February 20, 2008 Office Depot plans to open its first "green" LEED-Certified Store and the company recently celebrating breaking ground on the Austin, Texas site. The store will be the most energy-efficient and environmentally-friendly store in Company's North American retail chain and is due to open in summer 2008.
Upon completion of the energy and resource-efficient store in Summer 2008, Office Depot's Austin location will be one of the first registered projects to certify within USGBC's LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Volume Certification Program. This enables participants to integrate the LEED green building rating system into new and existing buildings in their company's portfolio. Office Depot is the only office supply retailer participating in the program. Office Depot is one of a select few companies using the Volume Certification process by participating in USGBC's Portfolio Program, a pilot program formed to help retail chains achieve LEED-Certification at numerous locations and to facilitate the certification process for a company's prototype.
The "green" Office Depot store will integrate many environmentally responsible building design elements and features including: Energy Reduction through efficient heating/cooling; Waste Reduction through the use of recycled materials to build the store; Water Conservation using efficient taps and toilets; Green Products made from recycled material offered for sale; and Green Services such as recycling programs for technology items and batteries.
Office Depot currently has 138 stores across Texas including eight stores in Austin. It chose the environmentally conscious city for its first green store partly because of the local Mayor’s Climate Protection Plan aimed at reducing the city's greenhouse gas emissions and making all city facilities, fleets and operations carbon-neutral by 2020.
Staff from Office Depot were joined by representatives from the City of Austin the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) to witness the groundbreaking.