Lowe’s announced in its 2014 Social Responsibility Report that it is phasing out the sale of products that contain neonicotinoid (neonic) pesticides within 48 months as suitable alternatives become commercially available.
Some studies have indicated that neonics are damaging the health of honeybees and other pollinators. According to a study in Environmental Science and Pollution Research, neonicotinoid pesticides are a key factor in honeybee decline.
Lowe’s also announced it is including greater organic and non-neonic product selections, working with growers to eliminate the use of neonics on the bee-attractive plants it sells, encouraging growers to use biological control programs and educating employees and customers through in-store and online resources about products that support pollinator health.
Lowe’s also reported on other initiatives to support the sale of more environmentally responsible products. In keeping with the company’s wood policy, Lowe’s seeks to ensure that all wood products sold in its stores are harvested from well-managed, “non-endangered” forests. The retailer’s goal is to avoid wood products that are sourced from endangered forests.
Through its partnership with the EPA’s Energy Star and WaterSense programs, Lowe’s tracks the accumulated energy and water savings from the sales of products meeting these standards. In 2014, Lowe’s sold enough Energy Star products to save customers about $2.4 billion in utility costs over the lifetime of their products and eliminate the greenhouse gasses equivalent to the emissions from nearly 2.9 million cars. Lowe’s sold enough WaterSense products in 2014 to reduce water use by approximately 2.5 billions gallons and save customers approximately $23 million annually on water bills.
Lowe’s will publish complete emissions and energy data in its 2014 CDP Report, due out later this year.