Quad/Graphics, Inc. announced that it has sold its QuadExpress third-party logistics (3PL) business for $40 million to Mullen Group Ltd., one of Canada’s largest logistics providers. QuadExpress joins Mullen Group’s network of independently operated businesses that provide a broad range of service offerings including less-than-truckload, truckload, warehousing, logistics, transload, oversized and specialized hauling transportation. The divestiture supports Quad’s established strategy to optimize its product and service portfolio and invest in those parts of its business that accelerate its position as a marketing solutions partner and create more value for its clients and other stakeholders. Quad continues to own and operate its in-house transportation and logistics division, Quad Transportation Services, and its trucking division, Duplainville Transport.
Fourth quarter operating results increased primarily due to volume growth and disciplined revenue and portfolio management. These factors were partially offset by costs to support strong demand, increased variable compensation expense, and higher labor rates. Net results include a loss on debt extinguishment of $393 million ($297 million net of tax). FedEx Express fourth quarter operating income more than doubled year over year, driven by exceptional growth in international export and U.S. domestic package services. Operating margin increased 260 basis points (an adjusted 340 basis points; adjusted measures exclude the items listed below for the applicable fiscal year), as improved network optimization and asset utilization enabled profit growth from record fourth quarter volume.
Sonoco Protective Solutions announced the expansion of its proprietary Sonopost® packaging technology into Europe. Utilizing current manufacturing infrastructure, strategically located to support this growing opportunity, Sonoco Protective Solutions will expand with a new Sonopost manufacturing operation in Sochaczew, Poland this summer. The Sonopost manufacturing platform uses corner posts made from 100% recycled paperboard to provide a more sustainable packaging solution for large appliances, HVAC units and similar products requiring superior unit protection and exceptional stacking capability. After use, the 100% recyclable corner posts can be bailed with existing paper scrap and recycled in the paper stream, allowing manufacturers to reduce or completely eliminate their plastic packaging waste.
The two companies are strengthening their partnership by developing a 100% recyclable corrugated board solution. Reducing plastic packaging is a major issue in the CSR approach of La Coopérative Agricole de Noirmoutier, a group of producers of high quality potatoes located on the island of Noirmoutier (Atlantic coast). It is with the ambition to replace the plastic bags wrapping its potatoes that the Cooperative contacted DS Smith. With its experience and collaborative spirit, it is with enthusiasm that DS Smith organized several workshops bringing together members of the two companies. The main difficulty was to keep the potatoes in good condition despite the elimination of plastic. Thanks to the expertise of its designers, DS Smith has succeeded in developing a 100% recyclable corrugated board solution that guarantees the conservation and visibility of the potatoes.
The Clemson Graphic Communications program has proven to produce knowledgeable, experienced professionals ready for the work place after graduation. SPC is always looking for ways to grow the future of print and is committed to the success of young professionals in the industry. In an effort to fill the gaps between college print programs and the industry itself, we asked a series of questions to Clemson staff and alumni. Associate Professor for the Department of Graphic Communications, Doctor Eric Weisenmiller, along with alumni and current SPC employees, Kiki Heron, 2016 graduate, and Audrey Prochaska, 2021 graduate provide their insight below: HOW DO COLLEGE PRINT PROGRAMS HELP PROMOTE THE INDUSTRY? Eric W: College Graphic Communications programs are promoting the industry by building upon fundamental knowledge of the production practices taught in the core curriculum. Awareness about the industry is key, I believe, as many students are not necessarily aware of the industry’s scope. WHAT CAN THE PRINT INDUSTRY DO MORE OF TO HELP PRINT PROGRAMS SUCCEED? EW: Three things come to mind in regards to this: 1. Having industry provide meaningful internship opportunities for our students 2. Keeping open doors to welcome our students for site visits, sponsored attendance, mentorship relationships, and collaborative projects 3. Providing a bit of material support to allow for hands-on experiences to continue to take place on campus for student projects.
DIC Corporation has closed on the acquisition of BASF’s global pigments business, known as BASF Colors & Effects (BCE). The acquisition brings together the complementary portfolio of technologies, products, manufacturing assets, supply chain and customer service of the two companies to serve customers globally. The purchase will broaden Sun Chemical’s portfolio as a global manufacturer of pigments, including those for electronic displays, cosmetics, coatings, inks, plastics and specialty applications, by creating a world-class pigments supplier that offers customers an even wider range of versatile solutions.
