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Staples Announces Winning Team in its Search for the Next Green Office Product
University of New South Wales' Innovative Concept "The BIND" Takes Top Honor at the Inaugural Staples Global EcoEasy Challenge

NEW YORK, Apr 20, 2010 (BUSINESS WIRE) --Staples, Inc. (Nasdaq: SPLS), the world's largest office products company, today announced the winner of the inaugural Staples Global EcoEasy Challenge, a search among universities from around the world to find the next environmentally preferable office product. The team from University of New South Wales in Australia was awarded the $25,000 grand prize for their concept "The BIND."

Staples, in conjunction with the Rochester Institute of Technology's Golisano Institute for Sustainability, created the program to challenge students from leading technology institutions worldwide to develop either 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. The program received more than 60 submissions, and seven teams from five countries traveled to New York City to compete for the grand prize. The winner was announced today during an event at the New York Academy of Sciences.

"The Staples Global EcoEasy Challenge represents innovation at its best," said David D'Angelo, Senior Vice President of Staples Brands Group. "By listening to the bright minds of some of the world's top engineering students, we saw exciting and unique ideas that support our commitment to sustainability and to delivering quality products that make office life easier."

Team Aunswera (A University of New South Wales Environment Realization Alliance) members David Chau, Christopher Chare, Farhan Qureshi and Kai Cen won the $25,000 grand prize for their concept, "The BIND." The BIND stands for Binder Interlock Neat Device and represents an innovative tie-and-ring-system for organizing documents both in the office and at home. The BIND's innovative locking mechanism provides users with a flexible and reusable alternative to products like binders, paper clips and cable ties.

"The judging panel was extremely impressed with all of the finalist team presentations and the innovative thinking behind each concept," said Dr. Nabil Nasr, Assistant Provost, Director of Center for Integrated Manufacturing Studies and Golisano Institute for Sustainability, Rochester Institute of Technology. "Our grand prize winner The BIND has the market potential to solve many day-to-day home and office needs, and more importantly, its durability and use of sustainable materials reduces the product's long-term impact on the environment."

In addition, two runners-up each received $5,000 prizes for their teams:

  • University of California at Berkeley (United States) for the Eco-Stapler, a mini-stapler made from environmentally preferable materials. The light and functional stapler's use of sustainable resources provides an eco-conscious alternative to the conventional stapler.
  • Indian Institute of Technology Madras (India) for the Step Shredder, which uses innovative technology to reduce power consumption. The high-capacity device uses a manual mechanism to power shredder blades, eliminating the need for electricity.

The seven finalist teams presented their concepts to a prestigious panel of judges that included:

  • 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
  • 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
  • J. Scott Plank, Executive Vice President of Business Development, Under Armour
  • Andrew Winston, Founder of Winston Eco-Strategies, Co-Author of Green to Gold

Staples also announced today that the second Staples Global EcoEasy Challenge will officially launch in the fall 2010, expanding to reach more universities. Students and professors interested in learning more can register to receive updates at

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-friendly 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-friendly products and providing everyday, in-store computer recycling, office technology, personal electronics and ink and toner cartridge recycling. 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

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SOURCE: Staples, Inc.

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