Multi-format retailer Giant Eagle®, Inc. today announced the receipt of a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) Silver certification for its GetGo convenience store and fuel station located at 140 Towne Center Drive in Wexford.
"Adding a LEED-certified convenience store and fuel station to our wealth of sustainable business practices underscores Giant Eagle's commitment to environmental responsibility," said Giant Eagle Senior Vice President of Real Estate Shelly Sponholz. "It is a continuation of our work thus far, and a step toward future initiatives."
This is the company's first LEED-certified fuel and convenience store location, the first of its kind in the entire western Pennsylvania region and one of the first nationally. In December 2004, Giant Eagle opened the first LEED-certified supermarket in the world in Brunswick, Ohio near Cleveland. Since then, Giant Eagle has also been awarded LEED certification for its Shadyside Market District and New Albany (Columbus) Giant Eagle. The 1,942 square-foot Pine Township GetGo opened in February 2009.
"GetGo has been incorporating green practices into our operations for a number of years, highlighted by our alternative fuel offerings at many locations and the water reclamation system in place at our WetGo car wash locations," added Giant Eagle Vice President of Fuel and Convenience Stores Dan Pastor. "There are some 150,000 convenience stores across the nation. To have our Township of Pine location recognized as one of a handful of LEED-certified stores in the country is an exceptional honor."
LEED is a national green building rating system administered by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). To earn certification, a building project must meet certain prerequisites and performance benchmarks ("credits") within each category. Projects are awarded Certified, Silver, Gold, or Platinum certification depending on the number of credits they achieve.
"GetGo's LEED certification of its Township of Pine location is another example of how convenience retailers continue to redefine what it means to be a cornerstone of the community, whether in their charitable giving, delivering the products and services that consumers need, or taking the lead in creating a sustainable future," said Hank Armour, President & CEO of NACS® (National Association of Convenience Stores.
Since 1992, Giant Eagle, Inc. has worked to help the organization and its multiple banners save energy, recycle packaging, and support long-term environmental initiatives. Many of the processes and specifications of Giant Eagle's LEED stores have already been incorporated in supermarkets and convenience stores, including high-efficiency lighting, the purchase of wind energy, as well as the use of white roofing, variable speed fans, and occupancy sensors.
The LEED designation builds on Giant Eagle's commitment to responsible resource use, as the company has been recognized repeatedly by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency with ENERGY STAR Sustained Excellence Award (2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010) and with the ENERGY STAR® Partner of the Year Award (2004, 2005) for adopting smart and efficient energy practices. In 2008, Giant Eagle diverted more than 750 tons of plastic from bags and other products from landfills, plastic which was later recycled into decking and fencing products. Each year, Giant Eagle recycles more than 1,500 tons of cooking oil, fat and bones and hundreds of tons of cardboard and paper.
The LEED Silver-certified GetGo features:
- Fresh air — Air quality sensors constantly monitor for carbon dioxide to ensure fresh, clean air throughout the store. Air quality is improved by the use of adhesives, sealants, paints, carpeting and wood products that are low in volatile organic compounds;
- Water conservation — Parking lot landscaping has been planted with drought-tolerant vegetation that requires no irrigation;
- Greater energy savings — The store is designed to consume 21% less energy than comparable, conventionally designed supermarkets, with all of the store's electricity produced by green energy sources;
- Use less heating and cooling — Increased insulation, and day lighting help the store save energy year round;
- Cleaner atmosphere — The store uses no-ozone-depleting refrigerants in its refrigeration and cooling systems;
- Recycling and recycled materials — A majority of construction waste, such as steel and drywall, was sent to various companies for reuse. Nearly all wood used in the site is harvested from sustainable services. All cabinetry is free of urea formaldehyde and all gypsum wallboard is made from 10% recycled materials. Nearly all food by products, such as cooking oil and trimmings, are transformed into other areas including bio-diesel fuel, animal feed, and lubricants.
The USGBC launched the LEED program in 2000 to promote integrated, whole-building design practices and to establish a common standard of measurement to define green building. The centerpiece of the program is the LEED Green Building Rating System, a voluntary scorecard for buildings with "credit" awarded for specified green building criteria. The system has become a nationally accepted benchmark for measuring the "greenness" of a project.