Lowe’s stores phase out pesticides harmful to bees

Lowe’s has announced that it’s making a public commitment to phase out neonicotinoid pesticides – the most significant public commitment so far for a retailer of its size.

So what does this mean? Here’s what Lowe’s had to say in their just-released 2015 Corporate Social Responsibility Report:

Lowe’s is committed to regularly reviewing the products and information we offer customers and we’re taking the following actions to support pollinator health:

• Including greater organic and non-neonic product selections

• Phasing out the sale of products that contain neonic pesticides within 48 months as suitable alternatives become commercially available

• Working with growers to eliminate the use of neonic pesticides on bee-attractive plants we sell

• Encouraging growers to use biological control programs

• Educating employees and customers through in-store resources such as brochures, fact sheets and product labels.

Center for Food Safety.org (CFS) members sent thousands of emails, prodded Lowe’s on social media, and even rallied in front of Lowe’s stores to urge the company to protect our pollinators. While this is not a silver bullet solution, this is a major step and the public should be very proud of their role in this fight.

This progress would not have been possible without the thousands of emails and calls from members of CFS, and the hard work of our allies like Friends of the Earth and others.

Lowe’s stores sell approximately 36,000 products, sourced and manufactured from a vast number of raw materials. Through research and engagement with a variety of external stakeholders and advocacy groups, Lowe’s works to become better informed about potential issues related to the products we sell and how we operate.

For years, Lowe’s has monitored research focused on the health of honey bees and other pollinators. Studies indicate that multiple factors, including mites, poor nutrition, loss of habitat and genetic conditions, are potentially damaging the health of pollinators. Some studies say that neonicotinoid (neonics) pesticides may be a factor. Lowe’s is committed to regularly reviewing the products and information we offer customers and we’re taking the following actions to support pollinator health including greater organic and non-neonic product selections, phasing out the sale of products that contain neonic pesticides within 48 months as suitable alternatives become commercially available, working with growers to eliminate the use of neonic pesticides on bee-attractive plants sold, encouraging growers to use biological control programs, educating employees and customers through in-store resources such as brochures, fact sheets and product labels, providing expanded, related content on Lowes.com to help educate customers and funding pollinator gardens through our partnership with Keep America Beautiful.

Lowe's pesticide story

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