United Natural Foods Achieves LEED® Gold Certification for Its Lancaster, Texas Distribution Center

December 13, 2011

PROVIDENCE, R.I., Dec. 13, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- United Natural Foods, Inc. (Nasdaq: UNFI) (the "Company") today announced it has received LEED® Gold Certification by the U.S. Green Building Council ("USGBC") for its Lancaster, Texas distribution center.  Demonstrating a long term dedication to sustainability and the environment, this is the Company's fourth LEED® certification.

The 590,000 square foot Lancaster distribution center commenced operations in 2010 and was built with a focus on resource and energy conservation. Some of the distribution center's key sustainability achievements include:

  • Over 97% of all office equipment and appliances in building are Energy Star rated;
  • 20% of all building materials made with recycled content;
  • 75% of all construction waste materials were properly recycled and/or reused;
  • Energy reduction and lighting power reduction of 30% and 18%, respectively;
  • Use of solar panels for two dock levelers;
  • Ammonia-based refrigeration system, more environmentally-friendly and energy-efficient than other refrigerants;
  • Water use reduction of over 35% using motion-activated sensors, flow controls and rainwater recovery cistern.

Additionally, the facility is strategically located to support customers throughout the Southwest including Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Arkansas and Louisiana. By transferring distribution routes to its Lancaster facility, UNFI has been able reduce greenhouse gas and CO2 emissions, improve service levels and enhance overall operating efficiencies in serving these customers.

"UNFI remains focused on sustainability and strives to integrate green strategies into the design of its buildings," said Steve Spinner, President and Chief Executive Officer.  "We are extremely proud to have achieved LEED® Gold certification at our Lancaster distribution center, and this is another example of UNFI's deep commitment to environmentally-friendly and energy-efficient design."

LEED® (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is an internationally-recognized green building certification system that promotes sustainable building and development practices through a rating system administered by the USGBC, the nation's leading evaluator of environmentally sustainable buildings.  The council recognizes environmental sustainability in different categories, such as building materials, energy efficiency, water savings and indoor environmental quality. UNFI partnered with ARCO Design/Build, Inc. of Atlanta, GA to provide sustainable design and site planning for the distribution center and Philadelphia-based ReVision Architecture served as the Company's LEED® consultant. 

In 2009, UNFI's Ridgefield, Washington distribution center became the first refrigerated distribution center to be recognized by the USGBC with LEED® Gold certification.  The Company also received LEED® Gold certification on its York, Pennsylvania distribution center and LEED® Silver certification on its Providence, Rhode Island corporate headquarters in 2010.  During 2010, the Company was also awarded the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) esteemed ENERGY STAR rating on its Chesterfield, New Hampshire distribution center.

About United Natural Foods
United Natural Foods, Inc. (www.unfi.com) carries and distributes more than 60,000 products to more than 23,000 customer locations throughout the United States and Canada. The Company serves a wide variety of retail formats including conventional supermarket chains, natural product superstores, independent retail operators and the food service channel. United Natural Foods, Inc. was ranked by Forbes in 2005 as one of the "Best Managed Companies in America," ranked by Fortune in 2006 – 2010 as one of its "Most Admired Companies," winner of the Supermarket News 2008 Sustainability Excellence Award, and recognized by the Nutrition Business Journal for its 2009 Environment and Sustainability Award.

SOURCE United Natural Foods, Inc.

AT THE COMPANY: Mark Shamber, Chief Financial Officer, +1-401-528-8634; FINANCIAL RELATIONS BOARD: Joseph Calabrese, General Information, +1-212-827-3772