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Press release from CNW Group

Major Canadian Retailer Announces Commitment to Reporting Quarterly Sustainability Achievements

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Major Canadian Retailer Announces Commitment to Reporting Quarterly Sustainability Achievements09:51 EDT Thursday, April 19, 2012Staples Canada's First Sustainability Announcement Demonstrates Positive Results and Aggressive Future TargetsRICHMOND HILL, ON, April 19, 2012 /CNW/ - Staples Canada today announced its first quarterly corporate sustainability targets and achievements, showcasing positive changes across the business and highlighting the company's long-term commitment to sustainability across its operations. Staples is the world's largest office supply company and the second-largest e-commerce company.Staples Canada's sustainability strategy focuses on four key areas: sustainable products and services, recycling, energy efficiency, and driving sustainable change and awareness within our communities. The report is the result of a focused effort at every level of the organization and illustrates that positive changes have impacted business operations, the environment and customers."We are thrilled by the levels of success seen in our environmental initiatives here at Staples Canada, at both the corporate and retail levels," said Pete Gibel, Vice President of Merchandising at Staples Canada. "We are proud of the work we have done so far, and we will continue to work toward new goals while maintaining a focus on integrating sustainability into all areas of our business."RecyclingStaples Canada's recycling initiatives focus on two key areas: Return to Retail and Internal Operations. The Return to Retail program collects ink/toner, cell phones and batteries at locations throughout the country. In 2011, Staples stores collected over 52,000 pounds of batteries. In 2009, Staples formally launched an electronics drop-off recycling program at over 200 retail locations, which helped divert over 6.6 million pounds of electronic waste from landfills. During 2012, the company plans to divert 8 million pounds, along with expanding collection capabilities to every retail site by 2015. Last year, Canadians recycled 2.5-million ink and toner cartridges through Staples. With a collection target of five-million between 2012 and 2014, the retailer continues to encourage Canadians to drop off used ink and toner cartridges at any Staples location. Internally, Staples Canada recycles paper, cardboard, cans, glass and organics at most locations, expanding to all locations by 2014.Products and ServicesStaples Canada continues to increase its selection of eco-responsible paper choices, as well as the overall sales blend of eco paper products available to customers. Staples' own brand of Forest Certified Council (FSC) multipurpose paper has grown to become a top-selling choice."With over 2,700 eco-responsible products available today at Staples Canada, we are committed to providing change to our customers," continued Gibel. "We know that customers want a good range of choices, and it's increasingly important to offer not only a variety of eco-responsible products, but also to encourage the purchase of these products by promoting them in an environment that supports sustainability."Energy EfficiencyIn 2009, Staples converted stores to 25-watt lighting; over 200 sites were completed by 2011, reducing electrical consumption by 3.5-million kW—an 11.08% decrease. All bulbs removed were recycled. Staples also reduces lighting output during summer months. A Lights Out Program in 2011 allowed Staples to reduce electrical consumption in June and July by over 370,000 kW.As a result of these and other energy initiatives, Staples reduced 30,000 metric tons in greenhouse gas emissions.Benchmarks and Corporate Sustainability GoalsOver the coming months and years, Staples Canada will continue to implement a number of sustainability programs that support aggressive goals. They include:Launch of a National Pallet Recycling Program for retail locations (2012)Launch of a National Alkaline Battery Recycling Program (2012)Launch of a National Writing Instrument Recycling Program (April 2012)Launch of Staples Delivery - Customer Recycling Program (2012)Solar installations on four Ontario store rooftops (2012)Goals Collect and recycle 8 million lbs of electronics recycling in 2012 in support of the Staples global 2020 target of 40 million lbs per year.Collect  5 million ink and toner cartridges in support of the Staples global 2020 annual target of 100 million ink and toner cartridgesReduce electrical intensity by 10% in 2012 in support of the Staples global 2020 goal to reduce it by 25% from 2010 baselines.Earth Day CanadaStaples Canada is a proud national sponsor of Earth Day Canada's EcoKids program. EcoKids is a free, environmental education program that offers curriculum-linked materials and activities for Canadian elementary schools to engage in environmental action. There are also resources available for teachers as well to take advantage of, such as lesson plans, class lists, challenges and more.About Staples CanadaStaples, Canada's largest office products company, is committed to providing Canadians with a wide choice of office services and products. Serving all types of business—from the small home office to large enterprise—Staples makes it easy for customers to operate their offices efficiently and affordably by offering an extensive selection of office supplies, technology, electronics and office furniture as well as business services, including computer repair and maintenance, and copy and print services. Operating as Bureau en GrosMC in the province of Quebec and Staples® Canada in all other provinces, the company employs over 15,000 associates at 320+ stores and at their head office in Richmond Hill, Ontario. Ranked as one of Canada's top five Canadian companies in Marketing Magazine's Marketing/Leger 2010 Corporate Reputation Survey, Staples/Bureau en Gros is dedicated to offering customers the highest level of service, whether they choose to shop in-store, by catalogue or online. Staples Canada/Bureau en Gros is also invested in a number of corporate giving programs that actively support environmental, educational and entrepreneurial initiatives in Canadian communities from coast to coast. Visit www.staples.ca for more information, or visit us on Facebook and Twitter.For further information: Alessandra Saccal-Tremblay Public Relations Manager  STAPLES CANADA    (905) 737-1147x2363 alessandra.saccal@staples.ca   Ashley Jang Public Relations Specialist STAPLES CANADA  (905) 737-1147x2426     ashley.jang@staples.ca