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HCN Stock Watch: LOW leads the pack

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Stocks closed Tuesday largely in the red, but Lowe’s was a clear winner with a 3.19% gain.

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American Standard and WaterAid make strides for global sanitation

BY HBSDealer Staff

In an effort to curb disease and improve the standard of living for hundreds of thousands of Bangladeshis, American Standard Brands and WaterAid have forged a partnership aimed at providing sanitary waste solutions to underserved communities.

The initiative will bring innovative sanitary toilet pans to residents and institutions in Bangladesh – one for every Champion toilet sold in North America, according to American Standard CEO Jay Gould. American Standard will be promoting this program via its "Flush For Good" campaign, which educates consumers about the health crisis and encourages sales that will ultimately benefit the communities. In addition to its one-for-one exchange rate, American Standard will also be donating one toilet pan for every 100 likes it receives on its "Flush For Good" Facebook page.

The toilet, nicknamed SaTo, creates an airtight seal for pit latrines using just a small amount of water that’s retained after each use. This will help prevent the spread of disease and reduce odors by closing off the latrines from the open air, ultimately reducing the global fatality rate of 2,000 deaths a day that result from unsafe toilet facilities.

"Access to water and toilet facilities is solvable, but we can’t do it alone," said WaterAid America CEO David Winder. "That’s why WaterAid seeks to accelerate progress through innovative corporate partnerships in the fight against water poverty. Companies are an essential part of the solution, and they are helping us to get better at what we do."

WaterAid has been working to improve health conditions in Bangladesh since 1986 and has helped 7.7 million of its people, according to a statement by American Standard.

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Beazer Homes nabs 15 Energy Star awards

BY HBSDealer Staff

Beazer Homes USA has been recognized by the EPA as a leader in energy performance. The home builder announced Monday that it received 15 2013 Energy Star Leadership in Housing Awards.

"I am very proud of the quality, energy-efficient homes we build in our communities across the country," said Beazer Homes CEO Allan Merrill. "100% of the homes we construct are Energy Star Certified, which demonstrates our commitment to providing each of our home buyers with one of the most energy-efficient homes on the market."

Certification is earned through a series of inspections and tests by an independent energy rater versed in the requirements set by the EPA.

Energy Star certification is rapidly becoming a competitive requirement in the home-building industry. Energy Star brand awareness registered at 87% as of a May 2013 survey.

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How much credit should be given to the co-op business model for the success of the independent hardware and building supply dealer over the last half century?