Major Retailers Join Forces to Reward Canadians for Green Purchases

    
    --AIR MILES Reward Program and their Sponsors Encourage Environmentally
    Responsible Shopping and Lifestyle Choices--
    

TORONTO, Sept. 22 /CNW/ - A group of 18 major Canadian retailers and Sponsors in the AIR MILES Reward Program have joined forces to participate in My Planet, an initiative that encourages consumers to consider making greener lifestyle changes and rewards them for choosing eco-friendly products and services. Starting today, more than 10 million Canadian AIR MILES Collectors will earn coveted bonus reward miles when they purchase My Planet-designated products and services available at over 2,400 AIR MILES Sponsor stores and outlets across Canada. This significant development enhances My Planet redeemable rewards, information and online community initiatives already in place, creating a program that offers more tools and incentives to more people than any other sustainability initiative in Canada.

Participating Sponsors include grocery stores (Metro, Safeway); hardware/home centres (Rona, Tim-Br Mart), pharmacies (Jean Coutu, Lawton Drugs); government (Edmonton Transit); renewable energy provider (Bullfrog Power) and financial institutions (AMEX).

A recent survey of 2,020 households across Canada that collect AIR MILES reward miles confirmed that bonus reward miles would be a strong incentive for them to choose eco-friendly products and services, with 53 per cent saying it would push them to shop greener. This finding supports other research by AIR MILES that shows that offering bonus reward miles can increase sales of a product by over 50 per cent. Collectors also cited competitive pricing (81 percent) and availability of green products where they shop (59 per cent) as factors that would encourage them to buy environmentally friendly products.

"For 17 years, leading Canadian retailers and service providers have used AIR MILES as a highly effective reward for loyalty, and now they can also use AIR MILES as a reward for sustainability," said Bryan Pearson, CEO of LoyaltyOne Inc., which operates the AIR MILES Reward Program. "By combining the reach of the AIR MILES program which touches millions of Canadians on a daily basis, with the commitment of our sponsor organizations involved in My Planet, we have the potential to create a massive shift among Canadians to a more sustainable lifestyle."

In addition to earning bonus reward miles for choosing eco-friendly everyday products, AIR MILES Collectors can also find bonus reward miles on My Planet designated products at specialty stores including Global Pet Foods, Canadian Springs/Labrador Springs, Uniglass Plus Ziebart/Vitro Plus Ziebart, Goodyear Tires, and Co-op Country Stores, among others. In April 2009, AIR MILES introduced a selection of environmentally sustainable products and services available to Collectors in exchange for their reward miles. With over 140 products available, My Planet rewards range from transit passes to green energy services to high efficiency household appliances to less-toxic cleaning products.

Also announced today, Edmonton Transit Systems will now provide AIR MILES collectors with bonus reward miles when they purchase an adult monthly transit pass - the first government entity in Canada to offer this type of incentive for green purchases. This offer complements the many My Planet redemption and earning opportunities related to eco-friendly transportation, and AIR MILES is pursuing similar agreements with other government entities and service providers across Canada.

In addition to this transit announcement, AIR MILES is also proud to introduce its newest My Planet partner, Bullfrog Power. Bullfrog, Canada's leading 100 per cent green electricity provider, is offering bonus reward miles to new residential customers who sign up for low-impact renewable power.

Alongside the 18 retailers and service providers that have joined the My Planet program, LoyaltyOne is working with WWF-Canada to help shift consumer behaviour, catalyze change in the business community and raise awareness about the importance of conservation. Additionally, WWF-Canada has been designated as a Charity Rewards partner in the My Planet program where AIR MILES Collectors can redeem their miles for a cash donation to WWF-Canada.

"Canadians want to know how to do their part to create a more sustainable future," said Gerald Butts, President and CEO, WWF-Canada. "LoyaltyOne and the AIR MILES Reward Program are committed to using the power of their sponsor coalition to help consumers make greener choices, and influence businesses to take action on the environment."

LoyaltyOne's sustainability efforts began three years ago with a series of employee-led changes aimed at reducing the company's environmental footprint. Recent initiatives include the appointment of a Chief Sustainability Officer, office retrofits and a fleet of shared Smart Cars at the LoyaltyOne headquarters in downtown Toronto to encourage employees to use public transit to get to work. Future steps include leasing LEED standard buildings and equipping the company's Mississauga Customer Care Centre, set to open in November 2009, with Canada's largest building-mounted solar panel arrays of over 650 panels that will generate more than 150 kilowatts of clean electricity per year.

About the AIR MILES Reward Program:

Founded in 1992, the AIR MILES Reward Program, a company of LoyaltyOne Inc., is Canada's premier coalition loyalty program. More than 10 million active Collector accounts, representing approximately two-thirds of all Canadian households, actively participate in the Program. The AIR MILES Reward Program allows Collectors to indulge in leisure, entertainment, merchandise, travel and other lifestyle rewards quickly, simply by doing their everyday shopping for products and services at AIR MILES Sponsors. AIR MILES reward miles can be redeemed for more than1,200 different rewards, such as movie passes, family attractions, electronic merchandise, sports and recreation, travel and more.

To access My Planet fact sheets and backgrounders online, please visit: www.airmiles.ca/myplanet and select the About section.

SOURCE AIR MILES Reward Program

For further information: For further information: or to arrange an interview: Jennifer Hills or Carrie Makrigiannis, Environics Communications, (416) 920-9000, jhills@environicspr.com, cmakrigiannis@environicspr.com; French-language media: Sébastien Boudreau, Capital-Image, (514) 739-1188, sboudreau@capital-image.com


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