Whole Foods to Use Canola Oil to Power 70,000-Square-Foot Building

The organic grocery store is trying to make its commisary a bit more eco-friendly

Whole Foods Market uses recycled canola oil to power its grocery stores.

In addition to selling us pricey organic fruit and some super fancy (actually really good) face wash, Whole Foods is adding on "save the environment" to its to-do list.

The Boston Globe reports that the Whole Foods Market commissary is recycling its used canola oil and burning it through a generator to power their 70,000-square-foot building. The grocery chain estimates that the system uses 3,000 gallons of used oil a week, usually from the Whole Foods facility, plus 28 stores in neighboring areas.

The oil then fuels lights, refrigerators, and other gear used to prepare the food sold in 62 Whole Foods stores in the Northeast.

"It’s the coolest thing to happen to vegetable oil since french fries," said Rory Gaunt, chief executive of Lifecycle Renewables Inc., the Marblehead firm that installed the generator and refines the used canola oil for Whole Foods. Plus, it reduces the cost of electricity, since Whole Foods just has to pay Lifecycle Renewables instead of utilities; the Globe reports that it could save the commissary some 20 percent in energy and waste-disposal costs. Sweet.


(Photo Whole Foods | Austin, TX Modified: Flickr/That Other Paper/CC 4.0)