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  • Overall approach
    2/10
    • Overarching commitment on deforestation
      0/4
    • Signatory to an initiative tackling deforestation
      0/1
    • Awareness of the value of forests
      1/1
      Awareness
      Yes
      1/1
      "FORESTS SUPPORT PEOPLE AND OUR PLANET...Regulate our climate, clean our water, refresh the air we breathe...Provide habitat for 80% of the terrestrial wildlife and plants around the world...Generate over $220 billion in forest products each year and economically support 1.6 billion people."
    • Deforestation as a business risk
      0/1
    • High-level management of deforestion
      1/1
      High-level management
      Yes
      1/1
      Which commodities does it apply to?: Timber; Pulp & paper

      How often does the committee or board meet to assess company's progress on addressing deforestation-related issues?: Not specified
      "Our Strategy We help make more sustainable business practices happen. We do this by sourcing and selling more eco-conscious products, improving our offering of recycling and other green services, maximizing our energy efficiency and renewable energy use, and eliminating waste. • Selling more sustainable products [...] Our sustainability efforts are managed by the Vice President of Environmental Affairs, who reports to the Chief Culture Officer, who, in turn, reports to the CEO.The Vice President of Environmental Affairs has global responsibility for sustainability and provides periodic updates to the Board of Directors, including meeting with our Audit Committee to advise them on environmental considerations in our company-wide risk management process [...] VisionSell more sustainable product and services [...] including items that meet some of the most stringent environmental standards like Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified paper products"
    • Executive compensation linked to deforestation
    • Target to reduce emissions from land-use change
      0/1
    • Reporting on emissions from land-use change
      0/1
    • Disclosure of conservation activity
    • Disclosure of reforestation activity
    • Target to reduce emissions in scope 1/2
  • Commodity score
    17/90
    • Pulp & Paper
      16/90
      • Commitment Strength
        2/17
        • Commodity-specific deforestation commitment
          2/9.5
          • Commitment details
            Credible certification scheme
            2/6
            Commodity-specific deforestation commitment
            Credible certification scheme
            2/6
            Type of sustainability commitment: Reduce the volume of virgin wood fibre used in paper and packaging products through usage of recycled content; Use of alternative fibres that consider full life cycle, biodiversity, and food security impacts

            What paper/pulp product does their commitment apply to?: Paper products; Packaging

            When was this commitment set?: 2017

            Which certification schemes are used?: FSC; PEFC
            "This policy applies to all paper and wood-based products sold by Staples [...] “paper and wood-based products” refers to products containing solid wood, woodderived materials including veneers, plywood, medium density fiberboard (MDF), and other composite wood products, and/or any grades of paper-based materials. [...] This policy excludes cellulosic fibers and other materials and products made using dissolvable pulp. [...] commitments. 1. Protect global forest resources by progressively increasing the percentage of paper and woodbased products that are purchased as certified, preferably to the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) standard. If market conditions do not allow for the purchase of FSC or other certified products, we will seek to ensure products are sourced from non-controversial sources."
          • Commitment applies to all regions, suppliers and operation
            No
            0/2
            Commitment applies to all regions, suppliers and operation
            No
            0/2
            What is the rationale for any exclusions?: Policy excludes cellulosic fibers and other materials and products made using dissolvable pulp

