Giant Eagle Columbus Supermarket Becomes LEED® Gold Certified
COLUMBUS, OHIO — Supermarket retailer Giant Eagle, Inc. celebrated the receipt of a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold certification in northeast Columbus, near New Albany on October 16, 2008.
"Becoming a LEED Gold-certified supermarket underscores Giant Eagle's commitment to environmental responsibility," said Giant Eagle's Senior Vice President of Sustainability Robert Garrity. "It is a continuation of our work thus far, and a step toward future initiatives. It also fits Mayor Michael B. Coleman's 'Get Green' initiative."
In December 2004, Giant Eagle opened the first LEED-certified supermarket in the world in Brunswick, Ohio, near Cleveland. Since then, Giant Eagle also opened the first LEED Silver-certified supermarket in Pittsburgh in April 2007 as well as the Gold certification announced in Columbus, OH. This certification is the first-ever Gold award LEED in the "new construction" category for a supermarket. The 75,000 square-foot New Albany Giant Eagle opened in August 2007 at 5461 New Albany Road West. Following an eight-month review process, the facility was awarded LEED Gold certification on September 29, 2008. The New Albany Giant Eagle also earned the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) ENERGY STAR® Label for Buildings. The ENERGY STAR is the mark of superior energy performance and identifies Giant Eagle's building as one of the most efficient buildings in the nation.
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.
Since 1992, Giant Eagle's Conservation Department has worked to help the company save energy, recycle packaging, and support long-term environmental initiatives. Many of the processes and specifications of Giant Eagle's LEED supermarkets have already been incorporated in previous supermarkets, 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 EPA with the ENERGY STAR Sustained Excellence Award (2006-2008) and with the ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year Award (2004-2005) for adopting smart and efficient energy practices. In 2007, Giant Eagle diverted over 1,254 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 over 1,660 tons of cooking oil, fat and bones and hundreds of tons of cardboard and paper. All Giant Eagle supermarkets include designated plastic bag recycling stations, and also offer brown reusable bags for just 99 cents, and blue reusable hot/cold bags for just $1.99.
The LEED Gold-certified Giant Eagle in northeast Columbus features:
- Naturally beautiful light — Eightytwo skylights, integrated with the electrical lights, to deliver daylight to the store while offering a consistent lighting level and minimizing electricity usage.
- 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.
- Water retention — A retention pond holds excess water, preventing it from contributing to the storm water peak flows that affect many natural rivers and streams.
- Greater energy savings — The store is designed to consume over 25 percent 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, an ENERGY STAR-qualified white roof and daylighting 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 was harvested from sustainable sources. All cabinetry is free of urea-formaldehyde and all gypsum wallboard is made from 10 percent recycled materials. On a daily basis, cardboard, plastic film, bottles and cans, paper, used cooking oil and meat by-products are captured for recycling. These efforts effectively divert a large portion of Giant Eagle's waste stream from landfills into new materials.
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.
About Giant Eagle
Giant Eagle, Inc., ranked 33 on Forbes magazine's largest private corporations 2007 list and recipient of Grocery Headquarters magazine 2007 Retailer of the Year Award and the EPA's ENERGY STAR Retail Partner of the Year Award, is one of the nation's largest food retailers and food distributors with approximately eight billion dollars in annual sales. Founded in 1931, Giant Eagle, Inc. has grown to be the number one supermarket retailer in the region with 159 corporate and 61 independently owned and operated supermarkets in addition to 146 fuel and convenience stores throughout Western Pennsylvania, Ohio, North Central West Virginia and Maryland.
The U.S. Green Building Council is the nation's leading coalition of corporations, builders, universities, government agencies and nonprofit organizations working together to promote buildings that are environmentally responsible, profitable and healthy places to live and work. Since its founding in 1993, the Council has grown to more than 5,300 member companies and organizations, a 50-person professional staff, a broad portfolio of LEED products and services, the industry's popular Greenbuild International Conference and Expo, and a network of 67 local chapters, affiliates and organizing groups.