CLEVELAND, Dec. 22 /PRNewswire/ -- Supermarket retailer Giant Eagle, Inc. today 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, opened this past summer and 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(R) 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 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 & 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. About Giant Eagle Giant Eagle, Inc., ranked 28 on Forbes magazine's largest private corporations list and recipient of Progressive Grocer's 2002 Retailer of the Year Award, is one of the nation's largest food retailers and food distributors with more than $5.2 billion in annual sales. Founded in 1931, Giant Eagle, Inc. has grown to be the number one supermarket retailer in the region with 140 corporate and 81 independently owned and operated stores throughout western Pennsylvania, Ohio, north central West Virginia and Maryland. Giant Eagle was named America's Second Harvest 2004 Regional Retailer of the Year for its support of local food banks, and also actively supports numerous community events, the United Way, The Salvation Army, Race For The Cure and other non-profit organizations. The company also has created education initiatives such as Apples For The Students, which has provided millions of dollars in computer equipment, software and other classroom learning tools for local schools and the Be A Smart Shopper school nutrition program. Further information can be found at GiantEagle.com. About USGBC 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(R) products and services, the industry's popular Greenbuild International Conference and Expo, and a network of 67 local chapters, affiliates, and organizing groups.
SOURCE Giant Eagle, Inc.