Governor Baldacci welcomes and thanks CEO Ron Hodge of Hannaford for upgrading their stores to be environmental friendly. Photo-Ramona du Houx

Fall – 2007

Article by Ramona du Houx

The first Platinum-certified LEED supermarket in the world and the first green designed supermarket in the state of Maine will be built at the former Cony High School location in Augusta.

“We can think of no better place for Hannaford to invest in a first-in-the-world environmental design than right here at home in Maine,” said Hannaford CEO Ron Hodge.Hannaford started as a small local store in Cape Elizabeth. Currently the business is the largest certified organic supermarket chain in the Northeast and operates 160 stores.

The Platinum designation is the highest rating a company can strive to obtain from the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED).

Hannaford plans on using the store as a research laboratory for the company to test new innovations that decrease energy usage, waste and water consumption, while improving air quality, storm-water management, and the use of sustainable materials.

“The net effect of this project will be reduced greenhouse gas emissions, water consumptions, and waste, as well as increased landscaping, and an improved indoor environment for both store associates and customers,” said Hodge. “The store will be used as a forum for learning and teaching about green building.”

The new supermarket’s 49,000-square-foot design has geothermal heating and cooling, solar photovoltaic panels, high efficiency refrigeration, energy efficient lighting, an advanced recycling program, and vegetation will grow on top of the roof. The plants will provide insulation and help control storm water.

“The new store will be 40 percent more energy efficient than the industry standard,” said Megan Hellstedt, Hannaford’s environmental sustainability manager. “Our goal is to recycle 95 percent of the building, along with its contents. The Platinum rating system recommends we recycle 50 percent. We believe more is better.”

Governor Baldacci said that he is proud that Hannaford is proposing this state-of-the-art design in Maine’s capital city.

“Hannaford is displaying a lot of environmental leadership here. Getting companies to do this on their own sends a huge message to other companies: using less energy is smart for business and smart for the environment. Energy, the environment, and the economy are all tied together,” said Baldacci.

Maine led New England with efforts to curb greenhouse gas emissions with the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, known as RGGI. It is home to New England’s largest utility-grade wind farm, with at least three more wind farm proposals under regulatory review, as well as a tidal energy proposal. Within the first year in office, Baldacci started the Office of Energy Independence and Security, foreseeing the need to address energy issues.

“Maine is the first state government in the nation to buy 100 percent of its electricity from renewable sources. We were one of the first states to use biodiesel to heat state offices, and we were one of the first states to adopt the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED building standards for new and renovated state buildings,” said Baldacci.