The Hawkins and Mothersbaugh’s Office Depot case study outlines the three core areas and 10 key guiding principles for its environmental stewardship (2010, pp. 269-270). This paper will summarize Office Depot’s accomplishments to date and determine whether or not consumers are generally aware of these accomplishments. I will also consider whether or not the audit in 2004 performed by PricewaterhouseCooper had an effect on my evaluation of Office Depot’s environmental efforts. Lastly, this paper will present specific consumer values that tap into environmental stewardship to increase the “bottom line,” as well as give an example on how to promote this concept with a targeted market. I believe that Office Depot, at present, is not promoting locally its environmental vision statement, nor advertising in effective manner all its accomplishments over the past few years in sustainable products. Where is the disconnect?
Analysis of Case 2-5 Office Depot Leads in Green
Office Depot is a leader in selling all types of products for business and home offices. In 2004, its annual report listed an Environmental Stewardship Report that was audited by PricewaterhouseCoopers, LLP, a third-party firm. This report was the first independently verified report on environmental performance in this industry. Office Depot is now leading the industry and has formed an environmental paper procurement policy and Vision Statement that is the basis for the company’s ongoing efforts and benchmarking on its achievements in sustainability. However, are consumers fully aware of its policies? If consumers were aware, would it make a difference on where they would shop for office supplies? How can Office Depot target environmental advocates in specific organizations? Discussion
Office Depot was one of the first chain stores of its kind to offer transparency of its green goals. The Environmental Stewardship Report shows this company began to focus on a new strategy that took sweeping measures to convert its supply chain and products to incorporate the company’s long-term vision. Office Depot did accomplish its first goal of giving preference to post-consumer waste products while meeting its second goal of escalating the scope of recycled products with launching a Green Book in 2003 in order to increase product categories and highlight their green attributes (Office Depot). The company now offers thousands of post-consumer waste products and sells hundreds of green products from many sustainable companies. In 2009, it recycled 58% of North America’s end-of-life materials (Office Depot). Although numbers are still low, an increase of the company’s recycling program since its inception in 2004 meets its third goal; however, Office Depot still aims to develop programs by changing certain procedures such as “implementing a new ‘smallest box’ as well as three 100% recycled and 100% recyclable envelopes for shipping small orders” (Office Depot).
Office Depot has advanced in renovating its supply chain to meet its fifth goal of giving preference to products from certified sources and their sixth goal of giving preference to products from companies seeking initiatives of conservation. “In 2004, Office Depot launched the Forest & Biodiversity Conservation Alliance, a five-year, $2.2 million partnership with three of the world’s most respected science-driven conservation organizations: The Nature Conservancy, Conservation International, and NatureServe” (Office Depot). The company is further striving to successfully implement the “Environmental Paper Purchasing Policy,” which focuses on sourcing from certified well-managed forests, increasing our assortment of paper products with recycled content, reducing the use of elemental chlorine bleach and encouraging protection of biodiversity.” (Hawkins, 2010, p. 269) This is in line with their seventh...