Green Matters



Depot opens first ‘green store’


Office Depot has cut the ribbon on its first ‘green store’ in Austin, Texas, in July.

The store, which is pre-certified to Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards by the US Green Building Council (USGBC), will use less energy and water in its daily operations, increase recycling and leave a much smaller overall environmental footprint than a typical store of its size.

"The City of Austin is the birthplace of the USGBC and a leader in our nation’s fight against climate change," said City of Austin Mayor Will Wynn. "We are proud that Office Depot chose to select Austin as the site of its green retail prototype. We think what they are doing shows real leadership – and paves the path for more retailers to invest in green buildings."


Depot is the only office supply retailer participating in the USGBC’s prestigious Retail Volume Certification Portfolio Program, a pilot group formed to help retailers achieve LEED certification at numerous locations and to facilitate the certification process for a company’s prototype. It is also the first company to have its prototype pre-certified under the USGBC’s LEED for New Construction Volume Certification Program.


"We are looking forward to taking care of business for our Austin customers at our first pre-certified ‘green’ store," said Chuck Rubin, President of North American Retail for Office Depot. "Not only can customers choose from thousands of greener office products, but they will also have a better understanding of why a particular product is green and how they can make sustainable products a part of their home office or business environment."


"We took a series of innovative green design elements used in Office Depot store locations across the country and brought them together in our new store prototype," added Ed Costa, Vice President of Construction. "Through the construction phase of this prototype design we used a wide range of greener building products and practices."


Yalmaz Siddiqui, Director of Environmental Strategy, further added: "While we have already achieved dramatic reductions in carbon emissions from our existing facilities, this new store takes us to a completely new level of energy efficiency, carbon reduction and waste reduction. The pre-certification of our prototype further establishes Depot as the green leader in the OP industry."


Survey says: Costs holding businesses back…


A new Office Depot survey has found that cost is the primary factor in preventing businesses from going greener at the office.


While around half of the 2,500 respondents stated that they were interested in making their offices more environmentally friendly, 55 percent said they thought choosing green options was more expensive.


"This is a common misperception," said Yalmaz Siddiqui, Director of Environmental Strategy for Office Depot.


"There is 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."


Office Depot’s survey coincides with the publication of a new online guide entitled Small Steps to Your Greener Office.


…and the UK’s not so keen on green


A new study by Canon accuses UK workers of apathy when it comes to green initiatives in the workplace.


Canon says that the study, which questioned over 1,000 UK-based office workers and was designed to test how green people are in the workplace compared with the home, uncovered some "worrying truths".


Just 5 percent of workers questioned said that they are more environmentally conscious at work compared to at home, where recycling and energy efficiency is common practice, and only four in ten believe that protecting the environment during office hours is their responsibility.


30 percent feel that company bosses should shoulder the burden and 16 percent even went as far as saying that it should be the government, not them, which should be held accountable for polluting practices.


Furthermore, more than half (53 percent) of employees say their company doesn’t have a green policy designed to reduce its environmental impact and where one does exist, 42 percent said that it’s just for show and has no real meaning to the business and its staff.


"The green debate is not a new one and big businesses have acknowledged the importance of a robust environmental strategy," said Andy Vickers, Managing Director, Canon UK & Ireland.


"However, these results indicate that individual employees have either not bought into their companies’ policies or perhaps don’t believe they are genuine.


"These results do not paint a good picture in offices up and down the country and it is shocking to see just how disinterested UK workers seemingly are when it comes to doing their bit to protect the environment. Every office worker needs to understand his/her individual impact when it comes to the environment, and taking responsibility for improving company policy needs to be a collaborative effort between company bosses and staff."


CE reduces eco impact of packaging


Corporate Express (CE) in the UK is introducing two new box sizes into its delivery operations that will bring noticeable reductions in the company’s carbon footprint.


CE enlisted the help of Enviros, a specialist environmental consultancy, to review the carbon footprint of its delivery boxes and the packaging available.


Following this review, the office supplier has decided to introduce a set of two smaller corrugated cardboard boxes with half the base size of the existing boxes.


The boxes are made from 100 percent recycled material and are 100 percent recyclable.
"Looking at Corporate Express’ distribution model, we suggested the smaller boxes option," said Peter Aggett, Technical Director of Enviros. "The benefits of using an additional two smaller boxes include savings in volume of goods shipped, a reduction in CO2 emissions, a reduction in corrugated board disposed by customers and the ability of Corporate Express to use the smaller boxes through all distribution channels," he added.


Enviros has estimated that the new boxes will reduce the volume of cardboard that Corporate Express ships to its customers by 6,300 m3 (148 tons) a year and deliver an annual reduction in CO2 emissions of 208 tons.


Meanwhile, Corporate Express Australia (CEA) has relocated its central offices to a new, environmentally preferable, building.


The office relocation is part of an overall A$33 million ($31.5 million) investment in a new distribution infrastructure and is designed to bring the team together, according to Grant Harrod, CEO of CEA.
"Our rapid growth in recent years has prompted us to evaluate our operations and infrastructure," he said. "The lease on our current facility was due to expire prior to the end of the year, so this presented a good opportunity to consolidate our facilities."


