The Staples 2nd Annual Global EcoEasy Challenge Expands to Include University Students Worldwide

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Jackie Guzman
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Search for the Most Innovative “Green” Office Product Begins Oct. 19

FRAMINGHAM, Mass. (Oct. 19, 2010) – Staples, Inc. (Nasdaq: SPLS), the world’s largest office products company, and the Golisano Institute for Sustainability at the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT), today launched the 2nd Annual Global EcoEasy Challenge to find the world’s most ingenious concepts for environmentally preferable office products. The 2011 Challenge is open to all undergraduate and graduate student teams enrolled at universities located within 16 select countries.

Staples and RIT have made it easy for students to submit their ideas and become the next great inventor of an EcoEasy office product. Interested students need to simply submit a 1,000 word description of their unique idea for a new, more environmentally preferable design of an office product. Designs may use environmentally preferable material or present a new product promoting sustainability. Staples will invite up to eight finalist teams to Washington, D.C. in April, 2011, to present their product idea to a panel of judges. The judges will award the grand-prize winning team with $25,000 and two runners-up will receive $5,000 each.

“We were incredibly impressed with the level of creativity and talent displayed at the 2010 competition. The leading entries included concepts such as a desk chair that controlled office power consumption and a 100 percent recyclable writing instrument,” said Mark Buckley, vice president of environmental affairs for Staples. “Staples is committed to creatively finding new ways to make environmentally preferable office products an everyday reality and encouraging students to consider the impact of a product’s design on the environment. This challenge allows us to celebrate environmentally preferable products as we reward students for their ideas and promote a new generation of products that are better for the environment.”

This year, for the first time, the public will be able to act as a judge and help determine the winning submission. Anyone can visit the site once a day from March 8, 2011, through March 22, 2011, to vote for their favorite EcoEasy office product at

“We are looking forward to working with Staples once again to raise awareness of the growing need and demand for sustainable products,” said Dr. Nabil Nasr, assistant provost and director of the Golisano Institute for Sustainability at RIT. “The global interest surrounding this Challenge has grown and we are pleased to be able to welcome a more extensive group of creative and talented students from around the world to share their winning ideas.”

The contest is open to teams of up to four undergraduate or graduate students, 18 years or older, that are enrolled at universities based in Argentina, Australia, Austria, Brazil, Canada (excluding Quebec), China, Germany, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Singapore, South Korea, the Netherlands, United Kingdom and the United States. Interested students can register for the contest at All teams must submit their final concepts no later than Dec. 23, 2010.

For additional information on how to take part in the Staples Global EcoEasy Challenge, visit

About Staples’ Environmental Commitment
Staples long-standing commitment to sustainable business practices is based on four key environmental cornerstones: recycling, offering a wide assortment of eco-preferable products, investing in energy efficiency and renewable energy and educating customers and associates about sustainability. Through its EcoEasy commitment, Staples makes it easy for customers to make a difference for the environment by offering more than 3,000 eco-preferable products and providing everyday, in-store recycling for computers, office technology, personal electronics and ink and toner cartridges. For more on Staples environmental initiatives, please visit

About Staples
Staples, the world’s largest office products company, is committed to making it easy for customers to buy a wide range of office products and services. Our broad selection of office supplies, electronics, technology and office furniture as well as business services, including computer repair and copying and printing, helps our customers run their offices efficiently. With 2009 sales of $24 billion and 91,000 associates worldwide, Staples operates in 26 countries throughout North and South America, Europe, Asia and Australia serving businesses of all sizes and consumers. Staples invented the office superstore concept in 1986 and today ranks second worldwide in e-commerce sales. The company is headquartered outside Boston. More information about Staples (Nasdaq: SPLS) is available at

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About the Golisano Institute for Sustainability
The Golisano Institute for Sustainability was formed in 2007 thanks to a $10 million gift from Paychex founder and Chairman B. Thomas Golisano. The institute currently houses one of the world’s first Ph.D. programs in sustainable production and is developing master’s degrees in sustainable systems and sustainable architecture. It also conducts cutting edge research in nanotechnology, alternative energy development and validation, sustainable design and pollution prevention and works with a host of businesses and state and federal agencies including Xerox Corp., Eastman Kodak Company, General Motors, Staples, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and the U.S. Department of Transportation.