This company has a singular mission: Distribute paper to North America. Unisource Worldwide is one of the biggest independent distributors of paper products and related supplies. Operating from 85 distribution centers in the US and Canada, it offers commercial printing and business imaging paper, and specialty paper products. Its short list includes Xerox ink jet and laser paper, and toner cartridges, and coated and uncoated commercial printing paper. Unisource also distributes packaging and cleaning supplies, and some equipment. The retail stores division, PaperPlus provides a similiar paper selection and digital printing services. Unisource is 60% owned by Bain Capital; paper maker Georgia-Pacific owns 40%.
In addition to its core distribution business, Unisource's operations consist of Unisource Global Solutions, a division that specializes in packaging design and engineering environmentally responsible alternatives. Other Unisource divisions focus on logistics services and paper brokerage. Under the Paper Plus banner, Unisource sells paper products online and through more than 40 retail stores in about 20 states. Distribution is further supported by a fleet of 500 "Big Red" delivery trucks garaged at some 90 locations dotting North America.
Unisource primarily operates in the US and Canada. It has gradually expanded its international reach in Europe and Asia through modest acquisitions. In 2012 the Unisource Global Solutions division acquired Pakit Sweden AB, a developer of molded fiber packaging from cellulose. Unisource, through its Graphic Communications unit, acquired Belgium-based paper purveyor Euro-Papier in 2009. The addition was integrated with Unisource's Graph Comm Belgium operations. Unisource expanded its Canadian network that year through the $8 million purchase of Mondrian-Hall, a distributor of printing equipment and supplies.
Unisource has strategically broadened its assortment of eco-friendly products to win new business. Among the green products, Unisource markets Smart Planet Technologies' EarthBoard and EarthCoating packaging supplies, porcelainECO coated premium paper, and EnviroFoam wine shippers. Following in Wal-Mart's footsteps, Unisource works with its suppliers to create a sustainability scorecard, which assesses the environmental practices of its vendors. – less
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