Northern/NorthMart customers reduce plastic bag use through Greener Tomorrow porgram
An estimated 2.9 million plastic shopping bags eliminated from community landfills in 2016
Winnipeg MB, April 21, 2017– Northern/NorthMart stores throughout northern Canada will recognize customers’ contributions and celebrate a Greener Tomorrow with special Earth Day presentations commencing April 22, 2017.
Now in its sixth year, Northern/NorthMart’s Greener Tomorrow program, aimed at reducing plastic bag use, has made a significant impact throughout the North. “Since 2011, customers have reduced the use of plastic bags by 69 percent, eliminating an estimated 14 million plastic bags from community landfills,” said Craig Gilpin, Executive Vice President, and Chief Operating Officer, The North West Company.
“This program is a simple step that carries significant environmental benefits. Much of the success of the program is thanks to our customers’ willingness to embrace the use of reusable bags,” said Gilpin.
To encourage the use of environmentally friendly alternatives, Northern/NorthMart charges a single bag fee for plastic bags in participating communities. Unique to the industry, the program fees are accumulated over the year, with 100 percent of the funds returned to the community to support environmental and social programs.
This year over $317,000 was collected and will be distributed to the 40 participating communities to support activities such as community clean-ups, waste and recycling programs, as well as the maintenance of parks and community centres.
“It is important to us that the community leads the initiatives and allocates the funds to the programs important to them. This year in addition to environmental programs, many communities have selected to distribute the funds to On the Land programs for Elders and youth, as well as to support youth education, sport and health initiatives,” said Gilpin Since 2011, the Greener Tomorrow program has been implemented in 40 communities across northern Canada and has reinvested $1.9 million into the communities. Additionally, Northern/NorthMart has bag-free locations throughout the Northwest Territories, Nunavik, Ontario and British Columbia.
“We work with the community to implement a choice that is right for them” said Gilpin.
How Greener Tomorrow Works
A community may elect to join the program any time throughout the year. Funds are collected each year (April 1 – March 31) and then distributed in full to a community-led initiative, selected by the community leadership, commencing on Earth Day, April 22, 2017. All funds collected stay in the community in which they were raised.
About The North West Company
The North West Company Inc., through its subsidiaries, is a leading retailer of food and everyday products and services to rural communities and urban neighbourhoods in Canada, Alaska, the South Pacific and the Caribbean. North West operates 241 stores under the trading names Northern, NorthMart, Giant Tiger, Alaska Commercial Company, Cost-U-Less and RiteWay Food Markets and has annualized sales of approximately CDN$1.8 billion.
North West’s Northern and NorthMart stores are the largest local private employer of Indigenous people in Canada, with approximately 3,000 employees and an annual payroll exceeding $65 million.
– 30 –
For more information contact:
Director, Business Development