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Office Depot Announces New Environmental Procurement Initiatives

Submitted by: Office Depot, Inc.

Categories: Environment

Posted: Apr 22, 2003 – 12:00 AM EST


New Initiatives Are Next Steps in the Company’s Development of the Industry’s Most Comprehensive Environmental Policy

Apr. 22 /CSRwire/ - DELRAY BEACH, FL — Office Depot, Inc., (NYSE:ODP), the world’s leading retailer of recycled paper products, today announced new environmental initiatives concerning the procurement and sale of recycled paper products. These initiatives are the latest steps in the company’s creation of the office products industry’s most comprehensive environmental policy.

“Office Depot is deeply committed to environmental stewardship and the conservation of our natural resources,” said Bruce Nelson, Chairman and CEO of Office Depot. “Our position is very clear: No other company in our industry will have a greater commitment to the environment than Office Depot. We will be the industry leader in this important endeavor.”

According to Nelson, Office Depot’s commitment means that the company intends to “increase the amount of recycled fiber in our paper and paper-based products, increase the availability of recycled paper and paper-based products in our stores, and increase the amount of recycled paper in the hands of our customers.”

Nelson pointed out that Office Depot has worked -- and will continue to work -- with suppliers to increase the percentages of recycled fiber in the company’s product lineup. He cited two examples:

1) The development and introduction of Office Depot’s EnviroCopy paper, which is made from 35% post consumer waste (PCW) recycled fiber -- one of the highest percentages in the industry and easily exceeding federal and state guidelines of 30%; and

2) The company’s establishment of a goal to achieve as soon as practicable an average of 30% PCW recycled fiber and alternative fiber content for all paper products Office Depot sells.

In the past year, Office Depot has accomplished a number of its environmental objectives, including increasing the amount of recycled paper in the hands of customers, contributing to the reduction in demand on forests for wood fiber, and clearly establishing the company as the world’s largest retailer of recycled paper.

These objectives were achieved through a variety of important and innovative initiatives, such as:

· Introducing a line of paper products made of 100% PCW recycled fiber

· Providing customers with a free ream of recycled paper when they return their used ink and toner cartridges for recycling at participating stores

· Converting Office Depot Copy & Print Centers so that they offer recycled paper as the default paper type for all black and white copies and as an option on any copy job

· Making available more than 2,000 different items containing recycled material – everything from recycled paper fibers in paper products to recycled metal in paper clips

· Sourcing paper fiber from well-managed, sustainable forestry operations.

In an effort to further its leadership, Office Depot’s environmental procurement initiatives will center on the following guiding principles, presented here in summary:

Recycling and Pollution Reduction

1. Supplier and Product Preference: Office Depot will seek to give preference to products made with recycled materials whenever possible.

2. Product Scope: Office Depot will seek to increase the distribution -- in both number and range – of products containing recycled materials and post-consumer waste.

3. Recycled Content: Office Depot intends to work with suppliers to increase the amount of recycled material in the paper products it distributes.

4. Pollution Reduction: Office Depot encourages its suppliers to increase the use of products made with unbleached paper and paper made with advanced processes or technologies that reduce or eliminate the use of chlorine compounds.

Sustainable Forest Management

5. Supplier and Product Preference: Office Depot will give preference to products made of wood fiber sourced from well-managed, sustainable forest operations and fiber procurement practices that have been certified as such by an independent, third party.

6. Rare and Vulnerable Forests: Office Depot will not knowingly extend its preferred status to products made of wood fiber sourced from forests that are naturally rare and at risk of further significant reduction in area. Additionally, Office Depot will not knowingly extend its preferred status to products made of wood fiber sourced from forests with exceptional conservation value, where inappropriate forest practices endanger the long-term sustainability of the forest ecosystem.

7. Conversion of Natural Forests: Office Depot will not knowingly extend its preferred status to products sourced from forest operations that convert naturally diverse forests to monoculture plantations, regardless of the sustainability of the fiber supply.

8. Genetically Modified Organisms: Office Depot will not knowingly extend its preferred status to products sourced from forest operations that use genetically modified trees to reforest naturally diverse forest ecosystems, regardless of the sustainability of the fiber supply.

Issue Awareness and Market Development

9. Issue and Market Development: Office Depot will promote and develop markets for environmentally sound products by communicating to our customers, employees, shareholders and other key stakeholders, the value of our environmental policies and products.

10. Research: Office Depot will contribute to research designed to develop a better understanding of environmental issues.

“Our environmental policy is intended to be comprehensive,” Nelson noted. “However, it’s important to point out that procurement is just one area that we are addressing. In the months ahead we will continue to shape our policy so that it will cover every aspect of our business – from the products we purchase and the services we offer customers to the daily operations at our offices and stores.”

To view Office Depot’s Environmental Paper Procurement Policy in its entirety, please go to Environmental Procurement Policy

About Office Depot

No one sells more office products to more customers in more countries than Office Depot. The Company operates under the Office Depotâ, Viking Office Productsâ, Viking Directâ and 4Sure.comâ brand names. As of March 29, 2003, Office Depot operated 871 office supply superstores in the United States and Canada, in addition to a national business-to-business delivery network supported by 24 delivery centers, more than 60 local sales offices and 13 regional call centers. Furthermore, the Company sells products and services in 20 countries outside of the United States and Canada, including 38 office supply stores in France, one in Spain and 12 in Japan that are owned and operated by the Company; and 123 additional office supply stores under joint venture and licensing agreements operating under the Office Depotâ name in seven foreign countries.

The Company operates a number of award-winning Web sites, including its U.S. corporate site at www.officedepot.com, where customers can access Office Depot’s low competitive prices seven days a week, twenty-four hours a day.

Office Depot’s common stock is traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol ODP and is included in the S&P 500 Index.

For more information, please contact:

Eileen Dunn Office Depot
Phone: +1-561-438-4930
Brian Levine Office Depot
Phone: +1-561-438-2895


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