September 22, 2009

Dear Office Depot Environmental Stakeholder,

Welcome to the inaugural issue of Office Depot's Environmental Update.

This is our latest effort to increase transparency with customers and stakeholders such as you. It will help you learn the newest developments in Office Depot's environmental strategy, and how they may affect you.

We hope it becomes a letter you look forward to receiving for the insights it contains and answers it provides - including answers you may be seeking for your own organizations' environmental programs. We'll be sending these no more than four times a year, and you can opt out any time.

First, I'd like to introduce myself and summarize my role. My name is Yalmaz Siddiqui and I lead Office Depot's global environmental strategy. I hold a Masters in Environment & Development from the University of Cambridge and a Bachelor of Commerce from McGill. Most of my prior experience was as a management consultant: first with PwC, then with IBM Consulting. At Office Depot I am ultimately accountable for ensuring we fulfill our vision "to increasingly buy green, be green and sell green." Our approach is to use a small green team to initiate, facilitate and communicate programs that are implemented by core Office Depot functions.

Key Environmental Updates

Corporate Citizenship Report 2009 Released: In September 2009 we released our latest Corporate Citizenship report. Within it you'll find highlights of our environmental programs in 2008 and an Environmental Dashboard of key environmental performance indicators.

Office Depot Recognized for Paper Leadership in 3rd Annual Green Grades Report Card: We are proud to announce that a recent report by ForestEthics and Dogwood Alliance recognized Office Depot as an industry leader in terms of environmentally preferable paper practices. We were recognized in the following way "Office Depot does the best job of tracking its forest sources, has the most detailed paper policy, has been the most systematic about avoiding paper from Indonesian Endangered Forest logger Asia Pulp & Paper, and does the best job of tracking its use of post consumer recycled paper."

A Shades of Green Product System: One of the seemingly simple, but complex questions we consistently are asked by our customers is “what is a green product?” There’s been a lot of discussion on this topic recently, including a WSJ article and Office Depot’s own CEO suggesting a US Green Products Council. In the absence of a national or global standard today, we are developing a Shades of Green Product System using attributes as indicators of “green-ness.” This system is being developed with input from Office Depot's global green team as well as some of our most advanced green customers in the U.S., including purchasing and environmental teams at the Cities of Seattle and Portland.

Our Shades of Green Product System strives for “imperfect simplicity” rather than “imperfect complexity” as you see from our approach to the recycled attribute. We are creating similar tiers for a number of other product attributes, such as energy efficiency and reduced harsh chemicals, and over time plan to depict these attributes on our websites as we already do in our Green Book catalog.

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Green Business Review (GBR): As part our strategy to “sell green,” we want to help customers understand the environmental aspects of their purchases. We’ve piloted this GBR successfully with a few customers, and are ready to roll it out to more large accounts. The GBR uses our Shades of Green Product System to categorize and visually depict green spend. Its goal is to help customers move their spend up the shades of green.

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To learn more about Office Depot's green programs, please visit Thanks for your interest in Office Depot.


Yalmaz Siddiqui
Director, Environmental Strategy, Office Depot