Office Depot recently announced a major green building initiative. The company will be pursuing LEED for Commercial Interiors (LEED-CI) certification for all of its new retail stores beginning in June 2010. This news comes on the heels of the company’s announcement that its LEED Gold certified Austin, Texas store was able to reduce its carbon footprint by 23 percent.

The Austin store received LEED Gold certification in May 2008. In November 2008, Office Depot began a one-year program to track the store’s energy use, carbon dioxide emissions, and water efficiency. The data collected shows that this store reduced its carbon footprint by 23 percent per square foot, used 14 percent less electricity per square foot, and lowered its annual electricity bill by 16 percent when compared to a non-LEED certified location. The data collected showed that, overall, the LEED Gold certified Office Depot was 15 percent more energy efficient, per square foot, than a non-LEED certified location.

As a result of this data, Office Depot has committed to pursuing LEED-CI certification on all of its new retail outlets. "The energy savings realized at our first Austin store location has been even greater than what we had originally expected," said Edward Costa, Vice President of Construction for Office Depot. "We intend to continue to make our stores as energy efficient, water efficient and cost efficient as possible. With LEED CI we are now able to 'green' all of our store locations - regardless of whether we build it ourselves or take over an existing building." Source: Office Depot

In order to achieve LEED certification at these new stores, Office Depot will utilize several different strategies including preferred parking for carpooling employees and hybrid cars, skylights to maximize daylight usage, reflective roofs, highly efficient HVAC systems, low-flow plumbing, FSC-certified wood products, renewable power, and a comprehensive in-store recycling center.

Office Depot announced that it would pursue LEED-CI certification for 14 new stores. The first of these 14 stores will open in June 2010 in Austin, Texas.

See also:

Office Depot and the environment

Green office products