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Corporate Responsibility Summary Report 2017 Our commitment to a sustainable future Embrace diversity Give back to our communities Sustain the environment Sound ethics

2017 Corporate Responsibility Summary Report

Corporate Responsibility recognises the close connection between our success and our ability to make a positive impact on our customers, our employees and the planet. We believe CR helps to make us an employer and neighbour of choice, differentiates our brand and allows us to grow profitably and responsibly. Corporate Responsibility reflects our commitment to corporate social responsibility. It brings together our efforts to: • sustain the environment • practice sound ethics • give back to our communities • embrace diversity

UN Sustainable Development Goals

Staples Solutions are committed to the UN Sustainable Development Goals; from 2018 we will be mapping our Corporate Responsibility approach and existing programmes against these goals and where our strategic priorities align.


We generate business and environmental benefits — for ourselves, our customers and our communities — by leading the way in sustainable business practices. Our Sustainability Policy drives our approach to the environment. 1. 2. 3. 4.

Our Sustainability Commitments: Offer the broadest range of eco-conscious products in our industry Offer the world’s largest recycling programmes in many key categories Help our customers reach their sustainability goals - minimising their carbon emissions and waste Continuously look for ways to reduce our own environmental impact - minimising carbon emissions and waste to landfill

1. Eco Products

Easy on the Planet products We offer over 16,000 eco-conscious products to help customers meet their goals. The ‘Easy on the Planet’ icon reflects a stringent criteria for eco-products with reduced environmental impacts compared to other products in their category. The criteria simplifies complex eco-feature information for our customers, providing trusted recommended eco-conscious products. In 2017, we continued to increase the percentage of green products purchased by our customers through our engagement programmes.

% sales: Eco-conscious products





SOFEA Staples Solutions are a founding member of SOFEA, a European industry association based in Brussels. SOFEA brings the Office Supply Industry together for the common goal of creating a simple EU industry-wide eco-rating system. It’s our goal to develop and continuously improve an independent and scientifically approved tool to drive sustainability and visibility in our industry. Own brand – facilities solutions We are committed to bringing more eco-preferable products to market - products made with renewable resources, and/or recycled materials and are third-party certified to validate their environmental attributes. In 2017, we worked to expand our own brand product range of eco products, including a new range of eco-conscious cleaning suppliers.


Corporate Responsibility

Caring about our society & environment

Vendor Partnership We are working closely with vendors like 3M, HP, and Esselte to increase our eco-conscious product range bringing new and innovative solutions to our customers.

2. Customer Recycling

Ink and Toner Staples Solutions offers responsible, free and convenient recycling solutions for technology and ink and toner cartridges. Offering customers value by making it easier for them to be more sustainable, while protecting their data.

Ink and toner recycling (units)





Large scale reduction due to reduction in the size of our retail business in the UK and The Netherlands.

3. Helping our customers

Easy on the Planet customer programme Our Easy on the Planet programme is designed to help customers reach their sustainability objectives by consolidating product orders and categories and favouring eco-conscious products – reducing packaging, waste, fuel and material consumption. To offset any residual emissions that can’t be reduced or mitigated further, Staples Solutions plant trees to reward our customers efforts. We use sophisticated business intelligence to partner with our customers and inform them on how to improve their environmental impact. We worked closely with Plant-for-the-Planet and our partner vendors to reward our customers with 300,000 trees in 2017 – double what was planted in 2016. This represents around 210,000 tons of CO2 being offset. One Source solution By continuously expanding our range of products into new categories, we can make a big difference to our customers. Having a single source solution for all your business needs means less vendors, fewer deliveries, less packaging, less waste and less cost! Being a trusted partner We know that running an office is no easy thing to do; so running a sustainable office can be demanding. Staples Solutions work with our industry partners to create informative and thought provoking articles to inform our customers on how to be efficient and sustainable in the workplace; like our “How eco-proof is your company?” article.

Improving our operational impact

Environmental Management systems We continue to demonstrate the accountability of our operations by certifying our environmental management systems to the ISO14001 standard, something we have hold in over 70 facilities across Europe in Benelux, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and the UK. This continual improvement process has resulted in key initiatives to reduce waste, increase recycling and stimulated specific national objectives encouraging sustainable energy and reducing emissions. Electrical Consumption




Non-renewable electricity (KWh)




Renewable electricity (KWh)




Total Electricity (KWh)




Large scale reduction due to reduction in the size of our retail business in the UK and The Netherlands.


