International Living Future Institute Recognizes Two Additional PCC Community Markets Locations as Meeting World’s Most Rigorous Green Building Standards

2021 News

West Seattle PCC and Bellevue PCC are now Living Building Challenge Petal-Certified

(SEATTLE, September 30, 2021) – PCC Community Markets (PCC), one of Seattle’s original grocers and the largest community-owned food market in the U.S., today announced that its West Seattle and Bellevue co-op locations met the world’s most rigorous green building standards, established by the International Living Future Institute (ILFI), to become Living Building Challenge (LBC) Petal-Certified. These locations join Ballard PCC, the world’s first grocery store to receive this recognition, in meeting the stringent requirements for the Materials, Place and Beauty Petals in pursuit of ILFI’s LBC Petal Certification. PCC’s work to become LBC Petal-Certified ensures the design of the stores and the building material choices made align with equally high standards for the products allowed on its shelves.

“By working with ILFI to reduce harmful chemicals in our stores and in reusing materials rather than sourcing new, PCC is taking small but important steps for the health of our staff, local communities, and our planet,” said Brenna Davis, PCC’s VP of Social and Environmental Responsibility. “When building our new stores to be LBC Petal-Certified, we are working toward our vision to inspire and advance the health and well-being of people, their communities and the planet.”

PCC’s West Seattle and Bellevue locations, along with Ballard PCC, are LBC Petal-Certified following the co-op’s dedicated approach to reducing the environmental impact when building the stores and creating spaces that have a strong connection to nature and their local neighborhoods. LBC Petal-certification of the West Seattle and Bellevue stores required rigorous attention to accomplishing the following steps:

  • Exclusion of Hazardous Materials: Both PCC locations avoided hazardous materials on LBC’s “Red List” which is an extensive list of more than 800 toxic “worst-in-class” substances that have the greatest negative impact on people and the local ecosystems, such as polyvinyl chloride (PVC) which is commonly used to make belts in checkout stands.
  • Investment in the Local Community: PCC worked to minimize the impact on the environment associated with the build and transportation of goods in construction. The co-op invested in materials sourced locally wherever possible and re-used materials including shelving and appliances from other locations. Additionally, 97% of building materials (by material budget) for both stores were sourced from within the U.S.
  • Protecting Local Ecosystems: The co-op contributed funds to protect, in perpetuity, land equivalent to the footprint of the stores (just over 49,500 total square feet) through ILFI’s Habitat Exchange Program that protects thriving ecosystems from harm as a result of development.

“PCC is showing people what a Living Future looks like, setting the tone for the whole sector,” said Lindsay Baker, CEO of the International Living Future Institute. “With these new stores, PCC is building on its long history of putting the health of its workers and members at the center its business practices.”

While much of the work done to meet the LBC certification is not obvious to shoppers, each store features stunning pieces by local artists with the purpose of connecting shoppers to the spirit of the neighborhood. In West Seattle, Celeste Cooning’s “Cloud Wave” envelops staff and shoppers at the front of the store. The installation was assembled from a reclaimed sail cloth to represent water, the essential life force. Shogo Ota’s “Murmuration” in Bellevue captures the essence that together we can do more, showcasing a group of birds that while small individually, become mightier when they fly together, forming a Southern Resident Killer Whale.

PCC operates on a triple bottom line, always balancing economic, social and environmental impact. The co-op will continue working for its new stores, including the upcoming Kirkland relocation and Downtown Seattle store, to be LBC Petal-Certified. The co-op is participating in ILFI’s Volume Pilot Program, which increases efficiency when certifying multiple projects by evaluating store design and materials at a portfolio scale. In addition to the LBC certification, the co-op was ranked 18 on the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) Green Power Partnership Top 30 Retail list this year and has also been acting for a more sustainable future by:

  • Discontinuing the sale of plastic bottled water sized below one gallon,
  • Partnering with Ridwell for local cork recycling efforts,
  • Signing on to support the “Call 4 Climate Now” campaign organized by The Climate Collaborative.


About PCC Community Markets

Founded in Seattle in 1953, PCC Community Markets (PCC) is a certified organic retailer and the nation’s largest community-owned food market. With an unmatched enthusiasm for making food from scratch, PCC is a haven for those who share a dedication to fresh, organic, seasonal food that is sustainably sourced from over 800 local producers, farmers, ranchers and fishers.

The co-op’s mission is to ensure that good food nourishes the communities it serves, while cultivating vibrant, local, organic food systems. With an active membership of more than 95,000 households, PCC operates 15 stores in the Puget Sound area, including the cities of Bellevue, Bothell, Burien, Edmonds, Issaquah, Kirkland, Redmond and Seattle. Seattle stores are in the neighborhoods of Ballard, Central District, Columbia City, Fremont, Green Lake, View Ridge and West Seattle. The co-op also plans to open new stores in Downtown Seattle and Madison Valley and relocate its Kirkland location.

In 2020, PCC gave more than 60% of pretax earnings to members and the communities it serves. This includes the co-op’s first-ever member dividend and support of nonprofits around the Puget Sound area such as Ventures, Washington Farmland Trust and FareStart.

About the International Living Future Institute
The International Living Future Institute is a global nonprofit organization that inspires the greenest buildings for a healthy world. The Institute’s mission is to advance communities that are socially just, culturally rich, and ecologically restorative. ILFI operates the Living Building Challenge, the world’s most ambitious, advanced, and holistic performance standard for green, resilient, and healthy buildings. In addition to the Living Building Challenge, ILFI offers an array of transparency platforms, labels, and certifications that enable organizations to communicate their commitment to a healthier world, and provides professional education, books, and events. ILFI is a hub for visionary programs that support the transformation toward–and provide a compelling vision for–a living future that is accessible to all. Learn more at www.living-future.org.

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