STORE SPACES

Office Depot seeks to reduce energy use; HVAC replacement among initiatives

BY Marianne Wilson

Office Depot launched new sustainability goals aimed at reducing its energy consumption and transportation emissions.

The company noted in its just-released “2019 Corporate Sustainability Report,” that it plans to reduce its energy consumption by another 10% by 2021. Among the initiatives implemented in 2018 to help tackle its facilities’ energy use was the replacement of all light bulbs in 424 retail locations with energy-efficient LEDs, with the remaining stores scheduled for LED conversion in 2019. To further reduce energy use, Office Depot is the process of evaluating and replacing its aging HVAC units with new energy-efficient models. (Office Depot reduced its energy consumption by 11% in 2018.)

“We also began to look at how we might utilize ‘big data’ for efficient energy,” the company stated. “Our current energy management partner helps us with the analysis of our energy management system and facility functions such as lighting timers, run time, cooling and heating set-points, and scheduling to ensure all systems are performing optimally.”

On the transportation front, Office Depot said emissions will be a new focus for its divisions as it looks at new strategies to decrease costs, optimize our fleet and address some of the challenges it faces as the demand for transportation services increase. It aims to reduce miles per gallon consumption in its private fleet 15% by 2021

In 2018, Office Depot began replacing some of its older vehicles with new, fuel-efficient models that include GPS tools for route optimization. It also reduced the total number of trucks on the road and consolidated freight to increase the efficiency of distribution routes, and expanded its focus on cube utilization by switching to larger cargo boxes and ensuring each cubic foot is being used to the fullest extent.

Additionally, the report contains the company’s public-facing sustainability goals around local communities.

“We are committed to decreasing the company’s environmental impact through waste diversion programs, greener packaging, transportation innovations and product solutions that extend throughout the lifecycle,” said Gerry Smith, CEO, Office Depot, Inc. “We look at sustainability as another challenge we can help our customers address. By supporting the social and environmental values of our customers, we are able to significantly scale our impact beyond our walls and into the workplace of every customer.”

Office Depot is also reducing the amount of waste it sends to landfills. In 2018, it diverted 24,000 metric tons of waste from landfills, with 4.4 million pounds of technology and e-waste recycled.

Additionally, the report contains the company’s public-facing sustainability goals around local communities. These include increasing Office Depot associate volunteers 216% in 2019 versus 2018 and increasing associate hours of service 80% in 2019 versus 2018.

For more information, view the full 2019 Corporate Sustainability Report.

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