Office Depot reduces packaging waste

GreenerOffice delivery service implements reusable plastic containers
By Modern Materials Handling Staff
April 04, 2012 - MMH Editorial

Office Depot, headquartered in Boca Raton, Fla., is a leading global provider of office supplies and services that help customers save time. Founded in 1986, Office Depot offers a broad selection of nationally branded and private-brand office products including general office and computer supplies, business machines, furniture and services including copy and print, shipping and technology support. 

Today, Office Depot has 1,677 worldwide retail stores and sells to consumers in 60 countries.  But even with a global reach, the company is conscious of its impact on the environment and pursues environmental leadership by reducing its own carbon footprint and providing its customers with eco-conscious office products that drive business improvements.  So, in an effort to supports its environmental strategy of “Buy Green, Be Green, Sell Green,” Office Depot launched the GreenerOffice Delivery Service to corporate business customers.

Prior to the implementing the service, Office Depot used corrugated boxes with plastic air pillows to ship office supplies.  Now, through the GreenerOffice Delivery Service, it ships up to 20 pounds of office supplies in paper bags made of 40% post-consumer recycled content. To protect the contents of the paper bags, Office Depot required a hand-held shipping container, or tote, that could be used throughout its delivery process, from picking products in the warehouse to delivering products desk-side.

Office Depot worked with a supplier (ORBIS Corporation, orbiscorporation.com) to identify a reusable plastic container solution in which bags could be safely and efficiently transported to customers. They selected a nestable tote with an attached lid that is made from 60% post-consumer recycled plastic. These totes are dimensionally consistent and offer repeatable performance on Office Depot’s conveying system, in its trucks and on delivery carts.

The reusable totes are set on Office Depot’s conveyors with the paper bag inside. Office supplies are placed into the bag, the bags are sealed and the tote is closed to protect the products for shipping. Once the totes reach their destination, the bags are removed and given to the customer. The totes are then taken back to the truck to be returned to Office Depot to be used for another shipment.

The new, greener program offers convenience to customers with no boxes to open, no air pillows or other packaging material to dispose of, and no corrugated boxes to break down and discard. Office Depot originally piloted the GreenerOffice program in 2010, and based on the 96% adoption rate, pursued nationwide implementation in 2011.

With GreenerOffice deliveries available across the United States, Office Depot expects to replace 5 million boxes with 5 million bags, which will save more than 3,000 tons of wood, equivalent to more than 20,000 trees; improve its warehouse and distribution efficiency; and help prevent product damage during delivery.

Office Depot: Flexible automation
Mobile robotics is powering Office Depot’s new demand-driven distribution center.



Subscribe to Logistics Management magazine

Subscribe today. It's FREE!
Get timely insider information that you can use to better manage your
entire logistics operation.
Start your FREE subscription today!

Recent Entries

Transportation and logistics bellwether UPS began 2015 in solid fashion with first quarter revenue up 1.4 percent at $14.0 billion and operating profit up 11 percent at $1.7 billion. Earnings per share were up 14 percent at $1.12, which exceeded Wall Street expectations of $1.09, while revenue was shy of the Street’s $14.27 billion estimate.

Last week, the United States Department of Transportation took further steps to address various issues identified in recent train accidents involving crude oil and ethanol shipped by rail. The announcement was made by DOT with other DOT agencies, including the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) and the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA).

Logistics Management Group News Editor Jeff Berman had an opportunity to interview Derek Leathers, President and Chief Operating Officer of Werner Enterprises, at this month's NASSTRAC Shippers Conference and Transportation Expo in Orlando. They discussed various aspects of the truckload market, including prices, fuel, and regulations.

During this webcast our presenters will apply the findings of the 23rd Annual Trends & Issues in Transportation and Logistics Study to the world of shipper-carrier decision making. They'll examine the primary aspects that will influence the future direction for shipper-carrier decision-making.

For February, the month for which most recent data is available, the SCI dropped to -1.0 from January’s 2.6, with FTR explaining that the short term positive impact from one-time adjustments for rapidly dropping diesel prices and the suspension of the 2013 motor carriers hours-of-service expires later this year.

Comments

Post a comment
Commenting is not available in this channel entry.