Sappi Europe has partnered with Shippeo, the European leader in real-time transportation visibility solutions. This partnership will create a fully transparent supply chain helping to boost efficiency and customer satisfaction through innovative digital supply chain capabilities. Sappi Europe employs 5,600 people across the region producing 3.7 million tons of paper and 1.12 million tons of paper pulp each year across ten mills. Sappi Europe is part of South Africa-based Sappi Limited one of the leading global providers of pulp, paper, packing and sustainable woodfibre products and solutions. This partnership with Shippeo will see real-time visibility incorporated into internal transportation and last leg customer deliveries across the continent. There is an ongoing need for supply chain cost reduction, greater customer focus with higher service levels. Digitizing processes in the supply chain is therefore a key focus area. Being able to provide real time delivery updates will increase internal efficiencies and improve overall customer service.
Dear Industry Executive: As you know, the ACMA is challenging the legality of the Postal Service’s recently-granted rate authority in the US Court of Appeals. While our case will be heard September 13th, a decision is not expected until later this year or early 2022, well after these new rates have taken effect. The ACMA is considering asking the Court to stay this order until the legality of it can be adjudicated. Part of evaluating the wisdom of such a stay will depend on identifying mailers who are facing irreparable harm from this price increase. We need companies willing to show such harm to the Court. If you are considering making significant circulation cuts, dropping titles, cutting employment, leaving the mail or any other major shifts in your business operations in response to these new postage rates, please let us know by close of business today. We will be happy to share an outline of what would need to be submitted to the Court for you to consider. Click read more below for additional information.
UPM Raflatac announced in October 2020 its plans to simplify its organisation and increase efficiency in operations and distribution. All related employee consultation processes in various European countries have now been completed. As a result, the number of positions at UPM Raflatac will decrease by 129. UPM Raflatac provides support for employees who are affected by the reductions.
UPM supports EU’s ambition to become carbon neutral by 2050 and recognizes the need to set more ambitious targets already for 2030. While the revision will support industry’s transformation by setting more stringent targets, UPM is deeply concerned of the regulatory uncertainty the revision may create for the coming years as it may slow down much needed green growth investments. Therefore, the revision should be limited, fit for purpose, and focus on measures that support the increased ambition. Furthermore, UPM calls for policies that recognize the pivotal role of renewable raw materials in replacing the use of fossil resources. Renewability and circular material use in production and consumption open large potential for effective climate change mitigation. The use of sustainably sourced renewable materials offers a unique solution to replace fossil consumption. UPM is committed to “Climate Positive Forestry”, which focuses on increasing the biomass in the forests and their growth through economically, ecologically, and socially sustainable forest management. We make sure that our forests remain carbon sinks and thus support efforts to mitigate climate change.
The Association of American Publishers (AAP) released its StatShot report for April 2021 reflecting reported revenue for all tracked categories, including Trade (Consumer Books), K-12 Instructional Materials, Higher Education Course Materials, and Professional Publishing. Total revenues across all categories for April 2021 were up 43.7% as compared to April 2020, coming in at $994.1 million. Year to date revenues were up 27.0%, at $4.1 billion for the first four months of the year. Click read more below for details
HH Global has been featured in The Sunday Times Sustainable Innovation report, which explores how greentech startups are improving supply chain transparency, how consumer technology is embracing the circular economy, and how innovators are working towards a greener future for work, cities, and travel. HH Global’s responsibility for governing sustainability and ESG within a managed supply chain was the focus of a featured article titled ‘Brands transform in the decade of action’. Kevin Dunckley, Chief Sustainability & Innovation Officer at HH Global, explains how our inclusion in this thought leadership piece is a clear endorsement of our credibility in this important field.
As the world faces up to the climate emergency, urgent action is required if we are to reduce our individual and collective environmental impact. Packaging has an important role to play. The environmental impacts of plastic packaging are well known. 40% of plastic produced is for packaging, while plastic packaging accounts for 50% of plastic waste. Answers must be found to boost the production and use of sustainable packaging, with renewable and recyclable solutions increasingly in demand. A 2020 Two Sides Survey on European Packaging Preferences found that paperboard packaging is favoured by consumers as being better for the environment and considered easier to recycle and home compost. Increasing the use of sustainable, certified forest-based packaging has huge potential to not only help companies meet sustainability targets, but also have a positive impact on the world’s forests and the communities that depend upon them.
