Quebecor Inc.

Quebecor Inc.

April 01, 2010 13:34 ET

Quebecor Inc.: Concrete Actions Produce Concrete Results

MONTREAL, QUEBEC--(Marketwire - April 1, 2010) - Quebecor (TSX:QBR.A)(TSX:QBR.B) is proud to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Earth Day, and is pleased to take the opportunity to provide an update on its major environmental campaign, Des gestes concrets ("Concrete Actions"), launched in 2007. For close to four years now, the deepening relationship between Quebecor and Earth Day Québec has: 

  • saved more than 79,000 trees and over 215 million litres of water;
  • enabled more than 210,000 trees to be planted;
  • kept more than 44,000 disused cellphones from ending up as landfill; and
  • encouraged thousands of Quebecers to make their own gestures in favour of the environment.

"Our partnership with Earth Day has paved the way for major initiatives that have had a real, positive impact on the environment, and today are a source of true pride," said Quebecor President and Chief Executive Officer Pierre Karl Péladeau, adding: "Environmental stewardship is an essential part of our company's values, and the programs we have implemented provide tangible proof of this."

More than 79,000 trees saved

The alliance between Quebecor and Earth Day took root with an initiative that saw Quebecor Media Book Group begin to print all of its books in black & white on 100% recycled paper. The stock, specially made at Quebecor's request by Cascades, bears the name "Quebecor Enviro Book 100." Approximately one billion pages are printed using the recycled paper every year. Since 2007, this initiative has enabled Quebecor Media Groupe Livre to save more than 79,000 trees and over 215 million litres of water. Subsidiary Groupe Sogides also made a pioneering effort when its member-publisher Les Éditions de l'Homme released the first book of colour photographs to be printed on 100% post-consumer fibre. Le Québec au fil de l'eau is a celebration of one of Québec' most precious and fragile resources, water.

MediaPages, another Quebecor Media subsidiary, is also committed to concrete actions that have helped preserve our natural resources. Its directories are produced using more than 40% recycled materials; the remainder is made up of wood shavings, which would otherwise end up as unused waste.

More than 210,000 trees planted

Various programs implemented by Quebecor through its subsidiaries work toward the common objective of making a significant contribution to Earth Day Québec's green-belt tree planting efforts. Leading the way is Vidéotron: through its partnership with Earth Day, a tree is planted for every customer who agrees to be invoiced online. Meanwhile, under the Allo la Terre! program, thousands of cellular phones discarded every year in Québec are diverted from landfill sites, and all profits from the sale and recycling of the phones are reinvested in strategic reforestation projects. Several drop-off bins have been installed in Vidéotron stores and Le SuperClub Vidéotron locations and, since April 2009, in Québec's 15 Archambault stores. Since the inception of Allo la Terre!, 44,081 cellphones have been recovered. The program is truly a success, since the number of phones collected increased by some 50% from 2008 to 2009, making it one of the most effective such programs in Canada. In all, Allo la Terre! and the online billing program have enabled the planting of 210,000 trees and consolidated the development of the green-belt network in Québec.

Citizens do their part as well

Archambault has made great strides in raising customer awareness of the importance of reusable bags. Since August 1, 2009, the retailer has been charging customers for single-use plastic bags, an initiative that has helped reduce the consumption of such bags by approximately 25%. In addition, profits from the sale of reusable bags are turned over to Earth Day Québec to help finance its provincewide green-belt network. Throughout April 2009, Archambault and offered customers a selection of environmentally themed books and DVDs.

Since April 2009, Archambault has raised more than $21,000 to fund the planting of about 7,000 bushes and perennials. If this pace is maintained, awareness-raising initiatives will enable planting of about 14,000 such foliage every year.

Quebecor is proud to encourage citizens' initiatives and reward positive actions in support of the environment by teaming up with Cascades to present the Porteurs d'espoir program, which acknowledges exceptional achievements by Quebecers in favour of the environment. Since 2007, Quebecor has conducted an extensive multimedia promotional campaign in support of the program, with the support of several of its subsidiaries.

In addition, in its many media outlets, Quebecor has stepped up its editorial content covering major environmental issues. In addition to a column by scientist Hubert Reeves, who joined the Journal de Montréal team in January 2007, and regular news coverage that already includes many items about the environment, special features are published every week in Le Journal de Montréal, Le Journal de Québec and all Sun Media affiliated newspapers. Quebecor's magazines also cover the topic, and the Canoë portal includes a special section dedicated to the environment.

New television programs are also addressing the issue. VOX recently launched the series Vert tendre: each week, comedian Maxim Martin hosts a dynamic magazine-style show offering practical, tangible advice on how viewers can make green consciousness part of their daily lifestyle choices. VOX is also tackling the issue of winter smog, and proposing green solutions to the problem, with the program SMOG, la fin des émissions. It premieres on channel 9, and in HD on channel 609, on Earth Day, Thursday, April 22, at 7 pm.

For the third year in a row, TVA Network is partnering with Earth Day. During the Salut, bonjour ! show from April 19 to 22, all weather reports will be devoted to recycling initiatives. Every morning, Gino Chouinard's team will visit a different company involved in repurposing various objects, as an incentive for viewers of Québec's most popular morning show to do their part for the environment.

"We are proud to encourage Quebecers to adopt green behaviours by making simple gestures," Mr. Péladeau concluded. "Earth Day Québec's masterfully orchestrated grassroots campaigns, supported by Quebecor's powerful media presence, have made Earth Day into much more than a 24-hour celebration: it is now a series of intelligent, constructive initiatives that achieve concrete results."

The Company

Quebecor Inc. (TSX:QBR.A)(TSX:QBR.B) is a holding company with a 54.7% interest in Quebecor Media Inc., one of Canada's largest media groups. Quebecor Media owns operating companies in numerous media related businesses: Vidéotron Ltd., an integrated communications company engaged in cable television, interactive multimedia development, Internet access services, cable telephony and wireless telephone service; Sun Media Corporation, the largest publisher of newspapers in Canada; Canoe Inc., operator of a network of English and French language Internet properties in Canada; TVA Group Inc., operator of the largest French language over the air television network in Québec, a number of specialty channels, and the English language over the air station Sun TV; Nurun Inc., a major interactive technologies and communications agency with offices in Canada, the United States, Europe and Asia; magazine publisher TVA Publishing Inc.; book publishers and distributors Sogides Group Inc. and CEC Publishing Inc.; Archambault Group Inc. and TVA Films, companies engaged in the production, distribution and retailing of cultural products; Le SuperClub Vidéotron ltée, a DVD and console game rental and retail chain; and Quebecor MediaPages, publisher of print and online directories.

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