ATLANTA – Transforming businesses so they can achieve sustainable, environmentally responsible operations took center stage as Unisource Worldwide, Inc. hosted its second Supplier Sustainability Symposium May 19-20 at the Marriott Atlanta Airport in Atlanta.
More than 75 decision-makers from Unisource and suppliers throughout the U.S. attended the meeting, which focused on the recent accomplishments of Unisource suppliers as well as the challenges of maintaining corporate sustainability initiatives for the future.
Presenters included industry experts and 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 driving operational excellence up the Unisource supply chain to achieve sustainability.
“At Unisource, we fully acknowledge that the success of our company goes well beyond our own infrastructure. Our suppliers represent the lion’s share of our overall environmental footprint,” said Dragone. “And we cannot reach our corporate sustainability goals without a shared commitment from our suppliers. I fully expect the composition of our supplier base to evolve over the coming years. This will be driven primarily by green standards that Unisource requires, and also by the simple reality that green operations will outperform the competition,” Dragone said.
The symposium’s featured guest speakers – leading authorities on environmental responsibility and sustainability – included:
·Stephen Ashkin, President and Founder, The Ashkin Group, whopresented “Practical Sustainability: How It’s Changing a Marketplace.”
· Peter Adler, President and CEO, The Keystone Center, who shared his insights on the future direction of the green movement.
Awards were also presented to top suppliers for their recent sustainability accomplishments. Unisource also announced their upgraded supplier program for 2010. Explaining best practices for supply chain management, Unisource Vice President of Sustainability Nancy C. Geisler outlined the expanded reporting requirements for all core suppliers.
“Several of Unisource’s suppliers are the leading manufacturers in their areas of business, including many of whom have extraordinary corporate sustainability stories of their own,” said Geisler. “We want to recognize them, but also ensure that all Unisource suppliers are moving in a similar direction. That way, we can expect continued improvement in profitability and reduced risk associated with environmental and social factors.”