Kohl’s and Volta Industries, Inc. announced they will bring 100 electric vehicle (EV) charging stations to 50 additional Kohl’s stores this year, marrying Kohl's expansive customer reach with Volta’s electric vehicle charging experience. With this expansion, Kohl’s customers will have access to 275 charging stations at more than 150 Kohl’s locations across 22 states. Kohl’s store locations offering the convenience of EV charging can be found with the store locator tool on Kohls.com. “Kohl’s has a number of sustainability goals that we seek to make progress against including climate change and the transition to a low-carbon transportation system. These goals not only support environmentally conscious transportation solutions, but mark a reflection of the expectations that our associates, customers and communities have for our role in achieving long-term sustainability,” said Steve Thomas, Kohl’s Chief Risk & Compliance Officer. “Bringing additional electric vehicle charging stations to our store network with a partner like Volta adds an important sustainability touchstone and added convenience for Kohl’s employees and shoppers.”
*Operating cash flow increased 69% to $67.2 billion for the trailing twelve months, compared with $39.7 billion for the trailing twelve months ended March 31, 2020. *Net sales increased 44% to $108.5 billion in the first quarter, compared with $75.5 billion in first quarter 2020. Excluding the $2.1 billion favorable impact from year-over-year changes in foreign exchange rates throughout the quarter, net sales increased 41% compared with first quarter 2020. *Operating income increased to $8.9 billion in the first quarter, compared with operating income of $4.0 billion in first quarter 2020. *Net income increased to $8.1 billion in the first quarter, or $15.79 per diluted share, compared with net income of $2.5 billion, or $5.01 per diluted share, in first quarter 2020.
We are extremely proud to announce that HH Global is included amongst the first 100 signatories to join and, in doing so, commit to net-zero carbon by 2040 or sooner. Alongside us are fifty-two new signatories that include existing clients such as Colgate-Palmolive, Heineken, and PepsiCo, as well as many other well-known and respected brands. Our signing of The Climate Pledge commits us to three areas of action: *Measure and report greenhouse gas emissions on a regular basis. *Implement decarbonisation strategies in line with the Paris Agreement through real business changes and innovations, including efficiency improvements, renewable energy, materials reductions, and other carbon emission elimination strategies. *Neutralise any remaining emissions with additional, quantifiable, real, permanent, and socially beneficial offsets to achieve net-zero annual carbon emissions by 2040—a decade ahead of the Paris Agreement’s goal of 2050.
Big gains in sales of adult and young adult titles drove up unit sales of print books by 24.3% in the week ended April 24, 2021, over the comparable week in 2020 at outlets that report to NPD BookScan. At this time last year, sales were beginning to recover from early pandemic declines, and were almost flat with the comparable week in 2019. Unit sales last week were about 13.5 million, and were approximately 11.1 million in each of the two previous years. In adult nonfiction, all the subcategories—with the exception of humor and crafts/hobbies/antiques/games—had sales increases over the week ended April 25, 2020, led by sales of travel books, where units soared nearly 348% after crashing last spring. Five of the top 10 bestsellers in the category were released last week, with World Travel by the late Anthony Bourdain and his longtime collaborator Laurie Woolever landing in the top spot, selling more than 50,000 copies. George Bush’s Out of Many, One was in the fourth spot, selling almost 28,000 copies, followed by Cook This Book by Molly Baz, which sold about 22,000 copies.
Pregis is launching Phantom Mask, a new temporary protective surface film as part of the Pregis PolyMask™ solutions portfolio, that has been engineered to eliminate costly and labor-intensive adhesive transfer problems on plastic sheets, parts and products. The product will be available from the Pregis PolyMask business unit across North America, Europe and other geographic markets. High clarity Phantom Mask protective film is ideal for appliances (hot tubs, shower enclosures), medical products (face shields, PPE), foodservice (sneeze guards, partitions), signage, construction materials, automotive, recreational products and more. Unlike traditional protective film structures, which apply the adhesive via a coating process, Phantom Mask uses a proprietary process that integrates the adhesive into the polyethylene-based coextrusion. The end result is a highly-engineered, heat-resistant material which doesn’t leave adhesive behind when it is removed. The material mitigates ghosting, making it a true workhorse in the protective film category.
Earnings for the first quarter of 2021 were in line with the preceding quarter and represent a significant improvement on the year-earlier quarter. Higher selling prices in all product areas had a positive impact on earnings. During the quarter, SCA discontinued its remaining publication paper operations consisting of three paper machines at the Ortviken site. Following the discontinuation of publication paper operations, SCA is focused on growth in all product areas. The supply of wood to SCA’s industries was stable during the quarter. The price of pulpwood fell slightly while the price of sawlogs remained stable compared with the preceding period.
Corrugated volume growth in the first quarter was up approximately 7% in both Europe and the Americas. This demonstrates SKG’s exposure to high-growth markets, sectors and channels including innovative and sustainable packaging solutions and e-commerce. Containerboard prices have increased in the first quarter and again at the start of the second quarter as a result of strong demand and higher recovered fibre and other costs. SKG’s recovered fibre cost has increased by approximately €90 million versus the first quarter of last year. We are progressively recovering these input costs through our corrugated box system. In addition to cost pressures, the industry is experiencing supply disruptions and shortages of packaging papers globally. Against this market backdrop, our integrated business model is again, proving a key differentiator with continuity of supply to our customer base.
The International Council of Forest and Paper Associations (ICFPA) released its biennial Sustainability Progress Report which demonstrates progress in seven key areas of sustainability. The 2021 report also highlights the forest products sector’s global response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Key progress on ICFPA’s sustainability performance indicators include: *In 2019, 52.6 percent of procured wood fibre came from third-party certified sustainably-managed forests, a 41 percentage point increase from the 2000 baseline year. *Greenhouse gas emission intensity decreased 21 percent from the 2004/2005 baseline year. *The energy share of biomass and other renewable fuels increased to 64.9 percent, a 12 percentage point increase since 2004/2005. *Sulphur dioxide emission intensity from on-site combustion sources decreased 77 percent from the 2004/2005 baseline year and 38 percent from the previous report. *Water use intensity decreased 12.5 percent from the baseline year. *Investment in health and safety interventions yielded a 30 percent reduction in the global recordable incident rate from the 2006/2007 baseline with the number of recordable incidents falling to 2.88 per 100 employees annually. *In 2019, 59.1 percent of paper and paperboard consumed globally was used by mills to make new products, marking a 12.6 percentage point increase in the global recycling rate since the year 2000.
The New Wood competition for products and solutions for the wood-based bioeconomy challenged pioneering companies to offer new solutions to global challenges. The prizes of the competition were handed out on April 29, 2021. Kotkamills and Pyroll together were one of the six finalists in the competition with responsible serving packs made for Norwich City FC. The steering group of the New Tree project awarded our competition proposal an honorable mention of Everyday Heroes, and in the public vote, the proposal took second place. The jury assesses the societal significance of the solutions as well as the ability to respond to global challenges and promote sustainable development goals. The winning solutions also had to have international market potential and make innovative use of wood.
Mercer International Inc. reported first quarter 2021 Operating EBITDA increased to $82.0 million from $57.0 million in the first quarter of 2020 and from $49.5 million in the fourth quarter of 2020. In the first quarter of 2021, net income was $5.9 million compared to a net loss of $3.4 million in the first quarter of 2020 and a net loss of $13.0 million in the fourth quarter of 2020. Mr. David Gandossi, the Chief Executive Officer, stated: “In the first quarter, our mills continued to run well and safely due to our extensive COVID-19 protection measures. Our Friesau sawmill’s strong operating results allowed us to take full advantage of the strong U.S. lumber market.
Midland received the communication below from our Zanders Mill representative today: It is with heavy hearts that I tell you Zanders Paper has officially stopped production and we will close our doors. Unfortunately, a viable agreement could not be found between our investment group and the insolvency administrator to allow Zanders to move forward.
National Average Price for Regular Unleaded Current: $2.895; Month Ago: $2.869; Year Ago: $1.772. National Average Price for Diesel Current: $3.080; Month Ago: $3.095; Year Ago: $2.445.
American Dollar to Canadian Dollar = 0.815026; American Dollar to Chinese Yuan = 0.154635; American Dollar to Euro = 1.208318; American Dollar to Japanese Yen = 0.009180; American Dollar to Mexican Peso = 0.049846.
Since 2008, the Carbon Balanced Paper initiative has been responsible for balancing 190,000 tons of CO2 and preserving high conservation value land. MIDLAND is now offering Carbon Balanced Paper in North America, administered by the Sustainable Paper Group, and in partnership with the World Land Trust (WLT), an international conservation charity. This is a well-established and successful program in Europe with over 3,000 organizations taking positive action by choosing carbon balanced paper to preserve the most critically endangered places on earth, acre by acre. The launch in North America will help organizations reduce the carbon footprint of their printed media and meet their commitments toward carbon reduction by addressing the unavoidable carbon emissions from the paper manufacturing process. At the same time, choosing Carbon Balanced Paper allows organizations to simply and effectively differentiate themselves as market leaders in environmental responsibility. “MIDLAND is excited to announce the first major Carbon Balanced Paper initiative in North America. Many of our customers have stated objectives to reduce their net carbon impact, and Carbon Balanced Paper is an effective and credible tool to help them achieve these important sustainability goals.”, states David Goldschmidt, President of Midland’s National division.
First Quarter 2021 Results *Reported Results: For the first quarter 2021, the company recorded a loss of $0.62 per share compared to earnings of $0.32 per share (diluted) in the prior year. The current year loss before income taxes was $65 million, compared to earnings before income taxes of $81 million in the first quarter of 2020. Both periods include items management considers not representative of ongoing operations. In the first quarter of 2021, this included a $154 million adjustment to the company’s Paddock support agreement liability primarily to reflect the subsidiary’s agreement in principle for a consensual plan of reorganization. *Segment Operating Profit1: First quarter 2021 segment operating profit was $175 million compared to $176 million in the prior year period. These results were in-line with the prior year period despite the July 2020 divestiture of the company’s Australia and New Zealand (“ANZ”) business, which contributed $12 million of segment operating profit in the first quarter of 2020. Sales volume was stable with prior year levels on a comparable basis, excluding the impact from recent divestitures. Continued strong operating performance and the benefit of margin enhancement initiatives offset the significant impact of severe weather.
Q1 Highlights *First quarter net earnings (loss) attributable to International Paper of $349 million ($0.88 per diluted share), compared with $153 million ($0.39 per diluted share) in the fourth quarter of 2020 and $(141) million ($(0.36) per diluted share) in the first quarter of 2020. First quarter 2020 net earnings included an after-tax charge of $337 million ($0.85 per diluted share) for the impairment of the net assets and write-off of foreign currency translation adjustment following the announcement of the sale of our Brazil Packaging business. *First quarter adjusted operating earnings* (non-GAAP) of $299 million ($0.76 per diluted share) compared with $296 million ($0.75 per diluted share) in the fourth quarter of 2020 and $226 million ($0.57 per diluted share) in the first quarter of 2020. First quarter 2021 adjusted operating earnings* include a pre-tax earnings impact of $(80) million ($(0.15) per diluted share) related to the winter storm in the U.S. *First quarter cash provided by operations of $512 million compared with $649 million in the same period of 2020 *Returned $331 million to shareholders through dividends of $202 million and share repurchases of $129 million *Reduced debt by $108 million *Monetized approximately $400 million of investment in Graphic Packaging bringing our ownership to 7.4%
Fiscal 2021 third quarter revenues declined 5 percent to $665 million. Key performance indicators included: *21 percent increase in National Media Group digital advertising revenues. Sessions grew 17 percent, led by PEOPLE, Allrecipes, Southern Living, and Martha Stewart. Meredith continues benefiting from its proprietary technology platform that brings together content, unique taxonomy, and first party data. *31 percent increase in National Media Group licensing/digital and other consumer driven revenues. Performance was driven by Apple News+, strong sales of Better Homes & Gardens-branded products at Walmart, and performance marketing via retail partners. *6 percent increase in non-political spot advertising and retransmission revenues. Non-political spot advertising growth was the first since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, and was driven primarily by the professional services, gaming, and home categories. *19 percent decline in combined magazine advertising, subscription, and newsstand revenues. Advertising performance was impacted primarily by lower than expected performance in the food & beverage and prescription drug categories. Subscription revenue performance reflects a stable 36 million rate base and Meredith's ongoing strategy to engage subscribers directly. This strategy reduces revenue and increases profitability by fostering a stronger and more profitable relationship with subscribers, including the opportunity for rate increases over time. Newsstand performance was impacted primarily by lower demand and fewer issues published.
1-800-FLOWERS.COM, Inc. reported that it had received a new authorization from its Board of Directors increasing funds available for stock repurchase to $40 million. The new authorization replenishes and increases a previous $30 million authorization that had approximately $4 million remaining after the Company had returned approximately $26 million to shareholders by repurchasing shares over the past two years. Chris McCann, CEO, 1-800-FLOWERS.COM, Inc., said, “We believe our stock is a very compelling investment and repurchasing our shares enables us to return additional value to our shareholders.”
• Q1 GAAP net income of $87 million / $1.06 per diluted share • Adjusted EBITDA of $221 million • Net debt at $449 million / liquidity at $653 million at quarter-end • Repurchased 1.7 million shares in Q1 (2%) / 8.7 million in last twelve months (10%) • Recent U.S. pension relief measures to improve free cash flow by approx. $30 million/year • Target to reduce GHG emissions by 30% against 2015 levels by 2025
Total consolidated revenues increased 70.1 percent, or $195.4 million, to $474.2 million, compared with total consolidated revenues of $278.8 million in the prior year period, driven by ecommerce growth of 83.2 percent. Revenue growth in the quarter included contributions from PersonalizationMall.com which the Company acquired in August 2020. Excluding the contribution from PersonalizationMall.com total net revenues increased 55.7 percent, compared with the prior year period. Gross profit margin for the quarter increased 40 basis points to 38.9 percent, compared with 38.5 percent in the prior year period. Operating expenses as a percent of total revenues improved 340 basis points to 39.0 percent, compared with 42.4 percent in the prior year period. Excluding the impacts of the Company’s non-qualified deferred 401k compensation plan and one-time transaction costs, operating expenses, as a percentage of total revenues improved 430 basis points to 38.8 percent in the quarter.
S&P Global reported first quarter 2021 results with revenue of $2,016 million, an increase of 13% compared to the same period last year. Net income increased 18% to $755 million and diluted earnings per share increased 19% to $3.12 primarily due to revenue growth in every segment and productivity programs and lower T&E across the Company. "Since the beginning of the pandemic, the essential nature of our products has demonstrated the resiliency of our business model. As the global economy recovers, we continue to launch innovative new products to help our customers with the ratings, benchmarks, data, and insights they need to navigate the changing markets," said Douglas L. Peterson, President and Chief Executive Officer of S&P Global. "As to the pending merger with IHS Markit, the shareholders of both companies overwhelmingly approved the transaction and we continue to work with global regulators in anticipation of closing the merger in the second half of 2021."
