Staples Joins RIT to Create New Sustainable Innovation Lab

Golisano Institute for Sustainability gains new founder in sustainable product research

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Rochester Institute of Technology and Staples today announced a collaboration to create the Staples Sustainable Innovation Lab at the Golisano Institute for Sustainability. The new lab will conduct research on the design and manufacturing of green office products and services.

“Research done in this unique laboratory will result in improved tools, technologies and expertise in the sustainable production of office products worldwide,” says Nabil Nasr, director of the Golisano Institute for Sustainability. “Staples is committed to making a positive impact on the environment by offering more sustainable products and services and advancing eco-smart business solutions for the 21st century. Their leadership in this area is well known, and we are very proud to collaborate with them.”

The Staples Sustainable Innovation Lab will be a research hub to advance the development of sustainable office products that Staples offers its customers worldwide. The lab will also support Staples’ work with suppliers to find innovative solutions for product design, manufacturing and packaging that reduce environmental impacts.

In addition to the development of sustainable products, the lab will serve as a venue for sustainability and environmental training sessions for Staples Advantage customers. The sessions will provide strategic sourcing, procurement and sustainability professionals with practical tools and peer-to-peer conversations about sustainable business approaches.

“The Staples Sustainable Innovation Laboratory is an important initiative that builds on our longstanding relationship with RIT and our deep commitment to sustainability in our products and supply chain,” says Mark Buckley, vice president of environmental affairs, Staples. “We’re excited to support the lab and its research to help shape the future of sustainable office products.”

Staples joins B. Thomas Golisano, Xerox Corp., Caterpillar and Eastman Kodak Co. as a founding member of the Golisano Institute for Sustainability. Rochester Midland is also an affiliate member of the institute.

“RIT is committed to advancing sustainable practices through research and education initiatives such as this new relationship with Staples,” RIT President Bill Destler says. “We are thrilled that leaders in the business community are committed to investing in the same goals and vision.”

The Golisano Institute for Sustainability was formed in 2007 and houses one of the world’s first Ph.D. programs in sustainability as well as master’s degrees in sustainable systems and sustainable architecture. The institute conducts cutting-edge research in nanotechnology, alternative energy development and validation and sustainable design. The institute also houses the New York State Pollution Prevention Institute.

The new building, which will house the Staples Sustainable Innovation Lab, is designed to meet Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design standards set by the U.S. Green Building Council, which sets goals for waste and energy minimization and reuse in building construction and operation. The RIT campus already features one LEED Platinum and one LEED Gold facility. The 84,000-square-foot facility is expected to open in the fall.

About the Golisano Institute for Sustainability at RIT:

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 Staples, Xerox Corp., Eastman Kodak Co., General Motors, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and the U.S. Department of Transportation.

About Staples:

Staples is the world’s largest office products company and a trusted source for office solutions. The company provides products, services and expertise in office supplies, copy and print, technology, facilities and breakroom, and furniture. Staples invented the office superstore concept in 1986 and now has annual sales of $25 billion, ranking second in the world in e-commerce sales. With 88,000 associates worldwide, Staples operates in 26 countries throughout North and South America, Europe, Asia and Australia, making it easy for businesses of all sizes, and consumers. The company is headquartered outside Boston. More information about Staples is available at