April 22, 2008 12:00 ET

First "RONA Eco-Responsible" Day

RONA How-To Team and Olympic and Paralympic athletes clean up from Vancouver to Halifax

BOUCHERVILLE, QUEBEC--(Marketwire - April 22, 2008) - RONA (TSX:RON), Canada's largest distributor and retailer of hardware, home renovation and gardening products, is holding its first Eco-responsible Day, highlighting its commitment to Canadian communities and the environment. The RONA How-To Team, joined by Canadian Olympic and Paralympic athletes, is carrying out clean-up operations in eight cities across Canada. Local organizations and dignitaries are also taking part in many of the clean-up operations.

The RONA How-To Team, staffed with RONA store employees, held its first such operation in Halifax last March. Through this program, RONA is taking an active role in helping local organizations and communities with some of their renovation and construction projects The How-To Team is an example of the personal commitment RONA network employees have for their communities.

"At RONA, sustainable development is more than just a fad. RONA has been dedicated to supporting the communities where we do business right from the Company's inception, in 1939," said RONA President and CEO Robert Dutton, "Our commitment takes the form of both large and small gestures, such as our Eco-responsible Day activities, where employees can help improve the environment and make a difference in the lives of their fellow citizens. In cleaning up public places like parks, we're also raising awareness of the importance of making eco-responsible choices".

The RONA How-To Team and Canadian Olympic and Paralympic athletes, are rolling up their sleeves in eight Canadian cities to make their communities a better place to live.

"As a Canadian Olympic athlete, I am proud to be giving back to the communities that support us in the Olympic adventure," says Jeff Buttle, Word Champion in figure skating. "Sustainable development is a major concern of mine and joining RONA in celebrating Eco-responsible Day allows me to show my support for the environment."

Sustainable development part of RONA's history

Sustainable development is already part of everyday life at RONA, and this is reflected in the development of its employees and the communities they serve, as well as respect for the environment. Among the many initiatives already in place at RONA is the "Growing with our Athletes" program, through which RONA supports 100 Canadian athletes.

RONA is also the national hardware and renovation partner for the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Games, and the national partner of the Canadian Olympic and Paralympic Teams until 2012. As such, RONA supports the team of Canadian athletes who represented Canada at the Winter Olympics in Torino in 2006 and who will represent the country at the Beijing 2008 Olympic and Paralympmic Games, the Vancouver 2010 Winter Games and the London 2012 Summer Games.

The RONA Foundation was created in 1998 to help young people between 12 and 30 by supporting local organizations and projects that fight school dropout and illiteracy, and allow young people to learn a trade or occupation.

On the environmental front, adopting responsible practices has always been a priority at RONA. At a time when protection of the environment had yet to become a widespread daily concern, RONA participated in the development of a Quebec paint recycling and recovery program that provided an economic and ecological alternative to landfills and incineration. More recently, the Company launched its new RONA ECO line. RONA ECO products have been selected in partnership with the Ecole Polytechnique's International Chair in Life Cycle Assessment, a research unit with CIRAIG, the Interuniversity Research Centre for the Life Cycle of Products, Processes and Services. RONA ECO brand products have a less negative impact on the environment than conventional products over their entire life cycle.


British Columbia

In Vancouver, the How-To Team is cleaning up the park facing the YMCA Nanook Child Care Centre. The Centre is located in Mount Pleasant, one of Vancouver's most neglected neighbourhoods. A second clean-up operation is taking place in streets surrounding the YWCA Emma Child Care Centre, located inside Sir Charles Tupper Secondary School. Snowboard athlete Maelle Ricker is joining the RONA How-To Team in Vancouver to help out.


In Mississauga, the RONA How-To team is cleaning up around the Port Credit Marina. Local businesses, members of the Port Credit Business Improvement Association are also taking part in the operation. Taekwondo athlete Shannon Condie Taekwondo, is lending the How-To Team a hand.

Meanwhile, in Scarborough, the RONA How-To Team is joining Scarborough Town Centre employees for a big clean-up operation around the area. Jeff Buttle, World Champion in figure skating, along with figure-skating athletes Marie-France Dubreuil and Patrick Lauzon, is also taking part in the operation. The same Team is headed downtown to Bay Street and Queen's Quay for a second clean-up at the Toronto Island Ferry Docks.

In Carleton Place, the RONA How-To Team is joining Mayor Paul Dulmage and city councillors for a major clean-up of the Carleton Place Business Improvement Area along Main Street. Paralympic basketball athlete Chantal Benoit isl joining the Team in this effort.


In Montreal, the RONA How-To Team is joined by figure skater Joannie Rochette, speed skater Francois-Louis Tremblay, water polo players Tara Campbell and Christine Robinson, synchronized swimmers Marie-Pierre Gagne and Isabelle Rampling, and soccer player Rhian Wilkinson. The Team is cleaning up Dorchester Square, downtown at Metcalfe Street and Rene-Levesque Boulevard West.

In Thetford Mines, the RONA How-To Team is holding a big clean-up operation around the Cultural Centre between St-Alphonse and Dumais Streets.

Nova Scotia

In Halifax, the RONA How-To Team is cleaning up two sites and is joined by curling athlete Brad Gushue. The first site is the Halifax waterfront, outside the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic. The Team is then heading to the Halifax Mainland Common Park.

About RONA

RONA is the largest Canadian distributor and retailer of hardware, home renovation and gardening products. RONA operates a network of more than 680 corporate, franchise and affiliate stores of various sizes and formats. With over 27,000 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 $6.2 billion in annual retail sales. Visit to learn more.

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