OPERATIONS

Lowe’s releases its first-ever set of public sustainability goals

BY Dan Berthiaume

Mooresville, N.C. – Lowe’s has released its 2013 Corporate Sustainability Report, which highlight its efforts to promote the well-being of its employees, its communities and the environment. The report includes Lowe’s first set of public sustainability goals, which establish new targets for energy use, carbon emissions and waste for the year 2020.

By 2020, Lowe’s aims to achieve the following milestones for energy use, carbon emissions and waste, measured against a 2010 baseline:

• Improve energy efficiency 13% per square foot (kWh/ft2);
• Reduce carbon emissions 20% per square foot (tons CO2/ft2);
• Increase tons of waste per haul 40%; and
• Reduce tons of waste per net sales 40%.

Lowe’s said its energy and waste efficiency goals will be measured against the profiles of its operations in the United States, Canada and Mexico, using rates normalized to account for the growth of its business.

The report also spotlights the distribution of more than $2.6 million through the Lowe’s Employee Relief Fund. In addition, Lowe’s was recognized nationally for its efforts to recruit, train and support America’s veterans and people with disabilities, and was honored by the U.S. Business Leadership Network as Employer of the Year.

Other highlights of the report include:

• Lowe’s has provided more than 200,000 no-cost health screenings to employees at U.S. locations through its fleet of mobile health-screening units.

• Lowe’s surpassed the $25 million mark in donations to the Red Cross, becoming one of just a few partners to reach that milestone.

• The Lowe’s Toolbox for Education grant program funded improvements at 940 schools in 49 states in 2013 and has now served more than 5 million schoolchildren.

• Lowe’s joined with the Lowe’s Charitable and Educational Foundation to reach nearly $200 million in community contributions since 2007.

• Lowe’s surpassed 3 million pounds of rechargeable batteries collected from customers. Lowe’s stores recycle rechargeable batteries, CFL bulbs and plastic bags and plant containers.

• Lowe’s launched a dedicated fleet of natural gas-powered trucks at its regional distribution center in Mount Vernon, Texas, and began the transition from diesel-powered trucks at distributions centers in six other states to help control fuel costs and reduce emissions. Lowe’s goal is to transition all distribution centers by the end of 2017.

To view the report, visit Lowes.com/SocialResponsibility.

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Delhaize Belgium/Luxembourg CEO to retire

BY Dan Berthiaume

Brussels, Belgium – Dirk Van den Berghe has decided to resign from his role as CEO of Delhaize Belgium and Luxembourg effective July 31. Delhaize Group is announcing that Van den Berghe has decided to resign and accept a new role outside the company.

"I want to thank Dirk for his significant contributions to Delhaize Group and wish him well in his future endeavors,” said Frans Muller, Delhaize Group president and CEO. “Our operations in Belgium and Luxembourg have a dedicated and capable management team that is well-equipped to address the challenges we face and to build on opportunities we have to improve our business."

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Report: Chinese authorities ask Wal-Mart to resolve labor dispute

BY Dan Berthiaume

Bentonville, Ark. – Wal-Mart Stores Inc. has reportedly been given a May 30 deadline to settle a labor dispute in the Chinese city of Changde. According to the Wall Street Journal, Changde officials want Wal-Mart to reach an out-of-court settlement with workers at a store there which is scheduled to close.

The workers claim they did not receive proper compensation for or notification of the impending closure, and want their severance doubled. Sixty-nine of 135 store employees are currently in arbitration talks with Wal-Mart. The retailer said it is attempting to comply with the request and reach a mutual agreement with employees.

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