Integrating CSR Into Marketing Strategy

4. Quality Education 10. Reduced Inequalities 12. Responsible Consumption and Production

Overview




Over the years Staples has implemented many different innovations that allow them to not only help the community, but also generate profit for the company. This includes the back to school drive, Recycling of used products, as well as events put on for the Special Olympics. Although all of these are beneficial for staples and the community, the most impactful of the three is the Recycling program they have in place for used products.

Author

Shona Bialik

Shona Bialik

School

University of Guelph

University of Guelph

Professor

Ruben Burga

Ruben Burga

Innovation

Recycling Program:

Launched in 2012, Staples has successfully launched their recyclying program, which accepts materials ranging from electronics, batteries, and ink to pencils, pens, and markers. The goal is to divert waste from landfills and reduce the company’s overall environmental footprint. This program provides many benefits such as convenience and ease to customers. It also benefits the environment by encouraging responsible recycling. 

Integrating CSR Into Marketing Strategy

Inspiration

Making a difference within the community is another area Staples focuses on. With their expertise in school supplies, they saw the opportunity to aid local teachers.

Donating supplies to schools in need is how Staples shows their support and encourages learning within their community. When we spoke with the sales manager he stated that the back to school program was created “to give back to local communities and say thank you for all their support and business over the years.” This is a great way for Staples to create a positive relationship within the community and support education.

Overall impact

The implementation of their sustainability efforts has had a major impact on the Staples brand. The recycling program has provided a new means for attracting customers to stores. By requiring customers to come and drop off their used products, it brings them into the store. Once they are in the building there is a good chance that they will stay around and do some shopping. This can create new business opportunities for Staples by attracting customers that would otherwise be going elsewhere. With all of the e-commerce that is taking place today this is a good approach by Staples that brings customers into their stores. On top of this, Staples gives customers the incentive to recycle their products in store. Rich mentioned that if a customer donates a certain amount of their used products, they would receive a $50 gift card from Staples. This extra incentive benefits the business as it encourages customers to recycle in large quantities.

Business benefit

As mentioned, this program has brought many new customer to Staples. Staples also benefits from their recycling program by developing their partnerships with other companies. These include the partnerships they have with Call2Recycle, eCycle solutions and Teracycle and all of their partners. They are also able to strengthen their business relationships with their suppliers by returning used products directly to them. They can then reuse the products at a cheaper cost then starting from scratch. This helps create a strong business relationship and helps both companies become more socially responsible.

Social and environmental benefit

This innovation was designed around the impact it will have on the environment. It is built around the idea of removing harmful products like batteries and ink cartridges from landfills and getting them somewhere where they can be properly dealt with. The recycling program provides a hassle free way for customers to drop of their used products. Rich mentioned how this is done at his store saying, “in the middle of the store we have 4 bins for people just to come by and drop off the containers, used devices, batteries and even writing tools.” By providing this easy method of free disposal all of these items are not only being recycled, but are also staying out of landfills. Having this program in place across all Staples location and with many products has had a tremendous positive impact on the environment.

Interview

Rich Heward, Sales Manager

Rich Heward, Sales Manager

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Staples

Staples

Guelph, ON, Canada

Business Website: https://www.staples.ca/

Year Founded: 1991

Number of Employees: 10000+

Staples is one of the most profitable office supply chains in Canada. It is the largest supplier of office supplies to small businesses and home office workers, either in store, online, or by catalogue. A large part of who Staples is as a company is tied to their commitment to being a responsible corporate citizen.