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Staples reporting approach

Overview

This site contains corporate responsibility information for the 2012 fiscal year ending February 2, 2013. While we did not conduct a new materiality assessment when developing this 2012 report, and therefore have not included a materiality section in this report, we believe the issues identified as most material by Staples and our stakeholders in an earlier assessment (details can be viewed in our 2010 and 2011 reports in the Report Archive) have not changed significantly, and we have thus continued to use findings from our earlier assessment to guide report development. We also describe the scope of the report, any limitations and our reporting approach in the About this Site section.

About This Site

We have developed this Web site to share information about Staples’ corporate responsibility efforts with our stakeholders, including customers, investors, associates, suppliers, community members and non-profit organizations.

Our 2012 Staples Soul Report is available for download, either as a customized Report or as a PDF. Our 2006 through 2011 Reports are also archived on this site. As in years past, we have included a summary of Soul initiatives and progress in our Annual Report.

This Web site contains corporate responsibility information for the 2012 fiscal year ending February 2, 2012. The current site reflects consolidated information from Staples and its global operations, to the degree available. 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, as well as data in the performance summary section of the site, 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.

As our ability to collect environmental performance data across our global operations continues to improve, we are gathering more comprehensive and accurate data in more of our markets. For example, this year, we are able to report performance data for select countries in our high-growth markets for the first time. We are also gathering data across more metrics as data collection processes improve, to give us a more holistic view of our performance.

We believe that the information presented in this site is accurate and fairly represents our corporate responsibility programs and results. We did not, however, seek external assurance or verification for this site.

GRI Index

We applied the Global Reporting Initiative Sustainability Reporting Guidelines (GRI G3) in the development of this site and are self-declaring an Application Level of B. As part of this process, we conducted a materiality analysis to determine the topics of highest relevance and value to our stakeholders, and have shaped the site content accordingly. Specific indicator references can be found in the GRI Content Index. Click here to download GRI Index table.

STANDARD DISCLOSURES PART I: Profile Disclosures

1. Strategy and Analysis

Profile Disclosure Description Reported Cross-reference/Direct answer Explanation
1.1 Statement from the most senior decision-maker of the organization Fully CEO Letter  
1.2 Description of key impacts, risks, and opportunities Fully CEO Letter  
Performance  
Reporting Approach See 2010 and 2011 Soul reports for materiality analysis.

2. Organizational Profile

Profile Disclosure Description Reported Cross-reference/Direct answer Explanation
2.1 Name of the organization. Fully About Staples  
2.2 Primary brands, products, and/or services. Fully About Staples  
2.3 Operational structure of the organization, including main divisions, operating companies, subsidiaries, and joint ventures. Fully About Staples  
Corporate Overview  
2.4 Location of organization's headquarters. Fully About Staples  
2.5 Number of countries where the organization operates, and names of countries with either major operations or that are specifically relevant to the sustainability issues covered in the report. Fully About Staples  
Corporate Overview  
Annual Report Pages 84-85 of PDF;
2.6 Nature of ownership and legal form. Fully About Staples  
Annual Report Page 71 of PDF
2.7 Markets served (including geographic breakdown, sectors served, and types of customers/beneficiaries). Fully About Staples Pages 73-76 of PDF
Corporate Overview  
Annual Report Pages 73-76 of PDF
2.8 Scale of the reporting organization, including number of employees, net sales, total capitalization, quantity of products or services provided. Fully About Staples  
Fully Annual Report Pages 76, 115 of PDF
2.9 Significant changes during the reporting period regarding size, structure, or ownership. Fully Annual Report Pages 3-4, 73 of PDF
2.10 Awards received in the reporting period. Fully Recognition and Awards  