            If no, what is excluded?: Product line

            What subsidiaries are explicitly included?: NA

            What percentage of commodity production/sourcing is excluded?: NA

            What subsidiaries are explicitly excluded?: NA
            "This policy applies to all paper and wood-based products sold by Staples [...] “paper and wood-based products” refers to products containing solid wood, woodderived materials including veneers, plywood, medium density fiberboard (MDF), and other composite wood products, and/or any grades of paper-based materials. [...] This policy excludes cellulosic fibers and other materials and products made using dissolvable pulp. [...] commitments. 1. Protect global forest resources by progressively increasing the percentage of paper and woodbased products that are purchased as certified, preferably to the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) standard. If market conditions do not allow for the purchase of FSC or other certified products, we will seek to ensure products are sourced from non-controversial sources."
          • Target date
            Post 2050 or no target date
            0/1
            Target date
            Post 2050 or no target date
            0/1
            What actions or steps are identified for time-bound implementation?: NA
          • Interim target date
            No
            0/0.5
            Interim target date
            No
            0/0.5
            What date is given for the interim milestone?: NA
        • Commitment to a traceable supply chain
          0/7.5
          • Commitment details
            No traceability commitment
            0/4
          • Commitment applies to all regions, suppliers and operation
            No
            0/2
          • Target date
            Post 2050 or no target date
            0/1
          • Interim target date
            No
            0/0.5
      • Associated Human Rights Abuses
        6/17
        • Labour rights in the supply chain
          Yes
          3/3
          Labour rights in the supply chain
          Yes
          3/3
          Details of commitment: Discrimination; Forced labour; Child labour; Freedom of association

          Other workers' rights commitments: Only work legal working hours; Guaranteed safe and healthy workspaces; Free from abusive practices/undue disciplinary procedures

          How far back in the supply chain does this commitment apply?: Tier 1
          "we require each supplier providing us with Staples® brand products to comply with the following Supplier Code of Conduct (“our Code”).* We strongly recommend that our other branded suppliers and subcontractors comply with our Code or similar standards: 1. Forced Labor: Suppliers shall not use forced labor, whether in the form of prison labor, indentured labor, bonded labor, or otherwise. Suppliers must allow employees to keep their own identification documents and to resign from their positions at any time. 2. Child Labor: Suppliers shall not employ people younger than 15, or the minimum age for the completion of compulsory education, or the minimum age of employment required by law in the country of manufacture, whichever is highest... 4. Nondiscrimination: Suppliers shall not subject any person to discrimination in employment (including hiring, salary, benefits, advancement, discipline, termination, or retirement) on the basis of gender, marital status, race, religion, age, disability, sexual orientation, nationality, political opinion, social or ethnic origin or any other condition that could give rise to discrimination...6. Freedom of Association and Collective Bargaining: Suppliers shall recognize and respect the right of employees to freedom of association and collective bargaining. Management is encouraged to engage in direct communication with employees."
        • Inclusion of small-scale farmers
          No
          0/2
        • Gender equality in the supply chain
          Commitment to address gender related labour rights including discrimination and harassment
          1/2
          Gender equality in the supply chain
          Commitment to address gender related labour rights including discrimination and harassment
          0.5/2
          "Nondiscrimination: Suppliers shall not subject any person to discrimination in employment (including hiring, salary, benefits, advancement, discipline, termination, or retirement) on the basis of gender, marital status, race, religion, age, disability, sexual orientation, nationality, political opinion, social or ethnic origin or any other condition that could give rise to discrimination."
        • Commitment to remediation
          No
          0/1
        • Commitment to test Free, Prior and Informed Consent
          Yes, the company commits to test for FPIC prior to acquiring new interests, developments, or expansions
          2/3
          Commitment to test Free, Prior and Informed Consent
          Yes, the company commits to test for FPIC prior to acquiring new interests, developments, or expansions
          2/3
          How far back in the supply chain does this commitment apply?: Suppliers
          "We will ask our suppliers to demonstrate that they provide paper and wood-based products from non-controversial sources, meaning that the wood or fiber: • Is not harvested in violation of traditional and civil rights, including free, prior, and informed consent;"
        • Commitment to respect customary rights to land, resources, and territory
          No
          0/3
        • Zero-tolerance approach to violence and threats
          No
          0/3
      • Implementation and Reporting
        9/56
        • Reporting is independently verified
          No
          0/2
        • Suppliers aligned with deforestation commitments across supply chain
          Yes, encouraged
          0/3
          Suppliers aligned with deforestation commitments across supply chain
          Yes, encouraged
          0/3
          "We seek to work with paper and wood-based product suppliers and their associated raw material suppliers who not only comply with all environmental and forestry laws and regulations, but also demonstrate a commitment to continuous improvement, environmental innovation, and use technologies that minimize raw material utilization and emissions. As part of our evaluation process for the suppliers of raw materials going into paper and wood-based products, we may request information about factory specific operations and practices for use in evaluating supplier performance."
        • Deforestation cut off date
          No
          0/2
        • Collaborative actions
          No
          0/2
        • Jurisdictional approach focused on sustainable land use
          No
          0/2
        • Risk assessments for forest risk
          No
          0/2
        • Operations assessed to comply with law
          Yes
          2/2
          Operations assessed to comply with law
          Yes
          2/2
          "At Staples, we strive to work with suppliers who treat their workers with dignity and respect, adhere to applicable laws and regulations, and make their products in an environmentally sustainable manner....To ensure compliance with our Code, Staples shall have the right to monitor factories producing Staples® brand products throughaudits by third parties and visits by Staples personnel. We seek relationships with suppliers that are committed to manufacturing Staples® brand products under fair and safe labor conditions and sound environmental practices. If we determine that a particular factory does not comply with our Code, we typically strive to work with the supplier to develop and implement an appropriate corrective action plan. Nevertheless, depending upon the circumstances, Staples may elect to end its relationship with a supplier that produces Staples® brand products at any time for failing to adhere to our Code."
        • Accessible grievance mechanism
          Yes, publicly accessible grievance mechanism
          2/4
          Accessible grievance mechanism
          Yes, publicly accessible grievance mechanism
          2/4
          Which issues does the grievance mechanism cover?: Social; Environmental

