Office Depot (NYSE: ODP) is rolling out a greener delivery service nationwide that's expected to save 3.5 million pounds of wood-based resources that are currently used to make cardboard boxes for shipping each year.
The new GreenerOffice Delivery Service is available to all Office Depot business customers. Instead of receiving office supplies in cardboard boxes, they'll arrive in a paper bag that contains 40% post consumer recycled content.
The bag will be protected during transportation in a reusable plastic tote (made from 60% post consumer recycled plastic). Drivers will return the totes after delivery and reused for other deliveries.
UPS shipments and large orders won't arrive in bags, but based on the results of a pilot program, Office Depot plans to replace 5 million boxes with bags in the initial year of national rollout. Over 90% of eligible customers opted into the pilot program.
By doing so, they hope to replace 4.5 million pounds of cardboard boxes (average 0.95 lbs per box) with about 0.9 million pounds of paper, eliminating the need for over 3.5 million pounds of wood-based resources - over 20,000 trees.
The University of Notre Dame was one of the early participants in the pilot. "The University discovered that the boxes and the plastic pillows we were receiving from deliveries were a huge burden as far as waste goes and accounted for 200 tons of waste annually. The Office Depot Greener Office Delivery Service will make a significant environmental impact and provides a true benefit to the University," says Erin Hafner, Programs Manager for University of Notre Dame's Office of Sustainability.