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Digital Transformation, Is it a green business opportunity?

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Tuesday, 14 February 2017

Many companies are taking different initiatives to reduce the waste and promote recycling of the natural resources. ‘Waste not UK’ programme was particularly successful last year in UK, can we say that customer is getting aware of their responsibility towards environment!!

 A leading global provider of office products, services and solutions and parent company of Office Depot and OfficeMax.  Office Depot (OD) took this initiative back in 2012 and based on an effort to support its environmental strategy of “Buy Green, Be Green, Sell Green”.

Now with the Office Depot GreenerOffice Delivery Service, a large number of Office Depot’s orders are shipped in paper bags instead of cardboard boxes. A significantly greater amount of wood is used in the production of corrugated boxes than what is used in the production of paper bags. For orders delivered in bags, Office Depot reduces the number of boxes used for deliveries and also eliminate the use of air pillows. Office Depot order arrives in a recycled paper bag with a convenient handle. Additionally, the bags are much easier to open and you can conveniently reuse or recycle the bags. This new program is just another step in decreasing the overall use of packing material needed for Office Depot deliveries. Also, Office Depot has implemented effective packaging, which reduces the size of the box based on the number of items in the order/package.

The bags contain 40% post-consumer recycled content and the reusable plastic tote that protects the bags during transportation contains 60% post-consumer recycled plastic.

‘Be Green, Buy Green, Sell Green and Tell Green’ Mantra

Be Green

In 2016 Office Depot UK launched an initiative to reduce the number of small orders they process. By reducing the number of small orders they process, they can reduce the total number of orders they deliver and ultimately reduce the impact of their businesses on the planet by reducing packaging.  Should a customer require an order under £25 a small charge will be made, of which a percentage will be donated to a gold standard carbon offset project.

Buy Green

Office Depot UK increased the number of products in its Office Depot catalogue with environmental attributes. The 2016 catalogue has over 2000 products with a verified environmental attribute.

Sell Green

They support customers in achieving their sustainability objective. Award winners gets selected from among Office Depot’s largest 1,000 customers based on their high green spend percentage compared to others in their sector. Office Depot calculates green spend percentage by comparing a customer’s expenditure on products with eco-attributes such as recycled content, energy-efficiency, non-toxicity, etc., and/or Ecolabels such as FSC, EPEAT, GREENGUARD, GreenSeal and EcoLogo. Customer purchases with the highest level of meaningful eco-attributes and ecolabels were given extra weight in the selection process.

Office Depot can take further steps and send gift vouchers for the customers by email who are significantly contributing and buying greener products but not the winner.

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Marketing a Sustainable Brand Story

Brand awareness and resonance are critical to successful marketing. When businesses tell a compelling brand story that pulls at people’s emotions, it resonates. It is really important to understand Eco-motivations of different types of consumers, every individual can respond to different green messages.People hear it, and they’ll most likely remember it. If the consumer feels as a part of the initiative, it improves the customer experience for retailers and they are then more likely to stay loyal and maybe even advocate for the product.

Here is an opportunity for Office Depot to use social networking tools like Facebook. Also, can launch own channel on a YouTube GreenOffice Brand Channel to share a short video on the efforts being made to go green.

Tell Green

They are committed to open and transparent reporting with independent verification. Examples of this are the independent assessment of environmental product claims, greenhouse gas footprint to ISO14064 and environmental performance to ISO14001.