The new building has been designed to meet a 4-star Australian Building Greenhouse Ratings System (ABGR) rating.


Harrod added that the company used the opportunity to make sure the new office would incorporate CEA’s sustainability objective of reducing its carbon footprint and increasing employee engagement with open-plan workspaces.


"We’ve [also] chosen appliances with the highest efficiency rating available to help us save energy," he said.


Other initiatives include the use of recycled and recyclable materials, sensors on lights and electrical equipment and water-saving devices.


The infrastructure investment also includes a purpose-built warehouse – due to open later this year – designed to create savings for the company of A$70 million over the next 12 years.


Life cycle thinking recognised


Steelcase has been awarded by a UK furniture association for its life cycle thinking approach.


The Michigan-based office furniture manufacturer has been awarded a certificate from the Furniture Industry Sustainability Programme (FISP), a working party administered by the Furniture Industry Association (FIRA).


"It is a massive boost to everyone at Steelcase that these efforts are recognised by the UK’s furniture industry association," said Steelcase UK’s Managing Director Mark Spragg.


Fujitsu sets out green vision


Fujitsu has established a new environmental vision in order to define the role the group seeks to play in addressing global environmental issues.


With its ‘Green Policy 2020’, Fujitsu aims to reduce CO2 emissions in Japan by 30 million tons per year by 2020. The policy is embodied by the creation of advanced technologies and business solutions; collaboration with customers, business partners, and other key stakeholders in the international community; and the promotion of change within the Fujitsu Group itself.


As well as committing itself to reducing carbon emissions through more efficient products, Fujitsu says that it will set up a new organisation to promote low carbon initiatives within the group. It is also one of the signatories of a recent German government-sponsored business and biodiversity initiative.


Fujitsu’s three goals…


1. Benefit our customers and society
It is the goal of the Fujitsu Group to reduce carbon emissions in Japan by 30 million tons annually by 2020 through the provision of advanced, energy-efficient technologies and solutions, thus contributing to lowering worldwide greenhouse gas emissions, which need to peak by 2020 at the latest in order to achieve the 2050 goal declared by the G8.
2. Pursue internal reforms
By 2020, Fujitsu seeks to offer world-class overall energy efficiency in all of its business areas (software and services, hardware, electronic devices, etc). Fujitsu will also set up a new organisation to promote low carbon initiatives.
3. Preserve biodiversity
Fujitsu plans to address every area of the Leadership Declaration of the Business and Biodiversity Initiative, with specific initiatives underway before 2020.
To achieve these goals, the company’s Green Policy 2020 discusses the development of innovative energy technologies and how to help customers reduce their resource and energy demands; and the subject of internal reforms, including carbon reduction in its business activities. It also looks at biodiversity.


IKON eco-a-go-go


IKON Office Solutions, a leading provider of document technology and services, has launched its first eco friendly, electric courier service for print and mail deliveries, in London, UK.


The electric van is now being used for all mail courier delivery runs between the London Canary Wharf and Hanover Square sites of IKON’s client Jones Lang LaSalle, a financial and professional services firm specialising in real estate. Its green business credentials include being carbon-neutral, with tax and congestion charge exemption.


IKON Managing Director of Sales, Glenn Griggs, said: "IKON’s electric courier service is the latest addition to our print and mail management services, and an example of how we are listening to the voice of the customer and offering market-leading solutions to more clients."


World’s 1st soya laser cartridge


A US company is set to launch laser printer cartridges derived from soyabean oil this summer.


Maine-based PRC Technologies says it will supply cartridges for the most popular laser printers under the SoyPrint brand.


The company explains that although soya ink has been available for some time, this will be the first soya toner cartridge for laser printers.


"PRC has completed months of extensive testing and reports the print quality and number of pages per cartridge match brand name versions," according to President Debe Overhaug. She added that the cartridges are manufactured in the US and will be shipped from warehouses all over the country.


SPR adds green section to info site


SP Richards (SPR) has added a green version of its online product information site


The new addition to the site can be accessed from the ‘Going Green’ link on the homepage and features items listed in the wholesaler’s Go Green catalogue. The plan, however, is to expand on this and include SPR’s entire offering of green products.


"The information that populates the new version of will be available to system providers and dealers with proprietary systems, enabling dealers to harness the same functionality on their websites as well," said Paul Gatens, SPR’s Director of Marketing Information.


Woolworths drops APP in Australia – at last


Australia’s largest retailer Woolworths has said that it is dropping its contract with Asia Pulp and Paper (APP) for its Select brand of paper products over doubts that the raw materials were sustainably sourced.


Woolworths has been under pressure for some time from activist groups to end its contract with APP and stickers on Select products that claimed that the products were made from sustainable fibre had to be removed last year after evidence to back up the claims could not be found. Both local and international suppliers are to be invited to tender for the new contract.