CSR at Loblaw

As Canada’s largest food retailer and a leading provider of drugstore, general merchandise and financial products and services, Loblaw Companies Limited makes significant contributions to our country’s social and economic well-being:

  • Loblaw and its franchisees operate more than 1,000 corporate and franchised stores from coast to coast. In 2012, we opened 18 new stores and completed 181 major store renovations.
  • More than 14 million customers shop with us every week.
  • We are one of the largest purchasers of Canadian goods and services.
  • Together, our corporate and franchised stores employ approximately 134,000 full-time and part-time colleagues and employees, making us one of the largest private-sector employers in the country.
  • Together with our colleagues, customers, vendors, franchisees and their employees, donated more than $45 million to charities and non-profit organizations in 2012.

Our corporate mission is to be Canada's best food, health and home retailer by exceeding customer expectations through innovative products at great prices. Corporate social responsibility (CSR) supports our mission and is critical to our overall business success. The way we see it, by making positive contributions in our community and by minimizing negative impacts on our environment, we become the preferred choice of our customers and the preferred partner of our vendors. This in turn drives strong business performance, provides the means to give back to society and paves the way for future generations.

Five principles underpin our CSR strategy:

  • Respect the Environment
  • Source with Integrity
  • Make a Positive Difference in Our Community
  • Reflect Our Nation's Diversity
  • Be a Great Place to Work
Aquaculture Stewardship Council:

The ASC is an independent, not-for-profit organization that aims to be the leading global certification and labelling program for responsibly farmed seafood. The ASC manages a global standard for responsibly farmed seafood and is committed to preserving marine and freshwater habitats while endorsing social standards.

Artificial flavours and colours:

Dyes and chemicals used in common artificial ingredients. Artificial flavours and colours have been linked to skin reactions, hyperactivity in children, nausea, high blood pressure and breathing problems, among other issues.

Auxiliary power unit (APU):

A small diesel engine that provides climate control and electrical power for the truck's sleeper cab and engine block heater without idling the truck during downtime on the road.


The return movement of a truck from its original destination to its point of origin, especially when carrying goods back over all or part of the same route.

Farm-raised (seafood):

Fish farming involves raising fish commercially in tanks or enclosures.

Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI):

GFSI (www.mygfsi.com) is an international alliance started by the world's largest food retailers. GFSI has benchmarked the leading global food safety schemes and integrated them so that when a manufacturer is compliant with a GFSI-benchmarked scheme, it is automatically accepted as equivalent to all other corresponding GFSI-recognized standards.

Global Reporting Initiative (GRI):

Globally applicable sustainability reporting guidelines to assist corporations in reporting on the economic, environmental and social performance of their operations.

Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup:

The Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup, presented by Loblaw Companies Limited, is one of the largest direct action conservation programs in Canada. A conservation initiative of the Vancouver Aquarium and WWF, it aims to promote understanding of shoreline litter issues by engaging Canadians in rehabilitating shoreline areas through cleanups. The initiative is made possible from partial proceeds of Loblaw's charge-for-plastic shopping bag program.

Green CommUnity School Grants:

The Green CommUnity School Grants program helps foster innovation for the environment among Canada's youth by providing grants of up to $5,000 to Canadian elementary and secondary schools working on conservation projects. Spearheaded by WWF, the program is made possible from partial proceeds of Loblaw's charge-for-plastic shopping bag program.

Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions:

The release of atmospheric gases that trap heat from the sun and warm the planet's surface. Human activities such as the burning of fossil fuels and the deforestation of tropical forests have contributed to elevated levels of GHGs (especially carbon dioxide and methane) in recent decades.

Guiding Stars:

An in-store tool that rates all food products up to three stars based on their nutritional value to help guide customers to healthier food options.

Intermodal transportation:

The use of more than one mode of transport (e.g., ship, rail and truck) to ship goods.

Light-emitting diode (LED):

LEDs, or light-emitting diodes, are a form of lighting that is extremely energy efficient and long-lasting. LED lights last up to 2.5 times longer and use as much as 56% less electricity than standard fluorescent lighting.

Lighting retrofit:

Changing the component parts or an entire lighting fixture to reduce electricity consumption.

Long-combination vehicle (LCV):

In Canada, any combination of tractor unit and semi-trailers more than 25 metres in overall length is considered to be an LCV. LCVs can pull more volume using the same power source – leading to fewer trucks on the road, improved fuel efficiency and a reduced carbon footprint.

Marine Stewardship Council (MSC):

An independent, non-profit organization that maintains the most widely respected global standard for the certification of wild-capture fisheries as sustainable and well managed. MSC harnesses market forces to drive change on the water by recognizing and rewarding sustainable fisheries, influencing the choices people make when buying seafood, and working with our partners to transform the seafood market to a sustainable basis.

MSC chain-of-custody (CoC):

The MSC chain-of-custody standard for seafood traceability makes sure that the MSC label is only displayed on seafood from an MSC certified sustainable fishery. It assures consumers and seafood buyers that the fish they are buying can be traced back to a fishery that meets the MSC environmental standard for sustainable fishing.

National Sweater Day:

On a set day in February, Canadians are asked to put on their favourite sweater and turn the heat down a few degrees to help WWF take action against climate change and work toward a sustainable future. National Sweater Day is made possible from partial proceeds of Loblaw's charge-for-plastic shopping bag program.

Ontario Corn Fed Beef (OCFB):

The Ontario Corn Fed Beef program provides consumers with an identifiable Ontario brand of beef – known to be consistent, premium and locally raised. The feed of cattle plays a big role in the flavour of the beef. In this program, cattle consume a high percentage of corn in their diets, giving the beef superior marbling which makes it the most tender, tasty beef anywhere.

Palm oil:

A type of vegetable oil, derived from the palm fruit, grown on the African oil palm tree. Oil palms originated in West Africa, but can flourish wherever heat and rainfall are abundant. Today, almost all palm oil is produced in Indonesia and Malaysia.

Polyethylene terephthalate (PET):

A commonly used plastic that is transparent, lightweight, strong, safe, shatterproof and readily recyclable.

Transcritical refrigeration system:

An advanced refrigeration system that uses carbon dioxide as its sole refrigerant.

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) 2010 emission standards:

These stringent standards, which took effect in January 2010, are aimed at reducing atmospheric pollution by significantly reducing the amount of nitrogen oxides, particulate matter and hydrocarbon emissions from diesel engine-powered heavy trucks.

Wild-caught (seafood):

Seafood harvested from their natural marine habitat.

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