SOURCE: Four51

March 27, 2008 15:28 ET

Connect Four51's 'Green Corner' Brings Sustainable Alternatives to the Print Supply Chain

The Connect Four51 Network Helps Buyers and Distributors Find Environmentally Friendly Suppliers

MINNEAPOLIS, MN--(Marketwire - March 27, 2008) - Companies looking to purchase printed products and other indirect goods, such as office supplies and promotional products from environmentally friendly "green" suppliers, need look no further than the Green Corner of Connect Four51. Connect Four51 is a single location for distributors to find suppliers that meet their customers' specific needs.

Independent Printing of De Pere, Wis., specializes in sustainable printing of presentation folders, binders and other packaging products and is one of the first printers to join the Green Corner. Independent Printing is certified by the Forest Stewardship Council, an international organization that promotes responsible use and treatment of the world's forests.

"Being 'green' is about more than just using environmentally friendly ink and paper," said Craig Wienkes, vice president of sales and marketing at Independent Printing. "It's an all-encompassing approach: our building is partially underground for insulation purposes, we recycle everything and we have replaced our entire lighting system with energy-efficient fixtures. In addition to the environmental value, there's an economic incentive, too. Green printing can actually save your company money, and it can be a strong selling point as buyers become increasingly aware of environmental issues."

Four51 is an open e-commerce platform that connects buyers, distributors and suppliers of indirect goods such as printed materials, promotional products and office supplies. The Green Corner of Connect Four51 is a subset of the Connect Four51 supplier network made up of FSC-certified printers and other print suppliers with environmental initiatives. Four51 has profiled each supplier and made the results of the suppliers' profiles searchable based on print buyer needs.

"Print customers are increasingly asking their printers to use FSC-certified paper so that they can be assured the paper fiber is derived from well-managed forests that meet the world's highest environmental and social standards," said Katie Miller, communications director of the Forest Stewardship Council U.S. "Printers who have FSC chain-of-custody certification can apply the FSC logo directly to printed products, allowing their customers to proudly show this globally recognized label and their own commitment to responsible paper purchases."

Independent Printing has been a Four51 network member for about three years. As Independent Printing continues to educate the marketplace about the benefits of green printing, Four51's shared catalog functionality lets the company offer its line of green products to be resold by any distributor around the world. A distributor can simply drag and drop Independent's online product catalog of "green products" into buyer sites built and maintained by the distributor.

"We're seeing more and more organizations, particularly government entities and other concerned groups, demanding FSC certification in their requests for proposals," Wienkes said. "As more and more buyers express interest in, or start to require green printing, distributors are going to be hot to find suppliers to meet those demands. Four51 helps us accomplish that with ease."

To read more about sustainability and green printing, check out the sustainability articles at the Insights Four51 blog (http://www.insightsfour51.com/?cat=24). For more information about the Connect Four51 program and green printing, visit http://public.four51.com/connect or call 952-294-6693.

About Four51

Four51 (www.four51.com) is an open e-commerce platform that connects buyers, distributors and suppliers of indirect goods, such as printed materials, promotional products, and office supplies.

Four51's unique approach to the indirect goods market is centered on Connect Four51, a Supply Chain Management program that removes inefficiencies from order processing, manufacturing, and go-to-market activities and delivers the resulting financial benefits directly to the buyer. In addition, Connect Four51 suppliers gain instant, seamless access to hundreds of print distributors and hundreds of thousands of print buyers through a single online platform, many of whom are selecting Four51's no-cost option for integrated business management functionality using SAP Business One. Ennis, Inc., a leading wholesale manufacturer of a complete line of printed business products that employs over 6,000 people in 44 facilities throughout the United States, joined Connect Four51 in February 2008.

Four51 is growing virally at the rate of 1,200 buyers per day, and there are more than 25,000 businesses and 730,000 registered users conducting commerce on the Four51 network. Founded in 1999, Four51 is headquartered in Minneapolis, MN, and is recognized as a leader in supply chain efficiency in its industry.

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