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DES MOINES -- Kum & Go executives, equipped with green-painted shovels, broke ground this week on what they claimed will be the first store of its kind to meet Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards, reported the Des Moines Register.
"It will be the latest in a series of pioneering steps," Bill Krause, founder of the West Des Moines-based chain, told the paper. "We did E85. We did ethanol. We were always at the tip. We were always first."
The new store will be located at Merle Hay Road and Northglenn Drive in Johnston and will be the first store on the region to be built under guidelines from LEED, a program run by the U.S. Green Building Council.
Krause noted the new store will include more efficient lighting, energy-saving heating and cooling equipment, drought-resistant landscaping to conserve water, and the area’s first known charging station for an electric car. Paved areas will include recycled concrete, and a metal roof will reflect much of the sun’s heat, he told the Des Moines Register.
"Basically what we’re trying to do in the world of LEED is taking what we’re doing today ... and making it less-impact and more environmental," Krause told the paper.
Nationwide, retailers such as Wal-Mart, Kohl’s, Safeway and Whole Foods Market have installed solar panels on the roofs of some of their stores.
"It’s very clear that green energy is now front and center in the minds of the business sector," University of California-Berkeley energy expert Daniel Kammen told the New York Times last month. "Not only will you see panels on the roofs of your local stores, but I suspect very soon retailers will have stickers in their windows saying, 'This is a green energy store.'"
In other news, Kum & Go acquired the Weston’s Country Corner in Yampa, Colorado. The new full-service store will open in November and feature a Subway quick-serve restaurant.