Smurfit Kappa has announced the opening of a new International Safe Transfer Association (ISTA) certified lab at its new eCommerce packaging facility in Northampton, UK. This brings with it an expansion of Smurfit Kappa’s network of packaging testing labs and centres that support retailers and producers to develop, test and launch disruptive packaging solutions for eCommerce at minimal risk and with reliable implementation. ISTA certification is often required by online selling platforms such as Amazon, Alibaba or eBay. From its ISTA lab in the Netherlands, Smurfit Kappa has over 14 years of experience and data from testing new and innovative packaging solutions to ensure they are fit for purpose and meet the challenges of the eCommerce supply chain. Most recently, Smurfit Kappa was the first to secure Amazon’s ‘Frustration-Free Packaging’ pre-certification for a three litre Bag-in-Box solution. All this expertise is now also extended into the UK market.
Tetra Pak announces an ambitious investment program dedicated to its factory in Châteaubriant, specialised in the production of caps. Spanning across a three-year period (late 2021-2023), this €100 million project will support the plant’s transition to the production of tethered caps by 2024. Tethered caps help to minimise litter, as the cap will stay attached to the package. This step – that is in addition to the company’s commitment to invest approximately €100 million per year over the next 5-10 years to develop more sustainable packaging solutions - is key to ensuring that Tetra Pak’s customers in Europe will be ready to comply with the Single Use Plastics (SUP) Directive, an integral part of the wider approach announced in the Plastics Strategy and an important element of the EU Circular Economy Action Plan.
Konica Minolta Business Solutions U.S.A., Inc. announced it has joined the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Green Power Partnership, which encourages organizations to use green power to reduce the environmental impact of electricity use. Konica Minolta is using nearly 5.1 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) of green power annually, which is enough to meet 100 percent of the organization's total electricity use. By choosing green power, the company is helping to lead the transition to a clean energy future. The company’s commitment to sustainability is reflected in local efforts at its U.S. headquarters in Ramsey, New Jersey. The site is partially powered by solar energy – and has been for more than seven years. The solar energy system consists of carport canopies supporting solar panels that produce about 10 – 15 percent of the Ramsey campus’ energy needs alone. Employees across the country volunteer hundreds of hours each year to environmental initiatives, supporting sustainability in its communities and contributing to a brighter future for the planet.
GreenFirst Forest Products Inc. announces that Rick Doman has replaced Larry G. Swets, Jr. as Chief Executive Officer of GreenFirst and Paul Rivett has replaced Kyle Cerminara as Chairman of the board of directors of GreenFirst (the Board). Both Larry G. Swets, Jr. and Kyle Cerminara will remain on the Board. These changes were determined to be in the best interests of the Company going forward as GreenFirst transitions to a lumber and forestry company and moves towards the closing of the previously announced asset purchase transaction involving the acquisition of lumber and forestry assets of certain subsidiaries of Rayonier Advanced Materials Inc.
Taking inspiration from nature, Lecta presents EraCup Natural, a totally recyclable, biodegradable and polyethylene-free paper-based solution for single-use cups. EraCup Natural is the first product in Lecta’s new range of functional papers for nature-friendly packaging aligned with responsible consumption habits in which each decision matters. Manufactured under the most rigorous environmental and food safety certifications, Lecta’s new paper-based EraCup Natural solution is based on a proprietary process that is both polyethylene and bioplastic free. Its unique composition allows the paper to be recycled in standard paper recycling circuits after having been converted and used.
Mondi, a global leader in packaging and paper, is increasing capacity for their paper-based MailerBAG range to further replace plastic packaging in eCommerce with a recyclable solution made of responsibly sourced renewable materials. The innovative MailerBAG is now available in three designs, with the flat bottom version complementing the existing range of pinch and folded bottom bags, as each one offers consumers user-friendly packaging with multiple advantages. This includes easy closing for packing, expandability for bulkier goods, and easy resealing functionality for returns. The bags are made from kraft paper, a renewable material, and are completely re-usable and recyclable. MailerBAGs protect products without transporting too much air, meaning less space in storage and transit due to their flexible properties. The bags can be used and shipped worldwide.