3. Report Parameters

Profile Disclosure Description Reported Cross-reference/Direct answer Explanation
3.1 Reporting period (e.g., fiscal/calendar year) for information provided. Fully About this site  
3.2 Date of most recent previous report (if any). Fully About this Site  
Report Archive  
3.3 Reporting cycle (annual, biennial, etc.) Fully Annual  
3.4 Contact point for questions regarding the report or its contents. Fully Take Action  
Staplessoul@staples.com  
3.5 Process for defining report content. Fully About this site  
Reporting Approach See 2010 and 2011 Soul reports for materiality analysis.
3.6 Boundary of the report (e.g., countries, divisions, subsidiaries, leased facilities, joint ventures, suppliers). Fully About this site  
3.7 State any specific limitations on the scope or boundary of the report (see completeness principle for explanation of scope). Fully About this site  
3.8 Basis for reporting on joint ventures, subsidiaries, leased facilities, outsourced operations, and other entities that can significantly affect comparability from period to period and/or between organizations. Fully About this site  
3.9 Data measurement techniques and the bases of calculations, including assumptions and techniques underlying estimations applied to the compilation of the Indicators and other information in the report. Explain any decisions not to apply, or to substantially diverge from, the GRI Indicator Protocols. Fully About this site  
3.10 Explanation of the effect of any re-statements of information provided in earlier reports, and the reasons for such re-statement (e.g., mergers/acquisitions, change of base years/periods, nature of business, measurement methods). Fully Performance  
3.11 Significant changes from previous reporting periods in the scope, boundary, or measurement methods applied in the report. Fully About this site  
3.12 Table identifying the location of the Standard Disclosures in the report. Fully GRI Index  
3.13 Policy and current practice with regard to seeking external assurance for the report. Fully About this site  

4. Governance, Commitments, and Engagement

Profile Disclosure Description Reported Cross-reference/Direct answer Explanation
4.1 Governance structure of the organization, including committees under the highest governance body responsible for specific tasks, such as setting strategy or organizational oversight. Fully Corporate Governance  
Proxy Statement Pages 10-13 of PDF
4.2 Indicate whether the Chair of the highest governance body is also an executive officer. Fully Ensuring Sound Governance  
4.3 For organizations that have a unitary board structure, state the number of members of the highest governance body that are independent and/or non-executive members. Fully Ensuring Sound Governance  
4.4 Mechanisms for shareholders and employees to provide recommendations or direction to the highest governance body. Fully Ensuring Sound Governance  
4.5 Linkage between compensation for members of the highest governance body, senior managers, and executives (including departure arrangements), and the organization's performance (including social and environmental performance). Fully Annual Report Pages 32-48 of PDF. No specific social or environmental criteria are applied.
4.6 Processes in place for the highest governance body to ensure conflicts of interest are avoided. Fully Director's Corporate Governance Guidelines  
4.7 Process for determining the qualifications and expertise of the members of the highest governance body for guiding the organization's strategy on economic, environmental, and social topics. Fully Director's Corporate Governance Guidelines  
4.8 Internally developed statements of mission or values, codes of conduct, and principles relevant to economic, environmental, and social performance and the status of their implementation. Fully Code of Ethics  
Supplier Code of Conduct  
4.9 Procedures of the highest governance body for overseeing the organization's identification and management of economic, environmental, and social performance, including relevant risks and opportunities, and adherence or compliance with internationally agreed standards, codes of conduct, and principles. Fully Ethics and Governance  
Corporate Governance  
4.10 Processes for evaluating the highest governance body's own performance, particularly with respect to economic, environmental, and social performance. Fully Director's Corporate Governance Guidelines  
4.11 Explanation of whether and how the precautionary approach or principle is addressed by the organization. Fully Culture of Integrity  
Sustainable Products and Services  
CDP Investor Response question 2.1  
4.12 Externally developed economic, environmental, and social charters, principles, or other initiatives to which the organization subscribes or endorses. Fully None  
4.13 Memberships in associations (such as industry associations) and/or national/international advocacy organizations in which the organization: * Has positions in governance bodies; * Participates in projects or committees; * Provides substantive funding beyond routine membership dues; or * Views membership as strategic. Fully Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO's)  
4.14 List of stakeholder groups engaged by the organization. Fully Stakeholder Engagement  
4.15 Basis for identification and selection of stakeholders with whom to engage. Fully Stakeholder Engagement;  
Customer Satisfaction  
Community  
Diversity  
Supplier Diversity  
Understanding Associates  
4.16 Approaches to stakeholder engagement, including frequency of engagement by type and by stakeholder group. Fully Frequency of engagement varies greatly; some occurs on an ad-hoc basis while other engagements occur regularly. More detail is included in the following sections:  
Stakeholder Engagement  
Customer Satisfaction  
Understanding Associates  
Ensuring Sound Governance  
4.17 Key topics and concerns that have been raised through stakeholder engagement, and how the organization has responded to those key topics and concerns, including through its reporting. Fully Materiality Analysis  

STANDARD DISCLOSURES PART II: Disclosures on Management Approach (DMAs)

