Major retailer makes progress across various sustainability programsTORONTO, June 4, 2013 /CNW/ - Staples Canada, leader in office supplies and Canada's largest online retailer, today announced their sustainability achievements for the first quarter of 2013. The company started the year with an expanded focus on sustainability and has made significant progress in recycling, reducing energy consumption and expanding its assortment of sustainable products. Staples Canada's sustainability programs are part of the company's long-term commitment to growing the business in a sustainable manner, and reducing its impact on the environment. "Being an environmentally conscious company is a top priority for us, and we're committed to being transparent with our performance," said Pete Gibel, vice president of merchandising at Staples Canada and Chair of the Staples Canada Environmental Committee. "We are holding ourselves accountable through quarterly reporting and expanded sustainability programs, and, most importantly, we continue to make it easy for our customers to have a positive impact on the environment." Staples Canada Sustainability Programs Continue to Make an Impact One year after the retailer's first sustainability report, Staples Canada continues to strengthen its sustainability programs: Battery Recycling ProgramStaples Canada partners with Call2Recycle to collect and recycle batteries (re-chargeable and alkaline). The program helped divert over 49,528 kg of batteries from landfills in 2012, more than double the amount collected in 2011 when the retailer collected over 23,000 kg of batteries. During the first quarter of 2013, Staples Canada helped divert 23,860 kg of batteries with a goal of collecting 60,000 kg this year. Ink and Toner Return ProgramStaples Canada collects ink and toner at every store location in Canada. In 2012, over 2.5 million cartridges were collected, with the same amount collected in 2011. This year, Staples Canada hopes to match that same amount. With a target to collect 5 million ink cartridges by Earth Day 2014, the retailer continues to encourage Canadians to drop off used ink and toner cartridges at any Staples Canada location. Schools across the country can assist in the program by signing up for a free ink cartridge bin, with Staples collecting the cartridges free of charge. Electronics Recycling In an effort to divert at least 3,000 metric tons of electronics yearly, Staples Canada, alongside their national electronics recycling partner, eCycle Solutions, expanded its electronics drop-off program to over 250 retail locations as of early 2013. Launched in 2012, the retailer collected and recycled 3,000 metric tons of electronics last year and 780.24 metric tons in the first quarter of 2013 with a goal of collecting 3,600 metric tons of electronics in 2013. Writing Instruments In April 2012, Staples Canada, the exclusive retail partner of TerraCycle and Newell Rubbermaid, launched a writing instrument recycling program. This program focuses on taking back used writing instruments such as pens, pencils, markers and highlighters. Last year, the retailer successfully collected and recycled 197,000 units that were shipped to TerraCycle where they were effectively recycled. The retailer hopes to collect 200,000 units this year. Sustainable Products Staples continues to source and offer customers alternative, eco-responsible products, such as Forest Stewardship Council Certified Multiuse paper, and continues to add products featuring independent environmental certifications such as Rainforest Alliance and Energy Star. Products featuring recycled content or with and various other environmental design features are also a focus for the retailer In-store, Staples currently offers over 3,400 products which have at least one eco-attribute, with many more available online. Energy EfficiencyStaples Canada continues to reduce energy consumption and actively works to conserve energy across the business by reducing overall energy costs, and diversifying energy sources. Over 200 Staples Canada store locations were converted to 25 watt lighting by 2011. By the end of 2012, a large majority of Staples Canada store locations ran on 25 watt light bulbs, helping to reduce electrical consumption by over 11%. In support of its plan to reduce electrical consumption by an additional 5% in 2013, Staples Canada plans to replace the HVAC units in several retail locations as well as retrofit exterior lighting. Staples Canada also reduces lighting output during summer months through its Lights Out program. This year, the retailer's Lights Out program will allow them to reduce electrical consumption in June and July by over 2.4 million KW. Business-to-Business division of Staples Grows Commitment to Sustainability The business-to-business division of Staples is also committed to sustainability. Staples Advantage Canada holds a corporate registration in both ISO9001 (Quality) and ISO14001 (Environment) which allows them to evaluate, monitor and manage their activities, products and services, and maintain a positive impact on the environment. Staples Advantage offers Sustainable Earth by Staples products (including non-toxic commercial cleaners, remanufactured toners, recycled paper products and more) enabling customers to reduce their environmental footprint. The Fifty Green program not only minimizes small order frequency, but proceeds are donated to Tree Canada to assist with replanting efforts. Since the launch of the program in 2008, Staples Advantage has donated more than $500,000 to the cause which has resulted in more than 100,000 trees being planted nationwide. By picking up e-waste, gently used delivery boxes and toner, Staples Advantage makes it easy for customers to be green. And their national Sustainability Teams (who promote awareness and focus on environmental efforts) have implemented waste reduction initiatives across Canada. On Earth Day 2013, they launched the Integrated Rated Indicator for Sustainability (IRIS™), an interactive tracking tool developed by Loop, used to set goals, track progress and visually report on our sustainability initiatives to all stakeholders. About StaplesCanadaStaples, Canada's largest office products company is committed to providing Canadians with a wide choice of office services and products. Serving all types of business - from the small home office to large enterprise - Staples makes it easy for customers to operate their offices efficiently and affordably by offering an extensive selection of office supplies, technology, electronics and office furniture as well as business services, including computer repair and maintenance, and copy and print services. Operating as Bureau en GrosMC in the province of Quebec and Staples Canada in all other provinces, the company employs over 15,000 associates at 330+ stores and at their head office in Richmond Hill, Ontario. Ranked as one of Canada's top ten Canadian companies in Marketing Magazine's Marketing/Leger 2011 Corporate Reputation Survey, Staples/Bureau en Gros is dedicated to offering customers the highest level of service, whether they choose to shop in-store, by catalogue or online. Staples Canada/Bureau en Gros also is invested in a number of corporate giving programs that actively support environmental, educational and entrepreneurial initiatives in Canadian communities from coast to coast. Visit www.staples.ca for more information, or visit us on Facebook and Twitter. About Staples Advantage Canada As the business-to-business division of Staples, Staples Advantage works with companies of 20 or more employees to develop customized programs with dedicated account management and a complete assortment of products and services to meet business needs. The leading supplier in Canada, we work with our business partners to provide office supplies, technology products, facility supplies, furniture, and business services. Staples Advantage Canada is headquartered in Mississauga, Ontario, with eight distribution centres across Canada. For more information, visit www.staplesadvantage.ca. SOURCE Staples Canada Inc.