Staples Soul recognizes the close connection between our success and our ability to make a positive impact on our customers, our associates and the planet. We believe Staples Soul helps to make us an employer and neighbor of choice, differentiates our brand and allows us to grow profitably and responsibly.
In 2012, we launched our Reinvention strategy to better serve the needs of our customers and to accelerate our growth. By focusing on our growth platforms, reshaping our business, and funding the future, we will achieve our vision: “Every product your business needs to succeed.”
Our four Staples Soul pillars—Ethics, Community, Environment, and Diversity—demonstrate our commitment to corporate responsibility and directly support our Reinvention. We can 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 inclusion and diversity.
This year, we appointed John Burke to the new role of Chief Culture Officer. John is responsible for ensuring increased associate engagement, driving awareness of Staples Soul, and embedding our culture throughout the organization as we continue to transform our business.
We have a lot to be proud of as we look back at our Soul accomplishments in 2012. We’ve taken a key step by establishing corporate responsibility task forces in every country in which we operate, responsible for leading local initiatives focused on each Soul pillar. In addition to these task forces, here are some of the highlights of our accomplishments:
Ethics. A strong foundation of ethics and governance requires a clear and comprehensive Code of Ethics as well as an uncompromising commitment to that Code. This year, 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.
Community. 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.
Environment. In 2012, 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’ll reach 100% in 2013. We have nearly 110 international facilities with environmental management systems certified to the ISO14001 standard, and more than 500 ENERGY STAR® 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.
Diversity. Our workforce diversity strategy in 2012 was 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 fourteen 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 that will roll out officially in 2013.
We’re committed to engaging with our various stakeholder groups and appreciate feedback on our corporate responsibility efforts. I invite you to learn more about Staples Soul on our website.
Chairman & CEO
Staples Soul Pillars
We strive to model 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 Supplier Code of Conduct.
We reach out to and 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), and also by providing support for educational important community initiatives through financial contributions, employee associate engagement in local causes and in-kind donations.
We generate business and environmental benefits — for ourselves, our customers and our communities — by leading the way in sustainable business practices. We focus on offering more sustainable products and services, providing easy customer recycling solutions, and operating our business in an environmentally efficient way.
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 diverse minority- and women-owned businesses.