Social Safeway is the Greenest Grocer in Town
The Georgetown Social Safeway is now Washington’s first LEED-certified grocery store, as announced last Friday, May 6, during a celebration marking the store’s first anniversary. When the store opened last year at 1855 Wisconsin Avenue NW, officials promised that not only would the store provide a friendlier shopping setting for customers, but it would also have a friendlier impact on the environment by virtue of being the Eastern Division’s greenest store to date. Now, that promise becomes reality.
The Georgetown store – one of 15 operated in the District by the company – will commemorate the opening with a week of activities and amusement that includes cooking demos by area chefs, wine and cheese tastings, and a Spring Floral Festival outside on the grounds. Friday’s official LEED Certification announcement will include city and community leaders, Safeway Eastern Division management and representatives from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). Afterwards, events will include a moon bounce, along with costumed characters, sampling and more, leading into a bustling weekend of fun pursuits.
The 71,067-square-foot Georgetown store, which operates 24 hours a day, was designed to promote the character and historic nature of its upper Georgetown neighborhood, maintaining the open, inviting atmosphere that resulted in people dubbing it the “Social” Safeway. But going much further than that, the store was designed and built to be the first LEED-certified grocery store in the District, and Safeway’s second LEED-certified store nationwide (the other being located in Santa Cruz, CA).
LEED (which stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is an internationally recognized green building certification system, providing third-party verification that a building or community was designed and built using strategies aimed at improving performance across the most significant environmental metrics - energy savings, water efficiency, CO2 emissions reduction, improved indoor environmental quality, and stewardship of resources and sensitivity to their impacts.
LEED provides building owners and operators a concise framework for identifying and implementing practical and measurable green building design, construction, operations and maintenance solutions. Safeway has built and plans to maintain this store to LEED specifications.