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As Lowe's continues to grow globally, we are working harder to preserve and protect our environment. At the heart of sustainability is sustained effort, and doing our part brings a renewed sense of purpose each year.

We believe building a healthier business and a healthier environment go hand in hand. Lowe's cares about how our company's activities impact the Earth's ability to provide natural resources to future generations. For that reason, we continually examine opportunities to reduce our environmental impact while providing the products and services our customers have come to expect.

We value being in a position to affect widespread change and consider each of our more than 234,000 employees a vital part of that mission. In 2010, our employees' success promoting energy and water conservation brought Lowe's unprecedented recognition from the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Energy. Lowe's was named the first winner of the ENERGY STAR® Sustained Excellence Award in Retail and became the first retailer to win the WaterSense® Retail Partner of the Year Award in consecutive years.

Our focus remains fixed on our collective progress. Our recycling numbers have grown each year, and we expanded our appliance recycling program companywide in 2010. We also installed recycling centers in more than 1,700 U.S. stores to help customers recycle rechargeable batteries, cell phones, compact fluorescent light bulbs and plastic shopping bags. We also expanded our Energy Center nationwide to provide a one-stop destination for energy-saving products. By increasing our purchase of green power and spreading energy awareness across all our facilities through our store efficiency program, we continue to take steps to minimize our carbon footprint.

Lowe's is committed to exploring opportunities to reduce waste, carbon emissions and energy and water use throughout our operations. We completed a five-year sales-floor lighting retrofit in 2010 that put more than 3 million new energy-efficient fluorescent lamps in our stores. Sustaining the momentum of that effort, we are upgrading the lighting at 34 distribution facilities.

Driving all of these upgrades is our passion for our customers, and we remain dedicated to providing products that benefit their homes, their bottom line and the environment. We continue to expand our selection of ENERGY STAR qualified and WaterSense labeled products and offer a growing number of solar-powered solutions. As we look to the future, we will seek new and better ways to serve our customers and continue to be responsible stewards of the environment.

To read Lowe's sustainability policy, go to Lowes.com/sustainability.

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