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Loblaw Cos., Ltd released its second annual Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) report yesterday. “The Way We Do Business” lays out the Canadian grocer's goals, achievements and challenges on the CSR front. To reduce the amount of paper distributed, the report is available online at http://www.loblaw.ca/csr.
“Playing a positive role in the communities in which we operate isn't new for Loblaw,” noted Loblaw executive chairman Galen G. Weston. “What is new is the how we think about CSR. We have evolved to focus our objectives into specific targets where Loblaw can have the greatest impact, and moved to a more systematic approach by translating them into concrete and measureable actions. We are pleased with our progress this year but recognize that there is still a lot to do."
Weston added that the company welcomed feedback on the report from colleagues, customers and other stakeholders.
At the close of 2006, Loblaw developed five pillars of corporate social responsibility: 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.
"In 2007, we worked steadily to set strategy and targets; confirm our approach, including benchmarking ourselves against international CSR leaders; and establish ways to weave our pillars into the fabric of our organization," said Daniel Tremblay, Loblaw SVP, corporate social responsibility. "In 2008, we continued to build on that solid foundation while becoming more diligent and vocal in communicating what we have been doing and what we still need to do. We believe that this will help our stakeholders know what we stand for and how they can partner with us to effect positive change."
Loblaw’s CSR highlights from the past year included diverting 328 million plastic shopping bags from landfills; lowering fuel consumption by 2.1 percent per kilometer; reducing the size of flyers, thereby saving 5,200 tons of paper and over 62,400 trees; opening an environmental flagship store in Scarborough, Ontario, built to LEED standards; launching nine new Fair Trade Products, 10 seafood products certified by the Marine Stewardship Council and 68 new PC Blue Menu products; granting $9.5 million to more than 1,000 families across Canada through the President's Choice Children's Charity; and forming an Inclusion Council to champion diversity in the company.
Canadian Business for Social Responsibility (CBSR), a national not-for-profit member organization of businesses committed to implementing corporate social responsibility in Canada, helped Loblaw assess its current CSR practices and identify gaps, in addition to reviewing strategy and providing input into identified priorities.
A subsidiary of George Weston, Ltd., Brampton, Ontario-based Loblaw is Canada's largest food distributor and a leading provider of drug store, general merchandise and financial products and services. Loblaw has more than 1,000 corporate and franchised stores across the country, and the grocer and its franchisees employ over 139,000 full-time and part-time associates.