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Press release from CNW Group

Loblaw CSR Report outlines the Company's environmental and social achievements for 2011

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Loblaw CSR Report outlines the Company's environmental and social achievements for 201114:35 EDT Tuesday, May 01, 2012BRAMPTON, ON, May 1, 2012 /CNW/ - In the evolution of its commitment to corporate social responsibility (CSR), Loblaw Companies Limited (Loblaw) today announces the release of its 5th annual CSR Report which outlines the Company's key environmental and social achievements in 2011 and targets for the coming year.Two new components to the report include the Company's CSR long-range plan (LRP) and "Canadian First" commitment. Loblaw's CSR LRP focuses on issues that have an impact on customers, colleagues and the business in the areas of health and wellness, environmental footprint, responsible sourcing and food safety. Loblaw also introduced its very own "Canadian First" commitment - a testament to sourcing locally and supporting local vendors*."Loblaw is proud to lead by example on issues of importance to Canadians, and we embrace goal-setting as a means to keep us on track for success," said Galen G. Weston, executive chairman, Loblaw Companies Limited. "Our aspirations for positive change continue to generate excitement with our colleagues, customers and industry and fuel our desire to constantly challenge ourselves to have an impact where we can."Loblaw's approach to business is guided by five corporate social responsibility principles: 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.2011 CSR Highlights and Achievements:Since 2007 reduced the number of plastic shopping bags from our stores by 3.8 billionMore than 250 control brand products packaged in a single plastic resin (PET) to improve recyclability.Generated 222,780 kilowatt hours of clean carbon free energy with photovoltaic (PV) rooftop solar panels installed in four Ontario corporate storesConverted more than 36,000 light fixtures to fluorescent technology resulting in energy savings sufficient to powering 4,700 homes for a yearThirty per cent of the produce sold in our stores sourced from Canadian growersAdded more than 50 new Marine Stewardship Council (MSC)-certified wild-caught seafood products in our storesAll control brand food vendors audited and certified compliant with applicable Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) recognized standardsDoubled the number of Ontario farmers supplying us with Ontario Corn Fed Beef to 500Together with our colleagues, customers and vendors, we raised and granted more than $38 million to charities and non-profit organizations across CanadaLaunched Guiding Stars nutrition scorecard in four stores in Ontario to help guide customers to healthier food options.Reformulated 208 existing control brand processed products, reducing sodium by an average of 19 per centAdded 11 in-store dietitians in 24 corporate storesIncreased the percentage of female store managers by 6.4 per cent over 2010 to 23 per centLaunched the Loblaw Scholarship Program, making 200 scholarships of $1,500 each available to colleagues, family members, friends and customers for post-secondary diploma or degree programsNamed one of Canada's Top 100 Employers for the third year in a row, and one of Canada's Top Employers for Young People for the second consecutive year.Loblaw's plans for 2012 include continuing to reduce waste within our supply chain; sourcing products responsibility with a focus on fresh products, seafood, palm oil and animal welfare; and finally, providing a health and wellness destination for Canadians."We're thinking more strategically and long term about CSR now and are always looking for ways Loblaw can continue to push the limits of what is possible," said Bob Chant, senior vice president of corporate affairs and communication, Loblaw Companies Limited. "We have made good progress in 2011 and are committed to moving further on our social responsible agenda in 2012."The complete report can be found online at www.loblaw.ca/csr.*At Loblaw Companies Limited (Loblaw), we are committed to buy Canadian first, placing a priority on local and regional fresh products when the safety, quality, availability and value are right for our customers.  As the largest grocery retailer and food distributor in Canada, Loblaw is proud to offer safe and healthy foods from across the country. Since our inception in 1919, we have taken pride in working with local farmers, fishermen and producers, helping them grow their businesses and contributing to the growth of local economies. Loblaw enjoys long standing, deep relationships with a wide assortment of Canadian suppliers and we are proud to continue the tradition and commitment to buy Canadian first. About Loblaw Companies LimitedLoblaw Companies Limited, a subsidiary of George Weston Limited, is Canada's largest food retailer 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 135,000 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 consumers. 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® brands. In addition, the Company makes available to consumers 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