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Office Depot Survey Shows Half of Business Professionals Seek "Greener Offices"

Office Depot Environmental Expert Outlines Four Simple Steps to Help Businesses Get Started

Category:

Monday, June 30, 2008 9:36 am EDT

Dateline:

DELRAY BEACH, Fla.

Public Company Information:

NYSE:
ODP
US6762201068

DELRAY BEACH, Fla.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--According to a new Office Depot survey, green has gone mainstream in the small business community. Half of all respondents are interested in making their offices greener, according to a survey of 2,500 business professionals commissioned by Office Depot® (NYSE: ODP), a leading global provider of office products and services. The survey also found that cost and understanding are the two primary factors preventing businesses from going greener at the office.

It is encouraging to see such strong interest in going green among small businesses, said Yalmaz Siddiqui, Director of Environmental Strategy for Office Depot. The good news is that creating a greener office is simpler than ever. Not only are there more high-quality, low-cost greener products available than ever before, but the range of solutions to help reduce waste and energy has also grown significantly.

Although more than half (55 percent) of the survey respondents stated they do not associate going green with saving money, this is a common misperception Siddiqui said. There is actually a range of cost scenarios that a business could face when deciding to go green, he explained. Some choices, like remanufactured cartridges, cost less; some require an upfront investment but come with long term cost savings, like compact fluorescent lights; some products entail no price difference; and some green ideas do cost more. The trick is to understand the different options and not assume that going green will always result in higher costs.

To help business professionals understand how simple and cost effective it can be to go green, Office Depot has created Small Steps to Your Greener Office: Saving Money while Taking Care of Your Business and the Planet. Available at www.officedepot.com/greenyouroffice, the free online guide outlines a simple way to think about going green, and helps any workplace be it a home office, a small business, or a larger company become more efficient and less wasteful.

To get started, Siddiqui suggests four key steps:

1) Ask Why Green? Each organization has a different environmental impact, as well as its own business priorities and practices. The key is to decide what to focus on. If the desire is to save money, then choosing green ideas that deliver cost savings should be prioritized. If the organization is concerned about climate change or toxic chemicals, then the focus should be on those actions that reduce fuel and electricity and non-toxic alternatives to current product choices. And if the focus is on simply saving money, businesses should rethink the products they are buying and habits they are practicing. The important thing is to step back and think before embarking on a greening program.

2) Buy Green. Once a business is clear on its priorities, deciding how to allocate dollars to greener product choices is the next question. Within the office environment, historically going green meant just buying recycled paper. Today, greener choices go far beyond recycled paper and include items with a range of green benefits, such as:

Office Depot offers more than 5,000 products featuring environmentally preferable attributes, all available online at www.officedepot.com/buygreen. Additionally, to make buying green even simpler Office Depot recently introduced a new brand of green office products named Office Depot Green.

3) Be Green. Being green is about changing your everyday practices whether they be at work or at home. Simple changes in habit such as printing less paper and defaulting double-sided printing can both reduce waste in an office and save money. To help reduce waste even further, replace disposables with reusable coffee mugs and water bottles. Another step organizations can take is to implement a recycling program (i.e. recycling paper, ink and toner cartridges and technology). For businesses interested in saving energy, money and greenhouse gases, an effective step is to install power strips with switches and encourage employees to turn technology off when not in use.

4) Sell Green. New green thinking is all about encouraging small steps in a greener direction without using guilt or demanding sacrifice. By selling the idea that employees can personally benefit or feel good by participating in greener office program - they are more likely to join than resist. Start communicating green by developing an identity for your greener office effort. Using posters or other daily reminders can help reinforce your organizations commitment to go green.

For additional tips and advice from the Small Steps to a Greener Office guide, go to www.officedepot.com/greenyouroffice.

About the Office Depot Survey

An online omnibus study was conducted using a national panel of consumers from April 9th through the 10th. Twenty five hundred completes (representative of the U.S. household population 18+ on age, gender, geographic division, income, household size, household designation and market size) were received.

About Office Depot

Every day, Office Depot is Taking Care of Business for millions of customers around the globe. For the local corner store as well as Fortune 500 companies, Office Depot provides products and services to its customers through 1,670 worldwide retail stores, a dedicated sales force, top-rated catalogs and a $4.9 billion e-commerce operation. Office Depot has annual sales of approximately $15.5 billion, and employs about 49,000 associates around the world. The Company provides more office products and services to more customers in more countries than any other company, and currently sells to customers directly or through affiliates in 43 countries.

Office Depots common stock is listed 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://mediarelations.officedepot.com. Press materials specific to Office Depots environmental programs can be found at http://mediarelations.officedepot.cc/environment.

Multimedia Files:

Preview image
Yalmaz Siddiqui, Director of Environmental Strategy for Office Depot, advises businesses on the tools and products needed to achieve a Greener Office. (Photo: Business Wire)

Contact:

Office Depot
Melissa Perlman, 561-438-0704
Melissa.Perlman@officedepot.com
or
Stanton Crenshaw Communications
Jody Sunna, 646-502-3577
jsunna@stantoncrenshaw.com