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Staples Announces Finalists of Global Search for the Next Green Office Product
First Staples Global EcoEasy Challenge Selects Seven Finalist Concepts from Universities in Five Countries
FRAMINGHAM, Mass., Mar 24, 2010 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Taking environmental consciousness to a global level,Staples, Inc. (Nasdaq: SPLS), the world's largest office products company, today announced the universities with finalist concepts for the inaugural Staples Global EcoEasy Challenge. The program received more than 60 submissions from around the world describing innovative concepts for an environmentally preferable business or home office product. From the entries received, teams from five countries will compete for the grand prize at a finals event in New York City on April 20, 2010.

Staples, in partnership with the Rochester Institute of Technology's Golisano Institute for Sustainability, issued a call to action to leading technology institutions around the world. The challenge prompted students to develop a new design of an existing product that represents greater environmental responsibility or sustainability; one that uses an eco-innovative material; or a completely new product that promotes sustainability. Each finalist team consists of up to five students from the participating universities.

"The Global EcoEasy Challenge is a way for students from some of the world's leading technology institutions to apply their design and engineering expertise to develop a product that will benefit the greater good," said Mark Buckley, vice president of environmental affairs for Staples. "Staples' commitment to designing more environmentally responsible products as compared to conventional products is evident by our own EcoEasy and Sustainable Earth brands, in addition to the thousands of other eco-preferable products and services that we offer our customers."

The finalist teams include:

Concept: A desk chair that controls office power consumption to avoid wasted energy

Concept: A shredder with innovative technology to reduce power consumption

Concept: A more eco-responsible take on the pen that significantly increases the product's lifespan

Concept: A mini-stapler made from environmentally preferable materials

Concept: A line of desk and drawer organization tools made out of a local, sustainable material

Concept: A writing instrument designed for easy recycling when no longer usable

Concept: A binder that uses an innovative adjustment mechanism

EcoEasy Challenge Finals

On April 20, the finalist teams will formally present their concepts to a panel of judges at New York Academy of Sciences in New York City. Finals judges include:

  • Betsy Blaisdell, Senior Manager of Environmental Stewardship, The Timberland Company
  • Mark Buckley, Vice President of Environmental Affairs, Staples
  • David D'Angelo, Senior Vice President of Staples Brands Group, Staples
  • Nancy Lublin, CEO for
  • Chris Michaud, Chief Operating Officer, Continuum
  • Dr. Nabil Nasr, Assistant Provost, Director of Center for Integrated Manufacturing Studies and Golisano Institute for Sustainability, Rochester Institute of Technology
  • Dr. Heidi Perry, Program Manager, Physical Sciences, Engineering & Sustainability Initiatives, New York Academy of Sciences

One grand-prize winning team will receive $25,000 and first- and second-place teams will receive $5,000 each.

"With conservation and sustainability such a vital part of our curriculum, the Rochester Institute of Technology was thrilled to work with Staples to bring the Global EcoEasy Challenge to life," said Dr. Nabil Nasr of the Rochester Institute of Technology's Golisano Institute for Sustainability. "We issued this challenge to the next generation of environmental and engineering leaders and the intellectual capital returned combines innovation and environmental awareness."

For more information or to sign up for updates on how to take part in next year's Staples Global EcoEasy Challenge, visit

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

About Staples

Staples, the world's largest office products company, is committed to making it easy for customers to buy a wide range of office products and services. Our broad selection of office supplies, electronics, technology and office furniture as well as business services, including computer repair and copying and printing, helps our customers run their offices efficiently. With 2009 sales of $24 billion and 91,000 associates worldwide, Staples operates in 25 countries throughout North and South America, Europe, Asia and Australia serving businesses of all sizes and consumers. Staples invented the office superstore concept in 1986 and today ranks second worldwide in e-commerce sales. The company is headquartered outside Boston. More information about Staples (Nasdaq: SPLS) is available at

SOURCE: Staples, Inc.

Staples, Inc.
Mark Crowley, 508-253-0767
Christine Gonsior, 212-714-5718