G3 DMA Description Reported Cross-reference/Direct answer Further comments
DMA EC Disclosure on Management Approach EC
Aspects Economic performance Fully Annual Report (Full Report)
Community Section  
Market presence Fully Annual report Pages 73-74 of PDF
Indirect economic impacts Fully Community Section  
Supplier Diversity  
DMA EN Disclosure on Management Approach EN
Aspects Materials Fully Environment/Our Strategy Pages 73-74 of PDF
Eliminating Operational Waste  
Sustainable Products and Services  
Recycling Solutions for Customers  
Performance  
Energy Fully Environment/Our Strategy  
Environment/Goals  
Performance  
Water Partially Environment/Our Strategy  
Total Water Use  
Biodiversity Partially Environment/Our Strategy  
Sustainable Paper- Based Products  
Emissions, effluents and waste Fully Environment/Our Strategy  
Environment/Goals  
Performance  
Products and services Fully Environment/Our Strategy  
Sustainable Products and Services  
Compliance Fully Environment/Our Strategy  
Transport Fully Environment/Our Strategy  
Fleet efficiency  
Overall Fully Environment/Our Strategy  
DMA LA Disclosure on Management Approach LA
Aspects Employment Fully Understanding Associates  
Labor/management relations Not No related indicators are reported  
Occupational health and safety Partially Managing Occupational Health and Safety  
Training and education Fully Talent Management  
Diversity and equal opportunity Fully Diversity  
DMA HR Disclosure on Management Approach HR
Aspects Investment and procurement practices Fully Ethics and Governance  
Supplier Code of Conduct  
Non-discrimination Partially Ethics and Governance  
Supplier Code of Conduct  
Freedom of association and collective bargaining Partially Staples Global Code of Ethics  
Supplier Code of Conduct  
Child labor Partially Staples Global Code of Ethics  
Supplier Code of Conduct  
Forced and compulsory labor Partially Staples Global Code of Ethics  
Supplier Code of Conduct  
Security practices Partially Staples Global Code of Ethics  
Supplier Code of Conduct  
Indigenous rights Partially Staples Global Code of Ethics  
Supplier Code of Conduct  
DMA SO Disclosure on Management Approach SO
Aspects Community Fully Community  
Community Goals  
Performance  
Corruption Fully Ethics and Governance  
Culture of Integrity  
Public policy Fully Political contributions approach  
Anti-competitive behavior Partially Ethics and Governance  
Staples Global Code of Ethics  
Compliance Fully Ethics and Governance  
Culture of Integrity  
DMA PR Disclosure on Management Approach PR
Aspects Customer health and safety Fully 100% Satisfaction Guarantee  
Product and service labeling Fully Customer Satisfaction  
Marketing communications Not No related indicators are reported  
Customer privacy Partially Protecting customer information and privacy  
Compliance Not No related indicators are reported  

STANDARD DISCLOSURES PART III: Performance Indicators

Economic

Performance Indicator Description Reported Cross-reference/Direct answer
EC1 Direct economic value generated and distributed, including revenues, operating costs, employee compensation, donations and other community investments, retained earnings, and payments to capital providers and governments. Fully About Staples
Impact on Communities
Performance Summary/Economic
Annual Report (Pages 2, 5, 131-133, 138-140)
EC2 Financial implications and other risks and opportunities for the organization's activities due to climate change. Fully Staples CDP Investor response
EC3 Coverage of the organization's defined benefit plan obligations. Fully Annual Report (Pages 142-150)
EC4 Significant financial assistance received from government. Not Not reported
Market presence
EC5 Range of ratios of standard entry level wage compared to local minimum wage at significant locations of operation. Not Not reported
EC6 Policy, practices, and proportion of spending on locally-based suppliers at significant locations of operation. Not Not reported
EC7 Procedures for local hiring and proportion of senior management hired from the local community at significant locations of operation. Not Not reported
Indirect economic impacts
EC8 Development and impact of infrastructure investments and services provided primarily for public benefit through commercial, in-kind, or pro bono engagement. Not Not reported
EC9 Understanding and describing significant indirect economic impacts, including the extent of impacts. Fully Impact on Communities
Supplier Diversity