The Danish Forest Certification Scheme has been submitted to PEFC for assessment. The public consultation, which is your chance to give your feedback on this revised system, will run from 5 July to 2 September 2021. PEFC Denmark 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 5 July, at 10:00 CEST. The webinar is free to attend, and everyone is welcome.
Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG (Heidelberg) is expecting the global label printing market to continue growing at an annual rate of around four percent. Growth is even expected to be above average in the in-mould label segment, which has not been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. These labels are typically utilized in the food and cosmetics industries, and by companies producing chemicals for household and industrial use. The benefits of the in-mould process lie in its comparatively low manufacturing costs, good temperature and moisture resistance, and resource-friendly characteristics. For example, the polypropylene used for the labels and containers is 100 percent recyclable. Cutting-edge, increasingly efficient manufacturing processes are a further growth factor on the in-mould label market. With its state-of-the-art technology, Heidelberg is playing a key role in improving the efficiency of in-mould label production and is the technology leader in this segment by some margin. The company is looking to build on this strong position and is therefore stepping up its investment in the development of new technologies for IML production.
Climate change is the greatest challenge of our time. At Mercer, we’re committed to being part of the solution. We believe technology and innovation can help get us there. For us, accountability means that we are accountable individually and have a responsibility to our partnerships. We contribute and take ownership beyond our job descriptions. This definition is broad and multifaceted, but like our other values, accountability is in everything we do. We’re a producer of green energy, a partner in healthy forest practices, and innovators working to advance cleaner technology. We take these roles seriously. Every day, we strive to build a more sustainable, resilient future for us all. In 2021, Mercer Celgar is embarking on a capital investment project to upgrade our existing woodroom. This project has a total cost of $31.4 million, of which $4.5 million is funded through Natural Resources Canada’s Investments in Forest Industry Transformation (IFIT) program. Completion of the woodroom upgrade project will improve the competitiveness of the pulp mill operation, reduce emissions, improve fibre utilization, and create local jobs during the construction phase.
Red Leaf Pulp Ltd., developer of a proprietary low-carbon pulping process, and Valmet, Ltd. have signed a long-term Teaming Agreement to exclusively collaborate and pursue commercialization of Red Leaf's innovative ag-based pulping process in North America, employing Valmet's fiberline and other value-added equipment. Red Leaf's initial plant in Regina Saskatchewan is expected to start commercial production in 2023 and will have the capacity to produce 600 tonnes per day of market pulp from waste wheat straw collected and aggregated from local producers.
WSBC’s mission is to advance sustainable principles and practices through the power of business. WSBC supports businesses and sustainability professionals through an array of programming, education, resources, and tools and is a catalyst for organizations looking to integrate sustainability into the fabric of their organizations. “As the demand for sustainability continues to shape our industry, brands and consumers are looking for supply chain partners that offer sustainable products and solutions,” said Renée Yardley, Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing. “When businesses work together to provide sustainable recycled paper products, brand’s sustainability goals are achieved, driving sustainability to consumers and ultimately better for our planet.”
The U.S. Postal Service provided updated third quarter service performance data through the week of June 18th which shows performance improvement continues to hold steady since the second quarter. Performance numbers below include the weeks of April 1 through June 18: *First-Class Mail: 87.5 percent of First-Class Mail delivered on-time against the USPS service standard, an over 9 percent increase over the second quarter. *Marketing Mail: 90.8 percent of Marketing Mail delivered on time against the USPS service standard, a nearly 6 percent increase over the second quarter. *Periodicals: 79.1 percent of Periodicals delivered on time against the USPS service standard, a nearly 8 percent increase over the second quarter.
Despite nonfiction sales being down in all major categories, unit sales of print books managed to eke out a 1.1% increase last week over the week ended June 20, 2020 in outlets that report to NPD BookScan Solid sales of backlist titles drove up unit sales 25.7% in the young adult fiction segment while adult fiction sales increased 16% in the week and juvenile fiction sales rose 2.2%. Only one new release made an impact on adult fiction sales. The Maidens by Alex Michaelides sold close to 25,000 copies in its first week on sale, landing it in second place on the adult fiction bestseller list.