          What is the nature of the grievance mechanism used by the company?: Own mechanism
          Staples EthicsLink serves as a 24/7 ethics resource for all associates. Through this help line, associates can ask for guidance on ethical and compliance issues and report suspected ethics violations. It’s available online or accessible via phone in multiple languages. While hosted by a third party, it is administered by Staples, which receives all reports to ensure proper follow-up and, when needed, immediate action"
        • Report volumes of commodity sourced/used
          No reporting
          0/3
        • Monitor compliance for labour rights and FPIC
          Yes, and publishes evidence of actions taken to implement its commitment on labour rights in the production or primary processing operations that it owns, manages or otherwise controls or its supply chains
          3/5
          Monitor compliance for labour rights and FPIC
          Yes, and publishes evidence of actions taken to implement its commitment on labour rights in the production or primary processing operations that it owns, manages or otherwise controls or its supply chains
          2.5/5
          What steps has the company taken to implement their labour rights commitment?: CAP audits

          What percentage/number of new interests, developments, or expansions has the company used FPIC to secure consent of indigenous peoples/local communities?: NA

          What is the status of those FPIC processes?: NA
          "SOCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY AUDITS- All suppliers in "at-risk" geographies are required to be audited prior to starting production and are recertified every year. For example, Staples currently designates the following countries as "at-risk" in accordance with industry assessments: Argentina, Bangladesh, Brazil, China, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, The Philippines, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam. Each audit is designed to allow the factory to demonstrate adherence to our Code through on-site verification by a trained auditor. The auditor conducts employee interviews and document reviews to substantiate factory operating practices, and rates the factory on a point scale.[...] Certain requirements are deemed "Critical" to create minimum standards for each supplier to consistently achieve. Suppliers failing to meet the minimum requirements are required to sign a Letter of Commitment, which states their intent to continuously improve and requests a probationary period to implement the necessary changes. They are also required to complete a Corrective Action Plan (CAP) documenting the steps they will take and the timeline for the necessary improvements. If suppliers meet the minimum requirements but have violations in other areas, they receive a conditional pass and may also be required to submit a CAP. All CAPs must be approved prior to Staples continuing business with the supplier."
        • Monitor compliance for zero tolerance approach and customary rights
          No
          0/5
        • Downstream: Reporting suppliers
          No
          0/4
        • Downstream: Monitor compliance in supply chain
          Yes, for its suppliers
          2/4
          Downstream: Monitor compliance in supply chain
          Yes, for its suppliers
          2/4
          What percentage of the company's supply chain volume does that represent?: 100%

          How is compliance monitored?: Internal monitoring and verification systems

          For what percentage of suppliers does the company use/rely on external mechanisms to monitor compliance?: na

          For what percent of suppliers does the company directly monitor compliance of production or processing operations?: na

          For what percentage of the commodity sourced by the company is deforestation/conversion monitored at the farm level on production units known to be in the company's supply chain?: na

