Spotlight On: Office Essentials

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Office Essentials is a St. Louis-based, business products and services company that specializes in office supplies, office furniture, facilities and breakroom supplies and managed print services. With a commitment to delivering real value to customers by crafting customized yet simple plans to cut time, costs and carbon, the company takes pride in its ability to develop innovative solutions that drive long-term success for clients across various industries. This month, the Clean Air Partnership is pleased to shine a spotlight on Office Essentials for its eco-conscious product offerings and sustainability practices that helped the company earn the esteemed title of 2023 St. Louis Green Business Challenge Champion. 

“Through energy-efficient warehouse lighting and a commitment to offering sustainable business products, we illuminate a path towards a greener future,” said Kate Dougherty, president of Office Essentials. “As ambassadors for sustainable practices, we strive to not just connect with, but inspire St. Louis’ top companies and organizations in working towards a more environmentally conscious and responsible tomorrow.” 

Within its own offices, the company made several improvements to promote sustainability, including upgrades to its entire 17,500-square-foot warehouse that converted all fluorescent bulbs to LED lighting fixtures. This not only yielded high energy savings – approximately 60 watts per unit – but other environmental benefits also as LED lights contain no toxic materials, are completely recyclable and emit up to 80% less harmful greenhouse gases. Additionally, Office Essentials continued on a more sustainable path by replacing plastic cups and utensils with eco-friendly paper goods in the employee breakroom, printing double-sided in black ink only, recycling paper, plastics, and cardboard internally, as well as providing routing software to delivery drivers to shorten travel time and overall stops. To further reduce vehicle emissions from commuter travel, Office Essentials employees were given the option to choose a hybrid work schedule to support their needs and cut down their carbon footprint. 

During the 2023 Challenge kickoff, Office Essentials showcased its entire lineup of sustainable product offerings, in addition to presenting them at Washington University’s Diversity and Sustainability event. Among those products highlighted were cleaning and breakroom products produced by Highmark – a sustainable and diverse manufacturer – that included bowls made from sugar cane and plant-based plastic cups. Office Essentials also implemented website icons promoting diverse manufacturers and sustainable products to help customers make more environmentally and socially conscious purchases. 

Moreover, Office Essentials continued to incentivize customers to recycle toner cartridges by collecting them for free. This effort resulted in over 10,000 cartridges being collected and shipped back to manufacturers to be reused in producing new cartridges and drums each year. Packing deliveries for the Saint Louis Zoo in reusable totes instead of standard cardboard boxes also helped to reduce plastic pollution that oftentimes winds up in landfills and pollutes the air. 

For more information about Office Essentials’ continued efforts around sustainability and how your company can get involved in the St. Louis Green Business Challenge, subscribe to the Challenge’s bi-monthly E-Newsletter or visit To learn more about the link between sustainability and air quality, explore our website, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter at @gatewaycleanair.