Staples is becoming a leader in solar, adding it on many stores without much fanfare, and now we've learned they are doing the same on energy efficiency in their buildings.
500 buildings have earned EPA's Energy Star certification, including stores, distribution centers and sales offices nationwide. The company's goal is to have 1,000 buildings certified by the end of 2016.
Its biggest goal is to cut global carbon emissions 50% by 2020 from a 2010 baseline.
First recognized by the EPA for energy efficiency in 1999, this year Staples received its highest award - Partner of the Year, Sustained Excellence Award, for showing outstanding leadership in energy efficiency year after year.
"We're proud to be recognized by the EPA for our efforts, and we're committed to combining the latest energy efficiency strategies and technologies with renewable power use to save energy, reduce costs and minimize carbon emissions throughout our operations," says John Lynch, senior vice president of facilities, construction & support services at Staples.
As of April, Staples has 37 solar arrays totaling an impressive 14 megawatts (MW), including a 685 kilowatt (kW) system that just turned on at its global headquarters campus in Framingham, Massachusetts. Two locations with solar also have fuel cells from Bloom Energy.
The company ranks #7 among US Fortune 500 companies for using solar energy and #4 among retailers, according to the EPA.
In fact, Staples now gets 25% of its electricity in the US from renewable energy through on-site solar systems and by purchasing renewable energy certificates for 75%.
It also was among the first companies to drop suppliers that source paper by destroying rainforests.