Office Depot, Inc.

Office Depot, Inc.

May 24, 2005 08:02 ET

Office Depot Reaches 75 Percent Post-Consumer Recycled Content in Canadian Marketing Inserts; Surpasses 2004 Environmental Performance Objectives by 50 Percent

DELRAY BEACH, Fla.--(CCNMatthews - May 24, 2005) -

Demonstrating its continued commitment to environmental stewardship, Office Depot (NYSE:ODP), a leading global provider of office products and services, today announced that its 2004 Canadian advertising insert program achieved an annual average of 75 percent post-consumer waste (PCW) recycled content.

Office Depot, who in 2004 became the first company in the office products industry to set annual quantified environmental performance objectives, surpassed its 2004 target by 50 percent and has increased usage of PCW content in its Canadian advertising inserts by nearly 400 percent since 2003.

Two years ago, Office Depot tested the feasibility of using environmentally-preferable paper (made primarily with fiber certified as being sourced from responsibly managed forests, or made from PCW recycled material) in its Canadian advertising inserts. The pilot's success enabled Office Depot to set an industry-leading goal and create a specific timeline for achieving tangible, measurable and reportable results in 2004.

"Last year, every one of Office Depot's Canadian marketing inserts was printed on 75 percent PCW recycled content paper, the maximum possible with this particular paper stock," said Tyler Elm, Director of Environmental Affairs for Office Depot. "While many companies have policies promoting the use of environmentally preferable paper, Office Depot continues to lead by example and honor its public commitments in ways that produce tangible, measurable results. This is the latest demonstration of Office Depot's commitment to be responsible, transparent and accountable."

Environmental Benefits

According to Tom Murray, Project Manager for Corporate Partnerships at Environmental Defense, "By using 75 percent PCW recycled content paper -- instead of virgin paper -- in its 2004 Canadian insert program, Office Depot reduced the demand on forests for wood; conserved energy, chemicals and water consumed during paper manufacturing; and reduced both solid waste and greenhouse gas emissions."

Environmental Defense estimates that by exceeding its 2004 target and increasing the average post-consumer recycled content of its Canadian advertising inserts to 75 percent, Office Depot and its suppliers:

-- Conserved 23,600(a) typical trees (more than 3,400 tons of wood) - equivalent to the amount of wood required to make over 980 tons of copy paper

-- Saved nearly 19 billion BTUs of total energy - equivalent to the amount of residential energy used annually by more than 180 households

-- Prevented nearly 2,500 tons of greenhouse gas emissions (CO2 equivalents) - equivalent to the amount released annually by more than 435 cars

-- Eliminated more than 925 tons of solid waste - equivalent to the trash generated by nearly 440 households in one year

-- Prevented more than 4 million gallons of wastewater - equivalent to the amount released or discharged annually by more than 40 households

"Office Depot's growing use of recycled paper content in its Canadian marketing inserts demonstrates the measurable impact that can be achieved by moving from virgin to post-consumer recycled content paper," said Tom Murray, Project Manager for Corporate Partnerships at Environmental Defense. "We encourage all retailers to maximize the use of post-consumer recycled content in their advertising inserts."

Chain-of-Custody Paper Sourcing

In 2004, Office Depot collaborated with paper producer NorskeCanada and professional services firm PricewaterhouseCoopers to pioneer the industry's first independent chain-of-custody system for North American paper sourcing. The system lets Office Depot ensure that paper used in its printed marketing materials is "environmentally-preferable."

As part of the initiative, Office Depot is identifying, tracking, and publicly reporting on its use of environmentally-preferable fiber that is responsibly managed and procured, as well as PCW-recycled. Results appear in the company's Environmental Stewardship Report, the first and only independently audited corporate environmental stewardship report in the office supply industry.

"While use of recycled content is an essential element of a corporate environmental program, maximum results can be achieved when such efforts are part of a visible, integrated initiative that also accounts for the use of certified fiber sourced from well managed forests," Elm said. "That is why we've developed a transparent system that will enable Office Depot to report the overall environmental performance of the paper products. This allows us to better track recycled-paper content usage, certified fiber content and ensure legal sourcing to minimize our environmental footprint."

Office Depot and the Environment

Office Depot's environmental initiatives center on sustainable forest management, recycling, and pollution reduction, as well as promotion of environmental issues and markets for environmentally-preferable products. Beyond its industry-leading 35 percent post-consumer waste content paper, Office Depot offers thousands of products containing recycled materials.

In January 2005, the company issued its Green Book catalog of environmentally friendly products--the only environmentally preferable office products catalog printed on elemental chlorine-free, 100 percent PCW recycled paper.

In recognition of its corporate conservation and recycling efforts, Office Depot last month received the 2004 "Outstanding Retailer" Award by the International Council of Shopping Centers and Environmental Protection Agency. In April 2005, the company was also the first in its industry to be selected to the 2006 FTSE4Good Index, which assesses companies' corporate social-responsibility practices based on socially responsible investment principles. In December 2004, Office Depot was honored with the United States Chamber of Commerce's Corporate Stewardship Award for Large Companies in 2004, which recognizes businesses and chambers that have demonstrated ethical leadership and corporate stewardship. For more information on Office Depot's environmental initiatives, visit http://www.officedepot.com/environment.

(a) Number of trees calculated collaboratively by Conservatree and Alliance for Environmental Innovation/Environmental Defense, and assumes a mix of hardwoods and softwoods 6-8" in diameter and 40' tall, Source: Tom Soder, Pulp & Paper Technology Program, University of Maine, September 1991, as reported in Recycled Papers: The Essential Guide, by Claudia G. Thompson, The MIT Press, 1992.

Editor's Note: For more information on Office Depot's environmental initiatives, visit http://www.officedepot.com/environment. For more information about Environmental Defense, visit http://www.environmentaldefense.org or call its media relations department at 212-505-2100.

About Office Depot

With annual sales approaching $14 billion, Office Depot provides more office products and services to more customers in more countries than any other company. Incorporated in 1986 and headquartered in Delray Beach, Florida, Office Depot conducts business in 23 countries and employs 47,000 people worldwide. The Company operates under the Office Depot®, Viking Office Products®, Viking Direct®, Guilbert®, and Tech Depot® brand names.

Office Depot is a leader in every distribution channel - from retail stores and contract delivery to catalogs and e-commerce. With $3.1 billion in online sales in FY'04, the Company is the world's number three Internet retailer. As of March 26, 2005, Office Depot has 995 retail stores in North America in addition to a national business-to-business delivery network supported by 22 delivery centers and more than 60 local sales offices. Internationally, the Company conducts wholly-owned operations in 14 countries through 77 retail stores and 26 distribution centers, and operates 153 retail stores under joint venture and license arrangements in another seven countries.

The company's 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/.

About Environmental Defense

Environmental Defense, a leading national nonprofit organization, represents more than 400,000 members. Since 1967, Environmental Defense has linked science, economics, law, and innovative private-sector partnerships to create breakthrough solutions to the most serious environmental problems. For more information, visit http://www.environmentaldefense.org.

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