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Sustainability Commitment Update: Staples Canada Inc

One Year Update


It has been one year since the summit, one year since Staples made a commitment to undergo a major sustainability initiative. The reality is there have been multiple initiatives that cumulatively made 2010 a year of significant progress. In 2010 we clearly defined and communicated four key areas of focus: Energy and Efficiency, Responsible Products, Education and Awareness and Easy Recycling. When I left the Summit I had ideas for all areas the foundation of which was measurable results and open communication about our current programs and next steps. I focused our six month update on energy efficiency and now at the year mark I would like to reflect on our Easy Recycling Initiatives.

•  Lunchroom Recycling: we continued to expand our capabilities across Canada and throughout 2010 we added ­­­­­­­­­(2009- 112, 2010 – 247) 135 stores to our co-mingled program (glass/plastic/aluminum) ­­­­­and (2009 – 79 sites, 2010 – 159) 80 to our organics program.

•  Electronics Recycling: At the time of the summit we had electronics recycling in Calgary, Quebec, and approx 60 locations in Ontario. Through promotion of the program and through managers hearing about the value of participating from their peers we have grown this program significantly in Ontario. In Jan 2011 we added our 100th store to the program (great progress considering we started with 17 stores in April 2009). Since April 2009 Ontario Stores have diverted over 1290 metric tones of e-waste. Additionally we had had two recycle and save events in our flyers the first being province specific and the second being National in scope which meant we needed to have a solution to handle what we took in across the country. We worked cross functionally and came up with a solution that was easy for our store associates to execute and allowed us to have a national take back event. We held drop off events in Kanata, Montreal, and Calgary in 2010 to drive awareness in those communities.

•  Cell and Battery: We began communicating with stores who had not sent back items within the last 12 months. Most of which was based on resources and access to program information. Since increasing our communication we have increased participation and volume. In 2010 we collected ­­­­­­­­­over 10,000 Kg of batteries and cell phones. Our collection program operates at every STAPLES store in the Country.

We continue to grow these programs and look for new and innovative ways to reduce our waste. Again, the foundation is having data so we can measure progress and set Targets. We now have the data we need and review it quarterly. We also have updated our website so we can provide a solid overview of our recycling programs and continue to help Canadians reduce, reuse and recycle.


Six Month Update

One of our goals at Staples Canada is to increase internal/external awareness and participation, and education, as it pertains to Energy Efficiency.

Energy Efficiency

In 2010 we have re-lamped over 80 stores to 25 watt bulbs (vs. 32) these stores have seen a reduction in energy of 50,000kw per location (on average).  Staples is also retro-fitting 25 stores from HID (dome style lighting) to Fluorescent in our fiscal year 2010.  These retrofits reduce electrical consumption by 100,000 kw per retrofit location per year (on average).  In addition to the savings electrically and financially, we needed to determine how these new initiatives could serve a greater purpose, when in reality – most people would not notice a difference in store.  Therefore, we worked with our signage team to create in store signage that speaks to the changes and the fact that this is a change we can all make personally and professionally.

We conducted our annual lights out program for the 3rd year, this past summer. However, this year we asked stores who had not historically participated to be specific as to the reasons why and as a result changed our wiring specifications to allow broader participation.  2010 participation was up by 25% over 2009.

In 2010, we completed a Six Sigma project that was focused on standardization of lighting schedules in stores with control systems.  The results of making small changes across the chain quickly added up.  Our consumption will decrease by almost 7 million KW as a result of this change.

Lastly we have now finalized our energy report card which tracks our efforts and is a report we designed to easily provide high level updates to our associates.