Staples Uses Gensler’s WPI


The 950-car structure has electric vehicle charging stations.

Framingham, MA – Aware of a shifting workforce demographic, in 2010 Staples charted a course towards a workplace of choice. The Framingham-based company partnered with Gensler, a global design firm grounded in the belief that great design optimizes business performance and human potential.

Using Gensler’s proprietary Workplace Performance Index (WPI), which measures workplace effectiveness from the viewpoint of the employee, the team discovered a number of important issues.

“Since our initial campus master plan strategy work, we have evolved our Framingham facility from a home office to a global headquarters campus,” notes John Lynch, Staples’ vice president of facilities, construction, and support services.

With an existing parking shortage and plans to increase campus capacity, Staples needed a solution. The result? A four-level 950-car structure with electric vehicle charging stations that better uses the limited space that was previously occupied by a parking and drop-off area. A large PV array on the upper deck produces 10% of the entire campus’ annual energy needs, creating positive environmental and financial changes.

This high-performing structure also creates a place for employees to gather. Staples associates use the adjacent patio and green space for socializing, dining, fitness activities, and more.

“A best-in-class corporate campus helps attract, engage, and retain the best people and embodies your brand personality,” noted Arlyn Vogelmann, a principal in Gensler’s Boston office. “In the case of Staples, that brand includes a healthy and environmentally friendly work environment.”

This garage is just one piece of a larger Staples strategy to minimize the company’s environmental impact through integrated sustainable technologies and a reduced structural footprint. In October 2014, the six-time Green Power Leadership Award winner announced that it was named to the Dow Jones Sustainability Index for the 11th consecutive year.