Field & Stream, a 125-year-old magazine devoted to physical effort outdoors, is embracing 21st-century technology. Editor-in-chief Colin Kearns writes in a post that “Field & Stream is going to be a digital magazine.” Countless publications have already taken that step. But Kearns explains what it will mean to Field & Stream readers, a hearty breed judging by the pub's content. “For starters, instead of having issues delivered to your mailbox, they’ll conveniently come to where you already consume so much F&S content every day — to your phone, tablet or computer,” Kearns writes.
Building on its recent track record of breakthrough innovations to deliver recyclable packaging, Amcor is today announcing customer trials of the world’s first recyclable* Polyethylene-based thermoform blister packaging. The new packaging is designed to meet the stringent requirements of highly specialized and regulated pharmaceutical packaging and creates a more sustainable alternative for the most in-demand healthcare packaging type. This innovation also benefits from up to 70% reduction in its carbon footprint, when compared to packaging alternatives on the market today.** AmSky™ eliminates PVC (PolyVinyl Chloride) from the packaging by using a mono-material Polyethylene (PE) thermoform blister and lidding film. PVC can make packaging recycling more difficult or contaminate other materials if consumers attempt to recycle it. By removing PVC – whilst retaining all the benefits of pre-existing blister packaging – Amcor has created a new, recyclable solution that benefits the entire recycling process. Amcor is currently working with several leading pharmaceutical companies to bring AmSky™ to market globally. The company expects AmSky™ to be available in the healthcare market by the second half of 2022.
The Company reported operating income of $4.9 million for the first quarter of 2021, an improvement of $33.2 million from the reported operating loss of $28.3 million for the fourth quarter of 2020, reflecting improving global pulp market conditions, combined with a 25% increase in pulp production quarter-over-quarter. During the first quarter of 2021, global pulp markets experienced a surge in US-dollar list prices in response to an uptick in demand, particularly from China, combined with ongoing global logistic constraints and supported by strong price increases on the Shanghai Futures Exchange. As a result, Northern Bleached Softwood Kraft (“NBSK”) pulp list prices on orders from China saw sharp increases throughout the period, reaching a high of US$973 per tonne in March to average US$883 per tonne for the current quarter, up US$246 per tonne, or 39%, from the previous quarter. Prices to North America also saw sharp increases, although not at the same levels as those in China, up US$164 per tonne, or 14%, quarter-over-quarter to US$1,302 per tonne (before discounts). Reflecting the lag between orders and shipments, the significant majority of these price gains will be realized in the second quarter. NBSK pulp unit sales realizations reflected improved prices on shipments in the current period, which more than offset a 2 cent, or 3%, stronger Canadian dollar. Average Bleached Chemi-Thermo Mechanical Pulp (“BCTMP”) unit sales realizations were broadly in line with the previous quarter as more modest upward positive trends in BCTMP US-dollar pricing were largely offset by the stronger Canadian dollar.
Overview * Record quarterly reported operating income of $603 million driven by historically high lumber prices and improved global pulp market conditions; record-high quarterly sales of $1.94 billion * Shareholder net income of $428 million, or $3.42 per share * Net debt of $85 million at March 31, 2021; $225 million repayment of term debt in the current quarter * Cumulative cash deposits of $615 million on countervailing and anti-dumping duties at March 31, 2021
Summary: *Operating profit for January–March was SEK 849 million (January–March 2020: 628). The increase in earnings can be attributed to higher prices and volumes for wood products, as well as lower production costs in paperboard. *Compared with the fourth quarter, operating profit increased by SEK 254 million due to rising prices for wood products and seasonally higher earnings from hydro power, as well as the negative impact on the previous quarter of a major maintenance shutdown in paperboard. *Profit after tax for January–March amounted to SEK 675 million (491), which corresponds to earnings per share of SEK 4.2 (3.0).
First Quarter 2021 Financial Highlights: *Record revenue of $891 million increased 14 percent sequentially, driven primarily by double-digit growth in both TiO2 and zircon volumes and 3 percent higher TiO2 average selling prices *Income from operations of $125 million; Net income of $26 million *GAAP diluted income per share of $0.12; *TiO2 sales volumes increased 15 percent sequentially, at the top end of the guided range, driven by global demand strength led by growth in Europe and Asia Pacific; TiO2 average selling prices increased 3 percent sequentially, with price increases implemented in all regions *Zircon sales volumes increased 30 percent sequentially as a result of stronger than expected market growth, particularly in China, while selling prices remained level *Feedstock and other products sales decreased 29 percent sequentially, primarily due to the conclusion in the fourth quarter of 2020 of the mandated chloride slag sales per the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) consent order relating to the Cristal acquisition
Neenah, Inc. proudly achieves nine verified U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Certified Biobased Products in their durable label solutions lineup as further evidence of its commitment to sustainability efforts. With this third-party verification, various DISPERSA®, ENDURA®, and PREVAIL® durable label and board products have earned the ability to display a unique USDA label highlighting their biobased content ranging from 68-99%. The USDA Certified Biobased Product label displays a product's biobased content, which is the portion of a product that comes from a renewable source, such as plant, animal, marine, or forestry feedstocks. Renewable, biobased materials displace the need for non-renewable petroleum-based chemicals and reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions that exacerbate global climate change.
Monadnock Paper Mills, Inc., the oldest continuously operating paper mill in the United States, has launched its new Envi Performance Board portfolio, a comprehensive collection of sustainably advantaged packaging materials. Envi Performance Board features five distinct portfolio offerings with a range of caliper and coating options: Envi PC 100 Performance Board is available uncoated in a bright white smooth or vellum finish; or coated in a cool white shade on one or both sides. Envi PC 100 Performance Board is crafted with 100 percent post-consumer waste recycled fiber. Hemp Envi® Performance Board is available in a bright white smooth finish or coated in a cool white shade on one or both sides, a blend of 30 percent renewable hemp fiber and 70 percent PCW recycled fiber. Envi 96 Performance Board is a brilliant white vellum board crafted with virgin fiber from FSC-certified suppliers. Cotton Envi Performance Board is a bright white toothy vellum board made from reclaimed cotton linters. Kona Envi Performance Board is made with fiber from reclaimed coffee bean bags and post-consumer waste recycled fiber. It can be made in a variety of custom shades.
January–March 2021 (compared to 1–3/2020) • Sales were EUR 493.7 million (472.1). • Comparable operating result was EUR 88.8 million (33.8) or 18.0% (7.2) of sales. Operating result was EUR 82.0 million (33.8). • Comparable earnings per share were EUR 0.20 (0.06), and earnings per share were EUR 0.18 (0.06). • Comparable return on capital employed was 18.3% (7.6). • Net cash flow from operations was EUR 16.8 million (80.0).
First Quarter 2021 Results by Segment: Label and Graphic Materials - Reported sales increased 17.3% to $1.38 billion. Sales were up 8.4% ex. currency and 7.6% on an organic basis. Reported operating margin increased 170 basis points to 16.4%. Retail Branding and Information Solutions - Reported sales increased 20.1% to $483 million. Sales were up 15.0% ex. currency and 9.3% on an organic basis, reflecting strong growth in both the high value categories and the base business. Reported operating margin increased 470 basis points to 12.4%. Industrial and Healthcare Materials - Reported sales increased 29.8% to $192 million. Sales were up 18.8% ex. currency and 16.3% on an organic basis, reflecting an approximately 20% increase in industrial categories and a low-single digit decline in healthcare categories. Reported operating margin increased 220 basis points to 12.3%.
As part of its 10-year plan to achieve financial sustainability and service excellence, the Postal Service announced key network infrastructure investments to meet the evolving mailing and shipping needs of American public and business customers ahead of the 2021 holiday season. These initiatives and investments include: *An accelerated investment and procurement of 138 package processing sorters that will be operational ahead of the 2021 peak holiday season. *The leasing of an additional 45 annex facilities located near processing centers in key locations to support surges and overflow of packages. *The movement of mail processing operations at 18 facilities previously paused in 2015.
Adobe announced the next generation of its Real-time Customer Data Platform (CDP), the only enterprise application architected from the ground up for first-party data-driven customer acquisition and engagement. Adobe Real-time CDP helps brands activate known and unknown customer data to manage the entire customer profile and journey seamlessly in one system, without the need for third-party cookies. The relationship between consumers and brands is rapidly evolving. Consumers today are more attentive to the data they share, which has resulted in a patchwork of privacy regulations globally. At the same time, expectations for personalized brand experiences remain at an all-time high, while third-party cookies, which marketers have historically relied on to track unknown visitors, will no longer be supported in browsers. This means brands will have to contend with reduced insight about unknown visitors to their digital properties while still trying to provide a compelling customer experience.
The Association of American Publishers released its StatShot report for February 2021 reflecting reported revenue for all tracked categories, including Trade (Consumer Books), K-12 Instructional Materials, Higher Education Course Materials, Professional Publishing, and University Presses. Total revenues across all categories for February 2021 were up 24.7% as compared to February 2020, coming in at $964.5 million. Year to date revenues were up 16.4%, at $2.2 billion for the first two months of the year. click read more below for details
Bertelsmann is using its sound operational and financial health as a starting point to further develop its successful strategy. In doing so, the international media, services and education company is now pursuing five priorities, which Bertelsmann Chairman and CEO Thomas Rabe presented to key executives at the Group’s second purely virtual management meeting on Thursday. The goal is to trigger another growth spurt for Bertelsmann. This is to be achieved by creating national media champions, expanding the global content businesses, Bertelsmann’s global services businesses, the online education division, and the worldwide network of holdings. More than 600 executives from all eight business divisions and the Corporate Center took part in the digital meeting. They come from 30 countries; more than a third of them are women. Besides Thomas Rabe, Bertelsmann Executive Board members Markus Dohle, Rolf Hellermann and Immanuel Hermreck, as well as ten other top executives, most of them members of the Bertelsmann Group Management Committee, presented their strategic priorities and plans.
Berry Global Group, Inc. announced its continued leading investments in access to circular polyolefins from advanced recycling to support customer sustainability goals. These polyolefins are obtained by advanced recycling, enabled by the adoption of new chemical recycling technologies, of post-consumer plastic waste not suitable for traditional recycling. In this agreement, Berry collaborates with a leading supplier of polyolefin solutions, Borealis, for access to its first volumes of the in-demand circular polyolefins made from chemical recycling. This announcement adds to Berry’s access to the 600 million pounds of post-consumer recycled (PCR) content by 2025, allowing Berry to further support customers with unmatched access to circular polyolefins. Innovative processes like chemical recycling make it possible for material that would otherwise be discarded as waste and destined for incineration or landfill to be used as feedstock for production of polyolefins that fulfill the most stringent quality requirements. Continually increasing the demand for these processes is a critical component in the economics of achieving a circular economy, while just last month, Berry announced its access to another 300 million pounds of chemical recycled material.
Net sales for the first quarter of 2021 were $1.24 billion, an increase of $207.7 million, or 20.2 percent, as compared to the same period in the prior year. This increase was the result of higher net sales in all of the segments. Income before interest and income taxes for the first quarter of 2021 was a record $126.6 million, an increase of $24.5 million, or 24.0 percent, as compared to $102.1 million for the first quarter of 2020, and margins increased to 10.2 percent from 9.9 percent for the same periods. The increase in income before interest and income taxes was the result of higher income in the Dispensing and Specialty Closures and Custom Containers segments and lower corporate expenses primarily related to prior year costs for one-time plant employee incentive payments and announced acquisitions, partially offset by higher rationalization charges. Rationalization charges were $10.3 million and $2.8 million in the first quarters of 2021 and 2020, respectively.
JANUARY–MARCH 2021 (1–3/2020) *Sales were EUR 1,400 million (1,253). *Operating result was EUR 136 million (61). Comparable operating result was EUR 174 million (62). *Result before taxes was EUR 121 million (46). Comparable result before taxes was EUR 160 million (48). *Comparable return on capital employed was 12.6% (4.9). *Net cash flow from operations was EUR 95 million (36).
Net sales in the first quarter were $1.17 billion, down $43.8 million or 3.6% from the first quarter of 2020. The decrease includes a $6.5 million impact from the previous closure of our operations in Chile and an increase of nearly $15 million due to changes in foreign exchange. The current period continued to be negatively impacted by the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and last year’s Census project, which was completed mid-2020. Organic net sales declined 4.3%. The Business Services segment was up 3.2% on a GAAP basis and 2.4% on a non-GAAP organic basis while the Marketing Solutions segment was down 22.5% on a GAAP and non-GAAP organic basis from the first quarter of 2020. The Business Services segment experienced growth in several of our strategic focus areas including Packaging, Labels and Supply Chain Management, while net sales in Marketing Services were negatively affected by last year’s Census project. Income from operations was $25.1 million in the first quarter of 2021 compared to income from operations of $33.1 million in the first quarter of last year.
Ahlstrom-Munksjö advances further into the energy storage market by signing a marketing license with Soteria Battery Innovation Group (BIG), allowing the company to proceed with the technical ramp-up to manufacture fiber-based separator solutions to the lithium-ion battery industry. The agreement is an important step in the commercialization of Ahlstrom-Munksjö’s solutions to the energy storage market. “This demonstrates our confidence in our ability to supply the lithium-ion battery market with a safe and efficient fiber-based separator. It is a milestone for our partnership with Soteria BIG,” says Bertrand Rupin, Head of Business Development, Energy Storage at Ahlstrom-Munksjö. Demand for energy storage is expected to grow significantly in the coming years, driven by vehicle electrification, a shift towards renewable energy, an increasing demand in stationary applications and effective electricity supply chain management. Fiber-based materials are widely used in energy storage devices and thanks to its extensive expertise in cellulose, microglass and specialty nonwoven materials, Ahlstrom-Munksjö is developing a complete range of solutions to its customers under the FortiCell® product platform.
Packaging Corporation of America reported first quarter 2021 net income of $167 million, or $1.75 per share, and net income of $169 million, or $1.77 per share, excluding special items. First quarter net sales were $1.8 billion in 2021 and $1.7 billion in 2020. Reported earnings in the first quarter of 2021 include special items for closure costs related to certain corrugated products facilities and specific costs related to discontinuing paper operations associated with the previously announced conversion of the No. 3 paper machine at our Jackson, Alabama mill to linerboard. In the Packaging segment, total corrugated products shipments with one less workday were up 6.6%, and shipments per day were up 8.3% over last year’s first quarter. Containerboard production was 1,195,000 tons, and containerboard inventory was up 14,000 tons from the fourth quarter of 2020 and up 41,000 tons compared to the first quarter of 2020. In the Paper segment, sales volume was up 5,000 tons from the fourth quarter of 2020 and down 48,000 tons compared to the first quarter of 2020.
Q1 2021 Highlights: *Net Sales were $1,649 million versus $1,599 million in the prior year quarter. *Net Organic Sales increased 2% in the quarter driven by sustainability-supported innovative packaging solutions. *Net Income was $54 million versus a loss of $13 million in the prior year quarter. *Earnings per Diluted Share were $0.19 versus a loss of $0.04 in the prior year quarter. *Acquired $400 million of International Paper's minority ownership interest in the partnership, reducing minority ownership stake to approximately 7%. *Announces intent to acquire Americraft Carton, Inc., a leading independent folding carton producer in North America, extending participation into new and existing end markets while continuing to increase paperboard integration rates.
