BRAMPTON, ON, April 22 /CNW/ - Loblaw Companies Limited (Loblaw), one of Canada's largest private sector employers, has been named one of Canada's Top Greenest Employers, by Mediacorp Canada Inc, for the second consecutive year. Loblaw achieved this notable recognition for its industry leading green initiatives and its success in integrating environmental values into its corporate culture.

"At Loblaw, we are proud of the way our colleagues, employees and franchise owners have supported our efforts to be more environmentally conscious," said Bob Chant, vice-president, corporate affairs, Loblaw Companies Limited. "Whether it's sourcing our products sustainably; encouraging use of reusable bags in place of plastic bags; improving our energy use and fuel efficiency or inspiring our customers to make environmentally friendly purchasing decisions, we have a responsibility as Canada's leading grocery retailer to reduce the environmental impact of our day-to-day operations."

Some of Loblaw's environmental accomplishments in 2010 include:

  • Helping protect our oceans: In 2009 Loblaw announced a commitment to source all seafood sold in its retail locations from sustainable sources by the end of 2013. Last year's achievements include increasing the number of Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certified  sustainable seafood products available to customers and represents the  most of any Canadian retailer and adopting a policy of selling 100 per cent International Seafood Sustainability Foundation canned tuna to facilitate the transition to more MSC-certified products. Loblaw also launched a public awareness campaign that included providing a documentary about the state of our oceans, The End of the Line, to more than 700 Canadian schools across the country and the launch of a sustainable seafood Facebook site and website, www.oceansfortomorrow.com.

  • Reducing the use of plastic shopping bags: In 2010, Loblaw customers used 73 per cent fewer plastic shopping bags, which means 2.5 billion fewer bags were used by Loblaw customers since 2007. Loblaw also introduced two new bagless stores where plastic shopping bags are not available, bringing the total number of bagless stores across Canada to seven.

  • Reduced energy consumption: Through store renovations Loblaw achieved a 3.2 per cent reduction in electricity use per square foot relative to 2009. Loblaw continues to investigate opportunities to reduce energy consumption through technology advancements. This includes incorporating alternative refrigeration design systems to help reduce refrigerant leaks; installing automated energy management systems in select stores to reduce lighting and energy use; and installing photovoltaic solar panels on some store rooftops.

  • Improved fuel efficiency: In 2010, Loblaw improved fleet fuel efficiency by 2.3 per cent, which is equivalent to 18 trips around the world in a Class 8 transport truck. Loblaw continues to upgrade its fleet with low emission trucks, and was the first Canadian grocery retailer to test a Class 8 transport truck run by hybrid technology.

  • Increased waste diversion: In 2010 Loblaw saw a reduction of 2.3 million kilograms of packaging contained in Loblaw control brand products, moving the Company closer to achieving a five per cent reduction in the packaging used in Loblaw control brand products by the end of 2014.

  • Fostering green advocates:  Partial proceeds from the purchase of the $0.05 plastic shopping bags have been donated by Loblaw to WWF to support a number of environmental initiatives such as the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup™, National Sweater Day™ and the WWF Green CommUnity Grants program that awarded grants totaling $600,000 to Canadian schools for environmental projects.

  • Increasing our greener options: In 2010 we introduced 37 new PC® G.R.E.E.N® products ranging from hypoallergenic diapers, lawn and garden, stationery, pet accessories to household cleaning products to help encourage customers to reduce their environmental footprints.

"Loblaw continues to be a corporate leader in sustainability," says Hadley Archer, WWF's Vice-President of Strategic Partnerships. "Thanks to their dedication, we are seeing responsible changes happening in the global seafood industry. Loblaw doesn't stop there. The Company also generously supports WWF campaigns that motivate Canadians to make small changes that will have a global environmental impact. Congratulations to everyone at Loblaw on this achievement."

Next month, Loblaw will be releasing its 2010 Corporate Social Responsibility Report, which will provide updated information on the full range of Loblaw's CSR commitments and achievements. Please visit the responsibility page at loblaw.ca for more information.

Launched in 2007, the Canada's Greenest Employers competition is organized by the editors of the Canada's Top 100 Employers project. This special designation recognizes the employers that lead the nation in creating a corporate culture of environmental awareness, have developed exceptional earth-friendly initiatives and attracting people to their organizations because of their environmental leadership.

Employers are evaluated based on the following criteria: (1) the unique environmental initiatives and programs they have developed; (2) the extent to which they have been successful in reducing the organization's own environmental footprint; (3) the degree to which their employees are involved in these programs and whether they contribute any unique skills; and (4) the extent to which these initiatives have become linked to the employer's public identity and whether they attract new people to the organization.

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 more than 136,000 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 customers. 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®, no name® and Joe Fresh Style® brands. In addition, the Company makes available to customers President's Choice Financial® services and offers the PC® points loyalty program.

SOURCE Loblaw Companies Limited

For further information:

Public Relations Department, Loblaw Companies Limited
pr@loblaw.ca or (905) 459-2500

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