Loblaw releases its third annual Corporate Social Responsibility Report

BRAMPTON, ON, May 3 /CNW/ - Today Loblaw Companies Limited (Loblaw) is pleased to announce the release of its third annual Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) report. The 2009 Loblaw Companies Limited Corporate Social Responsibility Report: The Way We Do Business, outlines the Company's approach to social responsibility and presents the Company's achievements and goals to address some of the major environmental and social challenges that lie ahead.

Loblaw's mission is to be Canada's best food, health and home retailer by exceeding customer expectations through innovative products at great prices. Meeting our corporate social responsibility (CSR) obligations is the way we do business.

Our CSR commitments link to our business through five pillars: Respect the Environment; Source with Integrity; Make a Positive Difference in Our Community; Reflect Our Nation's Diversity; and Be a Great Place to Work. Operations are reviewed and assessed against these pillars, and performance is reported through vehicles such as this CSR report.

"We are making good progress while upholding our core values and embedding a firm commitment to corporate social responsibility," says Galen G. Weston, executive chairman, Loblaw Companies Limited. "Our goal is to meet the needs of today while preparing to address the social impacts facing Canada in the future."

Highlights:

Plastic Bag Diversion: In 2009, as part of the Respect the Environment CSR pillar, Loblaw corporate and participating franchise stores implemented a national five-cent charge for every plastic bag provided at check out. This action led to the diversion of more than 1.3 billion plastic bags being diverted from Canadian landfills by the end of 2009.

Improved fuel efficiency: Loblaw also concentrated its efforts on reducing its carbon footprint and achieved a two per cent improvement in transport fleet fuel efficiency per kilometre.

Sourcing with Integrity: As part of the Source with Integrity CSR pillar, Loblaw announced its commitment to sustainably source 100 per cent of all seafood sold in its stores by year-end 2013. The Company also increased the number of frozen sustainable seafood products available to Canadians to 16 Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certified products.

"At Loblaw we are committed to reducing the environmental impact of our products and operations and through innovation, implementing more responsible approaches to our business," says Bob Chant, vice president, Corporate Affairs, Loblaw Companies Limited. "We have set specific CSR business objectives and targets in areas where we can have the greatest impact. We have also implemented a systematic approach to measure our actions, which will help us engage stakeholders and clearly let them know what we stand for and how they can partner with us to effect positive change. The key focus for 2010 is to reduce our carbon footprint, continue to divert waste and improve our efforts to source products responsibly."

Additional highlights from 2009 include:

    
    -   Reduced national refrigerant leak rate by five per cent as a result
        of 56 corporate banner stores having alternate refrigeration systems
        that significantly reduce refrigerant requirements
    -   Established a target to reduce non-recyclable packaging on private
        label brands by 50 per cent by 2013 and once completed, packaging
        will be 79 per cent recyclable
    -   Celebrated the 20th anniversary of PC(R) G.R.E.E.N(TM) by expanding
        the product line to 44 products
    -   Installed a wind turbine at the Atlantic Superstore in Porters Lake,
        Nova Scotia
    -   Granted $8.9 million to more than 1,500 families across Canada
        through President's Choice(R) Children's Charity
    -   Announced corporate donation of more than $24 million to help support
        local charities, programs and organizations across Canada
    -   Grew sales of Canadian produce by 16 per cent during our Grown Close
        to Home(TM) campaign
    -   Reduced sodium content in more than 50 private label products
    -   Increased the number of female store managers by 53.7 per cent since
        2008
    -   Ranked 10th in Corporate Knight's magazine ranking of the best 50
        Corporations in Canada
    -   Recognized as one of Jantzi-Maclean's 50 Most Socially Responsible
        Corporations
    

In an effort to reduce the amount of paper distributed, the report can be found online at http://www.loblaw.ca/csr.

About Loblaw Companies Limited

Loblaw Companies Limited, a subsidiary of George Weston Limited, is Canada's largest food distributor and a leading provider of drugstore, general merchandise and financial products and services. Loblaw is one of the largest private sector employers in Canada. With more than 1,000 corporate and franchised stores from coast to coast, Loblaw and its franchisees employ over 138,000 full-time and part-time employees. Through its portfolio of store formats, Loblaw is committed to providing Canadians with a wide, growing and successful range of products and services to meet the everyday household demands of Canadian consumers. Loblaw is known for the quality, innovation and value of its food offering. It offers Canada's strongest control (private) label program, including the unique President's Choice(R), no name(R) and Joe Fresh Style(R) brands. In addition, the Company makes available to consumers President's Choice Financial(R) services and offers the PC(R) points loyalty program.

SOURCE Loblaw Companies Limited

For further information: For further information: or images, please contact: Public Relations Department, Loblaw Companies Limited, pr@loblaw.ca or (905) 459-2500


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