FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Following Success of Challenges in Chicago, Austin and other Locations, Innovative Public-Private Partnership Set to Expand to Four Additional Cities in 2013
Apr 17, 2013
BOCA RATON, Fla.–Office Depot, Inc. (NYSE: ODP), a leading global provider of office supplies and services, today announced the expansion of its Public- Private Partnership with ICLEI–Local Governments for Sustainability USA (ICLEI USA). In 2013, four more cities will be selected to receive funding to launch their own Green Business Challenge programs – building on the successful Challenges that ICLEI and Office Depot helped launch with local governments in Chicago, Austin, Bellevue, Chula Vista and the Triangle J region.
Office Depot also announced that it will help ICLEI USA establish a Green Business Challenge resource center that will support cities and counties wishing to develop a Green Business Challenge, as well as a network of Green Business Challenge communities to encourage sharing of successful practices.
The announcement was made at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Business & Civic Leadership Center’s Bricks & Sticks Sustainability Symposium – an event designed to showcase outstanding examples of public-private partnerships making a difference in America.
The Green Business Challenge is a unique program through which city leaders encourage local businesses to take part in a friendly competition to save energy and money, reduce waste and water consumption and procure greener products. The program was first piloted in 2010 as the City of Chicago’s “Green Office Challenge.”
ICLEI USA helped implement the Challenge in Chicago, and Office Depot provided core funding and program design support. Chicago businesses that participated in Round 2 of the Challenge collectively saved over 124 million kilowatt-hours of electricity and more than 85,000 metric tons of carbon emissions.
“The Green Business Challenge is a highly scalable idea that brings together the historically separate concepts of ‘fun’ and ‘sustainability,’” said Yalmaz Siddiqui, Senior Director of Environmental Strategy for Office Depot. “The Challenge helps ‘gamify’ greening, and as such builds on the natural human and organizational impetus to compete. We’re proud to have been associated with the Challenge since its inception, and are excited to be able to bring it to four more cities in 2013.”
“ICLEI is proud to partner with Office Depot to bring the Green Business Challenge to four more cities within our network,” said Michael Schmitz, ICLEI USA Executive Director. “This proven program reflects the reality that environmental improvement doesn’t have to come at the expense of economic performance. The Challenge helps local governments reach their energy and climate goals, and helps businesses save money, make their operations more efficient, and receive recognition for going green.”
The four new cities will be selected and announced later in 2013 and Office Depot will provide each with a “Green Business Challenge Implementation Pack.” This includes cash, in-kind support, and training/technical support through ICLEI, as well as a customized Green Business Challenge software tool.
To learn more about ICLEI USA’s Green Business Challenge, please 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. In the United States, ICLEI USA is the recognized leader on climate action and clean energy. ICLEI USA connects leaders and provides cutting-edge tools, trainings, and technical support to help cities and counties advance their goals. Learn more at c96.0d1.myftpupload.com.
About Office Depot
Office Depot provides office supplies and services through 1,629 worldwide retail stores, a dedicated sales force, top-rated catalogs, and global e-commerce operations. Office Depot has annual sales of approximately $10.7 billion, employs about 38,000 associates, and serves customers in 59 countries around the world.
Office Depot’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.