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Metro, Inc. has introduced a multi-faceted strategy to help the Canadian grocer attain its broader environmental and sustainability goals. A key part of this strategy is the launch of the $2 million Green Apple School Program.
The company is allocating $1 million each in Quebec and Ontario to support the newly created program, which was developed specifically to encourage schools to actively take part in environmental stewardship. Grants offered by the Green Apple School Program will originate in conservation and healthy living proposals submitted by students and teachers.
Additionally, starting June 1, all Metro stores across Quebec and Ontario will begin collecting a five-cent fee for shopping bags, with the aim of helping to reduce the number of plastic bags currently in circulation. Metro hopes to reach a target of 50 percent plastic bag reduction by the end of 2010.
“This measure will enable us to reduce the impact of our operations on the environment and promote healthy living habits,” explained Robert Sawyer, EVP and COO of Montreal-based Metro. “The Green Apple School Program encourages thousands of students to contribute to a solution that will ultimately improve their local communities.”
Metro was one of the first Canadian grocers to offer reusable bags, in 2006; now 20 percent of its customers use reusable bags. Other company initiatives include addressing air pollution by enforcing speed limiters on all delivery trucks since 2006 and launching an in-house awareness program, “Leave It Greener,” to encourage employees to be more environmentally conscious at work.
Shoppers will learn about the new fee-for-bag policy and the Green Apple School Program via in-store signage, weekly flyers and a dedicated Web site.
Metro operates nearly 600 food stores in Quebec and Ontario under several banners, including Metro, Metro Plus, A&P, Loeb, Super C and Food Basics, in addition to over 250 pharmacies under the Brunet, Clini Plus, The Pharmacy and Drug Basics banners.