Experts from Business, Government and Academia to Decide Winners of the Staples 2nd Annual Global EcoEasy Challenge

Panel to Award $25,000 Grand Prize for Top “Green” Office Product Concept

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Tuesday, April 5, 2011 11:41 am EDT

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FRAMINGHAM, Mass.
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SPLS
"Our judges have committed much, if not all of their professional lives to sustainability"

FRAMINGHAM, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Staples, Inc. (Nasdaq: SPLS), the world’s largest office products company, in collaboration with the Rochester Institute of Technology’s Golisano Institute for Sustainability, today announced the esteemed panel of experts who will judge the 2nd Annual Global EcoEasy Challenge. The judges will review the top international university student concepts for the most innovative ideas for office products that promote sustainability or use environmentally-preferable materials.

The finalists are student teams from universities in India, Singapore, China, Ireland and the United States. They will present their ideas to the judges April 12 and the winner will be announced at the Newseum in Washington, D.C. on April 13. The grand prize for the winning team is $25,000 plus royalties should their concept be brought to market. Two runners-up will each receive $5,000.

“Our judges have committed much, if not all of their professional lives to sustainability,” said Mark Buckley, Staples vice president of environmental affairs. “They share Staples’ vision and commitment to sustainable innovation and discovery, as we continue to reduce both our and our customers’ environmental footprint. We greatly appreciate their efforts to sustain our planet for future generations, and their commitment to help Staples do the same through our EcoEasy Challenge.”

As part of the judging process, a public vote that took place at https://ecoeasychallenge.com during March 8 - 22 will be included. More than 5,000 votes will be tallied to help decide the best EcoEasy office product idea.

The judges are:

Nancy Lublin, chief executive officer of DoSomething.org. Since 2003, she has overseen DoSomething.org's national growth and led the effort to award grant money to young people who want to make a difference. Lublin also founded Dress for Success, which provides women with interview suits, career development training and boosts their self-confidence in more than 70 cities in four countries.

Bill McElnea, leads the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Sustainable Manufacturing Initiative. McElnea helped design and implement the department’s nationwide initiative aimed at supporting U.S. manufacturer efforts to enhance profitability and environmental sustainability.

Dr. Nabil Z. Nasr, assistant provost for academic affairs at Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT). He directs RIT’s Golisano Institute for Sustainability and the Center for Integrated Manufacturing Studies, which is the technology development and transfer arm of the institute, whose mission is to deliver innovative educational programs in sustainability and to conduct related world-class research. Dr. Nasr serves on the National Academies’ National Materials and Manufacturing Board and is a member of the editorial board of the International Journal of Sustainable Manufacturing and several industry boards.

Bill Roth, is a nationally followed columnist in Triple Pundit and The Green Economy Post. He founded Earth 2017 to provide a free web resource on the green best practices being used by CEOs and entrepreneurs to win cost leadership and grow revenues. He is an economist, clean-tech entrepreneur and previously served as senior vice president of Pacific Gas and Electric Energy Services and President of Cleantech America.

Kate Swann, chief operating officer at Frog Design, a global innovation firm. Frog brings a unique combination of strategic and creative talent to help companies envision, realize, and deliver actionable strategies for growth. Clients include HP, GE, MTV and Nokia. She is responsible for managing Frog’s 15 global locations.

Staples judges include:

Mark Buckley, Staples vice president of environmental affairs. He is responsible for the company’s environmental leadership in the purchase and promotion of recycled content products, chain-wide recycling initiatives, energy conservation programs and renewable power procurement as well as educational initiatives for customers and associates.

Dave D’Angelo, senior vice president of Staples Brands Group. D’Angelo is responsible for the product brand at Staples, where he has held leadership positions since starting in 1999 as director of product development and sales. He has served as vice president of global product sourcing among other roles within the Staples Brands Group. Prior to joining Staples, Dave worked for Reebok.

About Staples Environmental Commitment

Staples long-standing commitment to sustainable business practices is based on four key environmental cornerstones: recycling, offering a wide assortment of eco-preferable products, investing in energy efficiency and renewable energy and educating customers and associates about sustainability. Through its EcoEasy commitment, Staples makes it easy for customers to make a difference for the environment by offering more than 3,000 eco-preferable products and providing everyday, in-store recycling for computers, office technology, personal electronics and ink and toner cartridges. For more on Staples environmental initiatives, please visit www.staples.com/ecoeasy.

About Staples

Staples is the world’s largest office products company and a trusted source for office solutions. The company provides products, services and expertise in office supplies, copy & print, technology, facilities and breakroom, and furniture. Staples invented the office superstore concept in 1986 and now has annual sales of $25 billion, ranking second in the world in eCommerce sales. With 90,000 associates worldwide, Staples operates in 26 countries throughout North and South America, Europe, Asia and Australia, making it easy for businesses of all sizes, and consumers. The company is headquartered outside Boston. More information about Staples (Nasdaq: SPLS) is available at www.staples.com/media.

Follow Staples on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/staplestweets and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/staples.

About the Golisano Institute for Sustainability

The Golisano Institute for Sustainability (GIS) was formed in 2007 and currently houses one of the world’s first Ph.D. programs in sustainability with a focus on sustainable production systems, and has developed master’s degrees in sustainable systems and sustainable architecture. GIS conducts cutting edge research in nanotechnology, alternative energy development and validation, sustainable design, and pollution prevention and works with many industry sponsors including Xerox Corp., Eastman Kodak Company, General Motors, and Staples as well as many state and federal agencies, including the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and the U.S. Department of Transportation.

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Staples, Inc.
Nina Akerley, 508-253-1078
Nina.Akerley@staples.com
or
Tilson Communications
Jackie Guzman, 561-998-1995
jguzman@tilsonpr.com


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