Media Centre

Loblaw Corporate Citizenship initiatives earn top accolades

06/22/2010

Canada's largest grocery retailer recognized for excellence in environmental, social and governance policies

BRAMPTON, ON, June 22 /CNW/ - Loblaw Companies Limited (Loblaw), one of Canada's largest private sector employers, has received two distinctions for its leading efforts to embed corporate social responsibility into its business. Loblaw is the top ranked publicly-traded company and fifth overall on the 2010 Corporate Knights Best 50 Corporate Citizens in Canada. Loblaw also tops this year's Globe and Mail Corporate Social Responsibility Rankings for Canada's largest companies comprising the S&P/TSX 60 index.

"We are extremely proud to be top ranked on the Corporate Knights Best 50 Corporate Citizens in Canada and the Globe and Mail Corporate Social Responsibility Rankings for 2010," said Bob Chant, vice president, corporate affairs, Loblaw Companies Limited. "Corporate social responsibility is not an add-on to our business; it is central to the way we conduct ourselves at Loblaw. Receiving these distinctions is a reflection of the commitment made by our colleagues, franchise and franchise employees to uphold our core values every day."

The Corporate Knights Best 50 Corporate Citizens and Globe and Mail Corporate Social Responsibility Rankings are both determined using a strict quantitative methodology that evaluates environmental, social and governance (ESC) indicators. The scoring includes baseline indicators such as carbon productivity, pension fund health and board diversity, and sector-specific key performance indicators. The Globe and Mail commissioned Corporate Knights to compile data for its analysis.

Loblaw earned high scores in the Corporate Knight's Best 50 Corporate Citizens ranking for its performance according to retail sector-specific indicators including supply chain standards, eco-social product innovation, facility waste reduction and conservation. In the area of governance, Loblaw also scored highly for its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) board-level committee made up of representatives from all areas of its business.

Loblaw's CSR commitments link to its 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. Examples of Loblaw's socially responsible initiatives include:

  • Sustainable Seafood Commitment: In 2009, Loblaw made a commitment to source all seafood sold in its retail locations from sustainable sources by the end of 2013. Working with a variety of stakeholders including WWF-Canada, Marine Stewardship Council (MSC), producers and government, Loblaw's commitment covers canned, frozen, fresh, wild and farmed seafood products, and products containing seafood as an ingredient, in all categories, across all brands. In May 2010, Loblaw announced it is on track to meet its goal and extended its public awareness campaign to corporate and participating franchised stores across Canada and making the documentary about the state of our oceans, The End of The Line, available to more than 700 Canadian schools across the country.
  • Carbon footprint reduction: Loblaw has launched several programs aimed at reducing lighting and energy use in-store including the installation of a wind turbine at the Atlantic Superstore in Porters Lake, Nova Scotia in 2009 to help reduce carbon emissions by adding green energy production capability. Loblaw also uses alternative refrigeration system design to reduce energy consumption and refrigerant use in-store. In 2010, Loblaw will install solar panels at four store rooftops in Ontario as a pilot, with the potential to rollout the program to more than 100 stores across the province.
  • On site waste reduction and diversion: Loblaw is working to divert 70 percent of waste generated from stores and distribution centres from landfill. As part of this initiative, stores in various regions across the country, are separating organic waste and diverting this to compost and biogas facilities. Grease from in-store cooking is also being collected and converted to biodiesel for use by our transport fleet.
  • Kicking the plastic bag habit: Loblaw and participating franchises successfully diverted more than 1.3 billion plastic shopping bags from landfill since 2007, surpassing its original goal of one billion. Partial proceeds from the five cent charge on plastic shopping bags and a corporate donation support WWF-Canada programs to engage Canadians to make changes to positively affect the environment.
  • Driving product innovation: For 20 years, Loblaw has been developing and expanding the PC® G.R.E.E.N line of products to offer high- performance, eco-friendly alternatives to Canadians at great prices. All Loblaw PC® G.R.E.E.N products are approved by Colin Isaacs - an independent and leading Canadian environmental scientist. Today, there are more than 44 PC® G.R.E.E.N products ranging from lawn and garden to household cleaning, to help customers take steps towards reducing their environmental footprints.

These initiatives and more are detailed in the 2009 Loblaw Companies Limited Corporate Social Responsibility Report: The Way We Do Business, also available online at www.loblaw.ca/en/csr_2009. Now in its third edition, the report outlines the Company's approach to social responsibility and presents key achievements and goals to help address some of the major environmental and social challenges that lie ahead.

"Loblaw has fused a long-term perspective with leadership unafraid to make large bets that position the company to be part of the solution to the emerging mega-challenges of obesity, climate change, and seafood scarcity," said Toby Heaps, Editor, Corporate Knights. "From its innovative carbon footprint reduction programs to its leading sustainable seafood commitment, Loblaw's actions show it is working hard to address complex social and environmental issues facing our world through its business."

In addition to its placement on Corporate Knights' Best 50 Corporate Citizens and Globe and Mail Report on Business TSX 60 rankings in 2010, Loblaw has received other recognitions in honour of its leading CSR initiatives:

  • Top 50 Socially Responsible Corporations - Maclean's and Jantzi Sustainalytics (2009 and 2010): In recognition of environmentally preferable product lines such as PC Organics and PC® G.R.E.E.N, green energy programs and sustainable seafood policies. (www2.macleans.ca/2010/06/14/social-responsible-corp-2010/)
  • Canada's Top 100 employers - Mediacorp Canada Inc. (2010): for leading efforts in offering exceptional workplaces for employees. (www.canadastop100.com/national/)
  • Canada's Greenest Employers - Mediacorp Canada Inc. (2010): for excellence in leading earth-friendly initiatives and efforts to incorporate environmental values into the Company's corporate culture. (www.canadastop100.com/environmental/)
  • Canada's Top Employers for Young People - Mediacorp Canada Inc. (2010): in recognition of innovative recruitment and retention efforts aimed at younger employees. (www.canadastop100.com/young_people/)
  • Ontario Waste Minimization Award - Recycling Council of Ontario (2009): in honour of achievements in environmental sustainability and waste reduction innovations. (www.rco.on.ca/)

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 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.

For further information:

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