Canadian Packaging

Canadian Tire releases sustainability results for Q1 of 2012

Program with utility providers helps customers save $500,000 on annual utility bills.


May 10, 2012
by Canadian Packaging Staff

Canadian Tire Corporation, Limited, one of Canada’s most-shopped general retailers and the country’s largest sporting goods retailer, has released the results of its business sustainability strategy for the first quarter of 2012.

Most notable in Q1 is that forecasted greenhouse gas (GHG) emission avoidance is up ten-fold primarily due to the large-scale road-to-rail conversion that Canadian Tire undertook in connection with transportation.

Additionally, its business sustainability strategy began reporting incremental new business, as in-store events designed with utility groups across the country drove $2-million in retail sales of energy-saving products.

“We’re pleased with the early results from 2012 and will continue to integrate sustainability into our plans and processes,” says Canadian Tire vice-president of corporate strategy and business sustainability Tyler Elm. “We’re seeing positive financial results because our efforts avoid operational costs, increase transportation efficiency and incent customers to walk into our stores to purchase energy-saving products.”

The Canadian Tire transportation team completed its road-to-rail conversion work for deliveries into eastern Canada, leveraging and better utilizing its relationship with Canadian National Railway.

More efficient from both an operational and environmental perspective, the result is a change to the mix of eastern Canada shipments from 75 per cent road and 25 per cent rail, to 20 per cent road and 80 per cent rail.

These efforts are forecasted to annually avoid significant costs, more than 6,600 tonnes of GHG emissions, and is the equivalent to removing over 1,500 cars from the road.

For the first time, in addition to cost avoidance, Canadian Tire is reporting sales from a business sustainability initiative developed in partnership with BC Hydro, SaskPower, Ontario Power Authority, and Nova Scotia Power.

This initiative, completed in 2011, generated more than $2-million in incremental retail sales from in-store events at 288 Canadian Tire locations.

Through the use of targeted couponing, the in-store events encouraged consumers to use energy-efficient products such as ceiling fans, thermostats, dimmer switches, timers and light bulbs. The increased use of energy-saving products sold at these events are forecasted to help customers annually avoid more than $500,000 dollars on their utility bills and more than 1,000 tonnes of GHG emissions.

Constantly innovating to ensure enhanced customer and environmental outcomes, Canadian Tire saw a more than 60 per cent increase in the number of sustainability initiatives completed in Q1 as well as over 30 per cent increase in cost avoidance over the same period last year.

The ongoing integration of sustainable practices into its business operations resulted in the completion of 132 initiatives in the first quarter, which annually avoid over $715,000 in costs, 390 tonnes of waste, and 8,600 tonnes of GHG emissions. The results are the equivalent to the energy use and GHG emissions created from powering more than 1,100 Canadian homes.

Q1 Highlights

An integral part of Canadian Tire’s corporate innovation strategy, the Company’s business sustainability efforts center around three key areas—products and packaging, the transportation of products to distribution centers and stores, and buildings and operations. Some additional key initiatives completed this quarter and recognition highlights are listed below.

  • Canadian Tire contributed over $3.8 million in Q1 to community blue box and industry product stewardship and recycling programs;
  • Heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) upgrades were made to the shipping docks at Canadian Tire’s A.J. Billes distribution center in Brampton, Ontario.  The three new HVAC units are forecasted to use 70 per cent less energy, annually avoid more than 560 tonnes of GHG emissions, and $105,000 in operating costs;
  • Considered to be the most high-profile national awards series of its kind, Canadian Tire’s business sustainability strategy and performance were recognized with the GLOBE Award for Best Green Retailing Practices. The Green Retailing Practices Award is presented to a company that has demonstrated excellence in executing end-to-end sustainable practices and has made measurable environmental performance improvements to its retail operations;
  • Canadian Tire’s Bowmanville, Ont., store was awarded the 2012 Sustainability Design Award for “Outstanding Merit” from the Association of Retail Environments. The store is 75 per cent more energy-efficient than the prior prototypical store design and is probably the most energy-efficient retail store in North America.

For further details, download the REPORT