The opening of Whole Foods in Foggy Bottom this morning means more than a chance to ride a cart escalator or buy sustainable swordfish. Today the store becomes the first in the District to achieve the EPA’s gold standard for refrigerant emissions.
GreenChill Certification, developed by the EPA in partnership with supermarkets, indicates that a store has achieved a reduced level of refrigerant emissions, which impact the ozone layer and contribute to climate change. Though more than 7,300 stores belong to the GreenChill Partnership (20 percent of the grocery industry), just a handful of stores in the D.C. region are represented: a Wegmans in Woodmore, Md. and a Harris Teeter in Chantilly, Va.
The new Whole Foods received gold-level status from the EPA, which means the store will produce 75 percent fewer refrigerant emissions than a typical U.S. supermarket. For those who don’t give a fig about refrigeration, the store will also be offering free samples and musical festivities throughout opening day.