Canadian Tire on Thursday released it’s “green” balance sheet, saying it completed 389 projects last year aimed at improving the environmental impact of its businesses that will also trim some $6 million off costs.
The company said the projects are forecast to save 610 tonnes of waste and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 7,800 tonnes, the equivalent to the energy use required to power 1,000 Canadian homes.
Canadian Tire, which has pledged to report results from its sustainable initiatives quarterly, said its focus in 2010 was in three key areas - products, product transport and buildings - and included reduced packaging, fuel efficiency enhancements to fleet vehicles, new energy efficient store lighting, heating and cooling systems and central energy management.
A growing number of companies worldwide are now reporting their environmental initiatives in much the same way they report their financial results. Although it’s hard to put a dollar figure on how much greening the balance sheet can boost profit, London-based environmental consultancy SustainAbility said the initiatives have a positive impact on business.
“If you improve energy efficiency you save resources and any logical investor should like to see money isn’t just being thrown out of the window,” said Jean-Philippe Renaut, manager at SustainAbility. “They will also definitely build brand equity and encourage shoppers to switch loyalties.”
Renaut said he would like to see the Canadian home improvement giant now adopt measures to encourage shoppers to choose the most eco-friendly brands in the store, even if they are more expensive than other choices.
Canadian Tire said it also contributed $17.9 million to government-mandated community blue box and industry product stewardship and recycling programs in 2010.
"Continuing innovation is key to developing new products, improving packaging and streamlining processes that generate environmental benefits, profit and shareholder value," said Tyler Elm, vice-president of business sustainability.
"This can be seen in the work we completed in 2010 across the enterprise. The continued integration of sustainability into our corporate culture will help us achieve our goals."