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    Tesco to Open First LEED Store

    U.K.-based retailer eyes future plans to roll out carbon product labels in its U.S. stores.

    CATHEDRAL CITY, Calif. -- Tesco PLC, seeking to make a name for itself in the U.S. retail market, plans to open a grocery store here today bearing an environmentally friendly badge, according to a Wall Street Journal report.

    The store -- part of U.K.-based Tesco's Fresh & Easy U.S. grocery chain -- has won so-called LEED gold certification, a label many commercial buildings seek as public evidence of their environmental and energy-saving design, the report stated.

    Since November 2007, Tesco has opened approxiamtely 125 Fresh & Easy stores in the U.S. Its newly built stores share the same environmentally oriented design. The stores, focused in Southern California, Las Vegas and Phoenix metropolitan areas, use energy-efficient lighting and refrigerators, and most of the meat, vegetables and other fresh food arrives in reusable plastic containers rather than disposable cardboard boxes.

    In the U.K., Tesco stores already have begun labeling products such as orange juice and milk with the product's carbon footprint, a calculation of the amount of greenhouse gases emitted from the item's production, distribution, use and disposal.

    Tim Mason, Fresh & Easy's chief executive, said he wants to roll out carbon labels in the U.S. stores, too, though he hasn't decided when to do so, the newspaper reported.

    Tesco's Cathedral City store is the retailer's first to have LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, certification. The label is administered by a nonprofit group based in San Francisco, and requires that buildings meet a set of environmental and health standards. Mason said Fresh & Easy's store design uses about 30 percent less energy than a comparably sized conventional store.

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