2017 Corporate Responsibility Summary Report

Efficient Packaging and Delivery Staples Solutions has engaged with packing engineering specialists to improve packaging specifications and solutions since 2011. We have made a significant investment in packaging machinery in our major European distribution hubs in France, Germany, Italy, The Netherlands, Spain, Sweden and the UK - consistently producing secure packaging with no wasted space or costly and avoidable plastic filling materials. This results in a 30% average reduction in shipping volumes, translating into fewer vehicles required to move the product to customers. Our logistics partnerships in the UK, France, Germany and The Netherlands mark significant steps in reducing carbon impact per parcel - from 1.66kg to 1.02kg per parcel when the system was first introduced. Carbon Offsets In 2017, Staples Solutions purchase carbon offsets in locations like The Netherlands, Sweden. Denmark, Norway and Finland. Staples Solutions Nordics has planted trees with Plant-for-the-Planet to offset all emissions; our strategy includes expanding this initiative to include more of our businesses like Staples Solutions UK. Changing how we operate New LED lighting installations, smart lighting and improved heating processes help to reduce energy consumption throughout the EU. While innovative building designs are leading the way for environmental efficiency: • Staples Solutions’ solar powers the town of Waldlaubersheim at no cost to the town or its people. The facility still powers the town today • Our Corby distribution center in the UK features many sustainable innovations like solar walls (185mWh per year) and Solar heating Our efforts towards redirecting waste to recycling streams have seen great success across our European business, as we refine our processes to both use less materials and recycle more: Unit




Total Waste

Metric tonnes




Total Recycling

Metric tonnes




Total to Incineration (recovery)

Metric tonnes




Waste to Landfill

Metric tonnes




Large scale reduction due to reduction in the size of our retail business in the UK and The Netherlands.


Corporate Responsibility

Caring about our society & environment


Promoting a strong culture and minimising ethics and compliance risks are top priorities for us. We empower and hold accountable every individual in the company by setting clear standards, informing employees about the right way to do business, and making sure that the company responds appropriately when ethical questions or concerns arise. Our Ethics Commitments: 1. Maintain a governance structure that ensures sound practice to protect investors, employees, and suppliers 2. Conduct business ethically to retain the trust of our customers, investors, and other stakeholders 3. Offer our customers products that not only meet or exceed performance expectations, but are also manufactured responsibly

Conducting Business Ethically

Code of Ethics and training Staples Solutions Global Code of Ethics embodies our commitment to high ethical standards. The Code forms the basis of training for all employees - it explains core expectations regarding ethical conduct and business practices and includes guidelines to help employees deal appropriately with a broad range of issues like: • Insider trading and customer privacy • Discrimination and harassment • How to ask questions and voice • Concerns about ethics issues • Processes for reporting and handling violations • Anti-Corruption policy and procedures Whistle blowing site Speaking up is important because it strengthens our culture and helps Staples Solutions address potential issues before they become problems. Our anonymous ‘whistle blowers’ portal is in place to receive questions or concerns in all our native languages every day, around the clock. When a comment is received an independent third party gathers information and provides to Staples Solutions to investigate. 5

2017 Corporate Responsibility Summary Report

Our Supply chain - Manufacturing Responsibly

Supplier Code of Conduct To establish clear guidelines for responsible operation, we developed the Staples Solutions Supplier Code of Conduct to help ensure that every relationship we enter – whether it’s with a supplier, factory or vendor – consistently operates in accordance with Staples Solutions requirements. The Supplier Code of Conduct, based on the internationally recognised SA8000 standard, is included as an appendix to each manufacturing agreement, and each supplier is required to comply with its provisions. Audits In 2017 Independent audits performed on supplier operations to ensure working conditions meet our standards and reduce the risk to customers • Staples Solutions performed 171 supplier audits globally • 50 factories were audited in “At Risk Countries” • 53 Social Accountability audits took place in at risk countries • 5 factories ‘On Probation’ with a corrective action plan ready for further re-audits


We reach out to and support the communities in which our customers and employees live and work. We do this by creating jobs (both through direct employment and indirectly through our supply chain), and also by providing support for educational important community initiatives through financial contributions, employee engagement in local causes and in-kind donations. Our Community commitments: 1. Give back to our local communities in support of education and job skills training 2. Encourage employee engagement in our local communities 3. Create employment opportunities in our local communities while attracting, developing, and retaining the best talent

