This site contains corporate responsibility performance information for the 2015 fiscal year (February 1, 2015– January 30, 2016).
To shape our corporate responsibility reporting and guide our program development, Staples conducted a recent materiality assessment of environmental, social and governance topics to determine which topics are most relevant to our business and our stakeholders. Read more about the materiality assessment and report development process, including which stakeholders we engaged, notable feedback and a matrix of the material topics identified.
We use ongoing stakeholder dialog to identify our primary audience for our Corporate Responsibility report and website, and tailor our content to best serve these users. These include but are not limited to customers, associates, the investment community including socially responsible investors, the communities where we operate and NGOs.
Each of our main Corporate Responsibility areas — Community Relations, Environment, Diversity & Inclusion, and Ethics — includes information about the most relevant topics, issues and opportunities affecting their program areas, as determined through research, regulatory and legal analysis, industry engagement and stakeholder feedback, among others.
This site reflects consolidated information from Staples across its global operations, to the degree available. Our Global Performance Summary provides detailed information about our performance metrics on a global level for the current reporting year and previous two years (for a total of three years). We also include environmental metrics for our U.S. operations (our largest market) in our Global Performance Summary, and on the relevant Environment sections of this report and website. More information about the markets and business units through which Staples operates can be viewed in the About Us section of this site.
We report data for leased facilities (our stores and warehouses) as well as for fully owned and/or operationally controlled buildings and operations. We exclude reporting on joint ventures, as these ventures represent an insignificant and non-material contribution to our overall impacts. The charts and tables included in the site and the performance summary clearly indicate whether the information reflects global, U.S. or international data, and whether there have been any restatements to data reported in past years.
The data measurement techniques used to present our quantitative performance vary depending on the metric presented — there are variations in data granularity, collection frequency and types of tracking systems, among other things. Where relevant we use available protocols for calculating impacts (e.g., we use the GHG Protocol Corporate Standard to calculate and report our GHG emissions), prioritize actual measured data over estimated data, and use estimation techniques that best reflect the reality of our business and operations.
This report has not undergone external assurance.
Nothing is more important to Staples than the relationships we build as a company. Our key stakeholders include customers, associates, communities, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), international organizations, investors, suppliers and industry groups, as each of these groups has the potential to significantly influence our ability to run a successful business.
We choose which specific stakeholders within each category to meet with based on a variety of factors, including the priority issues identified through our periodic materiality assessments, emerging trends and topics, risk evaluation, feedback from shareholders, and previous stakeholder engagement, as well as individuals’ and organizations’ availability and desire to meet with Staples. This year’s materiality assessment engaged both internal and external stakeholders, including Staples associates, Staples Advantage® customers, suppliers, and other special interest groups relevant to Staples’ business, through interviews and a survey.
View detailed performance data in our Global Performance Summary.
|Stakeholder group||How we engage|
We engage with and support associates on an ongoing basis in many ways beyond their daily interactions with co-workers and managers, such as:
|Shareholders & Investors||
We continued our corporate governance outreach program this year, which helps us understand and respond to shareholder concerns in a timely fashion. Through this initiative, senior management meets regularly with a variety of shareholders and proxy advisory groups to discuss the governance issues that are most important to them and also discuss our executive compensation program. Management then briefs the Board of Directors and its relevant committees and takes action as appropriate.
To make sure that we're doing a good job, we survey customers in our retail, online and contract businesses, monitor quality assurance efforts, drop in on stores unannounced through "mystery shops," and interview customers directly. Each month, we conduct tens of thousands of customer satisfaction surveys across each of our North American business units and receive feedback from thousands of customers.
In our retail operations we ask customers to rank a variety of customer service factors, including customer engagement, cashier courtesy, speed of checkout, ease of finding merchandise, product availability in store, and associate knowledge.
In our contract and online businesses, we assess our customers’ overall satisfaction as well as specifics such as the ease of the shopping experience — online search capabilities, accuracy of product images and ease of checkout — as well as the packaging and delivery service, and satisfaction with any problem resolution.
Our Customer Service portal on staples.com® allows customers to submit inquiries and comments about our Corporate Responsibility programs.
Staples customers are also our fellow citizens, our neighbors and our friends. We contribute to local communities through corporate contributions, in-kind donations and grants from the Staples Foundationsm, our private charitable arm.
Staples engages with NGOs that are considered leaders in their respective areas of expertise to help us enhance our performance across our Corporate Responsibility areas, such as:
We seek to be a valued and trusted member of the communities in which our associates and customers live and work. Staples works closely with all the non-profit organizations we support, whether they are long-term national partners such as Boys & Girls Clubs of America, or small grassroots groups receiving a Staples Foundationsm grant to fund a local program.
From cause marketing and sponsorships to grants and product donations, Staples supports non-profit organizations focused on education and job skills, as well as schools, in a variety of ways. In 2015, we gave more than $13 million to non-profit organizations and schools around the world.
We engage with suppliers to promote ethics in the supply chain, environmental excellence and innovation, and a diverse supplier base.
Staples is a member of several trade groups as described in our 2015 Political Contributions Disclosure.
From a sustainability perspective, we are active members in the Retail Industry Leaders Association’s (RILA) working groups dedicated to environmental topics:
In addition, through our Supplier Diversity Program we participate in several diversity councils, such as the National Minority Supplier Development Council.
With this reporting year, we are transitioning to the Global Reporting Initiative’s G4 Sustainability Reporting Guidelines. These guidelines, including the advised process for identifying the most material corporate responsibility issues and topics for our company, have helped shaped the content of this website and report. Specifically, we are reporting in accordance with the Core guidelines. Our GRI Content Index includes our responses (either directly in the index or via reference to a page on our website) to the General Standard Disclosures as well as the Specific Standard Disclosures that we have identified in the report development and materiality assessment processes. For more detailed information about our associate-focused programs and metrics, refer to our Workforce Snapshot.