Office Depot is rolling out a new delivery service that could save over 20,000 trees annually – replacing cardboard boxes with reusable plastic totes and plastic air pillows with paper bags.
The GreenerOffice Delivery Service, initially launched as a pilot program, is now available to Office Depot business customers nationwide, but customers can choose to opt-out at any time.
Customers participating in the GreenerOffice Delivery Service will receive their office supplies in paper bags containing 40 percent post-consumer recycled content – which they can then recycle. The paper bags are protected during shipping by a reusable plastic tote, made from 60 percent post-consumer recycled plastic, which drivers will take back after delivery and reuse for ongoing deliveries.
The new delivery service’s pilot program proved successful, with 96 percent of participants choosing to stay with the program.
“Customer feedback on our new delivery service has been exceptional,” said Juan Guerrero, Office Depots’ senior vice president of supply chain. “Many customers were excited by the convenience the program offers – no boxes to open, no air pillows to deal with and no cardboard to handle and dispose of after receipt.”
The University of Notre Dame, one of the pilot’s early participants, estimates it has reduced its delivery waste by 9.5 tons per year, said Erin Hafner, programs manager for the University’s Office of Sustainability.
Based on customer adoption rates during the pilot, Office Depot plans to replace approximately 5 million boxes with bags and totes in the initial 12 months of the national program – replacing approximately 4.5 million pounds of cardboard boxes with about 0.9 million pounds of paper. This will prevent the need for more than 3.5 million pounds of wood-based resources or over 20,000 trees.
Deliveries will not be made by bag and tote for UPS shipments or large orders like cases of paper.
“This program delivers a triple win: Our customers win because the paper bags are more convenient to open and recycle, Office Depot wins because we continue to enhance our environmental leadership, and the ecosystem benefits because fewer materials are needed, and less waste ends up in our landfills,” said Yalmaz Siddiqui, Office Depot’s director of environmental strategy.