Environmental terms explained.

Let’s break down the environmental features and certifications that appear in our product assortment.

Staples considers the following environmental features as more advanced and therefore they qualify for the eco-conscious filter on our staples.com® shopping pages: 30% or more post-consumer recycled content; Remanufactured; Certified/verified to Forest Stewardship Council™; Green Seal™; EPA Safer Choice; ENERGY STAR®; EPEAT; BPI compostable; USDA Organic; Rainforest Alliance™; Fair Trade™; level®; Cradle to Cradle®; 30% or more bio-based plastics or agricultural residues.

  • AP-certified nontoxic

    AP-certified nontoxic

    Scientifically certified as safe for humans by ACMI.

    Where you’ll find it:
    Writing instruments and drawing supplies

  • Bio-based/agricultural wastes/rapidly renewable

    Bio-based/agricultural wastes/rapidly renewable

    Bio-based products are made with renewable alternatives (e.g., corn-based plastics) and rapidly renewable products include agricultural residues as well as crops such as bamboo, cork, wheat straw, and sugarcane waste.

    Where you’ll find it:
    All product categories

  • BPI-certified compostable

    BPI-certified compostable

    Certification that products meet ASTM D6400 or D6868 standards for biodegradability when composted.

    Where you’ll find it:
    Disposable plates & cups and disposable cutlery

  • Cradle to Cradle

    Cradle to Cradle™

    Certifies products to four levels (basic, silver, gold, platinum) based on product life cycle eco impacts.

    Where you’ll find it:
    Furnitureboards & easels and cleaning chemicals

  • ECOLOGO Certified products

    ECOLOGO Certified products

    UL ECOLOGO sets standards and certifies products that are eco-preferable across the entire product life cycle.

    Where you’ll find it:
    Janitorial papercleaning chemicals, writing instruments and ink & toner

  • EPA Comprehensive Procurement Guidelines

    EPA Comprehensive Procurement Guidelines

    Supplier verifies that product meets EPA standards for recycled content in products.

    Where you’ll find it:
    Most product categories

  • EPA Energy Star

    EPA Energy Star

    Product has been qualified as meeting U.S. EPA and Department of Energy standards for energy efficiency.

    Where you’ll find it:
    Computers, tablets & iPads, printers & scanners, office equipment, appliances, heating & cooling, audio & TV and lighting & lamps

  • EPA Safer Choice

    EPA Safer Choice

    U.S. EPA Safer Choice program identifies commercial cleaning and maintenance products with improved environmental and human health characteristics.

    Where you’ll find it:
    Cleaning chemicals, laundry detergent, hand soaps & sanitizers and dish soap & detergents

  • EPEAT electronics certification

    EPEAT electronics certification

    EPEAT qualifies computers and displays, imaging equipment and TVs to three levels (bronze, silver, gold) based on design.

    Where you’ll find it:
    Computers, tablets & iPads, printers & scanners, audio & TV an office equipment

  • Fair Trade Certified

    Fair Trade Certified™

    Certified products/companies must buy from certified farms and organizations, pay Fair Trade prices and premiums and submit to rigorous supply chain audits.

    Where you’ll find it:
    Coffee, K-Cup® pods and tea

  • Forest Stewardship Council

    Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC)

    FSC certification ensures that products come from responsibly managed forests that provide environmental, social and economic benefit.

    Where you’ll find it:
    Paper and wood furniture

  • GreenGuard


    Furniture certified to reduce indoor air pollution from product off-gassing.

    Where you’ll find it:

  • Green Seal

    Green Seal™

    Green Seal certifies products that are holistically designed to be environmentally responsible, including commercial and industrial cleaning products and copy and print paper.

    Where you’ll find it:
    Janitorial paper and cleaning chemicals

  • Indoor Advantage Gold

    Indoor Advantage Gold

    Furniture certified to meet strict standards for reduced indoor air pollution.

    Where you’ll find it:

  • Certifies conformance to the ANSI/BIFMA


    Certifies conformance to the ANSI/BIFMA e3 furniture sustainability standard. Products are certified to the levels 1, 2 or 3.

    Where you’ll find it:

  • Rainforest Alliance Certified

    Rainforest Alliance Certified™

    Product meets comprehensive standards that protect the environment and promote the rights and well-being of workers, their families and communities.

    Where you’ll find it:
    Coffee, K-Cup® pods, tea and paper

  • Recycled


    Recycled content is defined as material that has been diverted and recovered from the waste stream. Post-consumer is the portion coming from end consumers. Recycled content does not include manufacturing scraps typically reused in a production process.

    Where you’ll find it:
    All product categories

  • Remanufactured / Refurbished

    Remanufactured / Refurbished

    Product that has been used, refurbished as needed and offered for resale.

    Where you’ll find it:
    Ink & toner, laptops, desktop computers and  furniture

  • Sustainable Forestry Initiative

    Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI)

    SFI is a program to certify that paper and wood products come from forests managed to protect the environment.

    Where you’ll find it:
    Wood furniture and  paper

  • USDA Organic

    USDA Organic

    USDA Organic certification identifies products that meet USDA standards for organic farming practices.

    Where you’ll find it:
    Coffee, K-Cup® and tea