THE NEWEST FESTIVAL FOODS SUPERMARKET, due to open this fall, is spending nearly $150,000 on green technologies, including sunlight-diffusing light fixtures. It's the first store operated by Festival to feature so many environmentally friendly elements.
“I give a lot of credit to the industry, which has put green initiatives and the value of being a good corporate citizen in front of us for a couple years now. Sustainability has really been at the forefront of topics to be concerned about,” Marlin Greenfield, the 13-store chain's chief operating officer, told WH.
The lighting system, developed by Orion Energy Systems, a local company, is made up of 175 “light pipes” that have been installed on the roof of the 70,000-square-foot building. Sunlight is drawn into clear, domed receptacles, refracted through prisms and used to light the aisles. To customers inside the store, the fixture looks like a typical round ceiling light.
The roof has also been covered with white material to reflect heat, helping to keep down air conditioning costs in the warmer months. Heating and cooling will be accomplished with high-efficiency equipment, and augmented with devices that control air balancing and dehumidification. Certain areas of the store will be heated with reclaimed energy from refrigeration compressors, according to the retailer.
Lighting is another important area of energy conservation. Some refrigerated cases have been equipped with LED lighting controlled by motion detectors. Similar devices switch off the lights in offices and rest rooms after a certain period of inactivity.
Perhaps the most obvious difference customers will see is an emphasis on the use of biodegradable bags, as well as a new option — reusable bags in different sizes. A 5-cent credit will be awarded to shoppers each time they reuse a bag.
The effort is part of a larger plan to bring wellness and sustainability closer to consumers. Also part of the new store is a variety of natural and organic foods, as well as a “healthy choice” salad bar. Festival also has a staff dietitian, Lisa Eirman, who specializes in diabetes, heart disease, general nutrition for wellness and weight management, meal planning, and nutrition analysis of food products, according to officials.