Staples Soul reflects our commitment to corporate social responsibility. It brings together our efforts to give back to our communities, embrace diversity, sustain the environment and practice sound ethics. We recognise the impacts our decisions have on our stakeholders and work with them to determine mutually beneficial solutions.
We strive to act with integrity in all that we do and strictly adhere to our Code of Ethics and corporate governance practices. We seek to work with suppliers who share our values and expect them to follow our ethical sourcing requirements.
We work to make it easy for our customers and associates to make a difference by offering more sustainable products and services, operating our business in an environmentally efficient way, and helping our customers and associates take action to protect the environment.
We support the communities in which our customers and associates live and work. We do this by creating jobs (both through direct employment and indirectly through our supply chain), being a good neighbour, financial giving and in-kind donations.
We seek to develop a workforce that reflects the diversity of the communities and customers we serve all over the world by embracing diversity in all its forms–race, gender, thought, and experience. We promote a culture of inclusion within our workforce and source products and services from diversity suppliers.
This year was the first full year of Corporate Express being 100 per cent owned by Staples Inc., the world’s leading office products company. We are continuing to transition our local programs to align more closely with the global company. Our corporate social responsibility initiatives are now brought together under the banner of Staples Soul — which emphasises our commitment to delivering social, financial and environmental value. Staples Soul comprises the four pillars of Ethics, Community, Environment and Diversity.
We made a number of significant achievements in each of these pillars during the reporting year:
Ethics: We implemented the Staples Global Ethics Program, which included training and adoption of the Code of Conduct documents for associates as well as the Staples Supplier Code of Conduct for all of our own brand suppliers.
Community: We raised US$91,785 to help those affected by the earthquakes in Christchurch, New Zealand at the beginning of 2011, as well as supporting more than 75 organisations throughout the year with community giving.
Environment: Every site in New Zealand was certified to ISO 14001. We have made significant progress this year in developing new environmentally-preferable products including the launch of Staples Carbon Neutral Copy Paper.
Diversity: We were named an ‘ Employer of Choice for Women’ for 2012, by the Equal Opportunity for Women in the Workplace Agency (EOWA) and we implemented our first Reconciliation Action Plan, which included launching new products from AIMSC Certified Indigenous-owned suppliers.
Engaging with our stakeholders is an important way in which we can better understand what is expected from us in our sustainability and business performance. We continued to work on those issues identified in 2010 as most important by our stakeholders. This included making progress in ethical sourcing and sustainable procurement, eco-conscious products and services, product quality and customer satisfaction, employee satisfaction, and customer engagement on sustainability and packaging.
This report outlines our progress against these initiatives and I would like to highlight some key achievements:
Ethical sourcing: We took our ethical sourcing program one step further for our Staples own brand products and have adopted the Staples Supplier Code of Conduct in addition to our Ethical Sourcing Policy.
Product quality: We’ve expanded our product quality program for our Staples own brand products to encompass product testing, factory audits and social accountability audits. These three critical components ensure we have consistent products, comply with regulations, ensure safety, and protect our reputation.
Sustainable procurement: we introduced a Corporate Social Responsibility Supplier Award to recognise the excellence of our suppliers. This award aims to encourage all our suppliers to continuously improve their performance in sustainability.
Eco-conscious products and services: we increased the number of EarthSaver environmentally-preferable products from 3,636 in 2011 to more than 4,000 as of January 2012 including the development of more than 250 products from our exclusive line of eco-conscious products — Sustainable Earth by Staples.
You can read more about how we have performed against the targets we set for 2011 in the targets section. In this section you can see we have performed well against the targets we set but there are a few areas where we still have work to do. In particular, we will continue to further embed our recycling initiatives and educate our suppliers on more sustainable product offerings. You can also read about the targets we have set for 2011.
Our corporate objectives to maintain profitable growth and develop our people are closely linked to how we manage our sustainability performance. For example, our industry-leading position on sustainability helps us to drive sales and we invest in our people to develop a high performance culture. We are proud of our achievements in sustainability to date, and commit to delivering continuous improvement in our initiatives and measuring and reporting our impacts over the next twelve months.
I would like to thank our associates, customers and suppliers for their support and dedication in making this business a success.
Australia / New Zealand