Office Depot (NYSE:ODP), celebrating 25 years as a leading global provider of office supplies and services, and ranked as America’s greenest large retailer by Newsweek® Magazine, today announced a partnership with ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability USA to launch the 2011 Green Business Challenge. Executives from Office Depot and ICLEI together with elected officials from the City of Austin, TX; City of Bellevue, WA; City of Chula Vista, CA; and Triangle J Council of Governments, NC will launch the program by ringing the Closing Bell at the New York Stock Exchange and greening the exchange floor on Thursday, April 21, the eve of Earth Day.
“On behalf of ICLEI’s 600 local government members across the nation, we wish to thank Office Depot for its vital support and commitment to helping businesses embrace environmental sustainability,” said Martin J. Chávez, Executive Director of ICLEI USA. “We feel that Office Depot, as the greenest large retailer in America, is the ideal partner to expand ICLEI’s Green Business Challenge and encourage energy efficiency and promote energy-saving efforts among different sectors of the business community.”
The Green Business Challenge is a unique program that seeks to engage local property managers and tenants in a friendly competition to save energy, reduce waste and water consumption, procure greener products, and implement other sustainable activities within their companies. The program was initially piloted in 2010 as the City of Chicago “Green Office Challenge” and organized by the Chicago Department of Environment and ICLEI USA. Office Depot was the primary underwriter of the challenge in Chicago and directly supported key aspects of the initial program development.
As the Presenting Sponsor of the 2011 Green Business Challenge, Office Depot is providing core funding for the national rollout of the program, in addition to “Green Business Challenge Implementation Packs,” which will be given to the Cities of Austin, Bellevue, and Chula Vista, as well as the Triangle J Council of Governments. The Office Depot “Green Implementation Packs” include direct funding and technical support as well as products and services designed to help local governments manage the Green Business Challenge. Further, Office Depot will provide the participating cities and businesses with greener purchasing training.