Shopping season has begun. And while a good sale always inspires a trip downtown or to the mall, there are a few stores you might consider because of their green efforts.
A new report from Ryerson University outlines the "Best Environmental Practices of Leading Retailers From Around the World." The researchers reviewed over 200 retailers and narrowed the list down to the top 15. Three run out of Canada.
Aeon from Japan
Alliance Boots from the U.K.
Carrefour from France
Home Depot in Canada and the U.S.
H-E-B in the U.S.
IKEA from Sweden
LUSH from the U.K.
Marks & Spencer in the U.K.
Monsoon in the U.K.
Monoprix in France
Mountain Equipment Co-Op, here in Canada
Musgrave Group in Ireland
Tesco in U.K.
Walmart in Canada and the U.S.
Woolworths Company in Australia
I would have liked to see a top-15 list ranking the companies, but the 68-page paper is written to show other retailers how they can make their businesses more eco-friendly. That said, these Canadian companies are doing some cool things.
Home Depot Canada stopped selling high-energy items and offer special promotions where customers can bring old products and upgrade more environmentally friendly new ones.
Mountain Equipment Co-Op measures carbon footprint of staff commutes. Over 80 per cent of their staff get to work by foot, bike or transit, and when the employees get there they have change rooms, showers and lockers at the store. And, the company installed a rooftop solar energy generating system at a Toronto store in 2007.
Walmart Canada employees have submitted over 160,000 ideas for sustainability projects. And in January 2009, the company opened a "green" store in Burlington, Ont. The building is heated using geothermal technology’using ground temperature as a heat source. Walmart Canada also scores its suppliers on how eco-friendly the packaging is. If it’s not green enough, the manufacturers have 90 days to improve the packaging or the product won’t be sold at Walmart stores.
The full report can be found here.