Visual merchandising revamp delivers RONA’s best recycling year

RONA_binsRONA is one of Canada’s leading distributors and retailers of hardware, home renovation products, and gardening products.  With a corporate mantra that reads, “The future is built one choice at a time – the decisions we make today will impact tomorrow,” you’d also expect them to be heavily involved in recycling.

And you wouldn’t be wrong.  RONA has not only recycled 228,000kg of batteries since 2009, but has also deployed more than 15 different recycling programs across the country.  These include the recycling of paint, compact fluorescent light bulbs, fluorescent tubes, and power tool accessories, as well as batteries.  “It’s about offering environmentally-friendly solutions for everyday needs and reducing the impact of the products we sell”, explains Jules Foisy Lapointe, Sustainable Development and Stewardships Manager, RONA.

During 2012, RONA re-organized the customer recycling practices in their stores and under other banners such as Réno-Dépôt in Québec.  Individual recycling programs were gathered together and repackaged so that customers could come to one point inside the stores for all their recycling needs.  RONA also designed eye-catching, in-store collection containers with a consistent color and feel so that they were easy to spot, and easy to remember.  The collection points were then moved close to the customer service cashiers or close to the entrance.  Simultaneously RONA pushed out Call2Recycle’s program from just its corporate stores to its affiliate stores, ensuring the program had as wide a reach as possible.

The results were staggering.

Support from RONA’s head office ensured that the quantity of stores participating nationwide in the Call2Recycle program increased by 34 per cent to 282.  In turn, the quantity of batteries collected by the end of 2013 compared to 2012 increased by 82 percent to 91,000kg.

As Jules Foisy Lapointe explains, “One of the keys to success was to make it as easy as possible for our stores to adopt the program. We also saw our recycling initiatives as part of a larger company-wide initiative to re-examine our business in the same way as extended producer responsibility legislation does.”

This new RONA ethos is a work in progress. Many organizations consider the impact that product manufacturers have on the environment when acquiring the resources to make that product.  Others consider what happens to a product after they’ve sold it to a customer. But few do both.  RONA is constantly assessing the way it does business as well as the products it stocks in order to reduce its overall footprint.

With further environmental analysis into the product life cycle planned, the future looks bright for RONA. And the more organizations that consider the environment to this extent in their daily operations, the brighter the future for Earth too.

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