TOTEM Building Supplies Ltd.

TOTEM Building Supplies Ltd.

May 04, 2011 12:30 ET

TOTEM Building Supplies Launches Initiative to Plant One Million Trees

EDMONTON, ALBERTA--(Marketwire - May 4, 2011) - In conjunction with Alberta Forest Week, TOTEM Building Supplies, one of Alberta's largest retailers of forest products, today announced a multi-year commitment to plant one million trees in Alberta's boreal forests. This initiative marks the launch of TOTEM's long-term sustainable development platform to reduce environmental impact and encourage eco-responsibility.

"We take our responsibility to the environment seriously," says Dave Carr, Vice President and General Manager, TOTEM Building Supplies. "In addition to providing leadership through our Wood Products Procurement Policy, we are committed to improving the quality of Alberta's air, water and wildlife habitat for future generations by adhering to high standards of environmental responsibility."

Carr stresses that partnership is essential, stating "Our platform TOGETHER WITH TOTEM is based on three pillars: Real Responsibility, Real Leadership and Real Solutions. TOTEM must set the example, for instance, by building LEED certified buildings. We must be actively involved with our communities through activities like the tree planting initiative, and we must work together with our customers to help them have a positive impact on our environment."

"We recognize that we have an important role to play, through the products we sell and those we consume as a business, in maintaining sustainable natural resources and reducing our environmental footprint," added Claude Bernier, Executive Vice President of Marketing and Customer Innovation with RONA, TOTEM's parent company. "Together with TOTEM is a leading example of how we bring this role to life."

TOTEM has partnered on the tree planting initiative with the Alberta Department of Sustainable Resource Development and with the Alberta Forest Products Association. Vanderwell Contractors (1971) Ltd., a local company, will plant the trees in certified Alberta boreal forests near Slave Lake, with 100,000 trees to be planted starting in summer 2011.

TOTEM is committed to helping its customers have a positive impact on their environment. TOTEM customers are encouraged to purchase a Clean Air Tree Kit, containing Canadian white spruce tree seeds. Each Clean Air Tree Kit will result in the planting of three trees.

Customers can plant their own tree and use the special PIN code inside the tree kit to register their planting on the World Clean Air Forest Initiative (WCAFI) website and world map. TOTEM will use the proceeds from each kit sold to plant an additional tree over and above its one million tree commitment. In addition, The Canadian Institute of Forestry will plant a third tree in support of WCAFI.

"Reforestation is the law in Alberta and is important to ensuring the sustainability of our forests for future generations," said Mel Knight, Minister of Alberta Sustainable Resource Development. "Each year, close to 80 million seedlings are planted in the province, and we commend efforts, like TOTEM's, that increase the amount of reforested land in Alberta."

"TOTEM has aligned with suppliers that share its dedication to sustainable development and that follow responsible forest management practices," says Brady Whittaker, President and CEO of the Alberta Forest Products Association. "With a commitment to planting one million trees, TOTEM clearly takes its responsibility to the environment seriously."

Ken Vanderwell, General Manager of Vanderwell Contractors (1971) Ltd., added that the tree planting initiative is a natural fit with Vanderwell's commitment to the sustainable management and protection of Alberta's forests.

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About TOTEM Building Supplies

Since 2005, TOTEM Building Supplies has been a regional banner of RONA in Alberta, and operates 17 retail stores and two contractors' yards.

RONA is the largest Canadian distributor and retailer of hardware, home renovation and gardening products. RONA operates a network of more than 950 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 17 million square feet of retail space, the RONA store network generates over $6 billion in annual retail sales. For more information, please visit

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