Office Depot, a leading global provider of office products and services, today announced that its “Green” retail store prototype has received a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold Certification from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). The USGBC’s LEED system is widely recognized as the benchmark for green building design, construction, operations and maintenance.
Office Depot received the Gold Rating for the Company’s Store Prototype as well as for its first “Green” retail store in Austin, Texas which opened during the summer of 2008. The Office Depot Austin store was the first location the Company constructed following its environmentally preferable prototype design or master set of drawings. The prototype, which will be utilized for future stores where Office Depot manages the new construction process from the ground up, has now been recognized with Gold Certification, obtaining one of the highest levels of environmental sustainability.
“Office Depot has demonstrated leadership and creativity in the approach they have taken to incorporate sustainable practices into their buildings,” said Doug Gatlin, Vice President of Market Development, U.S. Green Building Council. “We are eager to see Office Depot continue to build state-of-the-art retail environments.”
“We went for Gold and we were successful in accomplishing it,” said Ed Costa, Vice President of Construction for Office Depot. “Achieving LEED Gold Certification for our Austin store and prototype will make the certification process simpler and more efficient for future LEED Certified stores. As a result, we will be able to scale the operational efficiency that LEED certification enables across our store footprint at a more rapid pace.”
A USGBC member since 2007, Office Depot was in the first group of organizations to participate in the LEED Portfolio Program pilot, and the only office products company. USGBC’s Portfolio Program pilot includes 14 retailers as well as a few participants from a variety of other industries. It involves implementing a new volume certification process, integrating LEED attributes into a prototype design, and then applying the prototype design across multiple buildings.
“Buildings contribute to over 40 percent of global carbon emissions,” said Yalmaz Siddiqui, Director of Environmental Strategy for Office Depot. “By obtaining LEED Gold Certification for our store prototype, we have embedded low-carbon principles into our most material source of carbon – our retail stores. We are very proud of this accomplishment and the commitment demonstrated by Office Depot’s construction team. We are excited to continue to lead the office products industry with our global environmental strategy to increasingly buy green, be green and sell green.”