Co-ops Among Top Retailers in EPA's Green Power Partnership Rankings

May 24, 2016

Co+op Power! Three retail natural food co-ops are among the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s largest green power users in its Green Power Partnership Program. Each are members of National Co+op Grocers (NCG), the business services cooperative for retail food co-ops.

The Green Power Partnership is a voluntary program that encourages organizations to use green power (solar, wind, biogas, biomass, small-hydro, etc.) as a way to reduce the environmental impacts associated with conventional electricity use. The Partnership currently has nearly 1,400 Partner organizations voluntarily using billions of kilowatt-hours of green power annually. Partners include a wide variety of leading organizations such as small and medium sized retail businesses; Fortune 500® companies; local, state, and federal governments; and colleges and universities. For additional information, please visit http://www.epa.gov/greenpower.

The partnership recently released top 30 rankings for total green power usage among its retail partners. Co-ops in the ranking are:

  • (26) Outpost Natural Foods, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, with 100% of their energy use being green power, via solar and wind.
  • (28) Community Food Co-op, Bellingham, Washington, with 102% of their energy use being green power, via wind. Community Food Co-op’s amount exceeds 100% because they purchased green power in an amount that exceeded their use.
  • (29) Wheatsville Food Co-op, Austin, Texas, with 100% of their energy use being green power, via solar.

In 2001, EPA launched the Green Power Partnership to increase the use of renewable electricity in the United States. In return for technical assistance and recognition, partners must commit to use green power for all, or a portion, of their annual electricity consumption. EPA defines green power as a subset of renewable resources that offer the highest environmental benefit.

“Concern for community is one of the seven Cooperative Principles and reducing environmental impact is just one of the ways that retail food co-ops work toward the sustainable development of their communities,” said Robynn Shrader, Chief Executive Officer, NCG. “Food co-ops understand that initiatives such as LEED certification of new stores, supporting renewable energy sources, and actively improving efficiency in existing operations are not only good investments; every dollar that isn’t spent on wasted energy or materials can be used to increase reserves, add services for food co-op owners and shoppers, or give back in other ways to the community. We congratulate the staff, board and owners of Outpost Natural Foods, Community Food Co-op, Wheatsville Food Co-op, and all co-ops nationwide dedicated to green energy efforts.”

About NCG

National Co+op Grocers (NCG), founded in 1999, is a business services cooperative for retail food co-ops located throughout the United States. NCG helps unify food co-ops in order to optimize operational and marketing resources, strengthen purchasing power, and ultimately offer more value to natural food co-op owners and shoppers everywhere. Our 150 member and associate co-ops operate more than 200 storefronts in 38 states with combined annual sales of nearly $2 billion. NCG is a winner of the dotCoop Global Awards for Cooperative Excellence and a Certified B Corporation. Find a map of NCG member and associate co-ops. To learn more about co-ops, visit www.strongertogether.coop.

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Media inquiries may be directed to Eric Davis (eric@harvest-pr.com; 612-424-7545).