Office Depot receives EPA’s Climate Leadership Award

Boca Raton, Fla. -- Office Depot has been recognized with a Climate Leadership Goal Achievement Award for Excellence in Greenhouse Gas Management by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Center for Corporate Climate Leadership, the Association of Climate Change Officers the Center for Climate & Energy Solutions, and The Climate Registry.

The awards were presented during the Climate Leadership Conference in Washington, D.C. on February 28, to recognize and encourage exemplary corporate, organizational, and individual leadership in reducing carbon pollution and addressing climate change.

The Goal Achievement Award recognizes organizations that publicly report and verify Greenhouse Gas (GHG) inventories and achieve aggressive reduction goals. In 2010, in collaboration with EPA’s former Climate Leaders program, Office Depot adopted a goal of reducing U.S. GHG emissions by 20% by 2012, with 2007 as a baseline year. By the end of 2011, Office Depot had achieved a 29% reduction in the U.S. versus its baseline year.

“Office Depot recognizes that taking action on climate change is good for business and good for the environment,” said Yalmaz Siddiqui, senior director of environmental strategy for Office Depot. “We’ve made a series of fiscally sound investments in energy efficiency that have far exceeded our investment performance requirements, delivered rapid ROI, and reduced our carbon footprint substantially. By achieving our carbon reduction goal, we’ve proven again that there doesn’t need to be a conflict between economic and environmental goals — you just have to choose to invest in the right things.”

Under the leadership of Ed Costa, VP construction, Office Depot, the company has made numerous energy efficiency investments, including:

  • De-lamping one out of every three bulbs in tens of thousands of fixtures across more than 1,000 stores, while maintaining similar light output by adding reflectors above the remaining two bulbs;
  • Installing motion detectors in warehouses, stores and business offices;
  • Upgrading heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems;
  • Using Big Ass Fans in select locations to reduce air conditioning requirements;
  • Participating in load shedding programs with utilities in numerous jurisdictions; and
  • Centrally controlling energy across the U.S. with an energy management system.

In addition to helping achieve its carbon-reduction goal one year ahead of schedule, these efforts helped Office Depot achieve the following extraordinary results:

  • An 84% Internal Rate of Return (IRR) from the $8M de-lamping/reflectors project;
  • A reduction in electricity use across all stores in North America from 625,000 MWh in 2007 to 433,000 MWh in 2011 – a drop of 31%, while facilities under management dropped just 8%;
  • A reduction in electricity costs across all stores in North America from $56 million in 2007 to $46 million in 2011; and
  • A reduction in natural gas use across all stores in North America from 361,000 mmBTUs in 2007 to 326,000 mmBTUs in 2011.