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Loblaw Tops List of Sustainability Leaders

Loblaw Companies topped the list of Canadian companies leading the way in sustainability, according to a study by Corporate Knights and reported in the Globe and Mail. George Weston, Iamgold Corp, Cameco Corp and SNC-Lavalin Group rounded out the top five on the list, which rated the 60 largest companies on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

Bombardier was listed as the top environmental company among those that responded to all of the survey’s environmental categories, followed by Yamana Gold, Inmet Mining, Goldcorp and Kinross Gold. Manulife Financial, meanwhile, came in last place.

However, the rankings may be skewed by the fact that only 10 of the 60 companies disclosed detailed information on their environmental practices, according to an article that accompanied the study. Only a quarter of the companies disclosed how much water they consumed and how much waste they produced, while less than half disclosed their energy use. Slightly more than half, 57 percent, disclosed their rate of emissions.

According to the report, many of Canada’s largest pension funds are now demanding companies disclose their sustainability and environmental practices. Pension funds constitute some of the largest investors in private companies.

Bombardier reported that for the 2004 – 2009 period, it lowered water use by 35 percent, energy use by 17 percent, and emissions by 10 percent. The company recently announced that it exceeded its targets for water and energy consumption reduction targets.

Iamgold, meanwhile, said it is developing a new process to report its water consumption.

Loblaw, a food distributor, launched a rooftop solar pilot project at four stores in Ontario: Ajax, Orleans, Toronto and Whitby, and has applied for more than 100 rooftop solar installations. Its vice president of marketing recently discussed the company’s sustainability initiatives.

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