Supporting charities

Plant-for-the-Planet Staples Solutions is proud to be partnering with Plant-for-the-Planet, an organisation that has taken on the legacy of UNEP’s Billion Tree Campaign. Plant-for-the-Planet plant trees on behalf of Staples Solutions customers across the globe, particularly in areas where they will have the biggest environmental and social impact, thereby restoring fragile eco-systems and creating jobs for communities across the world. In 2017, Staples Solutions planted 300,000 trees on behalf of around 11,000 customers.


Corporate Responsibility

Caring about our society & environment

2 Million & Change In December 2016, we finalised our 2 Million & Change Programme, directing our community engagement efforts in 2017. Over 12,000 employees and 4,800 customers voted to allocate funding to charities. Across Europe, we gave over 220,000 EUR to 39 charities, forming the basis of our community employee volunteer and fundraising engagement for 2017. Partnerships like: • LASTENKLINIKOIDEN KUMMIT RY - Finland • Friends – Sweden • Ronald McDonald Huis – Netherlands • Kinderschutzbund Hamburg – Germany • MacMillan Cancer Research – UK Stock donations In 2017, we donated more than 953,026 EUR to corporate charitable giving programmes, in-kind donations and cause marketing efforts. Local fundraising We strive to build a relationship with organisations in our communities and work with the expertise in local community issues that is held by our partners. Across Europe, our employees are working with local charities to raise much needed funds, For example, in the UK in 2017: • MacMillan coffee Morning - £487.06 • Christmas Jumper Day for Save the Children - £67.75 • Donations to Acorns Hospice - £1417.86

Engaging our employees

Academies In 2017, we hosted and organized 8 fantastic academies with Plant-for-the-Planet - held across the EU (in Germany, France, Norway and Sweden) • educating around 400 children on climate change while planting over 300 hundred trees Community Volunteering Across Europe over 400 employees volunteered over 2,000 hours for causes in local communities • Fitness Fundraisers in Sweden, France, Portugal and beyond • Community Days in Germany, Netherlands, Sweden, Denmark, Portugal, Belgium, Norway • School packs and baking in Portugal, Poland


2017 Corporate Responsibility Summary Report

For example - 110 – 150 employees from Almere and Amsterdam volunteered on 6th September: • CliniClowns - cleaning the clowns college • Ronald McDonald Huis - cooking for resident families & gardening • Het Vergeten Kind - gardening, constructing, painting garden tables • De Ruige Hof Nature Reserve - bridge building, winter preparation • Stichting Aap - cleaning enclosures and gardening • Dr Sarphati Huis - hosting Spanish party for residents Fitness Fundraisers - Health & Wellbeing Staples Solutions participated in a range of fitness fundraising events to encourage healthy lifestyles and community engagement: • Swedish employees raising funds for Friends in the Boras half marathon / 10km • French employees raising money for Association contre la mucoviscidose in Paris


We seek to develop a workforce that reflects the diversity of the communities and customers we serve all over the world by embracing diversity in all its forms — race, gender, thought and experience. We promote a culture of inclusion within our workforce.


Corporate Responsibility

Caring about our society & environment

Our Diversity & Inclusivity Commitments: 1. Embrace diversity and inclusion by embedding it into our business and our company culture 2. Attract and retain diverse employees across our operations 3. Develop our diverse network of suppliers Our goal is to reflect the diversity of our customers through the diversity of our own workforce, as well as the hundreds of suppliers and other businesses we work with every day. We consequently strive to enhance and leverage our workforce diversity and promote diversity among our suppliers.

Embrace Diversity

New Policy Following our transition from Staples Inc., we have developed a new Diversity and Inclusivity Policy to develop our business to reflect the diversity of our customers through the diversity of our own workforce, suppliers and partners. By developing new programmes, we will enhance and leverage our workforce diversity and promote diversity among our suppliers.

Attract and retain talent

Staples University Staples Solutions have our own in house Learning and Development team, specialised in offering our employees the opportunity to progress in their careers with Staples Solutions. We routinely schedule group training sessions for our European employees to help deal with a challenging and dynamic modern world of work.


More ways to make a difference

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