Sustainability

As part of UNFI's commitment to green initiatives, the company has built multiple LEED® (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified buildings and is pursuing LEED® certification on several new projects, including a new facility in Denver, for which we are seeking Gold certified status.

The 535,069 square foot Denver distribution center incorporates many sustainable building features:

  • 100% of all office equipment and appliances in the building are Energy Star rated
  • 20% of all building materials are made with recycled content
  • Total water use reduction of 50% when compared to a typical building of similar size and function
  • 50% of construction waste recycled or salvaged
  • Energy reduction of 50% when compared to a typical building of the similar size and function
  • The first UNFI net zero waste facility
  • 100% of wood installed is Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) Certified

Participation in the EPA’s Green Power Partnership is a voluntary program that encourages organizations to use green power to limit the environmental impact of conventional electricity. As a member of the Green Power Leadership Club, UNFI proudly utilizes on-site solar arrays, green power purchase agreements with electric power providers and Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs).  Concerning the use of Solar Arrays, UNFI recognizes the importance of renewable energy to enable a sustainable future.  Our solar panel arrays are among the largest and most productive in the states in which they are located, causing thousands of tons of harmful greenhouse gas emissions to be avoided.   UNFI is proudly home to the largest solar array in Rhode Island, which is one of our many locations.  In the 2012 calendar year, 51.74% of our electricity for facilities in the U.S. came from green power, up 23.76% in 2011.

Since 2011, Select Nutrition has made it a focal point to recycle 100% of its cardboard inside our warehouses in order to contribute to a healthy environment for all.  By doing so, Select Nutrition is keeping its cardboard outside of landfills, which in the long run benefits the environment as a whole; including wildlife by reducing harmful emissions to the air and water, conservation of energy, and much more.  By partnering up with U.S. Recycling, Select Nutrition can efficiently process and recycle all of its cardboard and sets a great example for other companies to follow.  In 2011, we recycled 52.97 tons, but in 2012 we made an astonishing jump by recycling 321.63 tons.  We expect to exceed those numbers for 2013.