ICLEI USA & Office Depot Award 4 Cities $20,000

BOCA RATON, Fla.— ICLEI Local Governments for Sustainability- USA (ICLEI), and Office Depot, Inc. (NYSE: ODP), a leading global provider of office products, services, and solutions, today announced $20,000 in support to each of the four winning cities of the national Green Business Challenge. The money will fund each city’s respective Green Business Challenge implementation pack and builds on a successful five year public-private partnership between ICLEI and Office Depot.

Houston, Tex., West Palm Beach, Fla., Cupertino, Calif., and Lexington, Ky. will each receive Green Business Challenge Implementation Packs valued at $20,000, which includes in-kind contributions, software, and technical assistance to help create and/or enhance an existing Green Business Challenge in their community.

Green Business Challenge is an off-the-shelf national model for communities interested in using friendly competition to drive private sector awareness and engagement in local government sustainability priorities. Utilizing an online engagement platform provided by technology vendor GreenPSF for this round of Implementation Packs, Green Business Challenge allows businesses to compete for points and access resources and best practices identified by the community and ICLEI.

“Since we helped launch the first Green Business Challenge with ICLEI and the City of Chicago in 2008, the program has grown into a powerful national movement,” said Yalmaz Siddiqui, Senior Director of Environmental and Supplier Diversity Strategy for Office Depot. “The success and expansion of Green Business Challenge shows that by working together the public and private sector can create a very meaningful positive change towards environmental sustainability.”

A competitive call for applications for the 2014 program cycle was announced in January exclusively to ICLEI member jurisdictions, and attracted interest from communities of all sizes from across the country. The program builds on a successful track record of the ICLEI and Office Depot Partnership, which has already helped implement Green Business Challenge programs in over 18 communities, including Washington, D.C., Austin, Texas, and Chula Vista, Calif.

Initially launched in 2009 with the City of Chicago, the Green Business Challenge model has tracked over 124 million kilowatt-hours of electricity savings and more than 85,000 metric tons of carbon emissions reductions among the participating businesses in Round 2 of the Challenge.

“The City of Chicago worked with ICLEI and Office Depot to create the Green Office Challenge in 2008.  It is a practical and fun approach that improves economics and reduces environmental impact.” said Karen Weigert, Chief Sustainability Officer for the City of Chicago. “We are very pleased that this initiative has now rolled out to so many US cities, and we congratulate Cupertino, Lexington, Houston and West Palm Beach for being the latest participants in this excellent program.”

Houston is one such returning participant in Green Business Challenge that hopes to increase its electricity savings and carbon emissions reductions with added resources and assistance through the Implementation Pack.

“The Houston Green Office Challenge has been an instrumental component in propelling Houston’s sustainability efforts forward,” said Mayor Annise Parker. “In our first round of the Challenge, we engaged more than 375 participants and measured 74 million gallons of reduced water usage and 28 million kilowatt-hours of electricity savings. With this renewed commitment and additional support via the Implementation Pack, we hope to continue to grow our program.”

While the City of Cupertino will be new to the Challenge, the city hopes to use this funding to enhance their existing green business program.

“GreenBiz Cupertino is highly successful program in our community. ICLEI’s Green Business Challenge will take our program to the next level by having businesses compete against each other to achieve environmental excellence,” said Cupertino Mayor Gilbert Wong. “This support from ICLEI and Office Depot will help us strengthen the program and improve our community.”

“ICLEI is once again proud to partner with Office Depot to bring Green Business Challenge to four new cities who have been valuable ICLEI members,” said Michael Schmitz, ICLEI USA Executive Director. “This year’s winners truly represent the diversity of our membership.”

Participation in Green Business Challenge has been available exclusively to ICLEI members and non-profit implementation partners servicing ICLEI member communities, however ICLEI plans to release a number of free resources to anyone interested in utilizing the Green Business Challenge model. All four Implementation Pack cities have received past assistance from ICLEI– from help with managing emissions to providing scholarships to attend policy hearings.

Office Depot is one of the largest suppliers of green office products. Winning city West Palm Beach, Fla. shares its community with Office Depot’s global headquarters in nearby Boca Raton.

“We’re excited to be working with Office Depot, who shares with us sustainability as a top strategic priority,” said West Palm Beach Mayor Jeri Muoio.  “Our city is dedicated to growing a green economy and recognizing green business leaders, and we’re proud to recognize our neighbors at Office Depot who are setting examples on the corporate scale.”

The four winning cities will prepare to launch their challenges over the next few months with help from ICLEI. Stay tuned for regular program updates sharing local Green Business Challenge progress.

To learn more about ICLEI’s Green Business Challenge, visit:
c96.0d1.myftpupload.com/greenbusinesschallenge.

For more information about Office Depot’s environmental initiatives, visit:
http://www.officedepot.com/environment.

About ICLEI–Local Governments for Sustainability USA

ICLEI–Local Governments for Sustainability is the world’s leading association of cities and local governments dedicated to sustainability, with more than 1,000 local government members in 84 countries. ICLEI USA’s mission is to build, serve and drive a movement of local governments to advance deep reductions in greenhouse gas emissions and achieve tangible improvements in local sustainability. As the only global organization helping cities and counties of all sizes achieve sustainability and climate planning goals, ICLEI provides tools and resources, delivers innovative programming, and fosters a robust network of local governments across the U.S. who are committed to sharing solutions and scaling local sustainability efforts.

About Office Depot, Inc.

Formed by the merger of Office Depot and OfficeMax, Office Depot, Inc. is a leading global provider of products, services, and solutions for every workplace – whether your workplace is an office, home, school, or car.

Office Depot, Inc. is a resource and a catalyst to help customers work better. We are a single source for everything customers need to be more productive, including the latest technology, core office supplies, print and document services, business services, facilities products, furniture, and school essentials.

The company has combined pro forma annual sales of approximately $17 billion, employs over 60,000 associates, and serves consumers and businesses in 57 countries with more than 2,200 retail stores, award-winning e-commerce sites and a dedicated business-to-business sales organization – all delivered through a global network of wholly owned operations, joint ventures, franchisees, licensees and alliance partners. The company’s portfolio of leading brands includes Office Depot, OfficeMax, OfficeMax Grand & Toy, Viking, Ativa, TUL, Foray, and DiVOGA.

Office Depot, Inc.’s common stock is listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol ODP. Additional press information can be found at: http://news.officedepot.com.

Additional information about the recently completed merger of Office Depot and OfficeMax can be found athttp://officedepotmaxmerger.com.

 

Contact:

ICLEI USA

Christina Ashtary
510-844-0699, Ext. 310
christina.ashtary@iclei.org

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