Social Impact Report: The Home Depot, Canada Post set new eco targets

Plus, Guru leads a national clean-up and Smarties swaps plastic for paper.
Smarties packaging

You’re reading the Social Impact Report, a series tracking brands’ efforts to drive social and environmental good. 

The Home Depot sets new sustainability targets

The Home Depot will work to reach 100% renewable electricity for its facilities come 2030, including for its 182 Canadian stores.

The target is one of many efforts the home improvement retailer has undertaken to reduce its impact on the environment. The company has already pledged to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 40% by 2030 and 50% by 2035 and to remove expanded polystyrene foam and polyvinyl chloride film from private-brand packaging by 2023.

The retailer, which is part of the Science Based Targets initiative, reduced electricity use in its Canadian stores by 8% last year through the installation of LED lighting, building-automation systems and energy-efficient heating, air conditioning and ventilation systems.

Canada Post commits to achieving net-zero GHG emissions by 2050

Canada’s postal service has adopted a science-based target and will work to reduce its scope 1 and scope 2 emissions by 30% by 2030 (measured against 2019 levels), a target it says sets it on a path to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050.

Canada Post has also committed to using 100% renewable electricity in its facilities by 2030 and to engage with its top suppliers and Canada Post subsidiaries with the goal of getting 67% of them to adopt a science-based target by 2025.

Despite representing an improvement for the Crown corp, the plan was criticized by the Canadian Union of Postal Workers last week for being not sufficiently ambitious, with the union’s national VP David Bleakney describing it as “[taking] too long to achieve too little.”

Guru Organic Energy leads national clean-up initiative

Guru Organic Energy is leading a national community clean-up initiative. Teams that the organic energy drink brand has branded as the Guru Good Crew have been cleaning up riverbanks, skateparks, to hiking and bike trails and other sites across the country.

The company hopes to conduct 60 clean-ups before the end of September, having already completed more than 50% as of the last week of July (including 13 in Ontario, eight in Quebec, six  in Alberta, five in B.C., and two in Atlantic Canada).

Beer brand Corona recently completed similar plastic clean-ups on Canadian shorelines, using the materials to create “plastic beachgoers” that illustrate just how much plastic waste goes into oceans annually.

Smarties swaps plastic for paper in main confectionary packaging

In a switch that will help Nestlé Canada reach some of its 2025 eco-friendly packaging goals, Smarties has transitioned its main confectionery product packaging from plastic to paper. The move makes Smarties the first global confectionery brand to switch to paper packaging, according to the company.

The new packaging, carrying “made with paper” labels, is responsibly sourced and certified by third-party organizations including the Forest Stewardship Council and Sustainable Forestry Initiative, and will help divert up to 26 tonnes of plastic from Canadian landfills each year.