Fiber-based solutions offer more sustainable packaging options, including lower packaging weight creating less waste, package integrity and safety while building distinctive branding through packaging and offering diverse levels of protection. In addition, fiber-based packaging can reduce the overall impact on the environment, offering positive recyclability, repulpability, and at times compostable end-of-life scenarios. PurposeFil™ packaging products help meet multiple sustainability goals. Ahlstrom-Munksjö uses fiber from responsible and legal sources, and all PurposeFil™ products qualify for Chain of Custody Forestry Credits and Certification. The ultimate goal of PurposeFil™ packaging papers is to offer alternative packaging options to non-renewable substrates. “PurposeFil™ products are utilized in a wide variety of e-commerce packaging and retail packaging, in both primary and secondary packaging functions,” explained Zack Leimkuehler, Vice President of Ahlstrom-Munksjö’s Technical Solutions business. “There is so much diversity in the e-commerce and retail space, and we have the technical expertise and manufacturing flexibility to work with our customers to meet their unique performance requirements for their specific packaging structures.”
Q1 2021 highlights • Sales decreased by 2% to EUR 2,234 million (2,287 million in Q1 2020) mainly due to lower prices of graphic papers and unfavourable changes in currencies • Comparable EBIT was EUR 279 million, 12.5% of sales (279 million, 12.2%), in line with last year • Pulp demand continued to be good and pulp prices increased rapidly. Strong markets continued for labelling materials, specialty papers and energy • Operating cash flow increased to EUR 217 million (137 million) • Strong financial position continues. Net debt was EUR 83 million (-405) and cash funds and unused committed credit facilities totalled EUR 3.2 billion at the end of Q1 2021 • UPM issued a EUR 500 million Green Bond under the EMTN programme in March
The Postal Regulatory Commission released its Financial Analysis, an examination of the U.S. Postal Service’s (Postal Service) financial results and 10-K Statements for Fiscal Year (FY) 2020. Despite an increase in Competitive products revenue, the Commission’s overall analysis supports the conclusion that the Postal Service is on a highly unstable financial path. Total net operating losses were $3.6 billion in FY 2020, continuing the trend of significant operational losses. When non-operating expenses are included, such as non-cash workers’ compensation costs and accruals to retirement accounts, the net operating loss of $3.6 billion becomes a total net loss of $9.2 billion. The net operating losses are predominantly due to persistent declines in Market Dominant mail volume and higher operating expenses. click read more for details
This year’s Book Industry Study Group annual meeting, held virtually April 23, focused on issues around book publishing’s impact on the environment, the continuing effect of the pandemic on the supply chain, and the industry’s response to both. The program opened with a keynote by Sheri Aldis, chief of publishing at the United Nations, which focused on the need for “global cooperation” to address sustainability and on the role of the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), a set of 17 interconnected objectives based around science, economic development, and social well-being considered necessary to create a decent standard of life. Among the SDGs are (1) no poverty, (2) zero hunger, (4) quality education, (5) gender equality, (7) affordable and clean energy, and (13) climate action.
“Eco-design is a business approach that requires investments and time in the long term,” explains the president of Solarenn, Christophe Rousse. A joint effort from three actors of the fruit and vegetable sector -the Solarenn cooperative, DS Smith as global supplier of sustainable packaging and ETpack mechanizer - has helped optimize tomato packaging throughout the supply chain. The common goal? Moving to more sustainable solutions and eliminating single-use plastic. They have therefore developed a 100% cardboard packaging which is eco-designed and innovative, allowing maximum flexibility and visibility of the product. The joint design was initiated in September 2020. This commitment fits the expectations of the French consumers, who are increasingly concerned about the environmental impact of their consumption and who are now questioning the food industry . For the past 2 years, there is indeed strong consumer’s pressure to eliminate single-use plastic. In 2021, Solarenn will have 7 different trays on the market that are 100% cardboard with zero-plastic.
Smurfit Kappa Brazil, partnering with sommelier Myriam Echeverri, has won a prestigious Red Dot Award in the category of Product Design 2021. The award recognises this packaging as one of the most innovative design projects in the world. The packaging challenge came from Wine & Bite Box to secure and protect bottles of wine and food for a growing trend of tasting boxes being delivered to customers for an at home gourmet experience. Developed by Smurfit Kappa with 100% recyclable materials, the main advantage of the packaging design is its flexibility and the ability to accommodate different shapes and sizes of wine bottles safely, without having to use any filling materials. This design has a variety of 220 options to optimise space within the cardboard box and to accommodate different formats allowing for the wine bottle and food to fit perfectly.
The Sustainable Green Printing Partnership (SGP), the leading authority in sustainable printing certifications, announced today a pilot project to expand its certification program beyond the United States and Canada. SGP has been successfully holding all audits virtually for more than a year. Using this method, the organization can expand internationally, allowing printers and industry suppliers worldwide to achieve SGP certification. Through its cloud-based SGP Impact Tracker, information for a virtual audit is quickly and effectively shared with SGP’s independent auditors. “SGP certified facilities must renew their certification every two years,” said Wendy Nadan, SGP Lead Auditor. “In 2018, SGP released the SGP Impact Tracker which helps facilities monitor sustainability performance over time and benchmarking efforts against an aggregate of other facilities. With enhancements, the Tracker provided a virtual audit solution for the current global situation. The new features of the Impact Tracker inspired us to rethink how we could extend the SGP certification to countries outside of North America. From the initial certification planning meeting to the completion of document review including photographic evidence, all can be accomplished virtually with the local sustainability team. Each facility can meet the expectations of the audit as if an SGP auditor were physically on-site.”
TC Transcontinental is proud to respond to the Québec government's call for businesses to support the health and social services network in its COVID-19 vaccination campaign. According to the order of priority established by public health, the company will offer the supervised vaccination to the local population, TC Transcontinental employees and their families starting at the end of May. The company's vaccination centre will be in Montréal’s Rivière-des-Prairies–Pointe-aux-Trembles borough, given TC Transcontinental’s significant presence in the East end of Montreal. It will be located at the head office of the company’s Distribution activities at 8000 Blaise-Pascal Avenue, Rivière-des-Prairies, close to the Transcontinental Transmag (printing – Anjou), Transcontinental Recycling Montreal (packaging - Anjou) and Transcontinental Flexipak (packaging – Pointe-aux-Trembles) plants.
Total European shipments of graphic papers in February 2021 were down 14.1% vs. February 2020 and are down 18.3% year-to-date. Total European shipments of newsprint in February 2021 were down 20.2% vs. February 2020 and are down 21.6% year-to-date. Total European shipments of sc-magazine in February 2021 were down 15.8% vs. February 2020 and are down 21.3% year-to-date. Total European shipments of coated mechanical reels in February 2021 were down 15.3% vs. February 2020 and are down 20.5% year-to-date. Total European shipments of uncoated mechanical (improved & others) in February 2021 were UP 2.5% vs. February 2020 and are down 9.4% year-to-date. Total European shipments of coated woodfree in February 2021 were down 19.3% vs. February 2020 and are down 23.5% year-to-date. Total European shipments of uncoated woodfree in February 2021 were down 8.2% vs. February 2020 and are down 11.7% year-to-date.
The American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA) President and CEO Heidi Brock released the following statement in response to President Joe Biden’s Leaders Summit on Climate held virtually today and tomorrow with world leaders: “We welcome President Biden’s Leaders Summit on Climate. Paper and wood products manufacturers produce enormous amounts of carbon-beneficial bioenergy, integral to making sustainable products that meet essential needs around the world. Our industry will continue to create jobs and economic opportunities for Americans, especially as we push forward on a U.S. economic recovery effort. “AF&PA was one of the first U.S. manufacturing industries to adopt a comprehensive, quantifiable set of sustainability goals a decade ago in our Better Practices, Better Planet 2020 initiative. Included in this effort was a goal to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, which we cut 23.2 percent by 2018, surpassing our goal. Since the 1990s, we also cut our GHG emissions in half, and looking forward, we will soon release the industry’s new sustainability goals for 2030, including a new ambitious target for further greenhouse gas reductions.
Key highlights: *Strong net sales *Ramp-up at Gruvön (KM7) reached EBITDA break-even *Excellent production quarter with increased operational efficiencies *Net sales grew by 2% to SEK 6 520 million (6 364). Excluding currency effects net sales grew by 5% *Adjusted EBITDA* increased by 27% to SEK 1 003 million (791), mainly due to the ramp-up at Gruvön *Operating profit amounted to SEK 528 million (280) *Net profit was SEK 377 million (164)
Norske Skog’s board of directors has made the final investment decision to convert one machine at the Bruck (Austria) industrial site from newsprint to recycled containerboard production. This is the first major step of the two planned European conversion projects in the group’s strategy of establishing Norske Skog as a leading independent European producer of recycled containerboard. The conversion at Bruck will introduce 210 000 tonnes of competitive containerboard capacity to meet the growing demand for renewable packaging. The project has received financing commitment from regional banks. Containerboard production will be based 100% on recycled fibre and will use steam from a new waste-to-energy plant, making Bruck a cost leading and green energy producer. “This investment decision represents the coming of a new era for Norske Skog and is a major step to become a leading independent European producer of high-quality, renewable and environmentally produced containerboard. The conversion project illustrates the inherent potential of our industrial sites and will strengthen Norske Skog’s asset base and cash flow generation for decades ahead,” says Norske Skog’s CEO Sven Ombudstvedt.
Since 2008, the Carbon Balanced Paper initiative has been responsible for balancing 190,000 tonnes of CO2 and preserving 19,000 acres of high conservation value land. Carbon Balanced Paper (CBP) is launching in North America, administered by Sustainable Paper Group in partnership with international conservation charity World Land Trust (WLT). This is a well-established and successful program in Europe with over 3,000 organizations taking positive action by choosing Carbon Balanced Paper. The launch in North America will enable brands and organizations in the United States and Canada to carbon balance any paper product, helping them to meet growing commitments to carbon reduction and carbon neutrality and to simply, yet effectively, differentiate themselves as market leaders in environmental responsibility.
Highlights * Encouraging start to the year despite challenging market conditions, with underlying revenue growth of 5% reflecting good progress as we reposition Pearson for sustainable growth with a strong direct to consumer focus. * Global Online Learning up 25%, with strong growth in Virtual Schools due to enrolment growth in the current school year in Partner Schools as well as in US district partnerships; modest growth in OPM due to ongoing impact of discontinued programs. * Global Assessment down 2%, as strong recovery in Professional Certification and US Clinical Assessment was more than offset by US School Assessment, where revenue was down significantly due to the challenging comparative and reuse of material from cancelled exams. * North American Courseware up 1% as Canada benefited from the continued sales shift to digital and a school funding increase which more than offset a 1% decline in US Higher Education Courseware. We continued to see good momentum in the US business with growth in total units sold into colleges, growth in digital sales and registrations, and returns continuing to trend lower. Growth in eBooks more than offset declines in print and bundle units, showing signs of secondary market recapture. * International down 2% with a decline in English as COVID-19 continued to impact our courseware and franchise business in Latin America, notwithstanding slight improvement in Pearson Test of English volume and courseware recovery in China. BTEC revenue was lower due to FE College closures and lower resit fees due to 2020 exam cancellations. This was partially negated by strong courseware sales in Europe and South Africa. *We continue to expect our performance to be in line with our 2021 outlook, as outlined on 8 March 2021 at our full year results.
O-I Glass, Inc. announced that its wholly owned subsidiary, Paddock Enterprises, LLC, has reached an agreement in principle for a consensual plan of reorganization under section 524(g) of the Bankruptcy Code. Paddock, the Official Committee of Asbestos Personal Injury Claimants, and the legal representative for the future asbestos personal injury claimants all agreed to accept the terms of a mediator’s proposal regarding a potential consensual plan of reorganization for Paddock. O-I Glass supports the agreement among Paddock, the ACC and the FCR that follows a successful court-approved mediation process conducted by Kenneth Feinberg and the Honorable Layn R. Phillips in connection with Paddock’s ongoing Chapter 11 case. “From the beginning of the Chapter 11 process, we have been committed to supporting a resolution of Paddock’s legacy asbestos liabilities in a manner that ensures claimants are treated fairly while providing finality and certainty for O-I Glass and Paddock. This agreement is a positive and significant step toward achieving those objectives. O-I Glass and Paddock look forward to working cooperatively with the ACC and FCR to implement the terms of the agreement. We believe this is the best path to not only equitably address Paddock’s legacy liabilities but also move expeditiously toward emergence,” said Andres Lopez, CEO of O-I Glass.
Q1 2021 in brief * Net sales decreased by 5% to EUR 802 million. EUR (845 million) * Adjusted operating profit was MEUR 77. EUR (EUR 74 million); reported operating profit EUR 72 million EUR (83 million) * Adjusted earnings per share were EUR 0.49 (EUR 0.46); reported earnings per share EUR 0.45 (EUR 0.53) * Comparable revenue growth was -0% at Group level and 4% in emerging markets * The effect of exchange rate fluctuations on the Group's net sales was EUR -46 million. EUR -5 million in operating profit. euros
Huhtamaki, a key advanced manufacturer of sustainable packaging solutions for consumers around the world, has entered into an agreement to acquire the assets of Jiangsu Hihio-Art Packaging Co. Ltd., a leading manufacturer of paper bags, wraps and folding carton packaging in China. The company currently serves international quick-service restaurants (QSR) as well as national bakery chains. With this acquisition, Huhtamaki continues to strengthen its position as the leading foodservice packaging provider in Asia and expands its product portfolio in China allowing it to better serve its existing and new customers in this exciting growth market. Jiangsu Hihio-Art Packaging Co. Ltd. currently employs approximately 200 people in its manufacturing unit in Xuzhou city, Jiangsu. Employees will be offered an opportunity to continue to work for Huhtamaki after the transaction is closed. In 2020 the annual net sales of the privately owned business were approximately EUR 20 million. Following the acquisition, Huhtamaki will have altogether four manufacturing units in China: in Guangzhou, Shanghai, Tianjin, and Xuzhou.
Bloomsbury Publishing Plc announces that it has signed a sale and purchase agreement for the acquisition of certain assets of Red Globe Press (“RGP”), the academic imprint, from Macmillan Education Limited, a part of Springer Nature Group. The consideration is £3.7 million, of which £2.1 million will be satisfied in cash at completion and up to £1.6 million will be paid on or post-completion, subject to assignment of certain contracts. RGP specialises in high-quality publishing for Higher Education students globally in Humanities and Social Sciences, Business and Management, and Study Skills. RGP has a backlist of more than 7,000 titles and publishes more than 100 new titles per year, with content including digital platforms, textbooks, research-driven materials and general academic publishing. The acquired RGP titles are a good strategic fit, strengthen Bloomsbury’s existing academic publishing, and establish new areas of academic publishing in Business and Management, Study Skills and Psychology. RGP’s three digital products will be migrated to Bloomsbury Digital Resources’ own platform and its content added to Bloomsbury Collections. The business will operate within Bloomsbury’s Academic and Professional division.
PEFC Netherlands submitted their national forest certification system to PEFC for re-endorsement in March this year. The public consultation, which is your chance to give your feedback on this revised system, will run from 10 May to 8 July 2021. PEFC Netherlands revised the country’s national forest certification system following the entry into force of the revised 2018 PEFC Sustainable Forest Management standard. The revised PEFC Certification System Netherlands is one of the first national systems submitted to PEFC for endorsement that includes a Trees Outside Forests (TOF) standard. TOF certification was one of the innovative developments of the 2018 PEFC Sustainable Forest Management standard.
