September 10, 2008 10:30 ET

RONA to Stop Selling Synthetic Pesticides for Cosmetic Use Across Canada

BOUCHERVILLE, QUEBEC--(Marketwire - Sept. 10, 2008) - RONA inc. (TSX:RON), the largest Canadian retailer and distributor of hardware, renovation and gardening products, is announcing it will stop selling synthetic pesticides for cosmetic use in all its stores across Canada beginning July 1, 2009. RONA already began the withdrawal of synthetic pesticides from its stores four years ago and has since been providing consumers with ecologically responsible alternatives. As synthetic pesticides are taken off store shelves, RONA will continue to introduce alternatives and techniques to help consumers replace them.

"At RONA, we want to work with consumers and help them adopt practices that are less harmful to the environment as well as healthier for them. Consumers generally want to adopt environmentally friendly practices, but they often lack the information and alternative solutions to do so," said Normand Dumont, RONA's Executive Vice President of Merchandising. "By stopping to sell synthetic pesticides for cosmetic use and introducing alternative solutions, we're encouraging responsible consumption."

RONA's approach is based not only on the introduction of eco-responsible products but also on consumer information and employee training.

RONA's initiative to stop selling synthetic pesticides for cosmetic use has been acknowledged by the David Suzuki Foundation in its survey of Canadian retailers' practices relating to the sale of pesticides. For more details, visit

Sustainable development part of RONA's history

RONA's goal is to become the industry's Canadian leader in sustainable development, which translates into growth for our communities and our employees, as well as respect for the environment. Two of our most significant initiatives, among the many already in place, are the "Growing with Our Athletes" program, through which RONA supports 100 Canadian athletes, and the RONA Foundation, established in 1998 to provide help for young people 12 to 30 years old by supporting local organizations and projects that fight the school dropout problem and illiteracy or offer training to help young people learn a trade or occupation.

Where the environment is concerned, adopting responsible practices in this field has always been a priority at RONA. Particular emphasis is placed on activities that are likely to have a real and lasting impact, even if their implementation requires more time and effort. At a time when most citizens had yet to see the environment as a major concern, RONA took part in establishing a Quebec-wide used-paint recovery and recycling program - an economical and environmentally friendly alternative to landfills or incineration. Last July, this program was extended to Ontario where RONA became the first retailer to offer a paint recovery program in the province.

Recently, the company released its first RONA ECO brand products, which are much more environmentally friendly than equivalent conventional items, thanks to a product development approach that's based on a life cycle analysis and a rigorous assessment process through RONA's partnership with the International Chair in Life Cycle Assessment. Research conducted with the Chair allows RONA to provide essential information for consumers about the real impact their choices have on the environment, and then to select products with the best environmental impact throughout their life cycle.

Last June, RONA announced that it was turning off 75% of all demonstrator lights on display in its in-store lighting departments, leaving only one item in four turned on full time. This new measure was intended to reduce in-store energy consumption across all Canadian points of sale. In addition, the lamps on display in RONA stores use compact fluorescent instead of conventional incandescent bulbs.

RONA also launched a new Canada-wide collection program for compact fluorescent light bulbs. Canadians are now able to take their used compact fluorescents to participating RONA stores where the bulbs will be collected for safe recovery and their components recycled.

About RONA

RONA is the largest Canadian distributor and retailer of hardware, home renovation and gardening products. RONA operates a network of close to 700 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 $6.3 billion in annual retail sales. For more, please visit

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