          How frequently is compliance assessed?: Not specified
          "Certified under the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) [...] To implement these commitments, we will survey our paper and wood-based product suppliers to identify the sources of their raw materials, the management practices and certifications held by them and/or their raw material suppliers, and the certifications that their products are labeled with, if any. Staples evaluates the supplier information provided in light of this policy and may conduct audits to confirm the validity of the information provided. We prioritize our surveys and audits to best meet the goals of this policy."
        • Downstream: Reporting hectares of deforestation
          No
          0/4
        • Downstream: Engagement with non-compliant suppliers
          No engagement or exclusion
          0/2
        • Downstream: Disclosure of non-compliant suppliers
          No disclosure
          0/2
    • Timber
      18/90
      • Commitment Strength
        4/17
        • Commodity-specific deforestation commitment
          4/9.5
          • Commitment details
            Credible certification scheme
            2/6
            Commodity-specific deforestation commitment
            Credible certification scheme
            2/6
            Which certification schemes are used?: FSC; PEFC

            When was this commitment set?: 2017
            "This policy applies to all paper and wood-based products sold by Staples [...] “paper and wood-based products” refers to products containing solid wood, woodderived materials including veneers, plywood, medium density fiberboard (MDF), and other composite wood products, and/or any grades of paper-based materials. [...] commitments. 1. Protect global forest resources by progressively increasing the percentage of paper and woodbased products that are purchased as certified, preferably to the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) standard. If market conditions do not allow for the purchase of FSC or other certified products, we will seek to ensure products are sourced from non-controversial sources."
          • Commitment applies to all regions, suppliers and operation
            Yes
            2/2
            Commitment applies to all regions, suppliers and operation
            Yes
            2/2
            What subsidiaries are explicitly included?: NA

            What percentage of commodity production/sourcing is excluded?: NA

            What subsidiaries are explicitly excluded?: NA
            "This policy applies to all paper and wood-based products sold by Staples [...] “paper and wood-based products” refers to products containing solid wood, woodderived materials including veneers, plywood, medium density fiberboard (MDF), and other composite wood products, and/or any grades of paper-based materials. [...] This policy excludes cellulosic fibers and other materials and products made using dissolvable pulp. [...] commitments. 1. Protect global forest resources by progressively increasing the percentage of paper and woodbased products that are purchased as certified, preferably to the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) standard. If market conditions do not allow for the purchase of FSC or other certified products, we will seek to ensure products are sourced from non-controversial sources."
          • Target date
            Post 2050 or no target date
            0/1
          • Interim target date
            No
            0/0.5
        • Commitment to a traceable supply chain
          0/7.5
          • Commitment details
            No traceability commitment
            0/4
          • Commitment applies to all regions, suppliers and operation
            No
            0/2
          • Target date
            Post 2050 or no target date
            0/1
          • Interim target date
            No
            0/0.5
      • Associated Human Rights Abuses
        6/17
        • Labour rights in the supply chain
          Yes
          3/3
          Labour rights in the supply chain
          Yes
          3/3
          Details of commitment: Discrimination; Forced labour; Child labour; Freedom of association

