Retail, Food Service & Grocery

Retail, Food Service & Grocery

The Retail, Food Service and Grocery sectors spend over $41 billion on energy costs a year, and represent 14 billion square feet of floorspace in the U.S. Collectively, Better Buildings Alliance sector members account for almost 3 billion square feet of building space, or 19% of retail floor space nationwide. Through their engagement with the program, these organizations share tips and strategies for overcoming energy efficiency barriers and meeting their organization’s energy use reduction goals.

Try Proven Energy Strategies: Learn from Partner Implementation Models
Connect With The Interior Lighting Campaign: Save On Lighting Energy Costs
The Advanced Rooftop Unit Campaign: Improve Conditioning Efficiency
Gain Access to EMIS Experts: Join the Smart Energy Analytics Campaign
2018 Progress Report

More than 350 leading public and private sector organizations in the Better Buildings Challenge are saving 380 trillion Btus and an estimated $3.1 billion in cumulative energy and cost savings.

Meet Partners by Sector

Get to know the partners in your sector! Better Buildings Alliance partners cover 11 billion square feet of U.S. real estate and are working together to uncover the latest technological innovations. 

2018 Summit Presentations are Live

Slide decks from the 2018 Better Buildings Summit sessions are now available to download and share. 

Featured Solutions

BBA Affiliate RILA is offering free training modules focused on Financial Literacy for Retail. There are 2 courses: Finance 101 and Finance 201. Developed with support from Better Buildings and DOE, these e-learnings will help those in the retail sector who want to know more about financing and value as they relate to sustainability.
Home Depot has taken advantage of the most appropriate market options to implement a variety of onsite and offsite renewable energy projects to help achieve its targets: 135 MW of energy through renewable and alternative sources by 2020.
Shari's of Lynnwood Showcase Project
Through a mix of equipment replacement, process changes, and employee education and engagement, Shari’s Café & Pies was able to realize significant reductions to both its energy and water consumption at this restaurant, making it a model for many of the other, older restaurants that comprise the bulk of Shari’s overall portfolio.
The Green Lease Library is a centralized site for commercial green leasing resources. The Green Lease Leaders recognition program was created with support from the U.S. Department of Energy and other Green Lease Library and contributing organizations. For more information on the program, visit
This sector-wide check-in call focused on advanced refrigeration, one of the key priorities for the Better Builldings Alliance's Retail, Food Service and Grocery sector. This call was jam-packed with refrigeration updates that can be helpful across multiple sectors.
Energy efficiency improvements implemented at the Restaurant Support Center - the headquarters for The Wendy's Company - have led to an energy savings of 28 percent from the baseline year of 2013.
Ulta Beauty is breaking down the split incentive barrier by implementing industry leading roof-top unit (RTU) guidelines that are beneficial to themselves as tenant and to their landlords.
H&M determined that closing exterior doors resulted in approximately $10,000 in energy cost savings a year on average per store with no discernible impact on foot traffic, leading to the establishment of a company closed-door policy.

Other Resources


This guide introduces incentive and financing programs available to support the installation and use of EMIS in commercial buildings.

Implementation Models

Best Buy established a rolling portfolio-wide lighting retrofit program using maintenance funds instead of capital budget.
Sprint’s multifaceted energy efficiency strategy includes applying a unique energy savings approach to each asset class and tying compensation to energy reduction, which has resulted in more than $60 million in avoided energy costs.
Energy Finance Strategy Implementation Model
Kohl’s embedded members of the Finance Department into the Energy team to expedite communication of financial benefits and approval of energy efficiency projects.


This report documents a large-scale assessment of energy information system (EIS) uses, costs, and energy benefits, based on a series of focused case study investigations that are synthesized into generalizable findings.
This report provides guidance on Demand Control Kitchen Ventilation (DCKV) systems in commercial food service facilities.
This document introduces the key elements to consider in making the business case for a proactive high-efficiency RTU replacement strategy for facility maintenance staff and building engineers responsible for energy management.

Additional Information

Resources for commercial buildings:

Advanced Energy Design Guides
Created by ASHRAE and its partners, the Advanced Energy Design Guides for 50% Savings offer designers and contractors the tools needed for achieving a 50% energy savings compared to buildings that meet the minimum requirements of Standard 90.1-2004. View guides for big box retail, small box retail, and grocery buildings.

Advanced Energy Retrofit Guides
The Advanced Energy Retrofit Guides (AERGs) were created to help decision makers plan, design, and implement energy improvement projects in their facilities. Guides are available for office buildings, retail buildings, and grocery buildings.

Commercial Buildings Resource Database
The database provides resources developed by the Building Technologies Office and its partners. Building owners and operators can use this centralized collection of materials produced from DOE's commercial buildings research to design, build, and upgrade their facilities.

ENERGY STAR for Commercial Buildings
Targeted ENERGY STAR materials and resources for commercial buildings stakeholders, including retail and grocery building owners and managers.

ENERGY STAR Management Guidelines
Tools, resources, and strategic energy management guidance for measuring and reducing energy consumption.

ISO 50001 Energy Management Standard
A proven approach for U.S. industrial and commercial facilities to continually improve energy performance. This powerful new standard from the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) provides an internationally recognized framework for organizations to voluntarily implement an energy management system.

Resources for Food Service:

ENERGY STAR Commercial Kitchen Package
ENERGY STAR qualified products, guidebooks, and factsheets that help restaurant owners improve the performance of their facilities and equipment while reducing energy costs.

ENERGY STAR for Restaurants
EPA’s ENERGY STAR program website for restaurants, which provides building energy management and measurement resources and tools.

PG&E Food Service Technology Center (FSTC)
A leader in commercial kitchen energy efficiency and appliance performance testing, the FSTC provides expertise in commercial kitchen ventilation, water heating and building energy efficiency, including lighting, glazing and HVAC.

Consortium for Energy Efficiency's (CEE) Commercial Kitchens Initiative
Search thousands of evaluation studies, market characterizations, and relevant efficiency documents.

National Restaurant Association’s Conserve Sustainability Education Program
Designed by the restaurant industry for the restaurant industry, an introduction to sustainability and a roadmap to help operators with easily digestible information.

Resources for Retail:

Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) Sustainability Initiative
Resources for retail organizations identified by RILA’s Energy & Greenhouse Gas Emissions Committee.


The Better Buildings Alliance Retail, Food Service and Grocery Steering Committee helps to set priorities for Alliance work in the sector each year. Sector activities for FY2019 focus on the following priorities:

1) Workforce Training & Development
2) Resilience & Disaster Preparedness Planning
3) EMIS Data Analytics

Steering Committee Members (2018-2020)

  • Bob Valair, Staples
  • Bruce Condit, PRSM
  • Erin Hiatt, RILA
  • Graziella Siciliano, Environmental Defense Fund
  • Jim McClendon (chair), Walmart
  • Kirk Beaudoin, adidas
  • Mike Ellinger, Whole Foods
  • Patrick Leonard, Starbucks
  • Peter Isabell, Life Time Fitness
  • Sheila Ongie, National Co-op Grocers

Meet the Sector Committee Chair