Vital Farms’ 2022 expansion of its egg washing and packing facility, Egg Central Station (ECS) in Springfield, Mo., has been awarded LEED Gold Certification for New Construction and Major Renovations.

LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is the U.S. Green Building Council’s (USGBC) internationally recognized green building rating system. This acknowledgment underscores progress made towards the company’s goal of reducing operational greenhouse gas intensity by 25% by 2027.

“When we designed Egg Central Station and its expansion, we challenged ourselves to build a facility that fully embodies our purpose—to improve the lives of people, animals and planet,” says Russell Diez-Canseco, president and CEO, Vital Farms. “ECS is a critical part of our differentiated, resilient supply chain. And it’s a competitive advantage for us to deliver high quality, ethically produced products across the country. This award is a testament to both the team that designed and developed ECS, as well as the talented crew that works there every day.”

Egg Central Station is at the heart of Vital Farms’ supply chain and operations. Pasture-raised eggs from the company’s network of over 300 family farms are transported to the facility to be washed, sized, graded and packed before their journey to retailers and foodservice operators across the country. After ECS’ initial opening in 2017, Vital Farms expanded the facility’s footprint in 2022, nearly doubling its original size to support over $300 million in additional revenue and the future growth of the company. ECS currently processes up to 6 million eggs a day and recently achieved an important milestone to meet zero-waste-to-landfill production standards.

The overall project was intentionally designed with the company’s crewmembers, community and the planet in mind. Inside the facility there are features such as daylighting and climate control to improve the crewmember experience, food safety practices that go beyond regulatory requirements, and advanced water filtration systems.

On the facility’s grounds, solar panels generate renewable energy while providing parking shade, bioretention elements clean and cool rainwater, and natural landscaping thrives with vegetation native to the Ozarks. Additional construction elements including the use of low-VOC emitting materials and finishes made from high recycled content helped the expansion earn LEED Gold Certification.

Buildings can earn one of four LEED rating levels—Certified, Silver, Gold or Platinum — based on criteria including energy efficiency, water conservation, waste reduction and indoor air quality. Egg Central Station scored extra points in the “Innovation in Design” section for crewmember education, green cleaning protocols and pest management.