RONA INC.
TSX : RON

RONA INC.

May 20, 2010 11:46 ET

RONA Applauds Agreement to Ensure Enhanced Protection of Canada's Boreal Forest

BOUCHERVILLE, QUEBEC--(Marketwire - May 20, 2010) - RONA inc. (TSX:RON), the largest Canadian distributor and retailer of hardware, renovation and gardening products, applauds this week's milestone agreement between members of the Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC) and leading environmental organizations, which provides for application of the highest standards of sustainable forest management to 72 million hectares of Canada's Boreal Forest.

The Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement between 21 FPAC members — many of them RONA suppliers — and nine environmental organizations addresses:

  • The development and implementation of world-leading forest management and harvesting practices;
  • The completion of joint proposals for networks of protected areas and the recovery of species at risk, including woodland caribou;
  • A full life-cycle approach to forest carbon management; and
  • Support for the economic future of forest communities and for the recognition of conservation achievements in the global marketplace.

"Those are very worthwhile objectives. All parties to this agreement ought to be commended," said Normand Dumont, RONA's Executive Vice President Merchandising. "The underlying aims of the Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement are similar to those reflected in RONA's wood products procurement policy, which was developed after consultation and dialogue with stakeholders and has been commended by environmental organizations for its rigour and effectiveness in protecting the Boreal forest," he observed.

Dumont emphasized that advancing the sustainability agenda and protecting our forest resources is a shared responsiblity that requires on-going collaboration and commitment on the part of all key stakeholders, including the private sector, environmental interests and governments. "We regard the Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement as an excellent example of what a collaborative approach can accomplish."

"It is clear to us from our engagement with consumers across the country that Canadians want increased access to sustainable, eco-responsible products," Dumont said. "This new agreement, which brings together multiple stakeholders from the private sector and environmental groups to help protect our forests and preserve precious wildlife habitat, is welcome news in that regard. It represents an important step forward in terms of ensuring that future generations have access to plentiful supplies of wood — and in helping to sustain the viability of the many communities that rely on the forest for their well being." 

RONA's Wood Products Procurement Policy, introduced in late 2008, sets out clear specific objectives. Among the goals is that, by the end of 2010, 100% of the softwood lumber – spruce, pine and fir – sold in corporate and franchised stores will be from forests certified under three programs recognized by RONA: the Forest Products Marking Program (CSA), the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) and the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). The policy gives preference to lumber certified to the FSC standard, which the Company considers best responds to its requirements with regards to biodiversity and relations with local communities.

About RONA

RONA is the largest Canadian distributor and retailer of hardware, renovation and gardening products. RONA operates a network of nearly 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 16 million square feet of retail space, the RONA store network generates over $6 billion in annual retail sales. For more information, please visit www.rona.ca.

Contact Information

  • Media:
    RONA inc.
    Michele Roy
    Vice President, Communications and Public Affairs
    514-599-5900, ext. 5398
    michele.roy@rona.ca
    or
    Financial community:
    RONA inc.
    Stephane Milot
    Senior Director, Investor Relations
    514-599-5951
    stephane.milot@rona.ca