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North West Company Response to Covid-19

Pillar 4Respect for the Environment

At A Glance

5,400 Tonnes

Lowered greenhouse gas emissions by 5,400 tonnes per year through investments in energy-efficient equipment in stores.

$3.1M Reinvested in Communities

Worked with partners in 52 communities to reduce the use of plastic bags via our Greener Tomorrow program. Since 2011, proceeds from the program have resulted in more than $3.1M reinvestment
in Greener Tomorrow communities.

85 Refillable Water Vending Machine Systems

85 refillable water vending machine systems in operation at our stores. These systems recycle water, reduce plastic bottle waste and provide a cost-effective source of drinking water for customers in remote communities.

8.8 Million kWh

Saved 8.8 Million kWh, the result of investments in new LED lamps, energy-efficient refrigeration equipment, and other energy-saving devices in our stores. These measures are part of an ongoing suite of energy conservation policies, program, and actions implemented in northern locations
using proven processes and technologies.

Respect for the Environment Overview

Overview

While the effects of a changing climate are felt by people and communities across the globe, we recognize climate change will have a disproportionate effect on many of the remote locations where we operate. With stores in northern Canada, Alaska, the Caribbean and the Pacific Islands, North West’s retail operations are exposed to extreme conditions that range from blizzards and extreme cold to hurricanes, typhoons and cyclones.

The continuing impact of climate change was directly felt in communities we serve in northern Canada, as forest fires resulted in evacuations and eight temporary store closures. As a response to this crisis, our teams partnered with the Red Cross delivering same-day supplies and food hampers to evacuees temporarily staying in Winnipeg. This speaks volumes about how our teams continue to inspire us by taking to heart their role in each community.

In addition to emergency relief efforts, we are striving to make a longer term impact on climate change by incorporating eco-friendly practices across our business – from designing energy efficient buildings to limiting product packaging and waste.

Read or Download full Sustainability Report >

Commitments, Goals, Performance, and Next Steps

COMMITMENT: Minimize our Environmental Footprint.

Goals Action steps taken in 2021
Promote energy saving initiatives in stores.
  1. 100% of new construction projects to meet or exceed National Building Code energy efficiency standards and specifications.
  2. Lowered net energy costs by $2.8 million (8.8 kWh) and greenhouse emissions by 5,400 tonnes – the result of installing LED lamps, energy-efficient refrigeration equipment and other energy-saving devices in our stores; these measures are part of an ongoing suite of energy conservation policies, programs and actions implemented in northern locations using proven processes and technologies. Targeted reductions in 2022: $2.95 million, 8.4 million kWh or 5,400 tonnes.
Cultivate partnerships that can provide alternative energy solutions for our operations, with a focus on regions where government support makes these interventions financially viable.
  1. Saved an estimated 176,000 kWh through an expanded partnership with Gwich’in Tribal Council for a new solar equipment installation in our NorthMart store in Inuvik, NT.
  2. Saved an estimated 217,000 kWh by installing a new rooftop solar PV system in our Cost-U-Less store in St. Thomas, U.S.V.I.
  3. Saved an estimated 46,600 kWh in a solar PV system installed in our Cost-U-Less store in Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands.
Provide ongoing environmental management and training.
  1. Coordinated policies and programs via our Environment Management Committee, including enhanced environmental training for associates in our operating communities.
Meet ROI investment requirements for our renewable energy program in North West store locations.
  1. Planned installation of rooftop solar panels at our fourth store in Iqaluit, NU, in 2022.
    Identifying expansion opportunities of this program to other North West store locations in 2022.

COMMITMENT: Provide sensible, eco-friendly energy and product options whenever possible to communities we serve.

Goals Action steps taken in 2021
Offer environmentally preferable solutions to single-use plastic bags.
  1. Worked with partners in 52 communities to reduce the use of plastic bags via our Greener Tomorrow program. Since 2011, proceeds from
    the program have resulted in more than $3.1 million in reinvestments to Greener Tomorrow communities.
Reduce waste throughout our operations and supply chain.
  1. Implemented procedures to eliminate perishable food waste
    in the retail supply chain by improving food storage, shipping materials and technologies.
  2. 85 refillable water vending machine systems in operation at our stores. These systems recycle water, reduce plastic bottle waste and provide a cost-effective source of drinking water for customers in remote communities.
  3. Promoted the sale of safe-to-eat food products that are nearing the best before date. Unnecessarily discarding these items in favour of fresher products that must be air shipped to remote areas creates more food waste and uses more fossil fuels.