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Net Impact teams with International Paper and Staples

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Press release from the issuing company

San Francisco - Net Impact today announced the finalist universities for a case competition with International Paper, a global leader in the paper and packaging industry, andStaples, Inc., the world's largest office products company. The innovative collaboration between International Paper, Staples and Net Impact, teamed up MBA students from the Net Impact network to identify recycling solutions to help improve each company's environmental performance and bottom line.

"Our partnership with International Paper and Staples is a win-win," said Liz Maw, executive director, Net Impact. "While Net Impact student members are helping IP and Staples come together to uncover environmental opportunities, we are helping build environmentally responsible future business leaders."

From a pool of 10 teams, the three finalist universities selected to participate in a semester-long process are:
- Blekinge Institute of Technology (Karlskrona, Sweden)
- Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs (New York City, N.Y.)
- University of Michigan, Stephen M. Ross School of Business / School of Natural Resources & Environment (Ann Arbor, Mich.)

"Working with Net Impact and International Paper on this case competition is a way for Staples to leverage some of the world's top students to apply their business and process expertise to address an issue with significant environmental implications," said Mark Buckley, vice president, environmental affairs, Staples. "Through the environmentally preferable products and recycling services that we offer customers and our commitment to renewable energy and green construction, Staples is focused on positive change that truly makes a difference in the world."

The three finalist teams have been working since February with key leaders at International Paper and Staples, discussing questions and reviewing the progress of their strategic plans. The teams are in the process of submitting their final plans, which will be evaluated by a panel of judges.

"The collaborative partnership with a valued customer like Staples and the Net Impact organization is just another step in our sustainability commitments," said David Kiser, IP's vice president, environment, health, safety and sustainability. "Exploring creative business solutions will help recover more renewable paper products and put them back to use. It will also support improving environmental footprints, sustaining socially responsible business practices and increasing economic returns."

For the past 20 years, recovery rates for paper and paperboard packaging have delivered a year-over-year increase. The paper industry has worked hard to exceed a 60 percent recovery rate, and even more creative efforts could further this positive trend.

The winning team will be announced in late June 2010 and will receive a $5,000 cash prize, one-year passes to the national parks, and free registration with a travel stipend for the Net Impact Conference at the University of Michigan in November 2010 - where the team will present its winning proposal. The other two finalist teams will receive $1,000 each.




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