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Green Building at Schnucks and Beyond

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solar-panels.jpgSt. Louis-based Schnuck Markets opened a store in the Midwest today that represents a step forward in sustainability for the company. The Newburgh, Indiana location features a water efficient plumbing system, a state-of-the-art energy management program that rations energy and lighting, a resourceful refrigeration setup, and a reflective roof. Oh, and there’s also a nifty shrimp and sushi bar.

Schnucks certainly isn’t the only company stepping up its green design efforts these days. Retailers of all sorts, from fast food to clothing stores, have discovered the potential cost savings in conserving energy and using fewer materials. Kohl’s plans to install solar panels on 85 of its stores, and Safeway is working toward outfitting 23 of its California locations with panels. Even McDonald’s has gotten in on the act, according to a recent story from the New York Times. Innovations there include seats made from recycled material, specially designed pavement that filters rainwater, and a rooftop garden in some spots.

Green design isn’t a new trend for the industry, of course. What is new is the way that companies are getting serious about alternative energy. It’s not just unicorns and rainbows and pretty flowers, after all — it’s serious long-term savings.

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