Staples Names Finalists for the Next Green Office Product

Taking environmental consciousness to a global level, Staples, Inc., announced the universities with finalist concepts for the inaugural Staples Global EcoEasy Challenge.

The program received more than 60 submissions from around the world describing innovative concepts for an environmentally preferable business or home office product. From the entries received, teams from five countries will compete for the grand prize at a finals event in New York City on April 20.

Staples, in partnership with the Rochester Institute of Technology’s Golisano Institute for Sustainability, issued a call to action to leading technology institutions around the world. The challenge prompted students to develop a new design of an existing product that represents greater environmental responsibility or sustainability; one that uses an eco-innovative material; or a completely new product that promotes sustainability. Each finalist team consists of up to five students from the participating universities.

“The Global EcoEasy Challenge is a way for students from some of the world’s leading technology institutions to apply their design and engineering expertise to develop a product that will benefit the greater good,” said Mark Buckley, vice president of environmental affairs for Staples.

The finalist teams include:

  • Indian Institute of Technology Madras (India) ─ A desk chair that controls office power consumption to avoid wasted energy, a shredder with innovative technology to reduce power consumption, and a more eco-responsible take on the pen that significantly increases the product’s lifespan.
  • University of California, Berkeley (United States) ─ A mini-stapler made from environmentally preferable materials.
  • Engineering of Piracicaba (Brazil) ─A line of desk and drawer organization tools made out of a local, sustainable material.
  • Technical University of Berlin (Germany) ─ A writing instrument designed for easy recycling when no longer usable.
  • University of New South Wales (Australia) ─ A binder that uses an innovative adjustment mechanism.

On April 20, the finalist teams will formally present their concepts to a panel of judges at New York Academy of Sciences in New York City.

One grand-prize winning team will receive $25,000 and first- and second-place teams will receive $5,000 each.

"With conservation and sustainability such a vital part of our curriculum, the Rochester Institute of Technology was thrilled to work with Staples to bring the Global EcoEasy Challenge to life," said Dr. Nabil Nasr of the Rochester Institute of Technology’s Golisano Institute for Sustainability. “We issued this challenge to the next generation of environmental and engineering leaders and the intellectual capital returned combines innovation and environmental awareness.”

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