July 23 was a big day for Hannaford Supermarkets, a 167-store chain serving Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, and Vermont. The Augusta, Maine Hannaford store obtained Platinum LEED Certification last week, making it the first supermarket in the nation to attain such a status.
The LEED system is a program run by the U.S. Green Building Council. LEED certifies green buildings by measuring buildings’ performance in five areas: energy usage, water efficiency, CO2 emissions, indoor environmental quality, and stewardship of resources (and sensitivity to buildings’ environmental impact). Platinum LEED Certification is the highest level of LEED Certification.
To become Platinum LEED Certified, Hannaford constructed the Augusta store to include a number of sustainable features. For example, it is equipped with a “GreenChill” refrigeration system, which uses half the refrigerant gas of traditional cooling systems. Doors on almost all freezer and refrigerated cases conserve energy, and two geothermal wells regulate the building’s temperature. These and other measures are expected to trim the store’s energy usage by fifty percent, compared to similarly-sized traditional supermarkets.
A press release publicizing Hannaford’s Platinum LEED Certification emphasizes that the certification is but one of Hannaford’s numerous demonstrations of environmental and social responsibility. For example, the company also provides more than 3,500 natural and organic products plus hundreds of local products. Hannaford reportedly has a long history of environmental stewardship.
The LEED-Certified store is scheduled to open on July 25.