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Unisource Hosts Supplier Sustainability Symposium

Press release from the issuing company

NORCROSS, GA (August 12, 2008) – Transforming businesses so they can achieve sustainable, environmentally responsible operations took center stage as Unisource Worldwide, Inc., hosted a Supplier Sustainability Symposium July 21-22 at the Emory Conference Center in Atlanta, GA.
More than 90 decision-makers from Unisource and suppliers throughout the U.S. attended the meeting, which focused on delivering key messages with information and guidelines on sustainability.  Presenters included industry experts, as well as the senior leadership team at Unisource, one of the leading distributors of paper, packaging and facility supplies in North America.   
Highlighting the program was the keynote address from Unisource CEO Al Dragone, who emphasized the importance of adopting new solutions to create sustainable businesses.
"The successful business model of the future will be 'green'," said Dragone. "Sustainability has become a core strategy and goal at Unisource as part of our Operational Excellence platform, and we are committed not only to distributing products and services that help businesses respect our environment and people, but also to partnering with our suppliers to educate businesses on how to make their operations cleaner and healthier for long-term sustainability.  In this new era, it is the way to higher growth and profitability."
The symposium's featured guest speakers, leading authorities on environmental responsibility and sustainability, included:
·         Victor Bell, President, Environmental Packaging International, who detailed "Emerging Customer Requirements for Environmental Data & Modeling;" and
·         Stephen Ashkin, President and Founder, The Ashkin Group, who discussed "The Evolution of Green Cleaning:  LEED 2008 & Labeling Trends."
The program covered the full scope of "greening" business operations.  Explaining the "best practices for green businesses," Unisource Vice President of Sustainability Nancy C. Geisler outlined how Unisource is internally implementing new processes to achieve cleaner, healthier facilities and "greener" operations.
"We are providing a template for our businesses to transform their operations, so throughout Unisource, across all business units, we are implementing procedures for optimal cost savings in maintaining our facilities.  This includes standardizing the use of environmentally-responsible products and services and communicating 'green' initiatives throughout our organization so our team members are aligned to achieve the goal of sustainability," said Geisler.
Unisource's Paper, Packaging and Facility Supplies product lines reflect quality of stewardship and its commitment to sustainability.  The Paper unit offers a complete line of Respect fine paper products with Chain-of-Custody certification from the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) and the Program for the Endorsement of Forest Certification schemes (PEFC).  The Technology Packaging Group, with its recently developed Sustainable Packaging Initiative, shows customers how to turn excess packaging into extra profits and achieve sustainable package configurations that are optimized for supply chain and transportation. The Facility Supplies unit offers a Unisource Towel and Tissue product line – derived from a rapidly renewable fiber source – that is acknowledged as an important green innovation.  The U.S. Green Building Council recognized this by expanding its definition of green product options in the updated 2008 LEED-EB to include this new type of product.
Unisource is also educating its customers.  Its recently developed Web site www.unisourcegreen.com provides up-to-date resources and information on environmentally-friendly products, with a "greenfinder" search tool that enables quick selection of product attributes.