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Stewart Looking A Little Green

Jim Pedley | Managing Editor, RacinToday.com Saturday, April 10 2010

Tony Stewart and his sponsor are thinking green.

RacinToday.com

It isn’t usually very green around Phoenix International Raceway, which is located in the Arizona desert. But, thanks to Office Depot, which co-sponsors Tony Stewart’s No. 14 Chevrolet Impala, the track is very green this week.

Office Depot has pledged to balance the entire estimated carbon-dioxide emissions associated with NASCAR’s Subway Fresh Fit 600 on Saturday at PIR by purchasing Green-e Certified Products from EarthEra as part of the 40th anniversary celebration of Earth Day.

Green-e is the nation’s leading independent certification and verification program for renewable energy and greenhouse gas emissions. It ensures greenhouse gas emission reductions actually take place.

To get this done, Office Depot is joining with EarthEra, a program created by NextEra Energy Resources, North America’s largest producer of wind and solarpower.

To launch the partnership’s first program, “Greener Shipping”, Office Depot will balance the carbon footprint of Saturday’s Sprint cup race through its purchase of EarthEra products. Balancing the footprint includes not just the cars on the track, but fan travel, race team travel and track  operations during the race.

Due to the innovative structure of the EarthEra program, 100 percent of the revenue from Office Depot’s purchase will be used to create new renewable energy projects, such as wind and solar, in the United States, thus helping the country transition to a greener and cleaner energy future.

Stewart’s car this week features a special green-themed paint scheme, which includes the Office Depot and EarthEra logos.

The new Office Depot Greener Shipping Program encourages eligible customers to “grow greener” by changing how they buy office supplies. When eligible customers eliminate small orders, increase average order size and help reduce delivery frequency, Office Depot will provide rebates on certain green products and purchase EarthEra products on the customer’s behalf.

“Our philosophy at Office Depot is that every step that individuals, businesses or sporting events take to ‘grow greener’ is a step in a positive direction,” said Yalmaz Siddiqui, director of environmental strategy for Office Depot. “By involving our NASCAR sponsorship, we specifically wanted to move the dialogue on going greener away from its typical niche, to a much wider audience.’’

NASCAR  has launched many programs to help it operate in an environmentally responsible way. A comprehensive green strategy for NASCAR and its stakeholders is focused on reducing the sport’s carbon footprint and waste production while promoting conservation and sustainability messages to fans.

Stewart, a two-time Cup champion and currently eighth in the season standings, said he loves spending time outdoors and and taking care of the environment is important to him.

“As a business owner myself, I’m always trying to find better and more efficient ways of doing things to cut down on waste, and I’m proud to help get the word out about the partnership between Office Depot and EarthEra,’’ Stewart noted.

Jim Pedley | Managing Editor, RacinToday.com Saturday, April 10 2010
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