Submitted by Office Depot, Inc.
DELRAY BEACH, FL - Office Depot, Inc. (NYSE:ODP), the world's largest reseller of recycled paper, today announced performance results for the company's 2003 program promoting the use of recycled paper in almost 900 North American in-store Copy & Print Centers. Office Depot is the first company in the office products industry to set quantified environmental performance objectives for 2004.
"We're excited to take this significant step to publicly report on the use of environmentally-preferable paper at our Copy & Print Centers and to use this information to set responsible, quantified performance objectives for the upcoming year," said Tyler Elm, Director of Environmental Affairs for Office Depot.
In April 2003, Office Depot began converting its Copy & Print Centers (CPCs) to use elemental chlorine-free, 35% post-consumer waste (PCW) recycled content paper in all high-speed, self-service copy machines. Within a month, more than 870 CPCs in North America had been converted to use Office Depot's EnviroCopy paper as the default type for black-and-white copies.
The initiative is a direct result of Office Depot's public commitments to increase the use of environmentally preferable paper and to develop markets for these products," Elm noted. "Our research indicated that some customers were concerned that recycled paper might not perform well in high-speed copiers and printers - while that may have been a legitimate concern a decade ago, it is no longer true. We wanted to demonstrate the excellent quality and performance of today's recycled paper in our high-speed print and copy machines - if EnviroCopy paper works in our machines, it will work in yours."
According to Elm, implementation of the program produced tremendous results, peaking in December, with a monthly average PCW recycled content of 24% by weight. For 2003 in its entirety, Copy & Print Centers achieved an annual average PCW recycled content of 14% by weight.
The success of the 2003 program enabled Office Depot to set an industry-leading goal as well as create a specific timeline for achieving tangible, measurable and reportable results in 2004.
"Office Depot Copy & Print Centers will continue the transition towards using environmentally preferable paper in 100 percent of all suitable applications," Elm said. "Based on current trends, customer acceptance and last year's success, Office Depot's mission for the CPCs in 2004 is to increase the PCW recycled content of all paper used in its high-speed, self-service copy machines to an annual average of 20 percent by weight."
According to Tom Murray, Project Manager for Corporate Partnerships at Environmental Defense, "using post-consumer recycled content paper instead of virgin paper benefits the environment in several ways: recycled paper uses less wood; it reduces the amount of total energy, chemicals and water consumed during paper manufacturing; and it reduces both solid waste and greenhouse gas emissions."
Murray estimated that by using 35% PCW recycled content paper in its self-service copy machines, Office Depot achieved the following environmental benefits in 2003:
"In addition to contributing to our aspirational goal of achieving an average PCW recycled content of 30% overall, our actions reduced the number of trees used by 14 percent, total energy consumption by 5.8 percent, hazardous air pollutants by 13 percent, solid waste by 6.9 percent, and waste water by 7 percent," Elm added. "These are real, quantifiable differences that affect the air we breathe and the land we live on. Furthermore, the environmental benefits of using elemental chlorine free, 35% post-consumer recycled content paper was provided to customers at no additional cost."
Office Depot and the Environment
In 2003, Office Depot declared its commitment to enhance the environmental performance of its paper by increasing the number of products containing PCW recycled fiber as well as the amount of PCW recycled content in those products. The introduction of a new Office Depot paper line of office papers last month, with many products exceeding U.S. government and most state environmental standards, is expected to double the annual environmental benefits associated with the sale and use of the new Office Depot brand papers. The Canadian advertising insert program is seen as extending that commitment to the company's marketing materials and is the latest demonstration of Office Depot leading by example in ways that produce tangible, measurable results.
About Office Depot
With annual sales of more than $12 billion, no one sells more office supplies to more customers in more countries than Office Depot. Founded in 1986 and headquartered in Delray Beach, Fla., the company conducts business in 23 countries and employs nearly 50,000 people worldwide.
Office Depot is a leader in every distribution channel - from retail stores and contract delivery to catalogs and e-commerce. The company is the world's number two online retailer - generating $2.6B in sales for FY'03. In North America, Office Depot has 900 retail stores in addition to a national business-to-business delivery network supported by 22 delivery centers, more than 60 local sales offices and 13 regional call centers.
The company's common stock is traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol ODP and is included in the S&P 500 Index. Additional press information can be found at: http://www.mediarelations.officedepot.com.
Estimates were made using the April 2003 update to the Paper Task Force Model.
i- Calculated assuming a mix of hardwoods and softwoods 6-8" in diameter and 40' tall, Source: Tom Soder, Pulp & Paper Technology Program, University of Maine, September 1991, as reported in Recycled Papers: The Essential Guide, by Claudia G. Thompson, The MIT Press, 1992.
ii- Equivalent based on an average driving distance of 200 miles/week.
Office Depot provides more office products and services to more customers in more countries than any other company. Incorporated in 1986 and headquartered in Delray Beach, Fla., Office Depot has annual sales of nearly $15 billion, and employs approximately 50,000 associates around the world. Currently, the Company sells to customers directly or through affiliates in 42 countries. Office Depot is a leader in every distribution channel -- from retail stores and contract delivery to catalogs and e-commerce. Office Depot serves a wide range of customers through a dedicated sales force, telephone account managers, direct mail offerings, and multiple web sites.
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