April 22, 2009 13:00 ET

Canadian Athletes and How-To Teams Clean Up From Vancouver to Halifax on RONA Eco-Responsible Day

BOUCHERVILLE, QUEBEC--(Marketwire - April 22, 2009) -

Editors Note: A photo for this release will be available via Marketwire on the picture wire of The Canadian Press.

RONA (TSX:RON), Canada's largest distributor and retailer of hardware, home renovation and gardening products, is today holding its second annual Eco-Responsible Day, highlighting its commitment to Canadian communities and the environment. The RONA How-To Teams, joined by Canadian athletes, are carrying out clean-up operations in over 20 locations across Canada. The How-To Team is picking up litter and cleaning up waterfront space, parks and school yards in Halifax, Nova Scotia; communities across Ontario; in Montreal, Quebec; Calgary, Alberta; and Vancouver, B.C.

"As a proud member of RONA's Growing with our athletes program, I am excited to be taking part in RONA's Eco-Responsible Day," says Adam van Koeverden, silver medalist in kayak (K-1 1,500 m) at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games. "I think it is incumbent upon all Canadians to ensure that our communities are clean, safe and eco-friendly, and it is great to be working with RONA to ensure just that."

The RONA How-To Team, staffed with RONA store employees, held similar operations last year, on April 22. The How-To Team is an example of the personal commitment RONA network employees have for their communities. In total, over 200 employees are volunteering to take part in the clean-up operations this year.

"At RONA, we are committed to sustainable development from a social, economic and environmental perspective," said RONA President and CEO Robert Dutton. "This includes making a difference in Canadian communities, and it can take the form of small gestures such as our Eco-Responsible Day operations. By cleaning up parks, school yards or waterfront space, our store employees are raising awareness of the importance of adopting responsible consumer attitudes and respecting the environment", he added.

Among the 28 participating athletes, members of RONA's Growing with our athletes program joining RONA staff are Priscilla Lopes-Schliep (Bronze medalist in Athletics-100m hurdles at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games), Tonya Verbeek (Bronze medalist in Wrestling at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games), Marc-Andre Monette (Silver medalist in Short track speed skating at the 2008 World Cup in Quebec City), Carla MacLeod (Gold medalist in Women's hockey at the 2006 Turin Olympics; silver medalist at 2009 World championships) and Brian McKeever (Gold medalist in Paralympic Nordic at the 2009 World Cup).

Clean-up operations are held in the following communities:

- Belleville, Ontario Mississauga, Ontario
- Calgary, Alberta Montreal, Quebec
- Cambridge, Ontario Oakville, Ontario
- Carleton Place, Ontario North Bay, Ontario
- Chatham, Ontario Peterborough, Ontario
- Collingwood, Ontario Scarborough, Ontario
- Etobicoke, Ontario Simcoe, Ontario
- Halifax, Nova Scotia Toronto, Ontario
- Hamilton, Ontario Waterdown, Ontario
- Leamington, Ontario Whitby, Ontario
- Markham, Ontario Vancouver, British Columbia

RONA and sustainable development

As Canada's largest home improvement retailer, RONA plays an important role in the Canadian society. Aware of the impact its activities have on the environment, RONA implements initiatives that will lessen its environmental footprint. This is an everyday concern for all sectors of the company.

Among other initiatives, RONA has introduced RONA ECO products, items which leave a lighter ecological footprint than an equivalent conventional product throughout their entire life cycle, as assessed by experts working under the International Chair in Life Cycle Assessment based on environmental performance criteria that are the subject of international scientific consensus: climate change, ecosystem health, human health and natural resources. RONA has also introduced a rigorous wood products procurement policy favouring certified wood and has announced it is stopping the sale of synthetic pesticides for cosmetic use for all its stores across Canada beginning July 1. In Ontario, a cosmetic pesticides ban takes effect today.

RONA also cares greatly about being part of the social fabric, and contributes to the well-being of the communities where stores are located by investing capital and resources where they are needed most. Examples of our social commitment include our national partnership of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Games as well as the Growing with our athletes program, which offers financial support to offset training and living expenses for 100 high performance athletes in Canada.

About RONA

RONA is the largest Canadian distributor and retailer of hardware, home renovation and gardening products. RONA operates a network of more than 700 corporate, franchise and affiliate stores of various sizes and formats. With close to 30,000 employees working under its family of banners in every region of Canada and more than 15 million square feet of retail space, the RONA store network generates over $6.3 billion in annual retail sales. Visit

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