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Ellen Gilinsky (left) Of The Environmental Protection Agency Presents Mary Henderson, Lowe's Manager Of Environmental Marketing, With The 2012 WaterSense(R) Retailer Partner Of The Year Award. (Photo: Business Wire)

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has awarded Lowe’s Companies, Inc. (NYSE: LOW) the highest honors for industry leadership in its WaterSense ® and SmartWay ® programs. Today, Lowe’s received the 2012 SmartWay Excellence Award for its environmental performance in the freight transportation industry. Last week, the EPA named Lowe’s the 2012 WaterSense Retailer Partner of the Year for its efforts to educate consumers about water-efficient products and practices.

Ellen Gilinsky (left) of the Environmental Protection Agency presents Mary Henderson, Lowe's manager ...

Ellen Gilinsky (left) of the Environmental Protection Agency presents Mary Henderson, Lowe's manager of environmental marketing, with the 2012 WaterSense(R) Retailer Partner of the Year award. (Photo: Business Wire)

Added to the 2012 ENERGY STAR® Sustained Excellence Award that Lowe’s received in March, the EPA honors represent unprecedented recognition for a retailer. Lowe’s is the first retailer to win a WaterSense award in four consecutive years and the only retail shipper partner to win four consecutive SmartWay Excellence Awards.

“These honors reflect the dedicated efforts of Lowe’s employees across the company as we continue to reduce our environmental impact while championing energy and water efficiency,” said Michael Chenard, Lowe’s director of corporate sustainability. “The recognition reinforces our long-standing partnership with the EPA to promote sustainable practices and programs.”

Lowe’s, a WaterSense partner since 2008, continues to expand efforts in stores, online and throughout local communities to increase awareness of the WaterSense brand and help consumers improve the overall efficiency of their homes. The EPA honored Lowe’s and four other partners of the year Thursday in Las Vegas. Lowe’s received recognition for employee training and national efforts that included supporting the Wasting Water Is Weird campaign to promote water conservation.

The EPA estimates that the number of WaterSense-labeled toilets and bathroom faucets Lowe’s sold in 2011 can save customers nearly $34 million each year on water bills and about four billion gallons of water annually – equivalent to two hours’ worth of flow over Niagara Falls.

Lowe’s conservation strategies and continued contributions to the transportation industry also were honored in Las Vegas. To earn the 2012 SmartWay Excellence Award, Lowe’s implemented initiatives that resulted in reduced emissions and less overall highway congestion. Nearly 3,000 partners participate in the SmartWay Transport Partnership. Lowe’s is one of only two companies, and the only retailer, ever to receive four consecutive awards.

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