PCC Natural Markets’ Edmonds, Wash. store earns both LEED® Platinum and Salmon-Safe Certifications

2011 News

(Seattle, Wash., February 18, 2011) – The newest location of PCC Natural Markets (PCC), the nation’s largest natural foods retail cooperative, has earned two of the most prestigious certifications awarded to buildings for features and operations that support human and environmental health. The Edmonds PCC is now LEED Platinum and Salmon-Safe certified, and the only grocery store in the nation to have earned both honors.

“Our transformation of a long-vacant building into a showcase of features and systems that protect and conserve natural resources demonstrates PCC’s commitment to operating stores that are as healthy for customers and employees as the products we sell,” said Tracy Wolpert, PCC’s CEO. “We hope that our Edmonds store inspires other retailers to make similar investments in the well-being of the neighborhoods and natural habitats that surround them.”

LEED is the rating system developed by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) through which the design, construction and operation of buildings are evaluated. Certification is awarded at Certified, Silver, Gold, or Platinum levels and is based on achievement in each of six environmental categories. The Edmonds PCC opened in September 2008, two years after PCC built the first-ever LEED Gold grocery store in Redmond, Wash.

The Edmonds PCC’s LEED Platinum certification falls under the USGBC’s new pilot program called “LEED for Retail: Commercial Interiors.” The category for Redmond PCC’s LEED Gold certification is “LEED for Retail: New Construction.” Virtually all of the features of the Redmond store, including those designed to maximize energy and water efficiency, waste reduction, use of sustainable materials, and optimum air quality, were replicated in the Edmonds location. PCC raised its own bar for eco-friendly features by installing a rainwater harvesting system and two parking lot rain gardens.

Oregon-based Salmon-Safe was founded as a program to help farmers restore salmon streams in the Pacific Northwest and is the only certification program in the country specifically dedicated to protecting water quality and habitat for salmon. In 2004 Stewardship Partners, a Seattle nonprofit which works to improve the quality of Washington watersheds, brought the Salmon-Safe program to Washington State. The program’s initial focus on farm and vineyard certification was expanded in 2007 to include urban properties and was launched by Salmon-Safe’s Seattle-based outreach partner, The Network for Business Innovation and Sustainability (NBIS). Salmon-Safe’s Puget Sound urban initiative acknowledges that the biggest single factor affecting the Puget Sound ecosystem is the rapid growth of the urban landscape.

PCC’s Edmonds store earned Salmon-Safe certification for its environmentally innovative redesign and development of its three-acre site. Specifically, the location is being recognized for harvesting rooftop rainwater for irrigation and other reuse, incorporating low input landscaping, and for treatment of parking lot runoff through its rain gardens. In this case, Salmon Safe Certification criteria helped contribute to the overall LEED rating points system, demonstrating how the two certifications can work together.

PCC has promoted the Salmon-Safe label on products since the fall of 2005 and was the first Washington state retailer to support and promote Salmon-Safe certification of farms and wineries. Its Edmonds store is among four sites being recognized by Salmon-Safe this month as outstanding urban properties. The others are the University of Washington, REI and the Seattle Art Museum.

Both the Redmond and Edmonds PCC locations were designed and built by the same project team, led by Seattle-based architect George Ostrow of VELOCIPEDE architects inc.

About PCC Natural Markets (PCC): Headquartered in Seattle, Wash., PCC Natural Markets is a certified organic retail cooperative with annual sales of $150 million and an active membership of 45,000 households. PCC operates nine stores in the Seward Park, View Ridge, Greenlake, West Seattle, Fremont, Kirkland, Redmond, Edmonds and Issaquah neighborhoods.

About Edmonds PCC: PCC’s newest location opened in Snohomish County, Wash. in September 2008. The 25,252 sq. ft. natural foods store features a full-service deli; fresh seafood case; sushi, pizza and gelato bars; bulk food department, state-of-the-art classroom and teaching kitchen; and environmentally-friendly features throughout the store.

About the U.S. Green Building Council: The Washington, D.C.-based U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) is committed to a prosperous and sustainable future through cost-efficient and energy-saving green buildings. It is the nation’s leading non-profit organization composed of corporations, builders, universities, federal and local agencies, and nonprofit organizations working together to promote buildings that are environmentally responsible, profitable and healthy places to live and work.

About LEED: LEED is a third-party certification program and the nationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction and operation of high-performance green buildings and neighborhoods. Developed by the U.S. Green Building Council in 2000 through a consensus-based process, LEED serves as a tool for buildings of all types and sizes. LEED certification offers third-party validation of a project’s green features and verifies that the building is operating exactly the way is was designed to function.

About Salmon-Safe: Salmon-Safe is a registered and independent 501(c) 3 nonprofit dedicated to protecting water quality and the Puget Sound’s waterways, and to enhancing the region’s overall environmental health. Salmon-Safe works across the West Coast through a partner network consisting of place-based conservation organizations and watershed groups, as well as collaborating certification organizations.

About NBIS: The Network for Business Innovation and Sustainability (NBIS) is a Northwest nonprofit that enables professionals and businesses to drive profitable sustainability. NBIS has been providing educational, networking, coaching and leadership development programs to accelerate sustainable best practices in companies and organizations since 2003.

About Stewardship Partners: Stewardship Partners is a 501(c) 3 nonprofit organization that helps private landowners restore and preserve the annual landscapes of Washington State. Its mission is to work with diverse interest groups to build bridges and find solutions that achieve mutual goals of environmental protection, economic health, and community well being.

Media contact

Diana Chapman
PCC Natural Markets
206-547-1222, ext. 106
206-390-6657 (cell)

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