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Raley’s Strikes Gold with Greenest Store Yet

New Petaluma Store Receives Gold-Level Certification by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

By Amy Davis | Wednesday April 8, 2009

WEST SACRAMENTO, CA – It’s quite fitting that on Earth Day, Wednesday, April 22, Raley’s is opening its greenest store yet in Petaluma, Calif. at 157 N. McDowell Blvd. in the South Plaza Shopping Center.

In January 2009, Raley’s joined the EPA’s GreenChill Advanced Refrigeration Partnership to fight climate change and protect the earth’s ozone layer. Thanks to the innovative green refrigeration technology installed in the new Petaluma store, Raley’s has been awarded Gold-Level Certification through the EPA’s GreenChill Partnership. Less than four months with the Partnership, Raley’s in Petaluma is the first and only retailer in California  – and just second in the nation – to achieve GreenChill’s highest honor.

“Although our new store will raise the bar for us, it’s not our first effort at being green,” said Ed Estberg, Raley’s Sr. Director of Facilities. “Years ago, Raley’s adopted a corporate philosophy to improve and enhance the environment with little or no fiscal impact on our customers – and we are proud of our record of delivering on that commitment.”

With state-of-the-art store design and some of the most advanced refrigeration, lighting and air systems across the nation, this new site operates at incredibly efficient levels by harnessing the power of natural elements like sunlight, water and air, decreasing a significant amount of air emissions and savings thousands of gallons of water each month.

“Raley’s is committed to the principles of sustainability: reduce, reuse and recycle,” said Raley’s President and CEO, Bill Coyne. “Our new Petaluma Raley’s store is a shining example of our environmentally friendly design, construction and maintenance practices. We welcome the community to join the celebration at their new neighborhood Raley’s.”

Keilly Witman with the Stratospheric Protection Division of the EPA will be onsite at the store’s grand opening ceremony at 8:30 a.m. on Wednesday, April 22 to present the award to Raley’s executives as they officially declare the store open for business.

“GreenChill is very proud to award Raley’s Petaluma store our gold-level store certification for green refrigeration technology,” said Keilly Witman of EPA’s Stratospheric Protection Division. “Raley’s sets a high bar of environmental achievement for other supermarkets to follow.” In order to receive GreenChill’s gold-level store certification, a store must use green refrigeration technology that reduces by half the system’s impact on climate change and the ozone layer.

Surpassing Industry Standards in Petaluma:

Applying Secondary Coolants

Raley’s is one of less than four retailers across the nation to use glycol coolants and CO2 as secondary coolants to regulate temperatures and decrease refrigerant use. By applying secondary coolants to medium and high temperature fixtures and CO2 for low temperature fixtures, the company uses much smaller amounts of refrigerant. Nearly 3,000 pounds of refrigerant is a typical draw for operating systems – the new store only requires 1,800 pounds of refrigerant, a 40% reduction. These systems are contained in the same location and will have a much lower leak rate, helping protect the environment by significantly reducing the potential to release greenhouse gases.

Harnessing the Power of Water and Air

Developed internally, a high efficiency Dual Medium Condenser is installed at the Petaluma site, saving Raley’s 85,000 gallons of water per month (an 85% reduction in condenser water usage) – when compared to normal evaporative condenser applications that take 100,000 gallons per month. With the Petaluma store and three others in operation, the company is saving a total of 340,000 gallons of water per month. Using a dual medium condenser allows Raley’s to utilize the power of two natural elements – water and air – moving away from evaporative condensers and saving electricity in the process.

Using Natural and Efficient Lighting

The combination of ceiling skylights (natural, solar light reduces power reliance and usage) and Induction lighting (bulbs that last five times as long as fluorescent lights) should last 27 years without requiring replacements – and Raley’s is the only grocery chain to combine these elements in the same site. Photo sensors also determine when lights shut on or off, based on the amount of solar light streaming through the skylights, to minimize energy use. Lasting longer than 10 years, LED lights (in track lighting, freezer cases triggered by motion sensors, exterior canopy lights and signage) are much more energy efficient than traditional fluorescent lights and can reduce energy use by approximately 20 percent.

To watch a video and learn more about the exciting sustainable features, click here for a sneak peek inside the new store, in addition to grand opening events and a list of store departments.

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