Berry Global Group, Inc. announced an investment of more than $70 million to support continued growth in consumer packaging films, primarily for e-commerce, food, and beverage applications. The investment supports new multi-layer blown film lines along with infrastructure upgrades and other equipment that will come online in 2021 and 2022, across multiple sites in the North American manufacturing system. Beyond the traditional infrastructure upgrade, the film lines will support the anticipated increased customer demand for recycled content. Beyond the material, Berry is committed to remaining at the forefront of the innovation necessary to meet customers’ sustainability goals and will do so through its investments in the latest equipment technologies, advantaged film development, and design for circularity. Line flexibility is a critical investment strategy deployed by Berry to ensure that ongoing material science developments apply to customer specifications, ranging from recycled content in its films to PHA resins that support bio-resin use.
First Quarter Highlights *First quarter 2021 GAAP earnings per diluted share were $0.71, compared with $0.80 in 2020. *First quarter 2021 GAAP earnings included net after-tax charges of $19.4 million related to restructuring activity, asset impairments, acquisition and divestiture transaction costs, loss on a business divestiture and non-operating pension costs which were partially offset by insurance proceeds. In the first quarter of 2020, GAAP earnings included net after-tax charges of $14.8 million related mostly to restructuring actions and non-operating pension costs. *Base net income attributable to Sonoco (base earnings) for first quarter 2021 was $0.90 per diluted share, compared with $0.94 in 2020. (See base earnings definition, explanation and reconciliation to GAAP earnings later in this release.) Sonoco previously provided first quarter 2021 base earnings guidance of $0.80 to $0.90 per diluted share. *First quarter 2021 net sales were $1.35 billion, compared with $1.30 billion in 2020. *Cash flow from operations was $138.7 million in the first three months of 2021, compared to $87.7 million in 2020. Free cash flow was $99.4 million in the first three months of 2021, compared with $57.1 million in the first three months of 2020. *On April 4, 2021, Sonoco completed the sale of its U.S. Display and Packaging business to Hood Container Corporation for approximately $80 million in cash, the proceeds of which were received subsequent to the period's end.
Sonoco announced it will raise the price for all paperboard tubes and cores by a minimum of 6 percent, effective with shipments in the United States and Canada, on or after May 24, 2021. “This price increase is necessary due to continued increases in costs for uncoated recycled paperboard (URB), our primary raw material which remains in very tight supply. Additionally, we are feeling significant inflationary pressures in adhesives, packaging and logistics costs,” said Mike Thompson, Director of Sales and Marketing for Sonoco’s North America Tubes and Cores Division.
Novolex is offering creative solutions to help restaurants with increased customer demand for convenient takeout and curbside service with a variety of plastic cups and containers for “drinks to go.” As restaurants evolve and offer more carryout, Novolex brands are creating ingenious ways to help them thrive in the changing world. In addition to “drinks to go,” which can be branded to customer specifications, restaurants can choose from a variety of family-style carryout boxes, peace-of-mind packaging that prevents tampering, and disposable table and chair coverings. Novolex is committed to helping restaurants succeed with a range of disposable products: *Stemless wine glasses, margarita glasses, stadium cups and mason-jar-shaped containers for alcoholic drinks; *96-ounce JavaPac® beverage dispensers, made from paperboard, that keep drinks hot or cold for hours; *Beverage bags, big carryout bags with handles, and drink cups with secure lids for easier takeout; *Large bowls, clamshells and trays for family-style portions that keep foods hot and reduce the number of containers needed; *Individually wrapped drinkware and optional lids for more hygienic transport.
SCA increases the prices on white and brown kraftliner in Europe by €50 per tonne. The new price is valid from June 1, 2021. “The global demand for kraftliner continues to be high”, comments Mikael Frölander, VP Sales and Marketing Containerboard. “The capacity is limited to increase kraftliner deliveries and increasing costs for raw materials supports a price increase.”
Smurfit Kappa has announced a significant investment in its Hoya paper mill and board manufacturing plant in northwest Germany. It is the latest phase of an investment programme, which commenced in 2011, and this last phase will see production output increase by 70 kt to 450 kt per annum. The investment will replace the complete press section of the PM2 paper machine with new state-of-the-art technology, increasing the overall efficiency of the manufacturing process. The PM2 is a 7.5 meters wide paper machine, producing both testliner and fluting packaging paper. Production speed will increase to 1250 m/min and upon completion, this world class machine will further strengthen the industrial efficiency of Smurfit Kappa Group's containerboard system. It is expected to be operational from the first quarter of 2023.
The Sustainable Green Printing Partnership announced its first quarter 2021 momentum in shaping the future of print with new certified facilities, patrons and other community members. “During the first quarter of 2021, SGP continued to demonstrate its leadership in building a more sustainable future for the printing industry with growth in the SGP Community including certified facilities, patrons, resource partners and brands,” said Doreen Monteleone, SGP co-founder, treasure and FTA representative. “We are proud that all links in the print supply chain are focusing on the benefits of sustainability and participating in our program.” In February, Fortis Solution Group of Merced, CA received SGP certification. “SGP certification validates our commitment, both internally and externally, to providing innovative and differentiating sustainable solutions,” said John O. Wynne, Jr., president and CEO, Fortis. In addition, five other print facilities recertified during the first quarter: Infinity Images, Portland, OR; Specialty Printing LLC, East Windsor, CT; Tweddle Group, Clinton Township, MI; Yunker Industries, Elkhorn, WI
Green is a harbinger of Spring, so it’s only fitting that Earth Day falls during this season. At Allen Press, we strive to be green all year long. A commitment to sustainability and reducing our carbon footprint has long been a part of our company’s mission in operating responsibly. Here are three ways we help our customers print sustainably every day. 1. FSC-Certified Paper: Customers can choose Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified paper. FSC-certified paper promotes an environmentally managed and sustainability focused supply chain. 2. PrintReleaf Partnership: Allen Press is proud to be a PrintReleaf partner. PrintReleaf offers customers the option to offset paper usage with re-forestation support. 3. Recycling: Did you know Allen Press is one of the largest recyclers in Lawrence, Kansas? We recycle 100% of byproducts like paper, aluminum printing plates and corrugated cardboard.
Deluxe announced an agreement to acquire First American Payment Systems for $960 million in cash, subject to customary adjustments. This transaction is expected to accelerate the company’s transformation into a leading payments technology company as part of its One Deluxe strategy. First American is a privately owned, industry-leading, large-scale payment processor. The company provides partners and merchants with comprehensive in-store, online, and mobile payment solutions, including powerful digital payment processing services that help customers navigate through traditional, mobile, and virtual point-of-sale channels. With the acquisition of First American, Deluxe is expected to double the annual revenue of its Payments segment while maintaining healthy margins, firmly establishing Deluxe as a leader in the payments industry.
Northern Pulp Nova Scotia announced that the British Columbia Supreme Court (the “Court”) has approved the requests made by Northern Pulp to, among other things, extend the protection under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act (the “CCAA”) to October 31, 2021. The Court has also approved the amendment of the interim financing milestones under the interim financing facility to coincide with the Stay Extension and approved an additional draw of $6.0 million to meet obligations during the extended timeframe. Throughout the Stay Extension, Northern Pulp will continue to manage and maintain the mill and advance plans to transform its operations.
In commemoration of Earth Day, ND Paper is excited to announce the launch of a new recycled pulping operation at its Old Town Division. This innovative new production line will produce approximately 200 metric tons per day of unbleached recycled pulp. Using patent-pending, proprietary technology, the line will consume regionally-sourced recovered paper, primarily old corrugated containers, as its primary feedstock; this incremental demand for scrap paper is anticipated to improve local recycling and ultimately reduce disposal alternatives like landfilling. In addition, while traditional pulping operations typically require considerable use of water, this new line is novel as it requires very little consumption. At full operation, the recycled pulping operation will support approximately 20 new jobs in the state of Maine, as well as drive benefit via indirect and induced job creation. Indirect jobs are defined as those related to all of the in-Maine supply chain of vendors providing the materials and services required for pulp production, while induced jobs are those supported by employee and vendor spending. Further, ND Paper intends to spend money locally and elsewhere in the State on services including fiber sourcing, operational and maintenance supplies, and logistics.
With Pure DecorX™, BillerudKorsnäs is introducing the latest development in White Top Kraftliner. The launch opens up great improvement potential for decorative corrugated packaging, in terms of strength, print appearance and sustainability. Pure DecorX is a 3-ply construction made of 100% primary wood fibres, which makes the liner strong, stiff and with high thickness. In practice, this means great lightweighting opportunities, high runnability in converting machines, reduced risk of washboarding, and enhanced packaging performance. The use of only primary fibres also makes Pure DecorX a climate-smart choice: it is renewable, recyclable and biodegradable, and the fibres can be traced back to responsibly managed forestry.
Executive Summary *First quarter 2021 net sales of $4.7 billion decreased 5 percent compared to the year-ago period, including an organic sales decline of 8 percent. *Diluted net income per share for the first quarter was $1.72 in 2021 and $1.92 in 2020. *First quarter adjusted earnings per share were $1.80 in 2021 compared to $2.13 in 2020. Adjusted earnings per share exclude certain items described later in this news release. *Diluted net income per share for 2021 is anticipated to be $6.65 to $7.15. *The company is now targeting full-year 2021 organic sales growth of 0 to 1 percent and adjusted earnings per share of $7.30 to $7.55. The prior outlook was for organic sales growth of 1 to 2 percent and adjusted earnings per share of $7.75 to $8.00. The updated earnings outlook reflects significantly higher input cost inflation and lower sales volumes, partially offset by higher net selling prices and additional cost savings.
Mohawk Fine Papers, Inc. unveiled a groundbreaking portfolio of papers, Mohawk Renewal, made from rapidly renewable, sustainable fibers—namely hemp, straw and recycled cotton—in April of last year. Mohawk's world-class engineers have devised a process that allows the mill to create the beautiful, high-performance papers Mohawk is renowned for using rapidly renewable, new fibers. The alternative fibers Mohawk has chosen for its groundbreaking line rely on waste from agriculture and garment manufacturing. By using scraps that would've otherwise been disposed of, we're reducing waste and pollution while creating something beautiful. Now, the entire range of Mohawk Renewal Hemp, Mohawk Renewal Straw and Mohawk Renewal Recycled Cotton papers have been reviewed and found to be in compliance with United States Food & Drug Administration (FDA) requirements for use as an Indirect Food Additive (IFA), a designation for materials used in the handling, holding or packaging of food. This means that Renewal products are suitable for use in packaging and labeling applications that involve direct food contact.
Norske Skog’s EBITDA in the first quarter of 2021 was NOK 112 million, a decrease from NOK 146 million in the fourth quarter of 2020. The markets are still impacted by the Covid-19 imposed restrictions, but are expected to improve during the year as a result of both already effectuated, but also newly announced capacity closures. As announced earlier today, Norske Skog’s board of directors has made a EUR 100 million investment decision to convert one machine at the Bruck (Austria) industrial site from newsprint to recycled containerboard production. This is the first major step of the two planned European conversion projects in the group’s strategy of establishing Norske Skog as a leading independent European producer of recycled containerboard. Cash flow from operations was NOK 163 million in the quarter compared to NOK 73 million in the previous quarter, mainly due to a reduction in working capital related to Norwegian CO2-compensation received for 2020 in the quarter. Operating earnings in the first quarter of 2021 were NOK 204 million compared to operating earnings in the fourth quarter of 2020 of NOK -1 276 million. The quarter was positively affected by non-cash change in fair value of energy contracts in Norway and New Zealand amounting to NOK 199 million. Net profit in the quarter was NOK 194 million compared to a net loss of NOK -1 363 million in the previous quarter. Net interest-bearing debt was NOK 401 million at the end of the first quarter, with an equity ratio of 43 %.
Stora Enso will start co-determination negotiations with employees at its Kvarnsveden Mill in Sweden and Veitsiluoto Mill in Finland regarding a plan to permanently close down pulp and paper production at both mills. The planned closures would take place during the third quarter of 2021, and affect directly 670 people in Finland and 440 people in Sweden. Paper demand in Europe has declined for over a decade. This trend has further accelerated due to the pandemic, which has led to changes in consumer behaviour. As a consequence, there is a significant overcapacity in the European paper market, which has resulted in historically low price levels and challenged the cost-competitiveness of many paper mills. Both Kvarnsveden and Veitsiluoto mills are loss-making, and their profitability is expected to remain unsatisfactory also going forward. No decisions regarding the planned closures nor employee impact will be taken until the local co-determination negotiations have been concluded.
Q1/2021 (year-on-year) *Sales increased by 3.1% to EUR 2 276 (2 207) million, due to higher deliveries and prices.*Operational EBIT increased to EUR 328 (180) million, due to lower costs. *Operational EBIT margin increased to 14.4% (8.1%). *Operating profit (IFRS) decreased to EUR 161 (262) million. *EPS was EUR 0.18 (0.19) and EPS excl. fair valuations (FV) was EUR 0.22 (0.11). *Cash flow from operations amounted to EUR 185 (146) million. Cash flow after investing activities was EUR -9 (-32) million. *The net debt to operational EBITDA ratio was 2.3 (2.3). *Operational ROCE excluding Forest division increased to 12.0% (7.8%)
Myths about the sustainability of the North American paper industry and its products are common media fodder in today’s world of sensationalized, headline-driven journalism. This time it was the turn of Popular Science to weave together a collection of standard anti-paper tropes into your “Modern paper use is wildly unsustainable” article. Shouldn’t a publication dedicated to reporting on science resist the easy narrative, hold up a submission to the illuminating glow of real authoritative data and pick up the phone to ask industry scientists or a school of forestry if any of what the authors claim makes sense? After all, paper is not only the most recycled material in North America. It is a material whose industry grows and regrows its own feedstock (wood fiber), derives most of the power to drive its processes from carbon neutral biofuel, and recycles more than 95% of the chemicals it uses to turn trees into pulp. This is not “wildly unsustainable.” This is a description of some of the world’s most sustainable products.
February bookstore sale fell 22.3% compared to 2020, according to preliminary estimates released by the U.S. Census Bureau. The decline is higher than the 16.7% drop bookstore sales experienced in January compared to the first month of 2020. Bad weather and more store lockdowns as Covid-19 cases spread are likely reasons for the higher decline in sales. In the month, sales were $446 million, down from $573 million in February 2020. For the first two months of 2021, bookstore sales were $1.24 billion, down 18.7% from the comparable period last year. For the entire retail sector, February sales rose 2.9% and sales were up 5.3% for the first two months of 2021 over 2020.
HH Global continues to go from strength-to-strength with the opening of a new operating location in Indonesia. The fast-paced economy of SEA coupled with our growing client requirements made the expansion for HH Global into Indonesia strategically important. Following on from the successful acquisitions of InnerWorkings and Genii, we continue to grow organically in APAC and extending our services into Indonesia supports this approach. Jakarta adds to the 50+ locations across the world that HH Global are now physically present and adds to our existing 10 operating locations in APAC. Our location in Indonesia will provide the full range of HH Global’s service offerings from consulting, design, retail, print production, events, logistics, packaging and promotional merchandise.
