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Menards 'Energy Star' -- Business goes green, wins recognition award

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Getting an award for going green, Menards received the Special Recognition for Best Regional Retailer accolades earlier this month at the 2008 Energy Star awards ceremony in Washington, D.C.

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Selected for the award from more than 12,000 Energy Star partner organizations for their commitment to energy efficiency, Menards, an Energy Star partner since 2003, was recognized for its outstanding contributions to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by educating consumers and team members about energy-efficient products.

"We are proud to receive the Special Recognition for Best Regional Retailer award from the Energy Star Program," said Jeff Abbott, Menards Company spokesperson in a recent press release. "Our close partnership with Energy Star shows our company's commitment to help Menards guests use energy more efficiently. We understand that promoting Energy Star products and practices is an important step in protecting the planet and environment."

The 2008 Special Recognition award recognizes organizations that have made significant contributions towards advancing energy efficiency in specific areas of the marketplace. Across the United States, top companies and organizations continue to promote energy efficiency through participation in Energy Star. Last year alone, Americans, with the help of Energy Star, saved $16 billion on their energy bills and reduced greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to those of more than 27 million vehicles.

Menards integrated Energy Star into all facets of its marketing strategy -- from product selection and in-store signage to television, radio and print advertising. Key achievements include participating in national Energy Star campaigns, building a Web page with environmental messaging, launching an educational Energy Star e-mail campaign, implementing independent promotions featuring Energy Star and sponsoring grand opening materials that feature Energy Star information.

"It is something that our whole company is doing," said Detroit Lakes Menards Assistant General Manager Mike Kannaf. "And we carry a variety of energy efficient products -- everything from light bulbs to windows, common household cleaners and doors."

In addition to carrying various energy star products, Kannaf noted the local Menards also provides informational signing for those products in the store and as well in their weekly circular and on their Web site.

"The American household today spends about $1,900 a year on their energy bill," notes the Menards Web site. "The average house can be responsible for twice the greenhouse gas emissions as the average car. By replacing household products with Energy Star, a person could save nearly 30 percent or nearly $600 a year while preventing 6,500 pounds of greenhouse gases associated with global warming."

Energy Star was introduced by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in 1992 as a voluntary market-based partnership to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through increased energy efficiency. Today, Energy Star offers businesses and consumers energy-efficient solutions to save energy, money and help protect the environment for future generations.

More than 9,000 organizations are Energy Star partners committed to improving the energy efficiency of products, homes, buildings and businesses.

For more information about Energy Star, visit www.energystar.gov or call toll-free 1-888-STAR-YES (1-888-782-7937).

Menards, a privately held company based in Eau Claire, Wis., is the third-largest home improvement chain in the United States with over 235 stores in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North and South Dakota, Ohio and Wisconsin.

John Menard, Jr., president and CEO, who founded the company in 1960, owns Menards.

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