United Natural Foods, Inc (UNFI) is the nation's largest wholesale trader of certified organic foods.  The company is also one of the largest distributors of fair-trade products, and now the company's Ridgefield, Wash., distribution center has received LEED gold certification.

"Some of the environmentally focused initiatives used during development include building materials that were composed of a minimum 30% recycled content, low or zero-VOC emitting paint materials and carpets made from 100% recyclable materials. Furthermore, all wood products were selected from FSC ("Forest Stewardship Council") suppliers and 95% of construction waste was diverted from local landfills." Source: UNFI

In addition to the enhancements listed above, the entire facility is powered by 100 percent renewable energy, which keeps 4 million pounds of co2 emissions from being dispersed into the atmosphere annually. 

The 238,000 square foot distribution center is the first LEED Gold certified refrigerated facility in the nation.  The project was built from the ground up with LEED certification in mind and ultimately received 39 points on the LEED for New Construction checklist.

Photo by UNFI

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