Greening Your Office One Ream at a Time

Credit: Office Depot

Credit: Office Depot

Office Depot Presents a Greener Business Lifestyle

Sustainability initiatives are in full swing at most companies. With all of the products and solutions out there it’s often hard to know what way to turn and which products to select. 

Office Depot is working to help companies take significant steps towards a greener way of life by launching its Greener Office website, an online shopping experience for environmentally conscious companies and independent consumers. 

The company started by revamping its own operational approach and then launched a portal for other companies to use. This addition to the Office Depot website provides knowledge on green initiatives and actionable tips making easy for companies to reduce their carbon footprints. Furthermore, the company offers numerous cost efficient and environmentally friendly office supply solutions. 

According to Office Depot, the goal is to offer customers a range of greener options in nearly all product categories and then choose products based on a balance between the environment and other factors (such as price, brand and quality) that users care most about. This includes simplifying the process of identifying products with any environmental benefit and providing users with information on both post-consumer and total recycled content. The site also offers environmental education and tips. 

On the home page, the FAQ, Buying Green Guide, and Smart Steps to a Greener Workplace help new users get acquainted with being green in an office environment. 

“We know that our operational environmental initiatives to reduce our carbon footprint or waste outputs often save costs and drive long-term operational improvement,” says Melissa Perlman, public relations manager at Office Depot. 

Green doesn’t have to be synonymous with money. Office Depot’s green website provides green office supplies at prices that are less expensive than many traditional options. 

For example, when comparing virgin paper to variations of recycled paper, the least expensive paper on its website is consistently the type containing the most recycled material. Perlman also reports that although official numbers have not been released, traffic flow to Office Depot’s website has been increasing. 

“Invest in things that will enable you to be green such as making a transition from virgin to remanufactured ink and toner cartridges, which could mean a 10 to15 percent cost savings at Office Depot,” Perlman adds. “Often recycled paper is perceived as not being of sufficient quality, however today’s recycled paper works just as well and looks just as good as virgin paper.” 

For the launch of the site, Office Depot selected products that reduce waste, energy and  chemical use. Examples of products offered that reduce waste and resources include:

  • Recycled: minimum 10 percent post-consumer recycled or 20 percent total recycled
  • Recycling solutions: bins, bags and boxes to encourage recycling
  • Remanufactured: ink and toner cartridges from previously used products
  • Refillable & refills: products that replace one-time-use disposables
  • Rechargeable: batteries and chargers to replace one-time use batteries
  • Rewritable: CDs, DVDs and Flash Drives to reduce paper and allow reuse

Where possible, Office Depot also identifies products that meet third-party guidelines such as Green Seal or the EPA’s Comprehensive Procurement Guidelines (CPG)

So what does Office Depot do in its own operations to protect the environment? The company sums up its own environmental vision in three aspirational statements: increasingly “buy green, be green and sell green.” 

In terms of buying green, Office Depot has an internal policy to use the Office Depot Brand EnviroCopy; a 35 percent recycled paper, as the default paper in all suitable black and white applications. The company also actively uses its own ink and toner cartridges in printers and copiers and encourages the use of high-recycled content file folders and hanging folders. 

The company offers the following suggested links to get more info on greening your office space:

Office Depot Sites & Resources




Green Product Standards & Suggestions


Green Paper Sites


Green Business Sites


Green Advisors


Green Government Sites


Recycling Services Sites

Cell phones & batteries:


~Aditi Pai

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