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.
More than 25 years ago, Staples created our industry. We’re proud of our accomplishments, and we’re also focused on where we’re going as a company.
Our success is based on meeting customer needs, setting aggressive goals and being accountable for our performance. We recognize that our customers’ needs are changing rapidly. As a result we have transformed our business by moving into new product categories and expanding our assortment. We focus on providing outstanding customer service, and are investing in technology so that customers can shop how and when they like. To that end, we’ve made significant improvements to staples.com¨ and our mobile offerings in the past year. We’re also carefully managing our international business in a particularly difficult economic climate.
Staples Soul — our commitment to corporate responsibility — is an important part of our evolution and success as a company. Our ongoing efforts to embed ethics, diversity, environmental sustainability and community engagement in what we do every day help to position us as a responsible corporate citizen and a leader. We are continuously improving and adjusting our programs to best meet the needs and priorities of our stakeholders, and to ensure we are being as impactful as possible. As described in the remainder of this report, our efforts in the Soul pillars have yielded positive impacts to benefit our associates, customers, communities and others.
Ethics. We believe that doing right is just as important as doing well. We completed the rollout of the updated Staples Code of Ethics, helpline and training/awareness programs in every business unit/function worldwide. We also established a new Ethics scorecard that allows senior leaders and the Audit Committee of the Board of Directors to monitor compliance with program requirements, and created a multi-prong monitoring and measurement framework to assess how well we are preventing, detecting and responding to ethics and compliance risks.
We also updated the Staples Supplier Code of Conduct, and completed 301 Social Accountability factory certification audits to monitor compliance of our Staples® brand suppliers with our Supplier Code of Conduct.
Community. Staples brings education, hope and opportunity to communities where our customers and associates live and work. We donated more than $22 million to non-profit organizations around the world through Staples Foundation(sm), corporate charitable giving programs and cause marketing efforts. We also enabled our global associates to donate nearly $1.9 million to organizations they personally care about and support, and launched the company’s first-ever global volunteer program, encouraging more than 3,000 associates from 26 countries to volunteer over 36,000 hours to their local communities.
Environment. We continued to implement our vision to generate business and environmental benefits by leading the way in sustainable business practices. We reduced our own environmental impacts and also helped our customers make sustainable choices. We were recognized as an ENERGY STAR® Partner of the Year for the second year in a row, hosted 36 solar installations at our facilities, and deployed 53 all-electric trucks in our delivery fleet. We also offered thousands of environmentally preferable products, launched free technology recycling, and piloted new custom packaging software in our warehouses to reduce excess space in our customers’ deliveries.
Diversity. Staples’ commitment to diversity and inclusion stems from our recognition that being a successful company requires people with a variety of backgrounds and diverse perspectives. We expanded our number of Associate Resource Groups to 11, which included the launch of our first international group. Our mentoring program also grew to include new offices and formats in the United States and a new international women’s mentoring program, while our Business Woman of the Year awards program expanded from Australia and New Zealand to North America.
Staples Soul is a key part of how we do business. We strive to ensure that we uphold our commitment to ethics, diversity, the community and the environment, and appreciate the feedback, participation and support of all our stakeholders in keeping us on the path to doing this successfully.
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.