The Giant Green Eagle

Discussion
Nov 10, 2003
George Anderson

By George Anderson


Giant Eagle seeks to be a leader in the grocery industry and now it is being recognized for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) by the Green Building Council
for two stores: one a prototype in the Cleveland area and the other a remodel in the Pittsburgh market.


The prototype store, under construction in Brunswick, OH, is intended as the test unit for future LEED certified Giant Eagles.


LEED certification, according to Business First of Columbus, is based on a building’s compliance with all or part of a 60-point standard under six categories including
energy and atmosphere; sustainable sites, water efficiency; materials and resources; indoor and environmental quality; and innovation and design process. Certifications are awarded
in platinum, gold, silver, bronze and basic levels based on the degree of compliance against the standards.


Jim Lampl, director of conservation, Giant Eagle, told Business First, “This is not a departure from what we’ve been doing all along. This is just more visible. Before
the green certification that we’re exploring, our baseline store has a lot of green elements.”


Giant Eagle expects to achieve 29 percent greater efficiency than the standard established by the American Society for Heating, Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning Engineers in
the Brunswick store.


The new Giant Eagle will use skylights to make better use of available natural lighting to improve the shopping experience of its customers. The store, when completed, will have
earned a basic certification from LEED.


Moderator’s Comment: Do so-called green buildings provide a retailer, especially one in grocery, with a competitive advantage in the market?


Good press certainly never hurts. Substantial savings on monthly energy-related expenses is crucial when stores are seeking wage and/or benefit concessions
from associates simply to keep up with the Waltons.


According to the Green Building Council report, The Costs and Financial Benefits of Green Building, “initial upfront investment of up to $100,000
to incorporate green building features into a $5 million project would result in savings of at least $1 million over the life of the building, assumed conservatively to be 20
years.”
[George
Anderson – Moderator
]


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