On December 21, 2004 supermarket retailer Giant Eagle, Inc. became the nation's first grocer to operate a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®)-certified supermarket at one of its locations in northeastern Ohio. LEED, a national green building rating system administered by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), designates that Giant Eagle has and will continue to meet required standards by incorporating environmentally responsible features and systems into the building.
The 80,000 square foot supermarket located in the Brunswick Town Center shopping plaza, is the first supermarket to earn an environmentally-friendly designation. No other supermarket has earned an equivalent award in the world. The LEED designation builds on the company's commitment to responsible resource use, as it was recognized in February as a 2004 ENERGY STAR® Retail Partner of the Year by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for adopting smart and efficient energy practices.
"Becoming the first LEED-certified supermarket underscores the importance of being an environmentally responsible member of the communities we serve," said Giant Eagle Vice President of Marketing Kevin Srigley. "It is a continuation of our pledge to understand the environmental issues that we all face and to adopt appropriate practices to meet those challenges. Our conservation department continues to pursue alternative sources of energy and conservation initiatives."
When building its Brunswick supermarket, Giant Eagle implemented the following environmentally-friendly features:
- The consumption of 30 percent less energy than comparable supermarkets, with more than 50 percent of the location's electrical energy supplied through wind generation.
- 50 skylights integrated with electrical lighting sensors, which automatically adjust the amount of electric light supplied depending on the light generated by the skylight.
- Air quality sensors to monitor for carbon dioxide and other gases to ensure fresh, clean air throughout the entire store.
- The absence of ozone-depleting refrigerants in the refrigeration and cooling systems.
- Natural filtration of parking lot storm water into the adjacent marshland.
- Water conserving equipment that will save more than 100,000 gallons per year.
- Drought-resistant plants and trees that require no irrigation other than natural rainfall, resulting in a savings of approximately 400,000 gallons of water each year.
- A green housekeeping program that uses environmentally responsible cleaning products.
- A white, reflective roof and increased insulation to allow the building to cool and heat easier.
- The Eagle's Nest® — child learning and activity center, for children ages 3-9, features furniture made of particle board using pressed sunflower seeds.
- Cabinetry made of recycled strawboard.
- Gypsum wallboard made of 100 percent recycled materials.
- Adhesives, sealants, paints, carpeting and wood products that are low in volatile organic compounds.
"A great deal of time, talent and resources went into making our Brunswick concept a reality," added Giant Eagle Director of Conservation (1992–2007) Jim Lampl. "We already are implementing many of these features into our new supermarkets for the benefit of our employees and customers."
"Today's historic accomplishment is a vital piece to the overall environmental health of our country," said Rick Fedrizzi, USGBC President, CEO and Founding Chair. "Giant Eagle's determination to become the first LEED-certified supermarket is unmatched and sets an important example for others in the supermarket industry to follow."
Guided tours of the LEED features employed at the Brunswick Giant Eagle are available to the public, and teachers interested in educational visits can make arrangements by contacting the store at 330.225.0616. Reservations are not required for impromptu individual tours, but are needed for large groups.