Mon, Feb

Office Depot Garners Outstanding Recycling Retailer Award

Office products company Office Depot announced that it has been named the winner of the Outstanding Retailer Award, part of the inaugural "America's Marketplace Recycles!" awards program jointly sponsored by the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

DELRAY BEACH, Florida — Office products company Office Depot (NYSE:ODP) announced that it has been named the winner of the Outstanding Retailer Award, part of the inaugural "America's Marketplace Recycles!" awards program jointly sponsored by the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

The awards program, in recognition of Earth Day, highlights outstanding efforts and achievements by ICSC members to conserve resources, recycle, and purchase recycled-content products. It was also designed to increase public awareness of the benefits of recycling.

"We are pleased to recognize Office Depot among those retailers that are leading the way in both recycling and environmental sensitivity," said ICSC President and CEO Michael P. Kercheval. "Through its own corporate initiatives as a national supplier of office products, Office Depot is setting a highly visible example of environmental stewardship in action."

Kercheval cited several recent examples:

--On December 21, 2004, Office Depot, in conjunction with the Rechargeable Battery Recycling Corporation (RBRC), announced a free cell phone and rechargeable battery recycling program, collecting more than a ton of obsolete products in the first three months.
--On Nov. 21, 2004, Office Depot announced an enhancement of its Ink & Toner Recycling program, which is responsible for the recycling of more than 10.6 million cartridges since 2002.
--On July 13, 2004, Office Depot and Hewlett-Packard announced the first free, nationwide electronics recycling initiative - a pilot program that collected over 10.5 million pounds of unwanted electronics from more than 800 stores in less than two months, becoming the largest single electronics recycling initiative in history.
--On June 2, 2004, Office Depot announced performance and environmental enhancements to its name brand paper, including improved brightness, smoothness and recycled content. In doing so, Office Depot more than doubled the annual environmental benefits, conserving an estimated 1.3 million fully grown trees and preventing more than 110 million pounds of greenhouse gas emissions and 57 million pounds of solid waste each year.


"Office Depot is committed to integrating nature into the everyday world of business," said Tyler Elm, Director of Environmental Affairs for Office Depot. "By improving our own environmental performance and that of Office Depot-branded products, we provide customers with the ability to do the same. It's rewarding to receive international recognition from the ICSC and EPA, which serves as a strong validation of our efforts to date."

"The EPA is pleased to have assisted ICSC in the establishment of this important initiative," said Tom Dunne, EPA Deputy Assistant Administrator, who noted that the EPA provided technical assistance and guidance to ICSC through its Resource Conservation Challenge program. "We believe improvements in recycling at America's shopping centers will have a significant impact. More importantly, shopping centers are a crucial venue to help educate our nation's consumers of the value of recycling."

Office Depot, which is listed on the Dow Jones Sustainability Index, focuses its environmental initiatives on sustainable forest management, recycling and pollution reduction, as well as the promotion of environmental issues and the creation of markets for environmentally-preferable products.

Office Depot offers thousands of products containing recycled materials. In January 2005, the company issued its Green Book catalog of environmentally-preferable products to U.S. contract customers. The 84% increase in environmentally-preferable products highlighted in the 2005 edition, includes paper; pens; energy-efficient computer displays, printers and light bulbs; toner cartridges; and biodegradable packing materials. Businesses can obtain a free copy of the Green Book through Office Depot's environmental Web site at www.officedepot.com/environment.

The Green Book itself is the only environmentally-preferable office products catalog printed on elemental chlorine-free 100% PCW recycled paper and is distributed to more than 40,000 organizations to help easily "green" their office supply purchasing process.

The "America's Marketplace Recycles!" Awards program featured seven categories, including Best New Recycling Program; Best Expansion of an Existing Recycling Program; Outstanding Retailer; Outstanding Mall Owner/Developer; Best Public Awareness Campaign/Promotional Event; Best Community Partnership/Beneficial Use of Funds; and Most Innovative Recycling Program. In addition, a single program was selected as Recycler of the Year from among the overall nominations.

About Office Depot:
With annual sales approaching $14 billion, Office Depot Office Depot has about 1000 retail stores in North America. Incorporated in 1986 and headquartered in Delray Beach, Florida, Office Depot conducts business in 23 countries and employs 47,000 people worldwide. With $3.1 billion in online sales in FY'04, the Company is the world's third-largest Internet retailer by revenue.About ICSC:
Founded in 1957, ICSC is the global retail real estate trade association of the shopping center industry. ICSC directly benefits more than 50,000 members in over 96 countries by assisting in the development of their businesses through professional education, conferences and conventions, publications, research and legislative action. For more information, visit www.icsc.org.Source: Office Depot