Staples is one retailer that has improved its financial performance by implementing a variety of green practices. For example, by switching from three-amp to two-amp light bulbs, the company saves $4.2 million on its bottom line, after subtracting costs of running the program, reported CFO.com from a recent CFO Green Conference in New York.
John Mahoney, finance chief at Staples, said at the conference that the company can afford to maintain its sustainability programs because they have an impact on the company’s financial performance. He said that the company’s environmental department must deliver measurable benefits that are a multiple of the department’s cost, although he does not know exactly how much the company saves through its green initiatives.
In addition to its energy reduction program, Mahoney said that Staples also is saving 540,000 gallons of diesel fuel per year, or $1.5 million, after modifying its trucks so that they can’t go more than 60 miles per hour, and saves hundreds of thousands of dollars through the installation of the company’s 24 rooftop solar panels. The solar panels were installed with virtually no capital investment, thanks to tax credits.
For customers, Staples offers several recycling programs. The retailer recently announced its recycling program for printers as part of its Earth Day promotion, and offers rewards to customers who recycle their ink and toner cartridges. The company also sells recycled paper products and Staples-branded office furniture are made from recycled steel, and binders and organizers use recycled plastic, reported CFO.com.