          How far back in the supply chain does this commitment apply?: Tier 1

          Other workers' rights commitments: Only work legal working hours; Guaranteed safe and healthy workspaces; Free from abusive practices/undue disciplinary procedures
          "we require each supplier providing us with Staples® brand products to comply with the following Supplier Code of Conduct (“our Code”).* We strongly recommend that our other branded suppliers and subcontractors comply with our Code or similar standards: 1. Forced Labor: Suppliers shall not use forced labor, whether in the form of prison labor, indentured labor, bonded labor, or otherwise. Suppliers must allow employees to keep their own identification documents and to resign from their positions at any time. 2. Child Labor: Suppliers shall not employ people younger than 15, or the minimum age for the completion of compulsory education, or the minimum age of employment required by law in the country of manufacture, whichever is highest... 4. Nondiscrimination: Suppliers shall not subject any person to discrimination in employment (including hiring, salary, benefits, advancement, discipline, termination, or retirement) on the basis of gender, marital status, race, religion, age, disability, sexual orientation, nationality, political opinion, social or ethnic origin or any other condition that could give rise to discrimination...6. Freedom of Association and Collective Bargaining: Suppliers shall recognize and respect the right of employees to freedom of association and collective bargaining. Management is encouraged to engage in direct communication with employees."
        • Inclusion of small-scale farmers
          No
          0/2
        • Gender equality in the supply chain
          Commitment to address gender related labour rights including discrimination and harassment
          1/2
          Gender equality in the supply chain
          Commitment to address gender related labour rights including discrimination and harassment
          0.5/2
          "Nondiscrimination: Suppliers shall not subject any person to discrimination in employment (including hiring, salary, benefits, advancement, discipline, termination, or retirement) on the basis of gender, marital status, race, religion, age, disability, sexual orientation, nationality, political opinion, social or ethnic origin or any other condition that could give rise to discrimination."
        • Commitment to remediation
          No
          0/1
        • Commitment to test Free, Prior and Informed Consent
          Yes, the company commits to test for FPIC prior to acquiring new interests, developments, or expansions
          2/3
          Commitment to test Free, Prior and Informed Consent
          Yes, the company commits to test for FPIC prior to acquiring new interests, developments, or expansions
          2/3
          How far back in the supply chain does this commitment apply?: Suppliers
          "We will ask our suppliers to demonstrate that they provide paper and wood-based products from non-controversial sources, meaning that the wood or fiber: • Is not harvested in violation of traditional and civil rights, including free, prior, and informed consent;"
        • Commitment to respect customary rights to land, resources, and territory
          No
          0/3
        • Zero-tolerance approach to violence and threats
          No
          0/3
      • Implementation and Reporting
        9/56
        • Reporting is independently verified
          No
          0/2
        • Suppliers aligned with deforestation commitments across supply chain
          Yes, encouraged
          0/3
          Suppliers aligned with deforestation commitments across supply chain
          Yes, encouraged
          0/3
          "Staples is committed to operating our business in a sustainable manner and to making it easy for our customers and associates to make a difference for the environment. We seek to work with suppliers that share our commitment to responsibly managing natural resources, supporting local communities, and producing and promoting sustainable products. This policy specifies the efforts we will make to increase the sustainability of the paper and wood-based products we source. "
        • Deforestation cut off date
          No
          0/2
        • Collaborative actions
          No
          0/2
        • Jurisdictional approach focused on sustainable land use
          No
          0/2
        • Risk assessments for forest risk
          No
          0/2
          Risk assessments for forest risk
          No
          0/2
          For what percentage of material produced or sourced by the company has forest risk been assessed?: NA
        • Operations assessed to comply with law
          Yes
          2/2
          Operations assessed to comply with law
          Yes
          2/2
          "At Staples, we strive to work with suppliers who treat their workers with dignity and respect, adhere to applicable laws and regulations, and make their products in an environmentally sustainable manner....To ensure compliance with our Code, Staples shall have the right to monitor factories producing Staples® brand products throughaudits by third parties and visits by Staples personnel. We seek relationships with suppliers that are committed to manufacturing Staples® brand products under fair and safe labor conditions and sound environmental practices. If we determine that a particular factory does not comply with our Code, we typically strive to work with the supplier to develop and implement an appropriate corrective action plan. Nevertheless, depending upon the circumstances, Staples may elect to end its relationship with a supplier that produces Staples® brand products at any time for failing to adhere to our Code."
        • Accessible grievance mechanism
          Yes, publicly accessible grievance mechanism
          2/4
          Accessible grievance mechanism
          Yes, publicly accessible grievance mechanism
          2/4
          Which issues does the grievance mechanism cover?: Social; Environmental

