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Staples' Environmental Progress Update Provides Results of Company-Wide Commitment

Progress Achieved in Recycled Content Products, Recycling Initiatives, Energy Use and Educational Initiatives

Friday, November 21, 2003 7:00 am EST

Dateline:

FRAMINGHAM, Mass.

Public Company Information:

NASDAQ:
SPLS
"Staples has made significant advancements this year as part of our ongoing commitment to environmental stewardship"

FRAMINGHAM, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Staples, Inc. (Nasdaq: SPLS) announced today an environmental progress update on initiatives and results of its company-wide commitment to protect natural resources. Results include increased average post consumer content by all paper products offered for sale from 19 percent to 27 percent and increased renewable power use from less than two percent to 10 percent of total U.S. electricity consumption. Other major initiatives include a new recycling program for cell phones and other mobile electronics and a promotional program for recycling ink jet and laser toner cartridges. Staples' environmental update provides an overview of progress made from November 2002 to November 2003.

"Staples has made significant advancements this year as part of our ongoing commitment to environmental stewardship," said Joseph Vassalluzzo, Staples' vice chairman. "These advancements result from the diligent efforts of our associates and the support of environmental non-government organizations with whom we work to improve our environmental performance. Staples is committed to our long-term effort of developing sustainable business practices, which balance the economic, environmental and social impacts of conducting our business."

In 2003 Staples introduced new environmental initiatives and enhanced existing programs across its business. The progress follows in part Staples' industry-first environmental paper procurement policy, issued in November 2002, which formalized the company's commitment to protect forest resources and strengthened its long-standing efforts to improve the environmental performance of its business. Staples' company-wide commitment to protect natural resources covers four major areas, or cornerstones: the purchase and promotion of products containing post-consumer recycled materials; recycling initiatives; energy conservation programs and renewable power procurement; and educational initiatives for customers and associates.

Highlights of Staples' 2003 environmental progress include:

  • Increased the average post consumer content across all paper products offered for sale from 18.7 percent in November 2002 to 26.6 percent in November 2003 toward a goal of 30 percent.
  • Converted to an average 30 percent post consumer content for all paper utilized for internal company operations. Additionally, moved average post consumer content for promotional circular and catalog production from 14 percent to 22 percent.
  • Launched two in-store recycling programs that enable Staples customers to recycle their used cell phones, PDAs, pagers and rechargeable batteries.
  • Increased renewable power use from less than two percent to an industry-leading 10 percent of total annual U.S. electricity consumption, exceeding an initial goal of 5 percent.
  • In celebration of America Recycles Day on November 15, launched a collaborative program with Boys & Girls Clubs of America's Torch Clubs to recycle used cell phones, PDAs and pagers.
  • Launched our Recycle for Education Program where $1.00 per eligible used inkjet and laser toner cartridge recycled is donated to support public education. To date, Staples has recycled nearly 2,000,000 cartridges and donated more than $300,000 to public education.
  • Increased total post consumer content by tons of paper sold from 21.02 percent in November 2002 to 21.26 percent in November 2003.
  • Launched a program to donate 10 percent of all Staples brand 30 percent recycled copy paper sales, up to $500,000, to Boys and Girls Clubs of America.

Staples' collective environmental business efforts have resulted in meaningful environmental benefits since November 2002, including:

        1,150,743     Trees Saved
68,964,053 kWh of electricity saved and purchased from renewable sources
473,830,000 Gallons of water saved
298,296 Tons of greenhouse gas emissions reduced (C02, S02, N0x)
34,480 Barrels of oil saved
20,688 Tons of coal saved
 

Staples' environmental update provides measurement and quantified results where possible and will be followed by a more in-depth 2003 report in the spring of 2004. Similarly, all subsequent annual progress reports will be issued in the spring of the following year. To view the progress update, please visit http://www.staples.com/recycle.

About Staples, Inc.

Staples, Inc. is headquartered outside of Boston and sells a wide range of office products, including supplies, technology, furniture, and business services. With 2002 sales of $11.6 billion, Staples is committed to make buying office products easy. Nearly 58,000 associates serve consumers and businesses of all sizes - from home-based businesses to Fortune 500 companies in the US, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom. Staples invented the office superstore concept and today, with approximately 1,500 office superstores, is the largest operator of office superstores in the world. Staples also serves its customers through its mail order catalog, e-commerce and contract businesses. More information is available at http://www.staples.com.

Contact:

Staples, Inc.
Owen Davis, 508-253-8468
owen.davis@staples.com

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