What is a green product?

The lack of a standard on what constitutes a green product has forced Office Depot’s new environmental
team (post Office Depot and OfficeMax merger) to revisit some difficult questions, including: “What makes a
product green?” “Is green binary or are there shades of green?” “Which certifications are ‘good enough’?”
and “Is the Forest Stewardship Council forest certification preferable to the Sustainable Forestry Initiative?”
These questions (and more) need to be discussed in order to formulate a consistent approach and strategy for buying more green products for internal purchasing as well as resale.

For the moment, the environmental purchasing policies and greener product definitions that Office Depot
has followed over the past number of years will suffice, implying an FSC preference in wood and paper
products. However, we are closely watching the development of the new Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI)
standard for wood and paper and hope to see the improvements that major environmental groups have been
advocating for.



Purchasing Council gains prominence with Office Depot support
Office Depot was instrumental in helping form the Sustainable Purchasing Leadership Council (SPLC); with Yalmaz Siddiqui, Senior Director of Environmental and Supply Chain Diversity Strategy, Office Depot, serving as the Founding Chair. SPLC members include some of the world’s largest B2B buyers, and is focused on accelerating the world’s transition to sustainability. Learn more about the SPLC by visiting sustainablepurchasing.org or by watching this overview video.


Buy Greener Timeline*