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A letter from CEO Ron Sargent

At Staples, we take pride in being the best corporate citizen possible, focusing on the areas of Ethics, Community, Environment and Diversity & Inclusion. We can also better meet customer expectations and continue to grow by operating ethically and with integrity, making a positive difference in the communities where we live and work, increasing the sustainability of our products and operations, and ensuring a culture of diversity and inclusion.

In early 2013, we appointed John Burke to the new role of Chief Culture Officer. John is responsible for ensuring increased associate engagement, strengthening our corporate culture where necessary to best enable Staples’ reinvention efforts, and driving progress and awareness of our corporate responsibility programs.

We have a lot to be proud of as we look back at our accomplishments over the past couple years:

A strong foundation of ethics and governance requires a clear and comprehensive Code of Ethics, as well as an uncompromising commitment to that Code. We created and launched an online Ethics and Compliance Community on our intranet site to provide our associates with a single destination to access policies, training and resources. We revised and streamlined our required ethics and compliance training to ensure that associates have easy access and provided live training to many business units around the world. We also continued implementing our Supplier Code of Conduct and performed more than 290 Social Accountability audits at supplier factories in 2012.

This year, we donated more than $14.6 million to non-profit organizations around the world through our Community & Giving programs and continued to drive engagement in the communities where our associates live and work. We launched 2 Million & Change, which gives associates the opportunity to direct funding to the organizations they care about most. Through this program, we granted more than $2.1 million to 470 organizations in the first year and supported our associates in community volunteering activities across our operations. We also piloted a Values Recognition and Rewards program in five countries so associates could acknowledge when colleagues demonstrate our values in their work and reward them with a donation to the charity of their choice.

We continued to implement our sustainability strategy, and we’re working hard around the world to achieve our goals. We are rolling out right-size packaging technology in the U.S. and Europe, with 50% of U.S. facilities already using this technology, which significantly reduces waste. We sourced more than 75% of our electricity in the U.S. from renewable sources in 2012, and we reached 100% in 2013. We have nearly 110 international facilities with environmental management systems certified to the ISO14001 standard, and more than 570 ENERGY STARĀ® verified facilities in the U.S. that meet strict energy performance standards set by the Environmental Protection Agency. In addition, we’re helping our customers reach their sustainability goals through our technology and ink and toner recycling programs, and by offering more than 10,000 eco-conscious products globally.

Our workforce diversity strategy has been centered on creating greater opportunities for inclusion in the workplace. We focused our efforts in three key areas: Awareness, Associate Resource Groups (ARGs) and mentoring. We developed a robust communications plan to educate our associates about the importance and meaning of diversity and inclusion at Staples. We grew our ARG network to 14 chapters, reaching associates across many of the facilities and countries where we operate. These groups have hosted a wide range of activities to raise awareness, build community, and foster professional development. We also developed a formal mentoring program.

We’re committed to engaging with our various stakeholder groups and appreciate feedback on our corporate responsibility efforts.

Ron Sargent
Chairman & CEO

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