          What is the nature of the grievance mechanism used by the company?: Own mechanism
          Staples EthicsLink serves as a 24/7 ethics resource for all associates. Through this help line, associates can ask for guidance on ethical and compliance issues and report suspected ethics violations. It’s available online or accessible via phone in multiple languages. While hosted by a third party, it is administered by Staples, which receives all reports to ensure proper follow-up and, when needed, immediate action"
        • Report volumes of commodity sourced/used
          No reporting
          0/3
        • Monitor compliance for labour rights and FPIC
          Yes, and publishes evidence of actions taken to implement its commitment on labour rights in the production or primary processing operations that it owns, manages or otherwise controls or its supply chains
          3/5
          Monitor compliance for labour rights and FPIC
          Yes, and publishes evidence of actions taken to implement its commitment on labour rights in the production or primary processing operations that it owns, manages or otherwise controls or its supply chains
          2.5/5
          What is the status of those FPIC processes?: NA

          What percentage/number of new interests, developments, or expansions has the company used FPIC to secure consent of indigenous peoples/local communities?: NA

          What steps has the company taken to implement their labour rights commitment?: CAP audits
          "Social accountability audits - Certain requirements are deemed "Critical" to create minimum standards for each supplier to consistently achieve. Suppliers failing to meet the minimum requirements are required to sign a Letter of Commitment, which states their intent to continuously improve and requests a probationary period to implement the necessary changes. They are also required to complete a Corrective Action Plan (CAP) documenting the steps they will take and the timeline for the necessary improvements. If suppliers meet the minimum requirements but have violations in other areas, they receive a conditional pass and may also be required to submit a CAP. All CAPs must be approved prior to Staples continuing business with the supplier."
        • Monitor compliance for zero tolerance approach and customary rights
          No
          0/5
        • Downstream: Reporting suppliers
          No
          0/4
        • Downstream: Monitor compliance in supply chain
          Yes, for its suppliers
          2/4
          Downstream: Monitor compliance in supply chain
          Yes, for its suppliers
          2/4
          What percentage of the company's supply chain volume does that represent?: 100%

          How is compliance monitored?: Internal monitoring and verification systems

          For what percentage of the commodity sourced by the company is deforestation/conversion monitored at the farm level on production units known to be in the company's supply chain?: 0%

          For what percent of suppliers does the company directly monitor compliance of production or processing operations?: NA

          How frequently is compliance assessed?: Not specified

          For what percentage of suppliers does the company use/rely on external mechanisms to monitor compliance?: NA
          "Certified under the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) [...] To implement these commitments, we will survey our paper and wood-based product suppliers to identify the sources of their raw materials, the management practices and certifications held by them and/or their raw material suppliers, and the certifications that their products are labeled with, if any. Staples evaluates the supplier information provided in light of this policy and may conduct audits to confirm the validity of the information provided. We prioritize our surveys and audits to best meet the goals of this policy."
        • Downstream: Reporting hectares of deforestation
          No
          0/4
        • Downstream: Engagement with non-compliant suppliers
          No engagement or exclusion
          0/2
        • Downstream: Disclosure of non-compliant suppliers
          No disclosure
          0/2
  • Commitment strength
    3/17
    Avg. score
  • Implementation and Reporting
    9/56
    Avg. score
  • Associated Human Rights Abuses
    6/17
    Avg. score

Profile

Staples Inc is one of the world’s largest specialist retailers of office supplies, with key product lines in stationary, furniture and technology products. Amongst its products are a wide variety of paper goods, including copy paper, printer paper, POS rolls and letterheads. As a leading retailer of these goods Staples is exposed to the forest risk commodities paper, pulp and timber. Staples Inc. is selected as a powerbroker for timber and pulp & paper.

Sector
Industry sector 
Home Improvement Retail
Segments
Retailer
HQ
HQ 
United States
Company Type
Company type 
CO
Collective Commitments
Consumer Goods Forum member
New York Declaration on Forests signatory

Top Brands

Staples

How we assess the Forest 500

To ensure deforestation free supply chains, companies need to adopt and implement timebound and measurable policies for forest risk commodities.

All assessments use policies published on company websites, some links may have changed or been removed since the time of assessment.

Disclaimer

This assessment has been carried out following the methodology developed for the Forest 500 project, available here. Please see our disclaimer applicable to all information contained within this site and our terms and conditions for use of data presented on this site.

All assessments use policies published on company and financial institution websites, and while we endeavor to keep them updated some links may have changed or been removed since the time of assessment.

Please contact us with any concerns or feedback about this or other assessments included in the Forest 500.