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Public Radio's Environmental News Magazine (follow us on Google News)

Business Note/A Greener Staples

Air Date: Week of

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Living on Earth’s Jennifer Chu reports on an environmental promise by the world’s largest office supply retailer.


CURWOOD: Coming up, important new clues in the breast cancer mystery. First, this Environmental Business Note from Jennifer Chu.


JEENNIFER CHU: After two years of pressure from environmental groups to improve its business practices, Staples, Incorporated has announced a greener company policy. The biggest office supply retailer in the world promises to increase its recycled content in all paper products by 30 percent. Staples’ recycled content is currently less than 10 percent. It will also create a new environmental affairs division to report yearly on the company’s environmental performance. And executives have vowed to phase out the company’s use of wood products from endangered and old growth forests.

The company’s move comes after years of intense environmental criticism led by a coalition called The Paper Campaign. Leaders of the campaign organized nearly 600 demonstrations at Staples stores across the nation and sent tens of thousands of letters to Staples CEO Ronald Sargent.

Environmentalists say they are optimistic that Staples will fulfill its promises to go greener. The company currently produces more than 400 products with recycled content, more than that of any of its major competitors.

The Paper Campaign’s next focus will be Staples’ rivals OfficeMax, Office Depot and Corporate Express. That’s this week’s business note. I’m Jennifer Chu.

CURWOOD: And you’re listening to Living on Earth.

[MUSIC: Jimmy Smith & Wes Montgomery, “O.D.G” THE DYNAMIC DUO (Verve, 1997)]



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