RONA INC.
TSX : RON

RONA INC.

November 26, 2010 09:00 ET

RONA Reports Progress on its Wood Products Procurement Policy

- 100% of softwood lumber sourced from certified forests

- 25% softwood lumber sourced from FSC certified forests, achieved 2 years ahead of schedule

- RONA receives FSC certification for traceability chain

BOUCHERVILLE, QUEBEC--(Marketwire - Nov. 26, 2010) - RONA Inc. (TSX:RON), Canada's largest distributor and retailer of hardware, renovation and gardening products, today issued a progress report for its wood products procurement policy launched in fall 2008. Among recent highlights, the company has achieved its goal of selling softwood lumber sourced exclusively from certified forests to customers in all its corporate and franchise stores across Canada. RONA had also set an objective of having 25% of its softwood lumber sourced from Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified forests by the end of 2012. The company is proud to announce that this objective has already been met, two years ahead of schedule. At the time the procurement policy was launched, the FSC proportion was 2% and RONA had made a decision to give preference to the FSC certification because it is the one that best responds to the company requirements with regard to relations with indigenous communities and biodiversity conservation.

RONA also announced that it has received FSC certification from Rainforest Alliance for the traceability chain of wood products in ten of its stores and three distribution centres. Traceability chain certification consists in an assessment of the sources of wood products by an independent third party. The chain must be continuous from the forest through all phases of production and onward to the consumer. For example, a consumer or contractor building a home according to LEED standards (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) can procure FSC lumber in RONA stores that have obtain the FSC certification for the traceability chain. The consumer or contractor will therefore have the assurance that the traceability chain has been respected, therefore allowing them to obtain LEED credits.

In addition to these progresses, six RONA stores offer softwood lumber sourced exclusively from FSC certified forests. It should be noted that wood sourced from FSC certified forests is not widely available in Canada and that RONA intends to make it easier for consumers to have access to such products.

"RONA wants to play an active role in preserving nature as well as the sustainability of natural resources, while helping Canadian consumers adopt responsible consumption habits," said Normand Dumont, RONA's executive vice president of merchandising. "The actions we've taken to achieve the objectives we set as part of the policy, as well as the numerous additional initiatives we've put in place, represent practical steps toward protecting our forests and encouraging consumers to buy wood from forests that have been sustainably and responsibly managed."

Availability in stores

List of sites that have obtained the FSC certification for the traceability chain:

  • Distribution centres:
    • Boucherville, Quebec
    • Saint-Hyacinthe, Quebec
    • Halton Hills, Ontario
  • RONA Stores
    • Etobicoke, Ontario
    • Aurora, Ontario
    • Kingston, Ontario
    • Windsor, Ontario
    • Port Hope, Ontario
    • Gatineau, Quebec – Matériaux BSRB
    • Quebec City, Quebec – Quincaillerie Durand
    • Charlemagne, Quebec
    • Saint-Georges-de-Beauce, Quebec

List of RONA stores that offer softwood lumber sourced exclusively from FSC certified forests

  • Barrie, Ontario
  • London, Ontario
  • Stockyards, Ontario
  • Mascouche, Quebec
  • Rosèmere, Quebec – Réno-Dépôt

RONA store that has obtained the FSC certification for the traceability chain AND that offer softwood lumber sourced exclusively from FSC certified forests:

  • London, Ontario – Home & Garden, located on Commissioners Road East

In addition to this list, two more banners in the RONA network – Matériaux Coupal and Pierceys – also obtained the FSC certification for the traceability chain in 2007 and 2009 respectively.

FSC traceability chain

Traceability chain certification was granted to RONA through the SmartWood program from the Rainforest Alliance, an accredited FSC certifying organization. Having completed an assessment of the RONA traceability chain, the Rainforest Alliance determined that the company meets the requirements under the FSC standard. Rainforest Alliance is also the environmental auditor for a great many forest industry companies that also supply RONA with wood products. Additionally, to qualify for traceability chain certification, RONA's wood products suppliers had to obtain FSC certification for their forest management practices, which are also subject to annual inspections in order to verify that they maintain their compliance with the FSC standard.

"RONA is the largest hardware company in America to have obtained the FSC certification to date. This is excellent news both for consumers and a substantial number of contractors," said Alexandre Boursier, Rainforest Alliance regional manager for Canada. "Consumers get the assurance that when they go to RONA they'll be getting wood that comes from FSC certified forests, where biodiversity conservation and relations with indigenous communities are part of the fundamental requirements rigorously verified and assessed by Rainforest Alliance auditors. This certification will also be great news for all those contractors who encourage and promote eco-responsible building practices."

Objectives reached for 2010

Under its wood products procurement policy, based on precise and measurable objectives which have been rigorously defined after consultation with various stakeholders, RONA has made a formal commitment to encourage responsible forest management through its purchasing practices. To this end, RONA has multiplied its efforts over the last two years to meet the objectives stated as part of the policy:

  • 100% of the softwood lumber (spruce, pine and fir) for sale in RONA's corporate and franchise stores will be sourced from certified forests by the end of 2010. This goal will be achieved by year end.
  • 100% of the softwood plywood panel products for sale in RONA's corporate and franchise stores will be sourced from certified forests by the end of 2009. This goal has already been achieved, and since the beginning of 2010 all such products have been certified.
  • 30% of wood products available in RONA's corporate stores will carry a certification label by the end of 2010. This goal has already been achieved.
  • 25% of SPF lumber for sale in RONA's corporate and franchise stores will be sourced from FSC certified forests by the end of 2012. The current percentage is nearly 24%, which means that this goal will be reached two years ahead of schedule.

The next stages will consist of pursuing initiatives to support achievement of objectives targeted for 2011:

  • Initiatives with suppliers regarding reports on traceability for their fibre, back to the forest of origin.
  • Initiatives with our affiliate dealer-owners aiming at sourcing 90% of softwood lumber from certified forests.

About RONA

RONA is the largest Canadian distributor and retailer of hardware, renovation and gardening products. The company 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 rona.ca.

About the Rainforest Alliance

The Rainforest Alliance is an international nonproft organization and the largest administrator of the FSC norm in Canada and worldwide. The Rainforest Alliance mission is to conserve biodiversity and ensure sustainable livelihoods by transforming land-use practices, business practices and consumer behaviour.

Contact Information

  • Media
    RONA Inc.
    Emilie Verret - Communications Coordinator
    514-599-5900, extension 5271
    emilie.verret@rona.ca
    or
    Financial Community
    RONA Inc.
    Stephane Milot - Senior Manager, Investor Relations
    514-599-5951
    stephane.milot@rona.ca