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Office Depot Releases Greener Paper Purchasing Policy



  Office Depot Releases Greener Paper Purchasing Policy

  New Policy Focuses on Implementation and Includes Wide Spectrum of Support
                       from Forest Sector Stakeholders

Business Wire

BOCA RATON, Fla. -- August 7, 2013

Office Depot, Inc. (NYSE: ODP), a leading global provider of office supplies
and services, today announced that it has released a new greener paper
purchasing policy designed to increase its use and tracking of environmentally
preferable paper products.

The new guidelines – drafted over a 12 month period with input from World
Wildlife Fund (WWF), other Environmental Non-Governmental Organizations
(ENGOs) and several paper suppliers – updates the Company’s 2004 paper policy.
The updated policy has garnered support from a wide range of forest sector
stakeholders. The policy scope includes all paper purchased or sold by Office
Depot globally, with initial implementation focused on high volume categories
such as copy paper and marketing papers, and a secondary focus on other
paper-based office products and delivery packaging.

“At its core, this new policy is about clarity and implementation,” said
Yalmaz Siddiqui, Senior Director, Environmental Strategy at Office Depot. “It
builds from Office Depot’s leadership policy of the past but is now structured
to allow better tracking of progress along a shades of green continuum. The
detail we put into this policy reflects our significant commitment to bringing
clarity to our question ‘what is greener paper’ - a question that has
heretofore been surprisingly difficult to answer.”

"By continuing to strengthen and refine its purchasing policy, Office Depot is
bolstering its commitment to help protect the world's forests," said Linda
Walker, North America Manager of WWF’s Global Forest & Trade Network (GFTN), a
program that engages with companies committed to responsible production and
sourcing of forest products. “We applaud Office Depot’s commitment to Forest
Stewardship Council (FSC) certification, transparency and publicly reporting
its results.”

As an active GFTN participant, Office Depot agreed to update this policy, set
targets, and publicly report on its progress toward responsible fiber sourcing
goals. Highlights of the new paper policy, and major changes from the earlier
version, include:

  * Minimum requirements for fiber from specific forest certification schemes:
    The previous version of the Office Depot paper policy had a preference for
    “certified” fiber but gave no guidance on which forest certifications were
    acceptable. The new policy includes Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI);
    American Tree Farm (ATF); Program for Endorsement of Forestry
    Certification (PEFC); and FSC Controlled Wood schemes as minimum
    requirements. As of early 2012, 91.6% of Office Depot North America’s copy
    paper sales by weight were to SFI, PEFC or FSC certified, with the vast
    majority (81.5%) certified SFI or PEFC. Minimum requirements are to be
    pursued for all paper products.

  * Acceptance of all major forest certifications but preference for
    FSC-certified fiber: The prior policy treated forest certifications
    equally, while new wording gives preference to FSC. This was partly based
    on recommendations to Office Depot from leading ENGOs, but also reflects
    Office Depot analysis of the principles and on-the-ground practice of
    forestry in FSC-certified forests. This new preference for FSC is also
    intended to help increase the Company’s overall use of FSC fiber, which
    currently stands at 10.1% of its virgin copy paper by weight in 2011.
  * Explicit exclusions: The earlier policy gave guidance on preferred
    attributes of paper products but limited direction on exclusions. The new
    policy is more explicit in terms of excluding unknown or unwanted sources
    such as fiber from High Conservation Value Forests or illegal logging.
  * Recognition and support of “shades of green” in terms of paper sourcing:
    Perhaps the most innovative aspect of the new policy is that it is not
    ”binary,” in that it does not set a single point at which paper becomes
    “good,” and below which it is “bad.” The policy recognizes that the goal
    of environmentally preferable purchasing is to continue seeking products
    that have lower environmental impacts than typical alternatives. The
    policy also recognizes fiber options that reduce pressure on natural
    forests – such as high recycled fiber or agricultural/plant based fiber
    from certified responsible sources – as increasingly greener.
  * Commitment to set targets and publicly report progress: As part of the
    policy, Office Depot has committed to setting targets on specific aspects
    of the policy and reporting progress against those targets.

“By offering a clear perspective on how different papers are greener, our new
paper policy allows our buyers and our customers to make informed decisions on
their paper purchasing,” said Linda Boykin, Vice President of Merchandising
for Office Depot.

Quotes from Selected Environmental Stakeholders

“Domtar is proud to supply Office Depot with high-quality, environmentally
responsible paper and fully supports its new paper purchasing policy. Domtar’s
commitment to forest certification, and FSC in particular, aligns ideally with
Office Depot’s values. We look forward to working together to expand the
market for certified paper products.”

Paige Goff, Vice President, Sustainability & Business Communications, Domtar

"Office Depot's updated paper policy reflects the importance of knowing what's
in your paper and how to reduce your impacts on the world's forests. By
aligning to aspects of the "Paper Steps" approach from the Environmental Paper
Network (www.papersteps.org), Office Depot is employing a sophisticated,
scaled approach to developing a responsible supply chain."

Joshua Martin, Director, Environmental Paper Network

"Office Depot's new purchasing policy sets an important precedent by
recognizing the very real benefits unique to FSC and reflects a deep
understanding of what it takes to protect forests for future generations. When
companies ask us what a good forest policy should look like, we will point to
Office Depot. The Forest Stewardship Council commends Office Depot for its
forward-looking leadership."

Kim Carstensen, Director General, Forest Stewardship Council

“International Paper is pleased to see Office Depot’s paper purchasing policy
continue to recognize the value of ‘certified’ fiber. We look forward to
supporting the new policy with IP products that come from responsibly-managed
forests. It is critical that we give land owners a strong incentive to
continue growing and harvesting trees the right way.”

Teri Shanahan, VP Sustainability, International Paper

“New Leaf Paper applauds Office Depot for clearly differentiating light-, mid-
and dark-green specifications and identifying the people in Office Depot who
are accountable. This is sustainability 2.0, integrating the responsibility
for environmental stewardship throughout the organization.”

Jeff Mendelsohn, Founder & Chair, New Leaf Paper

“The Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) standard is recognized in Office
Depot’s new paper procurement policy. We look forward to working with Office
Depot through the SFI Standard Revision process to further elevate the
recognition of the SFI Standard in Office Depot’s procurement policy.”

Kathy Abusow, President & CEO, Sustainable Forestry Initiative Inc.

About Office Depot

Office Depot provides core office supplies, the latest technology, school
essentials, copy & print services, cleaning & breakroom products, and
furniture to consumers, teachers and businesses of all sizes through 1,614
worldwide retail stores, global e-commerce operations, a dedicated sales
force, an inside sales organization, and top-rated catalogs. The Company has
annual sales of approximately $10.7 billion, employs about 38,000 associates,
and serves customers in 60 countries around the world.

Office Depot’s common stock is listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the
symbol ODP. Additional press information can be found
at: http://news.officedepot.com.

Office Depot is also well regarded as an environmental leader having ranked as
America’s #1 greenest large retailer in Newsweek Magazine’s annual green
rankings in 2010, 2011 and 2012. Additional information can be found at:
http://officedepotcitizenship.com/

Contact:

Office Depot
Rebecca Rakitin, 561-438-1450
Rebecca.Rakitin@officedepot.com
or
Stephanie Sampiere, 561-438-2563
Stephanie.Sampiere@officedepot.com
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