Second annual Canadian Green Home Index reveals reduced environmental efforts
at home

- Perceived efficacy and economy affect homeowners' green actions -

TORONTO, April 7 /CNW/ - Canadians may be looking at their homes through green coloured glasses, according to the second annual Canadian Green Home Index, launched today. Compared to last year, while homeowners across the country still feel confident they have the ability to make their homes greener (up two points on this year's Index), fewer Canadians report they've taken actions to reduce their household impact on the environment (down nine points since 2009).

The second annual Canadian Green Home Index, developed by Environics Research for The Home Depot Canada, assigns Canadians a 56.6 out of 100 rating when it comes to environmental initiatives and actions taken at home, down 3.4 points since its inaugural release last year. Based on a basket of five questions, the Canadian Green Home Index tracks Canadian attitudes and behaviours as a means to measure progress toward making households better for the environment.

The economic impact

So why have Canadians not done more to go green at home? Almost one third (26 per cent) cite economic reasons as the cause. Not only have fewer Canadians reported making significant green household purchases such as buying energy efficient appliances, commissioning home energy audits or installing insulation over the past year (32 per cent vs 36 per cent in 2009), homeowners have also reduced smaller green purchases such as buying energy efficient light bulbs, green household cleaning products or products with less packaging (18 per cent vs 38 per cent in 2009).

"Tough economic times can put pressure on environmental best practices, but environmentally-preferred products can save money over time, it's just a matter of educating consumers on how green products can be incorporated into their lifestyle to make a difference for the environment and from a dollar savings perspective. " said Gino DiGioacchino, vice president of Merchandising for The Home Depot Canada. "In addition to education, The Home Depot has focused on providing even more value to consumers by lowering prices on many of our over 1,900 Eco Options products."

Turning confidence into commitment

It's more than just the economy impacting green living. When asked why they haven't increased green initiatives at home this year, a further third of Canadians (29 per cent) perceive they've already done everything they can to reduce the environmental impact of their homes. This year's Index reveals that while some green actions are up, there is a downward trend in many simple green measures, including the following findings:

    
    -  Fewer Canadians report turning down the heat or air conditioner to
       reduce electricity (seven per cent vs. 12 per cent in 2009)
    -  Less consumers are using reusable shopping bags (two per cent vs seven
       per cent in 2009)
    

Making a difference at home

"Being green in the home isn't just about large, costly projects, it's also about simple everyday steps people can take to have a positive impact on their surroundings," said DiGioacchino.

As the destination for home improvement education, The Home Depot makes it easy for Canadians to learn how they can make a difference at home. Knowledgeable in-store associates and online research tools available at homedepot.ca provide Canadians with the information and resources they need to improve their homes.

The Home Depot is also committed to helping its customers achieve energy savings through its product and service offerings. Last year, The Home Depot sold more than 2 million ENERGY STAR(R) products, which reduced Canadian customers' energy consumption by over 230 million kWh and lowered green house gas emissions by over 121 thousand metric tonnes annually. These savings were from ENERGY STAR(R) products such as refrigerators, dishwashers, CFLs and programmable thermostats. Through its first Go Low Flow two day water conservation event, The Home Depot sold 44,000 efficient toilets helping to reduce water consumption by over 850 million litres per year - enough water to fill 340 Olympic-size swimming pools.

The Canadian Green Home Index was conducted for The Home Depot Canada by Environics Research group between March 4 and March 10, 2010, with a representative sample of 2,001 Canadians aged 18 and over. The results are considered accurate within +/- 2.2% (95% confidence level).

About The Home Depot

Founded in 1978, in Atlanta, Georgia, The Home Depot is the world's largest home improvement specialty retailer, currently operating more than 2,200 stores, including 179 The Home Depot stores across Canada. In fiscal 2009, The Home Depot had retail sales of $66.2 billion and earnings from continuing operations of $2.6 billion. The Company employs more than 300,000 people, including more than 28,000 Canadians.

SOURCE The Home Depot

For further information: For further information: Tiziana Baccega, Manager, Public Relations & External Affairs, (416) 412-6570, Tiziana_baccega@homedepot.com; Lorna Freeman, Environics, (416) 969-2711, lfreeman@environicspr.com


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