It’s good being green
Outpost Natural Foods Mequon store earns LEED certification

News Graphic Staff

Feb. 24, 2016

Outpost Natural Foods in Mequon has a roof that is lined with solar panels, which provide about 10 percent of the store’s energy requirements.
Submitted photo

MEQUON — The Mequon Outpost Natural Foods Co-Op store has received a LEED Silver Certification in Building Design & Construction from the U.S. Building Council. The Mequon store, 7590 W. Mequon Road, opened in May 2014.

Mequon City Administrator William Jones recognized Outpost during the Feb. 9 Common Council meeting.

Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) is a building certification program that recognizes best-in-class building and strategies. Projects are subject to a rating system that considers:

Sustainable sites

Water efficiency

Energy and atmosphere

Materials and resources

Indoor environmental quality

Innovation

Regional priority credits

Integrative process credits Outpost applied for 61 credits out of a possible 100 and received a final score of 51.

Earning credit for new construction in grocery retail – as compared with other building applications – is challenging, mainly due to the increased energy and water demands required for handling and managing perishable food products, a news release said.

Aside from Outpost, there is only one other retail grocery outlet in Wisconsin reaching LEED Silver certification, the news release added.

The land surrounding the store includes raised garden beds.
Submitted photo

Sustainable assets found at Outpost’s LEED-certified Mequon store include zero-runoff storm water management, an energy-efficient LED and day-lighting program, innovative heat reclamation for heating water, recycled and upcycled construction and design materials, low-emission finishes, underground water catchment cisterns for landscape management, a charging station for electric vehicles, waste water management of the retail water islands, raised garden beds for growing food and water-efficient native landscaping, the news release said.

Outpost has been committed to sustainability since it was founded in 1970. Today, it maintains strong practices in social, economic and environmental sustainability that positively affect all stakeholders, not just shareholders, the news release said.

“The challenge of applying for and being awarded LEED Silver for grocery retail speaks to our commitment of going above and beyond what is expected of us in order to provide a healthy, diverse and sustainable community,” said Jessy Servi-Ortiz, sustainability manager for Outpost.

Outpost ranks 25th on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Green Power Partnership Top 30 Retail list, which represents the largest green power users in the program in the nation.

The co-op recently installed a 56kilowatt rooftop solar panel system on its Mequon store. The company is aiming to reduce its carbon footprint by 50 percent by 2022. The panels are expected to generate roughly 10 percent of the store’s energy requirements.

Outpost operates four stores in the metro Milwaukee area, including the one in Mequon. It also operates the Market at Innovation & Wellness Commons and a Market Café at Aurora Sinai Medical Center. It has 21,000 shareholders and nearly 500 employees. Outpost is the fifth-largest cooperatively owned natural foods grocer in the nation by sales volume.


Contact

Outpost Natural Foods
7590 W. Mequon Road Mequon
242-0426
www.outpost.coop