We are a relative newcomer in terms of our focus on the environment, but we are working hard to do our part and, in fact, become a true environmental leader amongst mid-sized Canadian retailers. In 2007, we formed our "Enviroaction Committee” to support and drive environmental initiatives across the chain.
We recognize that we offer a natural advantage to environmentally conscious consumers in that we are a neighbourhood retailer and thus make it possible for consumers to shop for their general merchandise needs close to where they live and work. As well, we operate stores that are dramatically smaller than "big box" general merchandise retailers and thus we produce a far lower output of greenhouse gases in each of our stores.
That said, there is a lot we continue to want and need to do. Aside from recycling efforts in our home office, we have implemented "environmental action days". During these days we encourage our Associates to car-pool or use public transit. And our board of directors has approved a capital spending program designed to markedly reduce our use of fossil fuels, first by retrofitting our stores with new higher efficiency lighting.
As well, our Plastic Bag Program, which charges 2 cents per plastic bag used by Customers, was put in place to reduce the use of plastic shopping bags going into our landfills. This program encourages our customers to help clean up their communities by bringing in their own bags or providing them with the opportunity to purchase a reusable shopping bag. All proceeds from our Plastic Bag Program are donated to Easter Seals Canada.
Some of the other things we have done or are planning to do in the near future include:
Clearly more needs to be done, and we continue to work on better measurement tools so that we can accurately set specific goals as a company and do our part to help reduce waste, resources and greenhouse gases.