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xpedx Selects Winning Entry in Sustainability Challenge

Press release from the issuing company

CINCINNATI, Ohio – xpedx, one of the largest and premier distribution companies in North America, today announced that it has selected a winning entry from a nationwide competition among student members of Net Impact to develop a sustainability survey and scorecard for its supply chain. The top entry comes from a team of MBA students at the University of Michigan's Ross School of Business. xpedx chose the Michigan entry over proposals from finalist teams at Marlboro College in Marlboro, Vt., and North Carolina State University.
"We were impressed by the proposals from each of the teams," said David Wallace, xpedx's director, Sustainability. "The students from the University of Michigan did the best job of applying this sustainability survey and scorecard to xpedx's commitment to maintain sustainable operations, offer sustainable product choices and provide leadership in sustainable business practices across the supply chain."
The scorecard will enable xpedx to verify its suppliers' sustainability goals and policies. xpedx will launch a pilot version of the scorecard with targeted suppliers in July and will expand to the rest of its supply chain through early 2012. xpedx's supply chain includes the leading manufacturers in the print, packaging and facility solutions industries.
Millie Chu Baird, managing director, office of chief scientist, Environmental Defense Fund, was one of six judges in the competition. "I commend xpedx for the overall process and approach it used to create the survey," Baird said. "As xpedx implements the survey in the market with its new scorecard, it will not only move further toward its sustainability goals, but it will also help bring thousands of suppliers along with it."
The competing student teams worked with xpedx and representatives from xpedx's supply chain to develop surveys and a scorecard. The panel of judges that selected the winning entry included:

  • Millie Chu Baird, managing director, office of chief scientist, Environmental Defense Fund
  • Dr. Laura Thompson, director, sustainable development, Sappi Fine Paper NA
  • Howard Connell, global sustainability leader, Kimberly-Clark Professional
  • James McDonald, director, sustainability, International Paper
  • Thomas Lazzaro, chief procurement officer, xpedx
  • Rick Sumner, director, procurement operations, xpedx
  • David Wallace, director, sustainability, xpedx

The winning team from the University of Michigan received a cash prize. Later this year, the team will also have the opportunity to present its work to xpedx senior leaders at its business headquarters in Cincinnati, as well as at the 2011 Net Impact Conference.
"It's wonderful to see students help advance a company's sustainability efforts," said Liz Maw, executive director, Net Impact. "We're excited to see the long term impact of the project."


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