United Natural Foods Inc (Nasdaq: UNFI) has received LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold certification by the US Green Building Council for its Lancaster TX distribution center. This is the company’s fourth LEED certification.

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

•More than 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 more than 35% using motion-activated sensors, flow controls, and rainwater recovery cistern.

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.

LEED is a green building certification system that promotes sustainable building and development practices through a rating system administered by the USGBC. 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 PA-based ReVision Architecture served as the company’s LEED consultant.

Access www.unfi.com for further details.