January 26, 2011 15:37 ET

Stay Warm and Keep the Planet Cool on February 17: WWF's National Sweater Day

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Jan. 26, 2011) - This winter, WWF is calling on Canadians to show their commitment to reducing climate change by participating in National Sweater Day on Thursday, February 17. To celebrate National Sweater Day, presented by the Loblaw Companies Limited (Loblaw), WWF is asking all Canadians to lower the thermostat three degrees Celsius and don the funkiest sweater they can find to keep warm.

"National Sweater Day is a wonderful example of WWF-Canada's ongoing efforts to inspire Canadians to take simple actions to reduce their carbon footprint," said Gerald Butts, WWF's President and CEO. "This is a great opportunity for Canadians to show that they care about the environment by participating in a fun event that illustrates how small actions can have a big impact."

How is Loblaw involved?

Loblaw launched the event in their stores last year and will participate once again.

"By turning down the temperature in our stores and pulling on sweaters, we are encouraging Canadians to think about how they can change behaviour to improve the environment," said Bob Chant, Vice-President, Corporate Affairs, Loblaw Companies Limited. "One of many energy savings initiatives across our network of stores, our participation in National Sweater Day resulted in reducing close to 530,000 kilograms of carbon emissions over the year."

National Sweater Day is made possible in part from partial proceeds of Loblaw's national charge-for-plastic shopping bag program. "The charge for plastic bags is a cornerstone of our reduction of plastic shopping bag effort, which has led to a 73 per cent reduction of these bags from our stores in 2010. Our partnership with WWF is just one way we are acting to reduce our environmental impact and we hope Canadians join us in these efforts," said Chant.

What are the benefits of turning down the thermostat?

Residential heating produces about 44 megatonnes of greenhouse gas emissions per year. Turning down the thermostat by a couple of degrees makes a big difference in fighting climate change. If every Canadian turned down their thermostat by just two degrees each winter, 2.2 megatonnes of carbon dioxide could be saved every year – the equivalent of taking 350,000 cars off the road. Considering the huge impact two degrees makes, WWF is asking Canadians to go one step further and turn down their thermostats by three degrees.

"Climate change is the biggest environmental threat to life on Earth, and it's already having a significant impact on Canada," said Butts. "Everyone has a role to play in fighting climate change, and National Sweater Day shows Canadians how their actions can help protect the planet."

National Sweater Day is also made possible by the generous support of Citytv, official media sponsor.

For more information about National Sweater Day and how to get involved, please visit www.wwf.ca/sweaterday or www.facebook.com/wwfcanada.

About WWF-Canada

WWF-Canada (World Wildlife Fund Canada) is a member of WWF, one of the world's largest independent conservation organizations, active in more than 100 countries. WWF is creating solutions to the most serious conservation challenges facing our planet, helping people and nature to thrive. In Canada, we create solutions to conservation issues important to Canadians and the world. WWF-Canada works collaboratively with governments, businesses and the public to help fight climate change, the single biggest environmental threat to our planet; conserve our oceans and freshwater resources; and educate and mobilize people to build a conservation culture. WWF-Canada's main office is in Toronto, with regional offices located in Vancouver, Prince Rupert, St. Albert, Ottawa, Montreal, Halifax and St. John's. For more information, visit www.wwf.ca.

About Loblaw Companies Limited

Loblaw Companies Limited, a subsidiary of George Weston Limited, is Canada's largest food distributor and a leading provider of drugstore, general merchandise and financial products and services. Loblaw is one of the largest private sector employers in Canada. With more than 1,000 corporate and franchised stores from coast to coast, Loblaw and its franchisees employ over 138,000 full-time and part-time employees. Through its portfolio of store formats, Loblaw is committed to providing Canadians with a wide, growing and successful range of products and services to meet the everyday household demands of Canadian customers. Loblaw is known for the quality, innovation and value of its food offering. It offers Canada's strongest control (private) label program, including the unique President's Choice®, no name® and Joe Fresh Style® brands. In addition, the Company makes available to customers President's Choice Financial® services and offers the PC® points loyalty program.

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