Our Green Initiatives


At Staples, we strive to minimize our environmental impact on the planet and the communities we serve. From product sourcing to our internal operations the recycling services we offer our customers, Staples environmental initiatives help us operate our business in a more sustainable manner.


Staples manages and monitors the environmental impacts of our operations, from our energy use to our purchasing. To meet our environmental goals, we're taking a multi-faceted approach that includes:

  • Energy efficiency
  • Renewable power investment
  • Green building design
  • Reducing the carbon impact of our delivery fleet
  • Recycling Responsible purchasing

Responsible Packaging

Excess packaging — whether for individual products or in our shipments to customers — wastes resources, impacts our business costs, and burdens our customers with packaging waste that they then have to dispose of or recycle. To mitigate these impacts, we've recently stepped up our efforts to eliminate unnecessary packaging throughout our supply chain, including:

  • Eliminating PVC plastic from all Staples® brand products packaging in North America at the end of 2009.
  • Reducing the basis weight of our Staples® brand case paper packaging, saving more than $8 million and reducing cardboard use by 880,000 pounds without impacting product damage rates.
  • Installing automated box scoring and sizing technology to help minimize packaging material use, improving the way boxes are packed into shipping containers or delivery trucks, and reducing or eliminating the need for material to fill empty air space in the package.
  • Piloting reusable tote programs for our Staples Advantage® delivery customers, as well as reusable shipping sleeves to replace shrink-wrap.

In our Race to The Top sustainability strategy, Staples calls on suppliers to compete not only in terms of product quality, cost and features, but in finding innovative solutions for product manufacturing, packaging, and distribution which reduce impacts on the planet. Read more about our new sustainability strategy for products and packaging.

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Electric Delivery Trucks

After testing an all-electric battery powered truck, we ordered 53 trucks for delivery in the fourth quarter of 2010 into 2011. Ten of the trucks are for use in Ohio, 6 in Georgia, 3 in Texas, 3 in Oregon, one in Missouri and 30 will be used in California. We also tested a prototype of a hybrid diesel-electric component in two delivery trucks. When this technology is available in actual production models, we will consider purchasing it for potential wider-scale deployment in our fleet of delivery vehicles.

To read more about the news our electric fleet has been making, click on the link below.

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Fleet Efficiency

Recently, we limited the top speed of our delivery fleet trucks to 60 miles per hour and implemented idle management technologies to shut off engines after three minutes of idle time. These initiatives have improved fleet fuel economy by more than 20% since 2007. As a result, we're now saving nearly one million gallons of diesel fuel annually in the United States.

Our Supplier Policy

At Staples, we expect all of our suppliers to respect and protect workers' human rights and manufacture goods in an environmentally sustainable manner. To maintain this standard, we audit and continue to monitor factories in developing countries supplying us with Staples brand® products for compliance with our Supplier Code of Conduct.


ENERGY STAR® is at the top of our priorities, complimented by Six Sigma projects, facility energy audits, monitoring and reporting, lighting retrofits, solar and fuel cell, HVAC optimization, LEED and ENERGY STAR® by Design buildings, and our Wake Up Kids school energy education program.

ENERGY STAR® is a commitment to save energy and reduce our impact on the environment. Staples is doing just that. Staples' commitment to conserving energy covers all aspects of our operations, from the products and services we offer customers to how we operate our buildings and distribution network. Staples has an especially strong relationship with the ENERGY STAR® program, the energy efficiency program for products and buildings supported by the Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Energy.

We distribute and sell those products through more than 140 ENERGY STAR® qualified distribution facilities and stores that meet strict requirements for energy performance. Our goal is to have 500 locations qualified by 2012. Finally, we have been working with our carriers and our own fleet to increase fuel efficiency, with major savings already achieved and new cleaner technologies like all-electric trucks starting to hit the road today. Overall, Staples' focus on ENERGY STAR® and energy conservation lowers costs, reduces air pollution and helps our customers do the same.

Our commitment has won Staples the prestigious award of ENERGY STAR® Leaders, one of the most significant accomplishments recognized by the EPA. Our leadership in energy efficiency improvement of 10% notably honored Staples as the first non-grocery retailer ever to win the award. This award reinforces Staples as an EPA Partner and our commitment to energy efficiency and a greener environment.