SC Johnson has once again recognized Crown Holdings, Inc. at the brand’s 2020 Together We Win Supplier Awards. Crown received the “Value Excellence” title, which acknowledges a supplier’s commitment to continuous improvement, excellence in supply chain management and focus on collaborative processes. The Company supports SC Johnson in North America and Europe with the manufacturing and innovation of diverse aerosol packaging in the brand’s household cleaning, air care and pest control product portfolio.
Pregis is announcing two new manufacturing facilities in the Dallas area to support growing demand in the Southern region of North America. The recently opened 128,000 square foot Garland, Texas facility produces protective packaging materials, acts as distribution center for a variety of Pregis products and will have an onsite customer demo and training center. The Garland facility has already begun production and is expected to ramp up production later in the year. The Garland facility already has 44 employees, with another 40 to be added later in the year. Pregis’ new 265,000 square foot manufacturing facility in Arlington, Texas will be producing the recently rebranded Pregis EverTec™ mailer which features lightweight, recyclable all-paper cushioned construction. The Arlington facility will begin production in the summer. Pregis is currently looking to fill 80 new manufacturing positions in Arlington. Both facilities have room to expand to meet future demand, and are expected to provide additional employment opportunities in the region.
Fifty years ago, Richard Wilen founded a small business creating program guides for the then-burgeoning cable television industry. His foresight into the promise of new technology laid the foundation for a company that would, by 2021, be at the forefront of direct mail innovation. Today, the Wilen Group is one of the nation’s leading direct mail companies — using data-driven creative solutions to power cutting-edge printing technologies and create some of the most impactful, targeted, personalized and innovative direct mail in mailboxes across the country. From our humble beginnings in 1971, we’ve grown into one of the most respected full-service direct marketing agencies in the U.S., employing a diverse group of team members and experts in everything from data, strategy and creative development to production and variable technology. And with three locations across the U.S., we are now uniquely positioned to be faster and more responsive than ever before, reaching homes in 1-2 days nationwide.
Total Containerboard production in March increased nine percent compared to March 2020. It was up two percent when compared to the same three months of 2020. March 2021 production of containerboard for export decreased 15 percent compared to the same month last year; it was down 25 percent year-to-date. The containerboard operating rate was 98.4 percent, up 2.8 points from March 2020 and essentially flat (-0.3 pts.) year-to-date. Mill inventories of containerboard at the end of March decreased 77,000 short tons from the previous month and were down 56,000 short tons compared to March 2020.
According to the report, total printing-writing paper shipments decreased 20 percent in March compared to March 2020. U.S. purchases of total printing-writing papers decreased 18 percent in March compared to the same month last year. Total printing-writing paper inventory levels decreased five percent when compared to February 2021. Uncoated free sheet (UFS) paper shipments decreased 14 percent compared to March 2020 while the inventory level decreased six percent compared to February 2021. UFS imports increased five percent while exports decreased 39 percent in February 2021. U.S. purchases of coated free sheet (CFS) papers in March decreased 29 percent compared to last March while the inventory level decreased six percent compared to February 2021. CFS imports and exports both decreased compared to February 2020, down 23 percent and two percent respectively. Coated mechanical (CM) paper shipments decreased 40 percent compared to March 2020 while the inventory level increased two percent compared to February 2021. CM imports and exports both decreased compared to February 2020, down two percent and nine percent respectively. U.S. purchases of uncoated mechanical (UM) papers in March decreased 15 percent compared to last March while the inventory level decreased eight percent compared to February 2021. UM imports remained essentially flat (-0.2 percent) while exports decreased 28 percent in February 2021.
Total packaging papers & specialty packaging shipments in March increased three percent compared to March 2020. They were up three percent when compared to the same three months of 2020. The operating rate was 91.0 percent, down 2.2 points from March 2020 and up 0.6 points year-to-date. Mill inventories at the end of March decreased 10,000 short tons from the previous month and were up 6,000 short tons compared to March 2020.
The American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA) President and CEO Heidi Brock issued the following statement in opposition to the Maryland General Assembly's efforts to alter the state's definition of qualifying biomass in the renewable energy portfolio standard (RPS): "The forest products industry in Maryland produces almost $1.8 billion in products annually, employing approximately 6,000 people who work in facilities that produce essential products. The bioenergy from forest products manufacturing residuals is a carbon neutral, renewable energy that provides enormous greenhouse gas emission reduction benefits - roughly the equivalent to removing 35 million cars from the road.
Paper Excellence announced the permanent closure of the Mackenzie Pulp Mill located in Mackenzie, BC. Production at the mill was originally curtailed in June 2020 due to market impacts caused by COVID-19 and lack of local economic fibre. Since acquiring the Mackenzie mill in 2010, Paper Excellence has invested more than $360 million in the facility. However, despite these investments and the committed team of employees in Mackenzie, the facility’s small production capacity and the ongoing lack of local economic fibre meant the mill could not be globally competitive. Paper Excellence is restarting one of the paper machines in its Powell River mill in early May, investing with and establishing jointly beneficial partnerships with First Nations, and making a $13 million capital investment in the Port Alberni facility to diversify into higher-value markets. Furthermore, Paper Excellence is working towards making a significant capital investment in its Crofton facility and restarting its facility in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan.
In the developed world, around 90% of our time is spent indoors. In recent times, this has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic and wellbeing in indoor environments is more important than ever. We teamed up with the Technical University of Munich to develop a literature review that explores the science behind the wellbeing benefits of building with wood. The new literature review that was developed in partnership with the Technical University of Munich dissects the increasing volume of evidence in this field that proves wood to be a stand apart building material option. The analysis reviews multiple areas of research, such as wood’s ability to reduce stress and boost productivity levels. For example, a study into the wooden waiting room at the National Oncology Institute in Slovakia saw participants experiencing a decrease in cortisol levels by 7.5%, implying a stress-reducing effect1. Similarly, a study conducted in an Austrian school compared student experience in classrooms – one with linoleum floors and plasterboard walls, and one that was wooden. Those in the wooden classroom had significantly lower heart rates and lower perception of stress2.
National Average Price for Regular Unleaded Current: $2.867; Month Ago: $2.873; Year Ago: $1.834. National Average Price for Diesel Current: $3.078; Month Ago: $3.088; Year Ago: $2.515.
American Dollar to Canadian Dollar = 0.799771; American Dollar to Chinese Yuan = 0.153349; American Dollar to Euro = 1.198653; American Dollar to Japanese Yen = 0.009195; American Dollar to Mexican Peso = 0.050173.
Quad/Graphics, Inc. announced it is enhancing its integrated marketing solutions offering through a newly expanded relationship with Package InSight, an organization that studies brand packaging performance, consumer attention and shelf impact. Through this partnership, brands and marketers who work with Quad will have access to a unique, data-driven view of how consumers engage with products during the shopping experience to aid in decision-making. Package InSight, a trusted source of consumer research, uses the latest in biometric technology, such as mobile eye-tracking, facial coding and brain activation, to study package performance, consumer attention and shelf impact. The organization uses a strict methodology to provide marketers with the proprietary data they need to optimize ROI on brand creative. This complements Quad’s existing measurement and analytics capabilities, giving brands and marketers an end-to-end view of the customer journey.
Kohl’s Corporation announced that it has entered into a settlement agreement with Macellum Advisors GP, LLC, Ancora Holdings, Inc., Legion Partners Asset Management, LLC, and 4010 Capital, LLC, which collectively own 9.3% of Kohl’s outstanding common stock, including options. As part of the agreement, two new independent directors nominated by the Investor Group, Margaret Jenkins and Thomas Kingsbury, will join the Kohl’s Board of Directors, as of the close of the 2021 Annual Meeting of Shareholders. An additional independent director identified by Kohl's, and agreed to by the Investor Group, Christine Day, will join the Board at the same time.
Fire at Kotkamills' sawmill at 3:45 in a Debarker machine caused minor financial damages. No one was injured. In-house fire-Fighters and Municipal fire-Fighters opened the machine and extinguished the fire. The fire caused only minor damages on the sawmill's production. Repair and maintenance work has been done today. Tomorrow, on April 15th, after the production test runs, the sawmill production will be restarted. According to current estimates, the financial damages will be a few tens of thousands of euros. The production at the paper and board machines was not affected.
Kimberly-Clark Corporation announced executive leadership changes in support of its global business strategy. Russ Torres, president of Kimberly-Clark Professional (KCP), has been named Group President of Kimberly-Clark North America. In his new role, Torres will lead Kimberly-Clark's North American consumer business, maker of many of the industry's most iconic brands, including Huggies, Kleenex, Cottonelle, and Depend. Torres will succeed Kim Underhill who is departing after 33 years with the company. A successor to Torres at Kimberly-Clark Professional will be named in the near future. Torres will continue to report to Mike Hsu, Kimberly-Clark Chairman and CEO.
Mondi, a global leader in packaging and paper, is now offering a comprehensive portfolio of CO2 neutral papers from its Uncoated Fine Paper business to serve the professional print, office and premium packaging sectors. Mondi Neusiedler has been offering CO2 neutral products for over a decade, including Color Copy original and selected products from the NAUTILUS® range. From April 2021, the mill has extended its offering of CO2 neutral paper to almost all premium paper brands. This includes Pergraphica®, Mondi´s premium paper brand for creative design, publishing and luxury packaging applications, combining premium printing and finishing quality with sustainability in one portfolio. By offering the full PERGRAPHICA® range as CO2 neutral, Mondi is meeting the growing demand of customers such as agencies, designers and brand owners for sustainable and CO2 neutral printing, publishing and packaging products.
Neenah is expanding their popular ENDURA® Wide Format line to include ENDURA® POSTER in a new seven mil, 500-foot roll. It is also adding an innovative seventeen mil matte finish ENDURA® ART to the portfolio. These additions are in response to market demand created by wide format equipment enhancements while providing a trusted, durable and cost-efficient signage solution for various retail, hospitality, attractions, and commercial art businesses. “The new 500-foot roll is a game-changer for our printing partners. The new sizing means fewer interruptions of print runs for reloading, less stopping to purge and clean the printer, and more manageable time, effort, and labor per project. In our tests on 150 vs. 500-foot rolls we saw a decrease in production times by a minimum of 15%,” said Jason Leonard, Business Development Manager for Neenah.
Kromekote®, one of North America’s best-known premium cast-coated paper brands, is now available in four new thick, luxurious, ultra-bright white heavyweights for production-rated digital printing and color copiers. The papers are FSC-certified, recyclable and elemental chlorine free. Two new 14- and 18-point Kromekote items are certified for use on all HP Indigo presses. Two other new 14- and 18-point papers are certified for use on Konica-Minolta AccurioPress (bizhub). The second group of new products are also engineered for optimal performance on other production-rated dry toner presses and color copiers, including Xerox, Kodak, Kyocera, Canon, Oce and Ricoh. These papers feature a proven universal coating that makes them fully compatible with all offset presses, delivering extra advantage and efficiencies for merchants and print professionals.
Imagine mornings without orange juice, summer picnics without strawberries or holiday dinners without apple pie. Such a future is possible if we don’t take collective action to begin restoring pollinator habitats around the world. It’s estimated that one out of every three bites of food we eat is possible because of animal pollinators. Bees are the most popular pollinators, but there’s an entire segment of the animal kingdom that helps pollinate the food we eat, including some that grow in our own home gardens. Pollinators include butterflies and moths, birds, bats, beetles and many more, and without them some of our favorite foods wouldn’t exist. Yet studies show these vital pollinator populations have been declining over the last 30 years due to loss of habitat, pests, pollution, pesticides and a changing climate, among other contributing factors.
Kohl’s is proud to receive the 2021 ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year Sustained Excellence Award from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of Energy. This year marks the 10th consecutive year that the EPA has recognized Kohl’s with the Sustained Excellence award, the highest honor bestowed by the ENERGY STAR program and selection from a network of thousands of ENERGY STAR partners. “Kohl’s has been a longtime partner of the EPA on our journey to continually implement the best practices available in energy efficiency across our store network and facilities to reduce our carbon footprint and do our part to fight climate change,” said Steve Thomas, Kohl’s chief risk and compliance officer. “This recognition is a tangible way to show our associates, our customers, our communities and our business partners the work that our teams do ‘behind-the-scenes’ to operate our business efficiently and conscientiously.”
UPM continues to take action to ensure the company’s competitiveness. UPM aims to increase efficiency of its global functions by reorganising and streamlining the operations in Finland, Germany, and Austria. If implemented, the plans would decrease the number of employments in the functions by up to 51. Employee consultations on efficiency improvements will be started according to national practices. Final decisions will be made after the employee consultation procedures have been concluded in each country. UPM aims for continuous improvement in cost efficiency. In 2020, the company decreased fixed and variable costs in different businesses and functions. Earlier this year, UPM completed the employee consultation process in UPM Timber to improve profitability and strengthen competitiveness.
Huhtamaki welcomes the development of an EU contingency plan to support Europe’s food system in times of crisis and calls for the essential role of food packaging to be fully incorporated into the plan. The EU food supply and food security contingency plan builds on lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic and is an important component of the European Green Deal and the EU’s Farm to Fork strategy. The availability of food, access to food, stability and utilization of food are key components of food security. Food packaging plays a key role in delivering these. It is critical to the effective functioning of modern food systems, which rely on packaging to store and transport food, while keeping safe from spoilage and disease.
REI Co-op released its 2020 financials and annual impact report, highlighting strong financial performance and its values-based approach to leading through a global crisis—and beyond. Despite unforeseen challenges in 2020, the co-op made bold investments in the future of its business: selling its headquarters buildings to imagine an entirely new future of office work, taking the co-op carbon neutral, investing in retail pay, making a commitment to racial equity that will impact every area of the company, and rolling out innovative new offerings like virtual outfitting and Curbside Pickup within a matter of weeks. “We entered 2020 with incredible momentum, after more than a decade of record growth. Then, the entire world came to a halt. We regrounded ourselves in our values, making choices that at times came at great cost to our business. But we took the long view and continued to put our people first, quickly pivoting to find new ways of serving our customers and community,” said REI President and CEO Eric Artz. “That approach turned out to be the right thing for our people and for our business, and allowed us to enter 2021 not just in a position of financial strength, but proud of who we were when the times were least certain.” The co-op reported no profits in 2020 but ended the year in a strong cash position and debt-free, after investing millions in its impact work: combatting the climate crisis, fighting for racial equity and supporting its network of nonprofit partners. Now REI is launching the next chapter of that work, inviting its broader co-op community to take action.
Last month, FSC International announced that the effective dates have been delayed to September 1, 2021 for the revised Chain of Custody standard (FSC-STD-40-004 V3-1 Chain of Custody Certification) and revised Chain of Custody Evaluations standard (FSC-STD-20-011 V4-2 Chain of Custody Evaluations). The transition period has also been delayed and extended to December 31, 2022. These changes were made in consideration of the disruptions to onsite audits and auditing schedules caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, and to allow more time for FSC International to prepare materials for Certification Bodies and Certificate Holders to support a smooth transition.
