What Our Water's Worth is a campaign led by the Metropolitan Planning Council and Openlands to raise awareness about the value of water in northeastern Illinois and northwestern Indiana.

Chicago produce distributor goes bananas saving water.

By Tina Seaman, photos by Emily Cikanek 

Peter Testa is the president of Testa Produce, Inc


As Testa Produce, Inc., a family-run, Chicago-based wholesale food distributer, celebrates its centennial, President Peter Testa and company are equally proud of the company’s latest accomplishment: receiving the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED Platinum certification for Testa’s new facility built in 2011. Demonstrating an unprecedented level of energy efficiency and water conservation in any green building of its kind, Testa Produce’s facility has also earned distinction as the nation’s first LEED Platinum Refrigerated Food Distribution Facility.

To build on Testa’s successful, 100-year track record in the produce business, Peter set out to build a state-of-the-art green facility that would sustainably meet the company’s needs well into the future.  The company had outgrown two smaller spaces, so Peter thought big, in more ways than one: The new, 91,300 square foot building will allow Testa to further expand its business operations – receiving and delivering quality food products in the Chicagoland area -- while  becoming an industry leader in energy and resource efficiency by employing the most advanced green and blue technologies, including rainwater and wind harvesting, solar generation, and 100 percent LED lighting.

Peter went to great lengths to make Testa’s new space the greenest food distribution facility in the U.S. “On numerous occasions my project advisors told me that it couldn’t be done,” he said. “But I said, ‘We’re doing it.’ And we did.”

Find out how Peter Testa and his crew did it – saving thousands of dollars in energy and water use – in this month’s What Our Water’s Worth.

Conservation tips

  • Learn how to be green.  Visit the Chicago Center for Green Technology and learn many different ways to make your home more "green." Click here for more information.
  • Harvest your rainwater.  By collecting your rainwater, you not only can lessen the strain on your sewer system, but it's also free water to use.
  • Harness the power of the sun.  Consider installing a solar water heating system, which can reduce or eliminate the need to use natural gas or electricity to heat water.


February 2012

Illinois American Water (lead sponsor)

The WOWW factor


Testa’s solar hot water tubular system uses the Sun’s rays to heat 100% of the building’s water.


Through green infrastructure that saves water and energy, Testa shaves this much money off its energy bills each year.

5,000 gallons

The size of the cistern Testa uses to collect rainwater, which it reuses to flush toilets in the building.

Become a fan on Facebook

Follow us on Twitter

What Our Water's Worth is a monthly e-newsletter. Tell us what you think. Email info@chicagolandh2o.org with feedback in the subject.

To subscribe, visit our website at chicagolandh2o.org.