MOORESVILLE, N.C.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has awarded Lowe’s Companies, Inc. (NYSE: LOW) the highest honors for industry leadership in its WaterSense® and SmartWay® programs. Today, Lowe’s received the 2012 SmartWay Excellence Award for its environmental performance in the freight transportation industry. Last week, the EPA named Lowe’s the 2012 WaterSense Retailer Partner of the Year for its efforts to educate consumers about water-efficient products and practices.
Ellen Gilinsky (left) of the Environmental Protection Agency presents Mary Henderson, Lowe's manager of environmental marketing, with the 2012 WaterSense(R) Retailer Partner of the Year award. (Photo: Business Wire)
Added to the 2012 ENERGY STAR® Sustained Excellence Award that Lowe’s received in March, the EPA honors represent unprecedented recognition for a retailer. Lowe’s is the first retailer to win a WaterSense award in four consecutive years and the only retail shipper partner to win four consecutive SmartWay Excellence Awards.
“These honors reflect the dedicated efforts of Lowe’s employees across the company as we continue to reduce our environmental impact while championing energy and water efficiency,” said Michael Chenard, Lowe’s director of corporate sustainability. “The recognition reinforces our long-standing partnership with the EPA to promote sustainable practices and programs.”
Lowe’s, a WaterSense partner since 2008, continues to expand efforts in stores, online and throughout local communities to increase awareness of the WaterSense brand and help consumers improve the overall efficiency of their homes. The EPA honored Lowe’s and four other partners of the year Thursday in Las Vegas. Lowe’s received recognition for employee training and national efforts that included supporting the Wasting Water Is Weird campaign to promote water conservation.
The EPA estimates that the number of WaterSense-labeled toilets and bathroom faucets Lowe’s sold in 2011 can save customers nearly $34 million each year on water bills and about four billion gallons of water annually – equivalent to two hours’ worth of flow over Niagara Falls.
Lowe’s conservation strategies and continued contributions to the transportation industry also were honored in Las Vegas. To earn the 2012 SmartWay Excellence Award, Lowe’s implemented initiatives that resulted in reduced emissions and less overall highway congestion. Nearly 3,000 partners participate in the SmartWay Transport Partnership. Lowe’s is one of only two companies, and the only retailer, ever to receive four consecutive awards.
“I commend Lowe’s for its leadership in moving goods efficiently and reducing the environmental impact of freight through the second generation SmartWay Transport Partnership,” said Chris Grundler, acting director of EPA’s Office of Transportation and Air Quality. “Their commitment is helping lead the freight industry to a more sustainable future.”
Since becoming a SmartWay partner in 2005, Lowe’s has collaborated with carriers to reduce emissions and adopt innovative technology while increasing its use of more fuel-efficient modes of transport, such as rail. The EPA program has helped Lowe’s carriers reduce highway travel by 560 million miles and resulted in diesel fuel savings of more than 100 million gallons and carbon savings of 1.2 million tons.
In addition to influencing hundreds of its own carriers, Lowe’s is a member of the Coalition for Responsible Transportation and worked with EPA SmartWay to develop the Clean Trucks Initiative to reduce emissions of port drayage trucks across the country. Last year, the EPA named Lowe’s transportation team SmartWay Champions for its work to reduce truck emissions and protect air quality around ports.
Find out more about Lowe’s EPA partnerships and other environmental initiatives at Lowes.com/SocialResponsibility. For more on simple ways to save energy, water and money, visit Lowes.com/EfficientHome.
With fiscal year 2011 sales of $50.2 billion, Lowe’s Companies, Inc. is a FORTUNE® 100 company that serves approximately 15 million customers a week at more than 1,745 home improvement stores in the United States, Canada and Mexico. Founded in 1946 and based in Mooresville, N.C., Lowe’s is the second-largest home improvement retailer in the world. For more information, visit Lowes.com.
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