Amcor has leveraged its global R&D resources to help Nestlé put enviro-conscious consumers first, by making Smarties the first confectionery brand to move to recyclable paper packaging in Australia. The new packaging is made from sustainably sourced thermoformable paper and is dynamic enough to be printed on with either flexographic or gravure technology and finished with a heat or cold-seal adhesive. Working closely with Nestlé, Amcor has developed this next generation packaging solution which performs when it comes to sustainability and consumer convenience, while also maintaining the highest levels of product protection.
With the growing trend of “skinimalism” and the evolution of more lightweight, water-like foundations with sheer and natural finishes, Aptar Beauty + Home has developed an outstanding dispensing solution for ultra-fluid formulas: Star Drop, a unique hybrid packaging with a patented smart valve technology delivering a highly accurate dose at each use. According to this year’s Pinterest Business report, “skinimalism” is a major beauty trend. It revolves around using less products in our daily routine (for skincare and makeup) and emphasizes simplicity to embrace slow and natural beauty. “Natural everyday makeup” jumped by 180% as the most searched terms on the platform as well as “natural glowing skin” increasing fourfold in the search words. For “skinimalism” one needs a precision dropper – that’s where Aptar Beauty + Home innovates with this new solution. Product flow is critical and often it is hard to control properly, and the pipette let’s the formula run and smudge during or after use. This is why Aptar Beauty + Home has developed a clean and practical solution to improve the overall user experience for consumers.
Recycling facilities in North Carolina and Texas will use Can Manufacturers Institute (CMI)’s aluminum beverage can capture grants to install equipment that will result in 540 tons, more than 36 million aluminum beverage cans, per year being captured that were previously missorted. These recycling facilities are the initial recipients of a grant program made possible with the generous support of can manufacturers Ardagh Group and Crown Holdings. The Recycling Partnership helped select the grantees and will provide technical assistance to ensure successful implementation. The grant program builds off the CMI research released last year that found it is critical to capture all used beverage cans (UBC) flowing through material recovery facilities (MRF), which play the critical role in the U.S. recycling system of sorting recyclables. This research concluded that most MRFs in the United States would not be able to operate without the revenue from UBCs considering they are consistently the most valuable beverage package material in the recycling stream.
Smurfit Kappa’s innovative three litre Bag-in-Box packaging design has received Amazon’s “Frustration-Free Packaging” (FFP) certification. This is a world first for a generic packaging design, applicable for a wide range of products. The company unveiled this unique Amazon FFP pre-certification to thousands of customers at its recent invite-only virtual Better Planet Packaging event. Businesses selling on Amazon Marketplace can now use this ready to go, pre-certified Bag-in-Box design avoiding the need to go through costly and time-consuming testing at a specialised ISTA certified laboratory to gain FFP certification.
Liberty Diversified International (LDI) has acquired the assets of Miller Container Company, a Quad Cities-based manufacturer of corrugated cartons and displays. Miller Container will continue to operate under its well-established brand name at its Rock Island headquarters and warehouse as well as its sheet plant in Clinton, Illinois. Mike Vonderhaar, who has served as owner and president, will remain with the company and join LDI’s packaging management team. Miller Container employees will be offered continued employment. LDI’s profile as a major player in the corrugated packaging industry, with facilities in Minnesota, Nebraska, Texas, California and Mexico, continues to expand with this acquisition in the Quad Cities area.
Bruce Hogan has been named the new Vice President and General Manager of ND Paper’s Old Town Division. A pulp and paper industry veteran, Hogan brings 33 years of experience with internationally recognized companies including International Paper, Mohawk Fine Papers, Essity and Appvion. “Bruce brings a breadth of knowledge that will be instrumental in helping us usher in a new era of growth and excellence at our historic Old Town Mill,” said ND Paper CEO Ken Liu. “Because beyond operations, Bruce will also be critical in helping us execute the continued capital transformation program for the Division.”
Sappi Europe announces a price increase for all its woodfree coated and woodfree uncoated paper grades by 7 – 10 % effective 1. June 2021 for all markets in Europe. This is in addition to the previously announced and implemented increases. Sharply rising input costs in raw materials and freight rates due to global logistic constraints make the increase unavoidable and will likely be followed by subsequent increases as the trend continues.
Unit sales of print books rose a remarkable 29.2% in the first quarter of 2021 over the same period in 2020 at outlets that report to NPD BookScan. Though some of that gain was due to the slump in sales that occurred in mid-March last year, most of the increase was due to the surge in book buying that began last spring and carried over into 2021. All six major categories tracked by BookScan had double-digit increases, and all four print formats posted gains. Units rose 24.6% in adult nonfiction, the industry’s largest category. Sales in the home and gardening subcategory, which began to take off late last April, remained strong into the first quarter of 2021, up 54.1% in the period. Sales of general nonfiction increased 44.7%, while sales in the self-help and biography/autobiography/memoir areas rose 38.8% and 35.7%, respectively. The long-awaited revival in travel books has not arrived yet, with unit sales down nearly 25%. Print sales of adult fiction increased 34.7% in the quarter. Graphic novels led the way, with sales soaring almost 146%. Big gains were also seen in fantasy (up 48.4%), science fiction (40.6%), and romance (29.9%).
Aptar Pharma was proud to receive an InnoPack China Award recently, in recognition of Aptar Pharma’s well-established Bag-on-Valve Technology (BOV) Platform, with a special focus on our innovative PureHale® device and Pacifica Duo Actuator. PureHale® is a portable and ready-to-use drug delivery solution designed for upper respiratory care. An industry first, this nebulizer-like device distributes a continuous fine mist to gently cleanse, moisturize and soothe the upper respiratory tract. Aptar Pharma’s Pacifica Duo is a twistable actuator that fulfills two needs in one applicator – spray for gentle application and jet for rinsing -providing flexibility to users.
DS Smith, as a member of AFCO (Spanish Association of Manufacturers of Containers and Cardboard Packaging) joins them to spread the campaign #MuchoMasDeLoQueImaginas (more than you can imagine) with the aim of raising awareness of the importance of an industry that is essential: Cardboard Packaging. Cardboard packaging, in addition to protect products, can help in the efficiency of a company and be a differentiating element and of value for brands among many other functions. In this video 5 executives of large companies in Spain explain why they choose cardboard packaging:
Rayonier Advanced Materials Inc. and GreenFirst Forest Products Inc. announced that the parties have entered into a binding asset purchase agreement pursuant to which RYAM has agreed to sell all of its lumber and newsprint facilities and related assets located in Ontario and Québec to GreenFirst for an expected purchase price of approximately US$214 million including inventory on hand at the time of closing which is payable approximately 85% in cash, 15% common shares of the capital of GreenFirst. In addition, a chip offset credit note will be issued to RYAM by GreenFirst in the amount of CDN$7.9 million, which may be set off against amounts owing to GreenFirst for chip purchases, equally over the next 5 years. Notably, RYAM will retain all of the cash generated by the Purchased Assets plus all softwood lumber duties, including earned interest on the duties, paid to the U.S. Department of Commerce through the closing date. RYAM estimates the duties to be approximately $110 million at the time of closing. The Purchased Assets: *include six lumber mills which are located in Chapleau, Cochrane, Hearst and Kapuskasing in Ontario and in Béarn and La Sarre in Québec as well as one newsprint mill located in Kapuskasing, Ontario. *produced 604 million board feet in 2020 with a combined nameplate capacity of 755 million board feet and are capable of producing a wide range of forest products used in residential and commercial construction, including dimensional lumber, wood chips and by-products. *include the lumber and newsprint mills as well as certain real property, machinery, inventory, permits, licenses and other related assets. *exclude accounts receivable and accounts payable.
The Navigator Company announced today that it will increase paper prices in Europe from 6% to 9%. This increase will be effective for all dispatches from 10th of May, and the Company will inform shortly about the details of the new prices to be applied by product. This decision was taken following not only further worldwide cost increases in pulp, chemicals and logistics, with structural effects in the profitability of the industry in Europe and across the globe, but also a robust demand for Navigator’s products and brands during late 2020 and the first months of 2021.
Flexible packaging paper Koehler NexPlus® Seal is used for secondary packaging. In this way, Ritter is taking up the changed consumer behavior as a pioneer. The switch to paper stand-up pouches was made without any large investment in packaging machines. Alfred Ritter GmbH & Co. KG aims to create packaging solutions from renewable raw materials that are in harmony with both humans and nature and recyclable. With a view to achieving this goal, the company actively monitors changes in consumer behavior, changes which have grown exponentially in recent months. The concept of sustainability is becoming a key criterion in shoppers’ purchase decisions, with packaging an increasingly important factor as shoppers no longer take the individual product into sole consideration. Ritter focuses on the first secondary packaging made of paper.
Stora Enso Intelligent Packaging is expanding the selection of the sustainable ECO RFID –product family with a tag collection that is specifically designed for food & beverage items. Part of the new ECO RFID Food & Beverage Collection by Stora Enso is the world’s first paper tag for microwave-safe use, ECO Meal. RFID technology is used in the food industry to automate processes, provide real-time ‘track and trace’ –functionalities, and support next-generation unmanned retail. The new ECO Meal RFID tag by Stora Enso is specially designed for item-level tagging and tracking of ready-made meals. It is the first paper-based RFID tag on the market for this specific use case. Unlike traditional RFID tags, ECO Meal labels do not need to be removed from the food package prior to microwave heating, and the tags can be recycled in paper recycling.*
UPM Raflatac has earned multi-site certification to the first edition of the ISO 45001:2018 Occupational Health and Safety Management System for its ten label stock production facilities. The certification complements UPM Raflatac’s existing certifications to the ISO 9001:2015 Quality Management System and ISO 14001:2015 Environmental Management System standards. DNV, a global assurance and risk management company, awarded the certification on March 9, 2021, after completing a combination of in-person and remote audits in UPM Raflatac facilities worldwide.
UPS continues to provide essential service amid the ongoing coronavirus outbreak to support the needs of our customers. Our goal is to ensure businesses and customers are able to meet their shipping needs while demand has increased for shipping services. One or more Peak Surcharges will apply to packages shipped during the specified Peak Periods for the origins, destinations, and service levels and in the amounts set forth below. Peak Surcharges apply in addition to all other applicable Charges. Peak Surcharges are subject to change and Peak Periods may be extended or otherwise changed. Shippers should continue to check ups.com/peaksurcharge for updates prior to tendering shipments. details at: https://www.ups.com/assets/resources/media/en_US/2021_UPS_Peak_Surcharges.pdf
PEFC Germany submitted their national forest certification system to PEFC for re-endorsement earlier this month. The public consultation, which is your chance to give your feedback on this revised system, will run from 19 April to 18 June 2021. PEFC Germany revised the country’s national forest certification system following the entry into force of the revised 2018 PEFC Sustainable Forest Management standard. To provide you with additional information about this revised national system, we are holding a webinar on 19 April, at 10:00 CEST. The webinar is free to attend, and everyone is welcome.
LEIPA Group is pleased to announce another addition to its Sales team: Mike Petersen will be joining us on May 1st, 2021, as Head of Sales Packaging Paper and will have overall responsibility for all related end-to-end sales processes and functions. In this capacity, Mr. Petersen will report to LEIPA Group’s Chief Sales Officer, Dr. Fabian Gaus. Mr. Petersen joins us from the Prinzhorn Group, where his last positions were Managing Director for optimizing the sales set-up of 24 containerboard plants in Europe, and General Manager and Sales Director for their Dunapack Spremberg operation. Previous engagements included management positions in Sales with Igepa, Papier Union and Mondi.
North Pacific Paper Company (NORPAC) is excited to announce the arrival of a new state-of-the-art drum pulper that will help the company expand its production of lightweight recycled packaging papers and safeguard more than 400 mill jobs and support other indirect jobs in Cowlitz County. The new pulper just arrived at the Port of Longview and will be moved this week to the NORPAC mill. The pulper and other mill infrastructure upgrades represent more than a $50 million capital investment that will expand Longview mill operations to transform wastepaper into lightweight recycled papers for corrugated boxes, displays, bags and various other packaging products.
Due to the current economic environment and the continued significant increase in raw material, manufacturing and logistics costs, Lecta announces a second price increase of 8% on all its 2-side CWF and UWF grades in sheets and reels. The new prices will be effective on deliveries from June 1st, 2021.
UPM Plywood, Arctic Astronautics and Huld announce today a joint mission to launch the first ever wooden satellite, WISA WOODSATTM, into Earth’s orbit by the end of 2021. WISA Woodsat will go where no wood has gone before. With a mission to gather data on the behavior and durability of plywood over an extended period in the harsh temperatures, vacuum and radiation of space in order to assess the use of wood materials in space structures. WISA Woodsat is a nanosatellite designed and built by Arctic Astronautics, and it is based on the Kitsat educational satellite. The satellite measures roughly 10 x 10 x 10 cm and weighs one kilogram. A suite of on-board sensors, including two cameras will be used to monitor the specially coated WISA®-Birch plywood.
Urban Outfitters, Inc. announced a personnel change at the Anthropologie Group. Hillary Super has stepped down as Global Chief Executive Officer. Her last day was Friday, April 9th. We thank Hillary for her service over the past four years and wish her well in the future. Beginning today, Tricia D. Smith, has joined the Anthropologie team as the new Global Chief Executive Officer. Ms. Smith brings with her impressive retail experience earned over 26 years spent within the Nordstrom merchant organization where she was Executive Vice President, General Merchandise Manager of Women’s, Young Contemporary, Designer, and Specialized Apparel. In 2019, Tricia left Nordstrom to become Executive Vice President, Chief Merchandising Officer, of Tilly’s. Separately, URBN is pleased to report that total Retail segment comparable net sales thus far during the first quarter of Fiscal 2022 have increased by high single-digits versus Fiscal 2020. In North America, better sales were driven by double-digit ‘comp’ results at both the Free People and Urban Outfitters brands while Anthropologie sales have improved substantially but remain slightly negative.
Neenah, Inc. announced that it has joined CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion™, the largest CEO-driven business commitment to advance diversity and inclusion within the workplace. One of nearly 2,000 CEOs that have come together for CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion™, Julie Schertell, is committing herself and Neenah to advance diversity and inclusion efforts in the company and in the communities where Neenah employees live and work. The CEO Action for Diversity and Inclusion™ commitment is driven by a realization that addressing diversity and inclusion is not a competitive issue, but a societal issue that CEOs can play a critical role in addressing. Companies from 85 industries have signed on, giving the signatory group additional unique perspectives on how to develop comfortable environments for employees to thrive. “A diverse and inclusive workforce facilitates community, increases awareness and builds empathy,” said Julie Schertell, CEO and President – Neenah, Inc. “It also drives innovation and creativity, as employees feel accepted and welcomed to bring their whole selves to work every day, along with their unique perspectives and experiences. All of this leads to greater value, growth and opportunities for our employees, our company, communities and shareholders.”
UPM sells its Jyväskylä plywood mill site and premises, located in Säynätsalo, Jyväskylä in Finland, to real estate developer Redeve Oy. The transaction was completed today, and the ownership of the real estate was transferred to Redeve immediately. At the same time, businesses currently renting premises on the site, will become tenants of Redeve. “We are delighted to find a buyer for the mill site so quickly. The site has been developed as a business district already while the plywood mill was operating. We have had successful co-operation with Redeve also earlier and we believe this good news for the further development of the site”, says Jaakko Kaijalainen, Property Manager at UPM. Redeve has earlier bought the Myllykoski mill site and the Voikkaa business district from UPM and operates business districts on both locations. Same is being planned also for Säynätsalo.
