RONA INC.
TSX : RON

RONA INC.

November 17, 2010 09:32 ET

RONA Launches Innovative Online Eco-Responsible Renovation Guide Based On Life-Cycle Approach

Content-rich new tool will help consumers make sustainable choices

BOUCHERVILLE, QUEBEC--(Marketwire - Nov. 17, 2010) - Editors' Note: A video and a guide are associated with this press release.

RONA inc. (TSX:RON), the largest Canadian distributor and retailer of hardware, renovation and gardening products, continues to lead the way for environmentally conscious Canadian with the launch of an innovative online Eco-responsible Renovation Guide.

The user-friendly Guide, based on the life-cycle approach, was developed in collaboration with the International Chair in Life Cycle Assessment of École Polytechnique de Montréal, Équiterre and Écohabitation, inspired by the success of its RONA ECO and eco-responsible product lines.

Eco-renovation made easy

Whether renovating a kitchen or bathroom, finishing a basement, creating a home office or landscaping their yard, consumers will find the expert advice they need. The site is divided in two main sections: products (construction materials, paint, etc.) and projects (kitchen, bathroom, etc.). 

Every product comes with a fact sheet that sets out in detail its features and advantages across the five stages of its life cycle: resource acquisition, manufacturing, packaging and transportation, use, and end of life. This is measured against five environmental issues recognized by the international scientific community: climate change, availability and quality of water, human health, quality of ecosystems, and depletion of resources.

Under 'projects', a click of the mouse gives access to a range of eco-responsible renovation options, along with an analysis of their environmental advantages In the case of a kitchen, for instance, users are able to make choices for heating controls and lighting designed to conserve energy, or ventilation and paint that enhance air quality.

Another example of RONA doing it right

Noting that the new on-line guide features an unparalleled level of transparency and openess with regard to selection criteria and methodology, RONA President and CEO Robert Dutton said that working with independent outside experts helps ensure the rigour and scientific validity of the products RONA offers — as well as the advice and support provided to consumers. "RONA is grateful to Équiterre, Écohabitation and the Life Cycle Chair for providing expert input with regard to the Eco-responsible Renovation Guide. Such collaborations enable us to make the latest advances in eco-responsible products and practices accessible and very, very concrete."

Claude Bernier, Executive Vice President, Marketing and Customer Innovation, observed that "RONA's committment to leadership in sustainability involves not only reducing our own environmental footprint but also helping the millions of customers who pass through our doors each month to lighten their impact on the planet. Our new Eco-responsible Renovation Guide is an excellent way to achieve this. It is the most comprehensive, user-friendly tool of its type. This is another example of RONA 'doing it right'."

The rigorous life-cycle approach

The life-cycle approach evaluates the impact of products and actions globally. To be accepted in the RONA ECO line, a product must leave a smaller ecological footprint than equivalent conventional products throughout its entire life cycle. RONA stores — along with the new renovation guide — also feature an array of "eco-responsible" products under various brands that have been evaluated by the experts at the Chair. To qualify as eco-responsible, these products must deliver a better environmental performance in one or more stages of their life cycle, whereas RONA ECO products must be superior considering all stages.

In the opinion of Édouard Clément, Technical Coordinator at CIRAIG and the International Life Cycle Assessment Chair, "The creation of an eco-responsible renovation guide based on the life cycle approach is unprecedented in North America. RONA's approach is unique because it relies on very rigorous methodology, but is still accessible and practical for users who want to reduce the environmental impact of their renovation projects."

Sidney Ribaux, co-founder and executive director of Équiterre, said « to address global issues like climate changes we will need leaders who will innovate in their business practices. This guide is another example of how RONA has chosen to be part of this select group of leaders.»

« What must be underlined here is the multiplication effect of such a giant retailer's approach: making it easier for consumers to make informed choices in their product selection will have a measurable environmental impact» said Emmanuel Cosgrove, Co-founder and Director of Écohabitation and LEED® for Homes Provider. 

RONA began its collaboration with the Chair in 2007 and, in April 2008, introduced its first eight RONA ECO products along with 500 eco-responsible products. From those modest beginnings, the program has continued to grow, spurred on by the enthusiastic reception of consumers across Canada. RONA stores now offer more than 450 RONA ECO products, ranging from cleansers to fertilizers, rainwater collectors, mouldings and much more, as well as some 1,600 eco-responsible products. Furthermore, the Company's collaboration with the Chair has seen the life-cycle approach become the platform that underlies RONA's entire sustainability agenda, including the new Eco-responsible Renovation Guide.

About RONA

RONA is the largest Canadian distributor and retailer of hardware, home 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. Visit www.rona.ca.

About the International Chair in Life Cycle Assessment

The International Chair in Life Cycle Assessment is a research unit of the Interuniversity Research Centre for the Life Cycle of Products, Processes and Services (CIRAIG), which was founded by École Polytechnique de Montréal in collaboration with Université de Montréal and HEC Montréal. It was created to meet the demands of industry and governments to develop leading edge academic expertise in sustainable development tools. The LCA Chair and its fifteen industrial partners are actively involved in increasing basic knowledge and developing the generic life cycle tools needed to implement sustainable development.

About Écohabitation

Écohabitation is an independent not-for-profit organization with the mission to promote ecological housing. It brings together the latest information to share with people who want to create a healthy living space in harmony with the environment. It serves as an interface between professionals and the general public to stimulate the Quebec sustainable housing construction market.

About Équiterre

Équiterre is a non-profit, charitable organisation whose mission is to contribute to building a societal movement which promotes sustainable development in consumer choices, business practices and government policy. Équiterre has received support from Rona to construct the Centre for Sustainable development, a 65 000 square foot model ecological building in the heart of Montreal's theatre district.

To visit the RONA Eco-responsible Renovation Guide, click here.

To view the video associated with this press release click here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PTU5PqAK4XM

To view the Navigation Guide associated with this press release click here: http://media3.marketwire.com/docs/Navigation_guide_eng.pdf

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