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Testa Produce Sells—and Builds—Greendoor to door, Testa Produce Inc.

Testa Produce Sells—and Builds—Green

door to door, Testa Produce Inc. has grown to become the Chicago area’s premier independent produce distributor. The current generation is making changes that Dominick could not have imagined. Ground was broken for a new company headquarters and warehouse. Testa Produce anticipated having the first food-distribution facility with the Leadership for Energy and Environmental Development (LEED) Platinum certification—the highest granted to a “green” building by the U.S. Green Building Council. At $20 million, the new space cost 20 percent more and will have a longer return on investment than a conventional design. But Peter Testa, the company president, said, “[W]e . . . committed from the start to raising the bar on sustainability in our industry, which has a fairly large carbon footprint.” Testa Produce’s new headquarters is equipped with the most advanced sustainable technological features, with room for future expansion and further advances in green technology. A 245-foot-tall wind turbine and solar panels generate half of the building’s power. Solar collectors heat water for all sinks, showers, and sanitary facilities. Skylights provide natural, ambient lighting, and a solar tracking system adjusts the ambient light over the course of the day. The roof is about 50 percent vegetated to prevent rain runoff and slopes down to form a dramatic green wall at the building’s entrance. An internal filtered cistern and a retention pond outside capture rainwater and recycle it for nondrinking purposes. Permeable paving materials on walkways and in parking areas allow rainwater to drain into live wetlands. The landscaping features native plants that don’t need constant irrigation. Watering should be necessary only during severe droughts. Five thousand sites around the world are now LEED certified, but only 5 percent of those have won the coveted Platinum certification.

Questions for Critical Thinking

1. As a distributor, Testa Produce doesn’t have direct contact with the public. How might the company go about alerting consumers to its “green” initiatives?

2. What are some ways that Testa Produce might encourage its employees to follow “green” practices?

Sources: Company Web site,, accessed May 3, 2010; “Testa Produce Turns a Brighter Shade of Green with Its New HQ,” Refrigerated Transport, April 12, 2010,; Sam Carlson, “Construction Under Way on Testa’s Green Distribution Center,” Packer, April 9, 2010,; Testa Produce, Inc., “Testa Produce Turns a Brighter Shade of Green,” press release, April 7, 2010,; Betsy Kraat, “Epstein Designs ‘Green’ Headquarters/ Produce Distribution Facility for Testa Produce, Inc.,” metroGREEN+BUSINESS, March 4, 2010,

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