CASE: OFFICE DEPOT LEADS IN GREEN
In 2004, Office Depot issued its first annual Environmental Stewardship Report. It was audited by an independent third party, namely, the sustainability experts at Pricewatertiouse Coopers LLP. The report was the “office supply industry’s first independently verified report of environmental performance.â€ Office Depot has continued to be an industry leader on the environment. The cornerstone of its environmental policy is the “Office Depot Environmental. Paper Procurement Policy and Vision Statement,” which is posted on its Web site. This policy statement has formed the basis for the company’s ongoing efforts and benchmarking on their achievements regarding the environment. An overview of the three core areas and 10 key guiding principles, which are articulated in considerably more detail in their Policy and Vision Statement, are as follows:
Recycling and Pollution Reduction
â€¢ Give preference to paper products containing recycled materials including those made with post consumer waste fiber.
â€¢ Increase the scope of products containing recycled materials.
â€¢ Increase the total volume of paper recovered from recycling and the amount of this material that is in the paper Office Depot distributes.
â€¢ Encourage suppliers to continue to reduce pollution, including the phasing out of elemental chlorine bleaching agents in the paper-making process.
Responsible Forest Management and Conservation
â€¢ Give preference to products made of wood fiber sourced from operations that arc certified as well man-aged by an independent third party and that use procurement systems that require landowners to meet or exceed government requirements on their forestlands.
â€¢ Give preference to products from suppliers that are genuinely and meaningfully engaged in initiatives with the conservation science community to develop and apply best practices to advance sustainable forest management and the conservation of biodiversity values.
â€¢ Not knowingly extend preferred status to products sourced from industrial forest operations that convent, or explicitly promote the conversion of, naturally diverse forests to monoculture plantations.
â€¢ Not knowingly extend preferred status to products sourced from forest operations that use genetically modified trees to reforest naturally diverse forest ecosystems.
Issue Awareness and Market Development
â€¢ Pursue the promotion and development of markets for environmentally sound products by communicating the value of our environmental policies and the benefits of purchasing products that contribute to environmental stewardship.
â€¢ Fund independent research to develop a better understanding of issues such as conservation of bio-diversity in production forests and responsible forest management.
1. Review materials on Office Depot’s Web site (www.officedepot.com) pertaining to their environ-mental stewardship efforts, including their ongoing reports.. Prepare a report that details accomplishments that Office Depot has made relating to its 10 guiding principles. How would you judge Office Depot’s environmental stewardship?
2. Based on your review in Question 1, do you think that consumers are generally aware of the positive things that Office Depot does? If not, should it more heavily promote these positive activities? If it decided to do so, how should it go about it?
3. What effect does OricewaterhouseCoopers’ auditing have on your overall evaluation of Office Depot’s efforts in the area of the environment?
4. Office Depot argues that being ”green” makes both environmental and business sense. What consumer value does environmental stewardship tap hue, and how do you think these can translate to the “bottom line” of businesses?
5. Develop promotional materials that would help Office Depot achieve its goal of “promotion and development of markets for environmentally sound products- to a consumer target market.
CASE: OFFICE DEPOT LEADS IN GREEN