Environmental

Performance Indicator Description Reported Cross-reference/Direct answer
Materials
EN1 Materials used by weight or volume. Not Not reported
EN2 Percentage of materials used that are recycled input materials. Partially Recycling Solutions for Customers
Performance Summary/Sustainable Products
Energy
EN3 Direct energy consumption by primary energy source. Fully Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy
Performance Summary/Energy
EN4 Indirect energy consumption by primary source. Partially Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy
Performance Summary/Energy
EN5 Energy saved due to conservation and efficiency improvements. Fully Fleet efficiency
Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy
EN6 Initiatives to provide energy-efficient or renewable energy based products and services, and reductions in energy requirements as a result of these initiatives. Partially Sustainable Products and Services
Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy
EN7 Initiatives to reduce indirect energy consumption and reductions achieved. Fully Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy
Water
EN8 Total water withdrawal by source. Partially Performance Summary/Water
EN9 Water sources significantly affected by withdrawal of water. Not Not reported
EN10 Percentage and total volume of water recycled and reused. Not Not reported
Biodiversity
EN11 Location and size of land owned, leased, managed in, or adjacent to, protected areas and areas of high biodiversity value outside protected areas. Not Not reported
EN12 Description of significant impacts of activities, products, and services on biodiversity in protected areas and areas of high biodiversity value outside protected areas. Partially Sustainable Paper-based products
EN13 Habitats protected or restored. Not Not reported
EN14 Strategies, current actions, and future plans for managing impacts on biodiversity. Partially Sustainable Paper-based products
EN15 Number of IUCN Red List species and national conservation list species with habitats in areas affected by operations, by level of extinction risk. Not Not reported
Emissions, effluents and waste
EN16 Total direct and indirect greenhouse gas emissions by weight. Fully Reducing greenhouse gas emissions
Performance Summary/Greenhouse gas emissions
EN17 Other relevant indirect greenhouse gas emissions by weight. Not Not reported
EN18 Initiatives to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and reductions achieved. Fully Sustainable Products and Services
Using alternative sources of energy
Performance Summary/Greenhouse gas emissions
EN19 Emissions of ozone-depleting substances by weight. Not Not reported
EN20 NOx, SOx, and other significant air emissions by type and weight. Not Not reported
EN21 Total water discharge by quality and destination. Not Not reported
EN22 Total weight of waste by type and disposal method. Fully Eliminating Operational Waste
Performance Summary/Waste and recycling
We do not report on total hazardous waste statistics as hazardous waste constitutes less than 1% of our total waste stream by weight.
EN23 Total number and volume of significant spills. Not Not reported
EN24 Weight of transported, imported, exported, or treated waste deemed hazardous under the terms of the Basel Convention Annex I, II, III, and VIII, and percentage of transported waste shipped internationally. Not Not reported
EN25 Identity, size, protected status, and biodiversity value of water bodies and related habitats significantly affected by the reporting organization's discharges of water and runoff. Not Not reported
Products and services
EN26 Initiatives to mitigate environmental impacts of products and services, and extent of impact mitigation. Fully Sustainable Products and Services
Sustainability strategy
EN27 Percentage of products sold and their packaging materials that are reclaimed by category. Partially Recycling Solutions for Customers
Eliminating Operational Waste
Performance Summary/Recycling Services
Compliance
EN28 Monetary value of significant fines and total number of non-monetary sanctions for non-compliance with environmental laws and regulations. Not Not reported
Transport
EN29 Significant environmental impacts of transporting products and other goods and materials used for the organization's operations, and transporting members of the workforce. Partially Fleet efficiency
Overall
EN30 Total environmental protection expenditures and investments by type. Not Not reported

Social: Labor Practices and Decent Work

Performance Indicator Description Reported Cross-reference/Direct answer
Employment
LA1 Total workforce by employment type, employment contract, and region. Partially About Staples
Performance Summary/Economic
Understanding Associates
LA2 Total number and rate of employee turnover by age group, gender, and region. Partially Performance Summary/Diversity
LA3 Benefits provided to full-time employees that are not provided to temporary or part-time employees, by major operations. Fully Employee benefits
Working Here
Labor/management relations
LA4 Percentage of employees covered by collective bargaining agreements. Not Not reported
LA5 Minimum notice period(s) regarding significant operational changes, including whether it is specified in collective agreements. Not Not reported
Occupational health and safety
LA6 Percentage of total workforce represented in formal joint management-worker health and safety committees that help monitor and advise on occupational health and safety programs. Not Not reported
LA7 Rates of injury, occupational diseases, lost days, and absenteeism, and number of work-related fatalities by region. Not Not reported
LA8 Education, training, counseling, prevention, and risk-control programs in place to assist workforce members, their families, or community members regarding serious diseases. Fully Health and Wellness
LA9 Health and safety topics covered in formal agreements with trade unions. Not Not reported
Training and education
LA10 Average hours of training per year per employee by employee category. Partially Talent Management
LA11 Programs for skills management and lifelong learning that support the continued employability of employees and assist them in managing career endings. Fully Talent Management
LA12 Percentage of employees receiving regular performance and career development reviews. Fully Talent Management
Diversity and equal opportunity
LA13 Composition of governance bodies and breakdown of employees per category according to gender, age group, minority group membership, and other indicators of diversity. Fully Staples Board of Directors
Diversity Performance
LA14 Ratio of basic salary of men to women by employee category. Not Not reported