Following the positive evaluation of the PEFC chain of custody by the European co-operation for Accreditation (EA), European accreditation bodies can now provide accreditation against the 2020 PEFC Chain of Custody and Trademarks standards. This decision enables certification bodies to update their accreditation and clears the way for thousands of PEFC-certified companies worldwide to transition to the 2020 chain of custody standards. Furthermore, companies looking to achieve PEFC certification have the opportunity to be certified against the 2020 standards. In addition, we have extended the transition period by six months, to 14 August 2022, to give accreditation and certification bodies more flexibility. After this date, all certification bodies must be accredited against the 2020 standards and all chain of custody audits carried out against the 2020 standards.
20/20 Custom Molding Plastics’ latest expansion, beginning in April, will bring more than 100 new jobs to its two locations thanks to various machine additions and the relocation of several high pressure presses. The manufacturing firm will proceed with adding two 3,000-ton high pressure machines and one 8,000-ton high pressure machine to its 225,000-sqaure-foot Holiday City plant this year and into 2022. The 375- and 500- ton high pressure presses in Holiday City will be relocated to the Bluffton, Indiana 325,000-square-foot facility. In addition, the Bluffton location will receive three new structural foam presses over the next 18 months. President of 20/20, Ron Ernsberger noted that the company’s ability to continuously grow is rooted in its goals to exceed customer expectations.
National Average Price for Regular Unleaded Current: $2.867; Month Ago: $2.796; Year Ago: $1.895. National Average Price for Diesel Current: $3.083; Month Ago: $3.020; Year Ago: $2.551
American Dollar to Canadian Dollar = 0.795138; American Dollar to Chinese Yuan = 0.152528; American Dollar to Euro = 1.188831; American Dollar to Japanese Yen = 0.009116; American Dollar to Mexican Peso = 0.049665.
FSC Canada would like to welcome Etienne Vezina, Resolute Forest Products to the FSC Canada Board of Directors. Etienne will replace Andre Gravel (economic chamber) who has decided to resign from his position. Etienne started working in forest certification back in 2004 helping enterprises implementing the FSC boreal standard on public land in the province of Québec. He became a qualified auditor for both the FSC FM and COC standards in 2008 and remained in his position until 2013 as an independent consultant. During those years, Etienne performed 50 different FSC audits for SAI Global, as lead auditor for FSC forest management audits, both on public and private lands. He also kept working as a consultant helping several companies to implement both their FSC space FM and COC systems. Étienne is now Manager, Forestry and Certification for Resolute Forest Products where he oversees the company wide forest management and chain of custody certifications. Etienne holds a master’s degree in international studies as well as in Administration with concentration in sustainable development and a bachelor’s degree in forestry. He is also a member of l'Ordre des Ingénieurs Forestiers du Québec (OIFQ). Etienne has been appointed as Andre’s replacement in accordance with FSC Canada’s By Laws which permits the nominee from the chamber with the next highest number of votes in the most recent election.
With a significant increase in its business due to market leading quality and customer service, Fort Dearborn, a custom label and packaging company with twenty locations nationwide, reached nearly 82 million impressions on its Heidelberg Speedmaster XL 106-8+L in 2020. This high level of productivity was especially critical to Fort Dearborn’s success as demand at grocery stores due to COVID-19 surged. Printing primarily cut and stack labels, the Fort Worth location of Fort Dearborn is equipped with two Speedmaster XL 105s and one other XL 106 in addition to its world-record press, which was installed in July of 2019. In comparison to similar machines in the market, the XL 106 at Fort Dearborn produced more than 2.5x the number of annual gross impressions than the industry average of 32 million. Fort Dearborn credits its record-breaking performance to the overwhelmingly advanced technology of the press, its increased business in 2020, and its overall plant strategy and teamwork mentality.
Creative and analytics teams are drastically different disciplines, driven by different personalities and workflows, which means that merging them takes purposeful planning. The timeline is the first big challenge. The creative team looks ahead, creating new campaigns to be launched in the future while analytics teams review the past, examining what happened and translating that into recommendations that apply to the creative team’s work. Additionally, the speed at which the creative team moves is another difficulty, making the task of stepping into the communication flow feel like stepping into a four-lane highway. But, it’s worthwhile! Data-driven creative performs better due to increased relevance and enhanced understanding of customer behavior. see more at: https://www.jschmid.com/blog/left-brain-creative/
UPM has published its first Green Bond Report. The report provides details on the use of proceeds as well as the estimated impacts of the UPM´s EUR 750 million Green Bond issued in November 2020. The proceeds of the Green Bond were allocated to the following two categories: 1. Sustainable forest management - The category includes the acquisition, maintenance and management of certified forests. The total amount used was EUR 672 million, of which EUR 592 million was allocated to carrying value of forest land and EUR 80 million to sustainable forest management costs. 2. Climate positive products and solutions - The category includes financing the development, operations, maintenance and expansion of the production of climate positive products and solutions. The total amount used was EUR 78 million and it was allocated to R&D costs of biochemicals, biocomposites, biofuels and biomedicals businesses.
Lecta, with Adestor, its widely known brand of self-adhesive materials, is pleased to announce that it has joined CELAB (Circular Economy for Labels), a global industry initiative that is working to create a more sustainable pressure-sensitive labelling industry by increasing access to matrix and liner recycling. Lecta joins CELAB in Europe, which includes other leading companies in the European self-adhesive label value chain. CELAB's activities focus on sharing information, identifying and rolling out recycling solutions for label materials, and educating stakeholders, policymakers and the public through proactive communications.
Costco Wholesale Corporation reported net sales of $18.21 billion for the retail month of March, the five weeks ended April 4, 2021, an increase of 17.6 percent from $15.49 billion last year. For the thirty-one weeks ended April 4, 2021, the Company reported net sales of $111.37 billion, an increase of 15.7 percent from $96.25 billion during the similar period last year.
Aptar Food + Beverage’s SimpliCycle™ recyclable Valve was awarded the Best CSR/Sustainability Initiative at the World Food Innovation Awards ceremony held virtually on YouTube March 23. Entrants were judged on categories such as: innovation, functionality, design and product expression and represents excellence across every category of the global food industry. Composed of a low-density material, SimpliCycle™ allows the valve to float so it’s easily separated from the PET stream and ultimately recycled within the PP/PE olefin stream. According to Susan DeGroot, Director of Product Marketing, this award is one more reflection of Aptar’s commitment to using sustainable materials to create innovative solutions that help CPG brands achieve their goals, while enabling consumers to establish a deeper connection to their preferred brands.
Royle Printing is pleased to announce the purchase of a late model Goss Sunday 2000 48-Page Press. This investment complements Royle's existing press capacity and will help the company grow its position in the catalog and magazine markets. The press was originally purchased and installed in 2015 and became operational in mid-2016. The 8-unit Goss S2000 48-page press provides a broad range of print formats and page configurations for high-volume catalog and magazine projects. The press has a combination and double form folder capable of producing a 48-page signature or a variety of different page configurations (i.e., 4, 8, 12, 16, 24, 32, and 48). The installation will commence in the coming month, with the start-up and commissioning taking place in September '21.
By combining their expertise and the latest Innovations, Siegwerk and Kotkamills will actively create new capabilities for fiber-based packaging Printers and producers, promoting circularity. Siegwerk, one of the leading global providers of printing inks for packaging applications and labels, and Kotkamills, a Finnish paper and paperboard manufacturer, have joined forces to create innovative solutions for printers and producers of fiber-based packaging to further drive packaging circularity. Under the motto “Together we Accelerate change for good”, this strategic partnership aims to provide the market with highly sustainable and eco-friendly solutions by combining the latest technologies of both companies.
Three Domtar facilities were among a group of nearly 150 South Carolina-based companies recognized for outstanding workplace safety at the South Carolina Chamber of Commerce’s annual safety awards ceremony. The Marlboro Mill, Tatum Converting Center and Rock Hill Converting Center received the award based on their lost workday case rate during the calendar year. “When you talk to businesses throughout the state, one of the biggest issues you hear about is the importance of keeping workplaces and employees safe,” says South Carolina Chamber Interim CEO Swati Patel. “We are proud to recognize the companies on this list for taking steps in 2020 to make safety a top priority.” While 2020 brought many challenges to our operations, we established new processes and guidelines to ensure we were doing everything we could to protect employees’ health and safety. Throughout the year, we adapted our work to keep employees and our communities safe.
Andy McCuaig, Fibre Superintendent at our Skookumchuck mill, is leading the charge in wildfire risk reduction logging. This successful three-way partnership between the City of Cranbrook, Paper Excellence and the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development (FLNRORD) means both Paper Excellence and the local community benefit. Paper Excellence gets hog and chips at competitive prices and the community of Cranbrook get reduced wildfire risk because the forests close to town are logged. “The whole angle around fire protection is a huge public interest for people,” says Gavin Baxter, General Manager of Skookumchuck. “We’ve had forest fires on our doorstep before.” In fact, Gavin and Andy toured Mayor Lee Pratt in January so he could see the impact the work is having on the community.
Solenis, a leading global producer of specialty chemicals, will increase prices by 5 to 15 percent on all paper and process product lines across the EMEA region, effective immediately or as customer contracts allow. The price increase is necessary due to the tightening of raw material supplies globally and escalating energy, packaging and transportation costs.
Neenah, Inc. announced that it had completed the previously announced agreement to acquire Global Release Liners, S.L., the parent company of Industrias de Transformacion de Andoain, S.A. (“ITASA”), from Magnum Capital and other minority shareholders. The Company funded the purchase price of approximately €205 million, inclusive of debt extinguishment and subject to customary closing adjustments, through available cash-on-hand and an upsizing of Neenah’s existing Term Loan B from $200 million to $450 million. Interest rates on the Term Loan B are variable and are currently at 3.5 percent. Neenah will continue to maintain a strong liquidity position, with ample availability under its revolving credit line and a projected debt to EBITDA of approximately three times after closing the transaction.
Kohl’s announced the opening of its sixth e-commerce fulfillment center in Etna, Ohio (10201 Schuster Way) to support the company’s continued online demand and digital sales acceleration. The 1.2 million square-foot facility is Kohl’s largest, most efficient fulfillment center and will be dedicated to processing, filling and shipping Kohls.com orders. The next-generation facility leverages automation and technology to make processing and delivering Kohls.com orders faster and more efficient. Construction of the facility began in 2019, was temporarily paused in 2020 due to the pandemic, and resumed in 2021. “Over the past five years, Kohl’s digital sales have grown more than 100 percent. Our investment in a highly efficient sixth e-commerce fulfillment center will meaningfully grow our peak fulfillment capacity,” said Paul Gaffney, Kohl’s senior executive vice president, chief technology officer and head of supply chain. “The new facility makes Kohl's more efficient at fulfilling orders via automation and modern technology, puts Kohl’s products geographically closer to our customers, and ultimately gets our great products to our customers faster.”
Pregis announces its partnership with Circular Great Lakes (CGL), a regional initiative focused initially on keeping valuable plastic materials out of the waste stream and the environment. CGL has been created by the Council of the Great Lakes Region (CGLR) to create a “future without waste” in this binational economic region. Pregis is a founding member and funder of the initiative. The mission behind the Circular Great Lakes initiative aligns perfectly with the Pregis Purpose to “Protect, Preserve & Inspyre” and its 2k30 sustainability goals. Pregis is committed to achieving circularity through product design and making end of life collection easier for consumers so materials can be brought back through the supply chain through recycling and reuse. The company views this opportunity as a way to collaborate with industry members, academia, material processors and purpose-driven customers to create this circular economy.
Paper Excellence is proud to announce the acquisition of an interest in the Atli Chip Limited Partnership. The Partnership has acquired the assets of the North Island Chipping facility situated in Beaver Cove, BC, located on the traditional territory of the ‘Namgis First Nation. The facility is capable of processing 300,000 to 400,000 m3 of chips per year for use in the pulp and paper industry from local supplies of pulpwood and salvage wood. Atli Chip Limited Partnership is majority owned by Atli Resources LP with minority stakes owned by Paper Excellence and Wahkash Contracting Ltd.
We are pleased to announce that Monadnock Paper Mills, Inc. has joined as a patron of the Sustainable Green Printing Partnership, highlighting its environmental leadership and commitment to the industry’s growing sustainable supply chain. The Sustainable Green Printing Partnership (SGP) is a non-profit organization that certifies printing facilities’ sustainability best practices, including and beyond regulatory compliance. SGP advocates best practices and innovation among print community stakeholders, aligning the printing industry and its customers in the pursuit of a more accountable sustainable supply chain. Monadnock is a long-time leader in crafting sustainable and premium printing, packaging, and specialty technical papers for leading brands worldwide.
HEINZEL GROUP recorded a respectable result in the challenging environ-ment of 2020 and created a good basis for further growth after completely freeing itself from debt. Sebastian Heinzel joins the management as Chief Strategy Officer with immediate effect. HEINZEL GROUP increased production in both the paper and pulp segments in the 2020 financial year, with total production rising to 1,607,030 metric tons in 2020. The growth in paper volume is at-tributable to the first full year of operation of the PM3 in Pöls, which specializes in low-grammage kraft paper, and the very good performance of the PM10 in Laakirchen, which produced more con-tainerboard than in the previous year. Total sales volume amounted to 3.7 million metric tons and was slightly lower than in 2019 due to the corona pandemic. Coupled with lower market prices, HEINZEL GROUP’s net sales consequently declined to EUR 1,611.7 million. Although lower wood prices and large-scale savings measures had a positive effect, HEINZEL GROUP’s EBITDA, at EUR 126.0 million, fell to the level of 2017. The group’s EBIT decreased to EUR 57.7 million and net profit for the year to EUR 39.9 million. Against this backdrop it is all the more remarkable that HEINZEL GROUP was able to completely free itself from debt and increase the equity ratio to 59.2%.
Our goal is for you to recognize Verso as a customer-centric organization that delivers best-in-class paper and pulp products with the highest level of service. We know that we have opportunities to improve in this area, and are working diligently to develop new initiatives to do just that. One way we believe we can become more customer-focused is by realigning the current structure and leadership of our Sales, Marketing and Supply Chain organization. We’ve determined that the SVP of Sales, Marketing and Supply Chain role can be more effective with three separate leadership positions. The good news is that you are already familiar with the leaders of these positions as outlined below. Aaron Haas will continue to lead the Marketing, Business Development, Product Development and Customer Technical Service organizations as SVP of Marketing and will continue to report to me. John Schultz will continue to lead the Sales organization as SVP of Sales for all product categories and will now report directly to me. Brian Seitz will continue to serve as Director of Supply Chain, which includes Customer Service, Logistics, and Planning, Scheduling and Delivery, under the leadership of David West.
Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s announced today that Phil Graves has been named Chief Sustainability Officer. Graves brings nearly two decades of leadership in sustainability efforts, strategic planning, finance, and environmentally responsible investing for notable global companies including Patagonia, where he previously served as vice president of corporate development. “Conservation is central to everything we do, and we couldn’t be more thrilled to welcome an industry-recognized leader in sustainability to our Great American Outdoors Group of companies,” said noted conservationist and Bass Pro Shops founder/CEO Johnny Morris. “Phil’s talents and passion for the outdoors make him a natural fit for this role, and his leadership and expertise will advance our conservation mission and impact across North America.”
Last week Penguin Random House reported that it had a 23.3% increase in profits in 2020 over 2019 on a 4.6% gain in revenue, capping a remarkable year for America’s five biggest trade publishers that report financial results. Despite the disruptions caused by the pandemic, all five had annual increases in both earnings and sales. Higher sales of e-books and digital audiobooks and solid gains of backlist titles helped drive the revenue and profit gains. Online sales also rose in the year, offsetting soft sales through bookstores due to pandemic-induced lockdowns. According to PRH parent company Bertelsmann, PRH US had a particularly good year and drove the overall gains for the publisher. PRH US accounted for just over 58% of PRH’s total revenue, or roughly $2.59 billion. In 2019, the U.S. represented 56% of PRH revenue (about $2.2 billion).
Print serves as an essential component of the Luckbox magazine audience-acquisition strategy. And when our opportunities to put print copies in front of people change — as they did when the pandemic canceled all live events and closed stores — we have to adapt. Luckbox, a magazine for active investors, lives by its tagline: “The control freak’s guide to life, money, and probability.” Every month, we publish articles that educate, entertain, and inspire securities traders — whether they dabble in the financial markets part time or devote themselves to investing full time. As a magazine brand, we are platform agnostic. Besides publishing in print and online, we reach our audience via email, social media, and podcasts. Our goal is to put actionable advice into readers’ hands in whatever form they wish to consume it. But when it comes to generating new subscribers, the print magazine rises above the rest as a critical tool. It’s our most convincing emissary. much more at: https://www.lanepress.com/print-probability/
Pixelle Specialty Solutions LLC announced it has completed two strategic investments that will further strengthen its portfolio and enhance service to new and existing customers. On March 31st , Pixelle acquired the specialty paper business Rollsource from Veritiv Corporation. On April 5th , Pixelle acquired the carbonless rolls and security papers business from Appvion Operations Inc. The acquisition of Rollsource includes the book of business primarily serving the forms printer market, and includes a converting facility in Pittsburg, KS. Pixelle will retain key Rollsource employees in order to ensure continuity in operations, sales and customer service. The acquisition of Appvion’s carbonless rolls and security papers business will enable Pixelle to serve new customers with Pixelle’s portfolio of ExcelOne® and Trans/Rite® carbonless papers and broad line of Defensa® security products. No production assets are included in the transaction. Pixelle will manufacture carbonless roll products for former Appvion customers at its Chillicothe, Ohio specialty paper mill, building on decades of experience producing carbonless products.
Mondi has helped Spanish retail chain Alvaro Moreno to save almost 90 tonnes of plastic per year by switching from plastic to paper shopping, online delivery and gift bags. In the past, Alvaro Moreno used more than 3.7 million plastic bags and containers per year. By switching to paper packaging for its bags and thus reducing its plastic consumption, the company is demonstrating its commitment to sustainability. All three bags are recyclable and made from Mondi’s Advantage and EcoVantage product ranges using renewable and responsibly sourced materials. EcoVantage is Mondi’s newest paper range created with fresh pulp and recycled fibres, providing a high-quality printing surface to feature the brand’s distinct white logo and promote the sustainability benefits for its customers.
In an increasingly digital world, Keep Me Posted recognizes that many of us still prefer to receive bills, medical records and other important, confidential communications in paper format. Many consumers report difficulties in using new payment technologies and many require paper communications. This can include older adults, disabled people, low-income earners (who can’t afford costly broadband internet) and those with no home internet (often located in rural areas) or computers. Even for those who prefer digital communications, storing or accessing sensitive documents online could lead to disaster in the event of data breaches and identity theft which are becoming more common every year. Yet each day, more companies are forcing us to go paperless and even charging us inflated fees for online access to critical personal and financial documents. One study also revealed that new utility customers paid significantly later when they received bill invoices by email. If this happens, you might be charged late fees and harassment from debt collectors – and even your credit rating could suffer. In a recent survey, 90% of people said they’d like to have the right to choose how they receive communications (printed or electronic). It’s time to make our voices heard.
Sonoco announced it has closed on the sale of its Display and Packaging business in the United States to Hood Container Corporation for $80 million in cash. Sonoco’s U.S. Display and Packaging business produced net sales of approximately $135 million in 2020 and provides point-of-purchase display design, manufacturing and fulfillment as well as contract packaging services for consumer product customers with more than 250 brands. Based in Winston-Salem, N.C., the Display and Packaging business operates eight manufacturing and fulfillment facilities along with four sales and design centers and has approximately 450 employees.
Online fraud did not take a break for the pandemic. Just the opposite, crimes and complaints are exploding across all categories measured by the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC). The FTC just released its Consumer Sentinel Network Data Book 2020, a comprehensive catalog of consumer reports about fraud, identity theft, online exploits and scams, along with other consumer protection topics. It provides nearly 100 pages of data and analysis of consumer abuses registered directly with the FTC and across its network of federal, state and local partners in consumer advocacy, protection and law enforcement. The FTC data show that identity theft more than doubled from 2019 to 2020, representing nearly one-third of all types of complaints, with a record high 1.4 million and growing. Billions of dollars were lost, with seniors faring far greater financial harms on a per case basis. Incidents in subcategories like fraudulent use of identities for government benefits rose a stratospheric 2,920% year over year. And criminals are increasingly exploiting digital communications via text, email, social media, websites and apps to hunt and harm victims. more at source: https://keepmepostedna.org/1387615-more-reasons-we-need-paper-options-identity-theft-is-exploding/
Mactac® announced that it has acquired Duramark Products Inc., previously known as Ritrama USA. The acquisition consists of the company’s Minneapolis, Minnesota, and Moore, South Carolina, facilities, including its new world-class coaters and advanced automation technologies. Both locations will be rebranded under the Mactac name, creating one of the largest, most diversified pressure-sensitive adhesive (PSA) suppliers in North America. “We are thrilled to make this announcement and to maximize Duramark Products’ recent investments in state-of-the-art equipment and processes,” said Ed LaForge, president, and CEO of Mactac. “We will leverage our experience and established network to help both locations reach their full potential, bringing much-needed product diversification and capacity to the industry.” Mactac’s continued focus on market growth and its diverse account base led to a need to strategically expand operations. With this significant investment, Mactac is affirming its continued commitment to expanding its technology, capacity, and adhesive formulation capabilities to be a full-service resource for customers.
“AF&PA looks forward to working with the Administration and Congress on important infrastructure investment proposals, many of which are included in President Biden’s American Jobs Plan. Modernizing our nation’s infrastructure and investing in manufacturing jobs will be welcome improvements for the U.S. forest products industry, which employs approximately 950,000 individuals and manufactures nearly $300 billion in products annually. “However, AF&PA cannot support the tax increases put forth in the Made in America Tax Plan. These increases would adversely impact U.S. manufacturing and put jobs at risk during a fragile economic recovery. This aspect of the proposal would significantly upset global competitiveness while undermining the promises of the American Jobs Plan."
During last year, we reviewed Stora Enso’s strategic agenda and identified our focus areas going forward. We want to focus on and take leading market positions in the segments where we see potential for future growth, namely packaging, wooden construction and biomaterials innovation from lignin. As a consequence of our strategic direction, we are in the process of exiting the segment of dissolving pulp for viscose production globally. This segment is not core for us and stands for only a small part of our overall business. Dissolving pulp is produced at Stora Enso’s Enocell mill, which currently produces both standard and dissolving pulp grades. Production at the Enocell mill will continue with other types of pulp grades than dissolving pulp and for other end uses than viscose.
Mohawk Hudson Land Conservancy announced the acquisition of 64 acres of forestland recently donated by WestRock, a leading supplier of differentiated paper and packaging solutions. This beautiful stretch of land situated just west of the Hudson River in the town of Bethlehem, N.Y., is a rarity among the development that has rapidly claimed the river valley’s natural spaces. Following the generous donation from WestRock Company, MHLC will ensure the land’s permanent protection. This forestland has long been a focus of local conservation efforts. Along with significant ecological value, the property also has historical interest as part of the original Corning family estate. MHLC Executive Director Mark King said, “We are so pleased to announce the acquisition of this important property and want to acknowledge the generosity of the WestRock Company that made the conservation of this property possible. The acquisition captures an important part of the former Corning estate, which was such an important part of Albany history and preserves some of the remaining open space in this rapidly developing area.”
National Average Price for Regular Unleaded Current: $2.874; Month Ago: $2.729; Year Ago: $1.970. National Average Price for Diesel Current: $3.091; Month Ago: $2.948; Year Ago: $2.589
American Dollar to Canadian Dollar = 0.795957; American Dollar to Chinese Yuan = 0.152331; American Dollar to Euro = 1.177259; American Dollar to Japanese Yen = 0.009048; American Dollar to Mexican Peso = 0.049246.
The modern media landscape has not been kind to many industry magazines, and many are no longer around at least in print form including Surfer, Surfing, Transworld Skateboarding, Transworld Surf, and Powder. But the Surfer’s Journal has defied all those negative trends and currently has the most subscribers it has ever had. The business model started by owners Debbee and Steve Pezman 30-years ago has proven to be ahead of its time. An emphasis on editorial quality allows it to charge more for subscriptions and rely more on its readers for revenue while working with a small number of high quality sponsors that sign on for a long-term commitment.
What if I told you it’s possible to increase response by 5% or more? Sometimes returning to the proven foundations of effective catalog design can make that happen. Yes, the role of the catalog has changed over the last 10 years – dramatically. But what hasn’t changed is the basic human physics of how we process information. Let’s revisit the tried, true and tested techniques that every creative team should know. We guarantee that when you sharpen your creative skills, you’re better positioned for breakthrough results. much more at: https://www.jschmid.com/blog/knowledge-based-creative-the-physics-of-creative/
The Association of American Publishers (AAP) today released its StatShot report for January 2021 reflecting reported revenue for all tracked categories, including Trade (Consumer Books), K-12 Instructional Materials, Higher Education Course Materials, Professional Publishing, and University Presses. Total revenues across all categories for January 2021 were up 10.3% as compared to January 2020, coming in at $1.2 billion. Trade (Consumer Books) sales were up 21.3% in January, coming in at $689.5 million. In terms of physical paper format revenues during the month of January, in the Trade (Consumer Books) category, Hardback revenues were up 25.5%, coming in at $244.2 million; Paperbacks were up 17.9%, with $227.5 million in revenue; Mass Market was up 39.9% to $19.5 million; and Board Books were down 3.4%, with $17.2 million in revenue.
Google this week began testing its controversial cookie-less tracking and targeting system, which relies on placing Chrome users into audience segments based on their web-browsing history, and then transmitting data about those segments directly to publishers. The company has enrolled “a small percentage” of users in the United States and other countries in tests of its new, so-called "Federated Learning of Cohorts." The only way for people to opt out of the tests is by disabling third-party cookies in the Chrome settings -- though Google plans to offer an opt-out control in April.
Torstar Corporation announced it has entered into a long-term partnership with Cineplex whereby Torstar will acquire publishing and exclusive theatre distribution rights of Cineplex Magazine, Canada’s leading entertainment publication. A mainstay of both the Canadian movie and publishing scenes for more than 20 years, Cineplex Magazine delivers exclusive interviews with A-list stars, the inside scoop on coming movies, and compelling photos from current films, movie sets and red-carpet events. Torstar will continue both print and digital publications of the magazine under the brand Star Cineplex. The two companies will work together to deliver exclusive content to movie fans and entertainment lovers across Canada.
The Sustainable Forestry Initiative Inc. (SFI) is pleased to announce the launch of a partnership to develop a new SFI Urban and Community Forest Sustainability Standard for application in North America and potentially globally. SFI will collaborate with five urban forestry leaders: American Forests, Arbor Day Foundation, the International Society of Arboriculture, the Society of Municipal Arborists, and Tree Canada. “The SFI network is looking forward to collaborating with our urban forestry partners to promote the establishment of sustainable urban and community forests that meet local needs, while meaningfully contributing to national, bi-national, and global initiatives such as the 2 Billion Tree initiative in Canada or through regional and global initiatives such as the World Economic Forum’s 1t.org,” says Kathy Abusow, SFI’s President and CEO. “Together, with these leaders, I’m confident SFI will positively contribute to urban forestry initiatives across North America and globally.”
Arandell is taking part in a very special opportunity to partner up with local craft brewery Lakefront Brewery in a combined effort to fight cancer that honors fallen members from both organizations. Al Kluth, Warehouse Manager at Lakefront, and Dan Hauser, Bindery Trainer at Arandell, both passed away in 2020 as a result of complications from pancreatic cancer. Before his passing, Al was given the opportunity to develop his own style of beer in line with Lakefront’s My Turn program, which allows every Lakefront employee to select a style of beer that is then brewed and sold into the marketplace. When Al’s number came up after his passing, the team at Lakefront decided to reach out to his brothers Tim and Rob – both team members at Arandell – and his six other siblings to brew the beer in his honor. The result is My Turn Series – Al, #038, which is described as an American Stout that is pitch black and medium-bodied, with strong roasted and caramel malt flavors. According to the label on the side of each six-pack, the story goes that Al wasn’t much a fan of the “latest designer-hop IPAs or fruit salad kettle sours, but never turned down a good stout.” One hundred barrels of it were brewed and $1.00 from every six-pack sold will be donated to the American Cancer Society on behalf of Al by Lakefront.
Domtar’s support of American Forest Foundation (AFF) biodiversity conservation initiatives is helping protect at-risk or endangered wildlife, especially in the Southeastern United States. With help from Domtar and others, AFF is expanding a model designed to enlist landowners in the effort to ensure that biodiversity thrives in a forest habitat. “Domtar has long recognized the role that family farms and rural landowners play in environmental stewardship, including maintaining habitat for a diverse range of species,” says Paige Goff, vice president for sustainability at Domtar. “This type of engagement fits our goals as well as AFF’s.”
Kimberly-Clark Corporation announced that it is notifying customers in the U.S. and Canada of plans to increase net selling prices across a majority of its North America consumer products business. The increases will be implemented almost entirely through changes in list prices and are necessary to help offset significant commodity cost inflation. The percentage increases are in the mid-to-high single digits. Nearly all of the increases will be effective in late June and impact the company's baby and child care, adult care and Scott bathroom tissue businesses.
Commenting on Marco beginning his journey as Sappi Europe’s CEO, Steve Binnie, Chief Executive Officer of Sappi Limited said: “I look forward to seeing Sappi Europe taken forward by Marco’s drive and vision. Marco is an experienced leader who has been integral to the development and execution of Sappi’s strategy and the investments and decisions we have made in Europe to ensure we maintain our graphic papers leadership while growing our packaging and specialities businesses. I am confident that under Marco’s leadership the business will take full advantage of the exciting opportunities for the pulp and paper industry in Europe and across their export markets.” “The appointment is testimony to the success of Sappi’s strong succession planning processes and the importance we place on stability and continuity during any such leadership transition.”