Carmel’s Market District seeks sustainability

One of the skylight domes at Market District. (Photo by Audrey Bailey)

One of the skylight domes at Market District.
(Photo by Audrey Bailey)

By Audrey Bailey

For the new Market District in Carmel, every corner has been thoughtfully designed with energy efficiency and sustainability in mind. Hanging from the ceiling are LED lights and reclaimed signs with conservation information. And, along the southern-most walls are non-ozone depleting refrigerators and reclaimed wood tables.

Every space in the store has been equipped to reflect the company’s attention to conservation and preservation. Jim Griffith, Executive Store Leader, said that this is one of the reasons he loves coming to work every day.

“It makes us feel very proud to work in an environment where we are focusing so much on conservation, and just a commitment to being, what I consider, the best neighbor we possibly can be,” Griffith said.

And, attention toward the local neighborhood is what customers notice right off the bat when entering the store.

At the front entrance, a picture collage is hung from the wall, showcasing photos and names of local food vendors and farmers who provide goods to Market District. Throughout the entire store, local meats, cheeses and other items are dispersed and marked with decorative, chalk signs.

“We try to call out, in all of our departments, local, so where it comes from. Again, we talk about that 150-mile radius for our store,” Griffith said. “Some other folks have a broader definition of local, but for us, that’s a pretty tight radius for local. And most cases, we’re probably not even out to 150 miles.”

Also, upon walking in, customers will notice bright, encompassing light fixtures hanging from the ceiling. According to Griffith, Carmel’s Market District is the only location to utilize all LED lights.

“This store is all LED lighting. So, in the cases, in the coolers, it’s really all about LED lighting for us,” Griffith said.

Further, toward the back of the store, light is focused in from the ceiling through several skylights. Directly above these skylights, on the roof, are structures that could rightfully be from another planet, or perhaps another time.

“There is this dome that looks like something out of a sci-fi movie, and what it does is it’s a reflective structure that guides itself throughout the day to maximize the light that’s focused into the building,” David Wilson, Senior Leader of Guest Experience, said.

Along with these reflectors, the roof is also outfitted with double-sided solar panels that generate around 250,000 kwh of electricity annually, and then reflective roofing, to help reduce heat absorption.

But, sustainability and conservation doesn’t stop at the exit doors of Market District. The store continues to partner with outside organizations in order to help make waste management a reality.

“Quest (Recycling Services LLC) is a really good clearing house for recycling. They help us with our organic food claim, our mixed waste stream glass bottles and cans, and then also with the scrapped meat. It gets turned into feed, as well, for pets,” Wilson said. “So, that helps us again, keep all of that out of the waste stream.”

Moving forward, Market District will continue to look for new and innovative ways to conserve energy and reduce waste.

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