Social: Human Rights

Performance Indicator Description Reported Cross-reference/Direct answer
Investment and procurement practices
HR1 Percentage and total number of significant investment agreements that include human rights clauses or that have undergone human rights screening. Not Not reported
HR2 Percentage of significant suppliers and contractors that have undergone screening on human rights and actions taken. Fully Ethical Sourcing
HR3 Total hours of employee training on policies and procedures concerning aspects of human rights that are relevant to operations, including the percentage of employees trained. Partially Ethical Sourcing
Non-discrimination
HR4 Total number of incidents of discrimination and actions taken. Not Not reported
Freedom of association and collective bargaining
HR5 Operations identified in which the right to exercise freedom of association and collective bargaining may be violated or at significant risk, and actions taken to support these rights. Not Not reported
Child labor
HR6 Operations identified as having significant risk for incidents of child labor, and measures taken to contribute to the elimination of child labor. Not Not reported
Forced and compulsory labor
HR7 Operations identified as having significant risk for incidents of forced or compulsory labor, and measures to contribute to the elimination of forced or compulsory labor. Not Not reported
Security practices
HR8 Percentage of security personnel trained in the organization's policies or procedures concerning aspects of human rights that are relevant to operations. Not Not reported
Indigenous rights
HR9 Total number of incidents of violations involving rights of indigenous people and actions taken. Not Not reported

Social: Society

Political Contributions
Performance Indicator Description Reported Cross-reference/Direct answer
Community
SO1 Nature, scope, and effectiveness of any programs and practices that assess and manage the impacts of operations on communities, including entering, operating, and exiting. Fully Impact on Communities
Providing Value to Customers
Stakeholder Engagement
Corruption
SO2 Percentage and total number of business units analyzed for risks related to corruption. Fully Culture of Integrity
The Staples Ethics and Compliance program is a risk-based program. 100% of businesses are analyzed for risks related to corruption.
SO3 Percentage of employees trained in organization's anti-corruption policies and procedures. Fully Culture of Integrity
100% of employees in high risk geographies and job functions receive training.
SO4 Actions taken in response to incidents of corruption. Fully Staples Global Code of Ethics
Public policy
SO5 Public policy positions and participation in public policy development and lobbying. Not Not reported
SO6 Total value of financial and in-kind contributions to political parties, politicians, and related institutions by country. Fully Political Contributions
Anti-competitive behavior
SO7 Total number of legal actions for anti-competitive behavior, anti-trust, and monopoly practices and their outcomes. Not Not reported
Compliance
SO8 Monetary value of significant fines and total number of non-monetary sanctions for non-compliance with laws and regulations. Not Not reported

Social: Product Responsibility

Performance Indicator Description Reported Cross-reference/Direct answer
Customer health and safety
PR1 Life cycle stages in which health and safety impacts of products and services are assessed for improvement, and percentage of significant products and services categories subject to such procedures. Fully Ethical Sourcing
PR2 Total number of incidents of non-compliance with regulations and voluntary codes concerning health and safety impacts of products and services during their life cycle, by type of outcomes. Not Not reported
Product and service labeling
PR3 Type of product and service information required by procedures, and percentage of significant products and services subject to such information requirements. Partially Sustainable Products and Services
Performance Summary/Environment
PR4 Total number of incidents of non-compliance with regulations and voluntary codes concerning product and service information and labeling, by type of outcomes. Not Not reported
PR5 Practices related to customer satisfaction, including results of surveys measuring customer satisfaction. Fully Customer satisfaction
Marketing communications
PR6 Programs for adherence to laws, standards, and voluntary codes related to marketing communications, including advertising, promotion, and sponsorship. Not Not reported
PR7 Total number of incidents of non-compliance with regulations and voluntary codes concerning marketing communications, including advertising, promotion, and sponsorship by type of outcomes. Not Not reported
Customer privacy
PR8 Total number of substantiated complaints regarding breaches of customer privacy and losses of customer data. Not Not reported
Compliance
PR9 Monetary value of significant fines for non-compliance with laws and regulations concerning the provision and use of products and services. Not Not reported