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.
"Most corporate environmental efforts focus primarily on the supply chain or internal operations, but very few focus on shifting the marketplace,” said Yalmaz Siddiqui, Director of Environmental Strategy for Office Depot. “ICLEI USA’s Green Business Challenge provides a simple step-by-step approach for businesses of all sizes to go greener. Office Depot is excited to be the presenting sponsor of the Green Business Challenge because we know that encouraging the business community to go greener can have a transformational impact all the way up the supply chain.”To learn more about ICLEI USA’s Green Business Challenge, please visit www.icleiusa.org/greenbusinesschallenge. For more information about Office Depot's environmental initiatives, visit: http://www.officedepot.com/environment. To learn more about the products and services available at Office Depot, please visit your local Office Depot retail store location or www.officedepot.com. To become a fan of Office Depot on Facebook and receive exclusive content, offers and more, please visit www.facebook.com/officedepot. To follow Office Depot on Twitter, please visit www.twitter.com/officedepot. About ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability USA ICLEI USA’s membership represents some of the most aggressive and innovative climate action happening in the United States including: innovative building codes in New York, carbon neutrality goals in Austin, light rail in Portland, renewable energy in San Jose to energy efficiency in North Little Rock – ICLEI USA’s members are moving forward on lowering Greenhouse Gas Emissions and bolstering their sustainability efforts right now. For more information, please visit: www.icleiusa.org. About Office Depot Celebrating 25 years as a leading global provider of office supplies and services, Office Depot is Taking Care of Business for millions of customers around the globe. For the local corner store as well as Fortune 500 companies, Office Depot provides supplies and services to its customers through 1,602 worldwide retail stores, a dedicated sales force, top-rated catalogs and a $4.1 billion e-commerce operation. Office Depot has annual sales of approximately $11.6 billion, and employs about 40,000 associates around the world. The Company provides more office supplies and services to more customers in more countries than any other company, and currently sells to customers directly or through affiliates in 53 countries.