner organizations voluntarily purchasing billions of kWh of green power annually. Partners include a wide variety of leading organizations such as Fortune 500 companies, small-and-medium-sized businesses, local, state, and federal governments, and colleges and universities.
Green power is generated from a subset of renewable resources such as solar, wind, geothermal, biogas, biomass and low-impact hydro. Green power sources produce electricity with an environmental profile superior to conventional power technologies and produce no human-caused greenhouse gas emissions. Purchases of green power also help accelerate the development of new renewable energy capacity nationwide.
Their green power purchases also qualifies Whole Foods Market for EPA’s Green Power Leadership Club, a distinction given to organizations that have significantly exceeded EPA’s minimum purchase requirements. Green Power Leadership Club members must purchase 10 times the partnership’s minimum green power requirement organization wide.
Whole Foods Market's green power purchase of more than 817 million kWh is equivalent to avoiding the carbon dioxide emissions of more than 112,000 passenger vehicles per year or the carbon dioxide emissions from the electricity use of more than 71,000 average American homes annually.