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Renewable Energy & Efficiency

Staples’ energy management program is comprehensive, focusing on technological, behavioral and process-based solutions across our buildings and fleet. The goal is to advance energy reduction and the use of renewable and clean energy to reduce our carbon impact. We emphasize education and communication about our initiatives and actively engage our associates in our programs.

Through aggressive goal setting; participation in the ENERGY STAR Battle of the Buildings and other initiatives, Staples is leading the charge for more sustainable and energy-efficient buildings.

Driving efficiency through the ENERGY STAR® program


Staples has partnered with ENERGY STAR since 1999. A joint program of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of Energy, the ENERGY STAR program helps companies like Staples save money while protecting the environment through the use of energy-efficient practices and products.

Through aggressive goal setting; participation in the ENERGY STAR Battle of the Buildings and other initiatives, Staples is leading the charge for more sustainable and energy-efficient buildings.

Energy reduction initiatives for a greener future

As demonstrated by our increasing number of ENERGY STAR qualified buildings, Staples is committed to reducing energy consumption through our entire organization. Here are some of the measures we’ve taken:

  • Converting lighting to lower wattage, more efficient fixtures lamps and ballasts
  • Putting in lighting motion sensors for occupancy and daylight harvesting
  • Installing energy management systems for the control of lighting and HVAC
  • Installing variable-speed drives on HVAC equipment, air compressors and conveyors
  • Participating in energy consumption demand response programs

We also run our “Energy Reduction Treasure Hunt” program to identify energy reduction opportunities in our stores and distribution centers, focusing on lighting, battery chargers, conveyors, HVAC and our energy management system. This program actively engages associates with an energy savings ideas contest, posters and rallies with energy team members. In 2012, we performed 12 treasure hunts at our facilities, including the five retail stores that we entered in the ENERGY STAR Battle of the Buildings program. Each store improved its performance, including one that achieved a 20% overall energy reduction.

Using alternative sources of energy

While Staples’ energy reduction efforts are contributing substantially to reducing the company’s carbon footprint, we’re shrinking that footprint even further by producing our own solar power, using fuel cell technology and participating in the EPA’s Green Power Partnership. As of November 2013, Staples was ranked fourth among all retailers, sixth among Fortune 500 companies and seventh nationally on the Partnership rankings lists.

  • Today, Staples has 34 facilities hosting a total of 37 solar arrays in the U.S. Nearly 14 MW of solar installations have generated more than 50 million kWh of clean energy for Staples facilities since the start of the program.

In 2013, Staples purchased enough green power for 100% of our U.S. electricity needs — enough to run more than 56,000 U.S. homes for a year.

  • Staples continues to expand our commitment to purchasing green power. In the U.S., Staples purchased more than 75% of its 2012 electricity needs in the form of green power, primarily in renewable energy certificates. In 2013, we increased our purchases to cover 100% of our U.S. electricity needs.
  • As an early adopter of fuel cell technology, we continue to operate fuel cells at our distribution centers in Ontario, CA, and Rialto, CA, — in both cases, the fuel cells are complemented by solar power installations.

Improving our fleet's environmental performance

Staples is speeding ahead to improve our sustainable delivery practices. We electronically limit the top speed of our U.S. delivery trucks to 60 miles per hour and use idle management technologies to shut off engines after three minutes of idle time. Staples also has 53 electric trucks making deliveries to our customers in several markets. In 2014, we’ll be adding five more electric trucks. Electric trucks produce zero on-road emissions and significantly fewer total emissions when compared to diesel trucks. In addition, we continue to test new alternative truck technologies, like hybrids, CNG and advanced idle reduction. These and other initiatives have allowed us to improve our long-term fuel economy trend.

Reducing our energy consumption and carbon emissions

Through our proven energy efficiency programs and renewable energy commitments, we are demonstrating tangible progress against our goals to improve our energy efficiency and reduce our carbon emissions.


From 2010 to 2012, Staples reduced our electrical intensity by 1.8% despite slight increases in electricity intensity in the U.S. and globally that was experienced in 2012. Our goal is to reduce the electrical intensity of our global operations by 25% by 2020 from a 2010 baseline. This goal will remain a challenge to achieve in the years to come considering that we continue to employ more technology within our stores while shrinking store size.

Our investments in energy efficiency and renewable energy have helped us reduce our global carbon emissions footprint. In 2012, we were able to offset all of our emissions related to U.S. electricity through a commitment to purchase renewable energy certificates. As a result, our global carbon emissions have decreased by 56% since 2010. See our Performance Summary for specific emissions information.

Recognizing that we have already made great progress toward our global goal to reduce after-offset carbon emissions by 50%, we have updated our goal. We are now striving to reduce net global carbon emissions by 75% by 2020 from a 2010 baseline, including a 25% reduction in emissions before accounting for offsets.


Achieve zero carbon emissions in our operations and help customers pursue the same goal.

Focus Areas

Facilities, fleet and logistics energy efficiency and effectiveness.

Long-Term Goals

  • Achieve ENERGY STAR® building certification for 50% of our U.S. facilities by 2020.
  • Reduce electrical intensity globally by 25% from 2010–2020.
  • Improve the U.S. fleet fuel economy from 2010–2015 by 15%.
  • Reduce total carbon emissions by 75% globally from 2010–2020.
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