Office Depot Named 'Outstanding Retailer' for Waste Reduction

Office Depot Named 'Outstanding Retailer' for Waste Reduction

Office Depot has been named the winner of the Outstanding Retailer Award, part of the inaugural "America's Marketplace Recycles!" awards program jointly sponsored by the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

The awards program highlights outstanding efforts and achievements by ICSC members to conserve resources, recycle, and purchase recycled-content products. It was also designed to increase public awareness of the benefits of recycling.

"Office Depot is setting a highly visible example of environmental stewardship in action," said ICSC president and CEO Michael P. Kercheval. He cited several recent examples:
  • On December 21, 2004, Office Depot, in conjunction with the Rechargeable Battery Recycling Corporation (RBRC), announced a free cell phone and rechargeable battery recycling program, collecting more than a ton of obsolete products in the first three months.
  • On Nov. 21, 2004, Office Depot announced an enhancement of its Ink & Toner Recycling program, which is responsible for the recycling of more than 10.6 million cartridges since 2002.

  • On July 13, 2004, Office Depot and Hewlett-Packard announced the first free, nationwide electronics recycling initiative - a pilot program that collected over 10.5 million pounds of unwanted electronics from more than 800 stores in less than two months, becoming the largest single electronics recycling initiative in history.

  • On June 2, 2004, Office Depot announced performance and environmental enhancements to its name brand paper, including improved brightness, smoothness and recycled content. In doing so, Office Depot more than doubled the annual environmental benefits, conserving an estimated 1.3 million fully grown trees and preventing more than 110 million pounds of greenhouse gas emissions and 57 million pounds of solid waste each year.
"The EPA is pleased to have assisted ICSC in the establishment of this important initiative," said Tom Dunne, EPA deputy assistant administrator, who noted that the EPA provided technical assistance and guidance to ICSC through its Resource Conservation Challenge program. "We believe improvements in recycling at America's shopping centers will have a significant impact. More importantly, shopping centers are a crucial venue to help educate our nation's consumers of the value of recycling."

In general, Office Depot focuses its environmental initiatives on sustainable forest management, recycling and pollution reduction, as well as the promotion of environmental issues and the creation of markets for environmentally preferable products.

The "America's Marketplace Recycles!" Awards program featured seven categories, including Best New Recycling Program; Best Expansion of an Existing Recycling Program; Outstanding Retailer; Outstanding Mall Owner/Developer; Best Public Awareness Campaign/Promotional Event; Best Community Partnership/Beneficial Use of Funds; and Most Innovative Recycling Program. In addition, a single program was selected as Recycler of the Year from among the overall nominations.