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Press release from Business Wire

From Disaster Relief to Scholarship Support, 2011 CSR Report Highlights Lowe's Investments in Tomorrow

<p class='bwalignc'> <i>Lowe's and its foundation gave more than $32 million to community and education projects</i> </p>

Monday, March 26, 2012

From Disaster Relief to Scholarship Support, 2011 CSR Report Highlights Lowe's Investments in Tomorrow10:07 EDT Monday, March 26, 2012 MOORESVILLE, N.C. (Business Wire) -- Lowe's announced the release of its 2011 Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Report, providing a comprehensive review of Lowe's corporate citizenship activities during the past fiscal year. The report can be viewed on the company's enhanced CSR website at Lowe's employees take in the damage after their swift action saved lives when a twister with 140 mph winds destroyed the Lowe's in Sanford, N.C. Every employee was offered the opportunity to work in a neighboring store, and Lowe's reopened the rebuilt store in just 145 days to continue serving the community. (Photo: Business Wire) This year's report, titled “Investing in Tomorrow,” spotlights Lowe's efforts to build a world-class workplace and address important community and environmental challenges. “Being a socially and environmentally responsible corporate citizen is important to our employees and customers, and imperative to the success of our business,” said Robert A. Niblock, Lowe's chairman, president and CEO. “Our progress is a tribute to our employees across North America and their commitment to improving our communities and our company.” Lowe's CSR website details the company's achievements in important areas ranging from workplace safety to neighborhood revitalization. The mobile-enhanced website is available on most smartphones and features a new search function for quicker and easier access to content. The site also provides an expanded interactive map to allow visitors to explore how Lowe's is meeting the needs of its customers, communities and employees. Here are a few highlights: Workplace Lowe's Employee Relief Fund distributed more than $2.3 million, the largest total in the 13-year history of the fund. Those dollars helped more than 2,000 Lowe's employees who suffered a significant hardship. Since the program's inception, the fund has assisted more than 13,000 employees and their immediate family members. Swift-acting Lowe's employees saved lives when a tornado left a North Carolina store in rubble. In the aftermath, employees came together to help co-workers and the community recover. Every employee was offered the opportunity to work in a neighboring store. To continue serving the community, Lowe's reopened the rebuilt store in just 145 days. Lowe's supplier diversity program is part of the company's overall commitment to improve its supply chain and customer service. Lowe's continued to championthat mission by expanding national opportunities for a minority-owned business that has been integral to the success of Lowe's tools category. Community Lowe's joined with the Lowe's Charitable and Educational Foundation to support more than 4,000 community and education projects in the United States, Canada and Mexico through grants totaling more than $32 million. Lowe's Toolbox for Education® awarded $4.5 million to improve more than 1,000 schools in all 50 states. Lowe's provided vital assistance in the aftermath of several disasters. Lowe's Heroes helped rebuild tornado-torn Joplin, Mo., and distributed 330,000 pounds of emergency supplies at Hurricane Irene relief events across the East Coast. Together with Lowe's Charitable and Educational Foundation, Lowe's committed $4 million to disaster relief. Lowe's foundation also increased its scholarship support. In addition to contributing to the United Negro College Fund and Hispanic Scholarship Fund for the third consecutive year, the foundation partnered with the Thurgood Marshall College Fundto assist students attending public, historically black colleges and universities. Lowe's Charitable and Educational Foundation has contributed $5 million to scholarships since 2007. Environment Lowe's success promoting energy and water conservation continued to bring unprecedented honors from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Lowe's won its second consecutive ENERGY STAR® Sustained Excellence Award and became the first retailer to win three consecutive WaterSense® awards from the EPA. In the first year of its Garden Center recycling program, Lowe's helped keep more than seven million pounds of plastic plant containers out of landfills. Lowe's in-store recycling centers collected twice as many CFLs – nearly 352,000 – and 21 percent more rechargeable batteries from customers than in 2010. Lowe's expanded efforts to reduce its carbon footprint and spur the growth of renewable energy alternatives. The company increased its purchase of electricity from renewable energy sources by 34 percent. Lowe's also teamed with the U.S. Department of Energy and students from across the globe at the Solar Decathlon to make solar more accessible. To learn more about these stories and Lowe's latest social responsibility activities, visit About Lowe's With fiscal year 2011 sales of $50.2 billion, Lowe's Companies, Inc. is a FORTUNE® 50 company that serves approximately 15 million customers a week at more than 1,745 home improvement stores in the United States, Canada and Mexico. Founded in 1946 and based in Mooresville, N.C., Lowe's is the second-largest home improvement retailer in the world. For more information, visit Photos/Multimedia Gallery Available: Lowe?s Companies, Inc.Steve Salazar,