Seven environmental initiatives from Officeworks
Author: Claire Bell
With 166 stores, a national call centre and over 7,000 team members, Officeworks is meeting the sustainability challenges by providing solutions for customers and their own operations. Here are seven ways they are making a difference:
- Customer recycling stations – All stores offer customer recycling stations for printer cartridges and mobile phones in partnership with Cartridges 4 Planet Ark and MobileMuster. Out of the 38 million cartridges collected for Cartridges 4 Planet Ark, Officeworks stores have collected an impressive 9 million! At their Chirnside Park store, battery recycling and soft plastics recycling has also been introduced, including a new recycling station to make it easier for customers to drop-off their unwanted items.
- Energy efficiency – Currently 81% (135) of stores have LED lighting with more stores to follow. In addition, Building Energy Management Systems have been installed in 92 stores, and the first solar panels were installed at the North Lakes store earlier this year. These initiatives have helped reduced energy usage by 11%, based on 2015 levels.
- Sustainable forestry – Officeworks has a commitment that all paper products will be either FSC certified or made from 100% recycled paper by the end of 2020. In the last year, 61 per cent of products sold with wood or fibre content were obtained from 100 per cent recycled or FSC certified sources.
- Planting trees – Last year the Restoring Australia initiative launched. It aims to plant two trees for every one used, based on the weight of paper products purchased by Officeworks’ customers. By partnering with Greening Australia, Restoring Australia will help restore degraded landscapes, improving habitats for wildlife including threatened species, and rejuvenate bushland.
- Giving back to the community – A new charity partnership with MobileMuster, from 1 June 2018, will see $2 donated to The Smith Family for every kilo of mobiles and accessories collected and recycled through Officeworks stores. This goes towards funding the sponsorship of disadvantaged students in need and provides the tools and resources to help them succeed in their education and break the cycle of disadvantage.
- Ewaste recycling – The ‘Bring IT Back’ program provides customers with a way to recycle computers and accessories - 95% of the IT waste collected is recovered and recycled. In just 12 months, 400 tonnes of computers and accessories were collected which translates into the recycling of over 345 tonnes of metal, 44 tonnes of plastic, 20 tonnes of circuit boards and six tonnes of glass. In addition, the equivalent of over 45,000 mobile phones were collected.
- Packaging and recycling – The Australasian Recycling Label has been applied to over 800 products to make it easier for customers to recycle product packaging.
Claire has been working at Planet Ark since 2011, after working in the communications industry and raising a young family. She is passionate about her children and helping the environment. Claire is super-organised and excellent multitasker, which helps in her joint roles as Office Manager and Campaign Coordinator.
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