Staples, Inc. and Ecova have worked together for more than 12 years. This evening, Staples will be honored by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as an ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year. In today’s guest blog, Bob Valair, Staples director of energy and environmental management, shares his insight on Staples work and how working with Ecova makes ENERGY STAR easy...
In 2010, Staples developed and began to implement an overarching sustainability strategy, which focused on the ways we can have the greatest beneficial impact on the environment while also meeting the needs of our customers and our business. One of the five pillars that form the foundation of Staples’ sustainability program is to maximize energy efficiency and the use of renewable energy. We have been an ENERGY STAR partner since 1999 and working toward increasing energy efficiency, including decreasing our electricity use per square foot in the U.S. by 12 percent from 2007 to 2010, and have been recognized a leader in industry. Ecova played a role in this effort, ensuring that we had the accurate data available to monitor our progress, and tracking energy efficiency programs for our facilities.
At the end of 2011, 286 of our buildings were ENERGY STAR certified. Our 2012 goal is to reach 500. Ecova helps submit data from over 2,000 facilities directly into the ENERGY STAR program each month, helping us efficiently participate in the ENERGY STAR program. Having ENERGY STAR certification not only helps Staples save money and increase energy efficiency – moving us closer toward our sustainability goals, but it creates a way for our customers to know that they are making important environmental choices when they buy from Staples. We also involve our employees and communities in our energy efficiency efforts. Two of my favorite programs are:
- The EEI/Staples Wake Up Kids school energy education program, staffed by Staples volunteers, helped educate more than 1,000 K-12 students last year about the necessity of energy efficiency.
- As a symbol of our commitment to superior energy and environmental management, we developed our own icon of energy efficiency: Wattson. A six-foot tall fluorescent light character, Wattson is designed to inspire ongoing exploration of new ways to save energy. In 2010, Wattson appeared regularly at a variety of events to help educate employees, customers and school children about the importance of energy conservation.
At Staples we take sustainability seriously and value the contribution that experts such as Ecova can bring to our team. We look forward to meeting our next set of energy efficiency goals with Ecova as our partner.