The Navigator Company is committed to sustainable development, environmental responsibility and a fair society. This is encapsulated into their marketing practices and they have chosen to partner with Love Paper to highlight and promote the sustainability of their practice and products. Love Paper, created by not-for-profit campaign Two Sides, is a global initiative aiming to improve consumer perceptions of the sustainability and attractiveness of print, paper, and paper packaging. There are many misconceptions relating to print, paper and paper-based packaging. *37% of European consumers believe that paper and paper packaging are bad for the environment. Whilst only 16% believe the paper recycling rate exceeds 60%, when in fact it’s 72%. – Cepi, 2019. (*Toluna/Two Sides, 2021.) Paper is based on wood, a natural and renewable material. As young trees grow they absorb CO2 from the atmosphere. Furthermore, as a wood product, paper also continues to store carbon throughout its lifetime.
Amcor’s Flexibles North America business today announced the installation of a seven-layer blown film line. Amcor’s new machine will produce the company’s recently launched proprietary AmPrima™ PE Plus ultra-clear and heat resistance films. The AmPrima line uses machine-direction orientation technology to produce films that can run at speeds that competitors are unable to match in a recycle-ready solution. These films enable customers to shift to recycle-ready solutions without compromise on performance, product appearance or manufacturing throughput. AmPrima is part of Amcor’s growing portfolio of responsible packaging solutions. In the U.S., when clean and dry, AmPrima can be collected for recycling curbside where available or through existing in-store drop-off locations. These solutions also are prequalified for the How2Recycle® label, which saves customers time, cost and reduces risk in development. The AmPrima line represents another meaningful step forward against Amcor’s effort to make all its products recyclable or reusable by 2025.
The Sustainable Green Printing Partnership (SGP), the leading certification authority in sustainable printing, announced today that the fourth printing affiliate organization, Printing Industries Association Inc. of Southern California (PIASC), has joined the SGP community as a Resource Partner. SGP Resource Partners are non-profits, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and educational institutions engaged in promoting, teaching or researching in the areas of graphic arts and/or sustainability. Resource Partners are subject matter experts that assure the entire print community is empowered to advance sustainability in the printing industry supply chain. “Most of our members are concerned with our environment. SGP is more than a certification; it is a way of life. As a Resource Partner, PIASC can help our members who are looking into SGP certification,” said Lou Caron, PIASC president/CEO. “We also want to advocate this sustainable mission and promote certification to our members.”
Nahan has received a Best of Category award win at the 2021 Star Awards, hosted by Printing Industry Midwest (PIM). The Star Awards is an annual five-state print competition that recognizes excellence in print quality in the printing, communication, and graphic arts industries. Nahan was proud to receive the award for Best of Category – Booklets, which is the highest award a printer can receive in this category, for a mailer produced for an international natural fragrances company. Nahan also received four Awards of Recognition in the Booklet, Product/Service Catalog, and Consumer Promotional Campaigns categories, and three Certificates of Merit. It was also an honor to have our very own, Aaron Weekes, Director of Technology and Service Operations, speak at the event on behalf of the PIM Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion (DE&I) Program. This program is a “coalition of graphic communications companies and professionals. The coalition works to solve the racial inequities in our industry and to promote diverse, equitable, and inclusive workplace”.
Total European shipments of graphic papers in April 2021 were UP 13.9% vs. April 2020 and are down 8.0% year-to-date. Total European shipments of newsprint in April 2021 were UP 1.2% vs. April 2020 and are down 13.6% year-to-date. Total European shipments of sc-magazine in April 2021 were UP 21.4% vs. April 2020 and are down 6.8% year-to-date. Total European shipments of coated mechanical reels in April 2021 were UP 10.3% vs. April 2020 and are down 11.9% year-to-date. Total European shipments of uncoated mechanical (improved & others) in April 2021 were UP 16.9% vs. April 2020 and are down 1.0% year-to-date. Total European shipments of coated woodfree in April 2021 were UP 19.0% vs. April 2020 and are down 10.4% year-to-date. Total European shipments of uncoated woodfree in April 2021 were UP 21.5% vs. April 2020 and are down 1.5% year-to-date.
National Average Price for Regular Unleaded Current: $3.086; Month Ago: $3.036; Year Ago: $2.171. National Average Price for Diesel Current: $3.229; Month Ago: $3.177; Year Ago: $2.439.
American Dollar to Canadian Dollar = 0.812743; American Dollar to Chinese Yuan = 0.154896; American Dollar to Euro = 1.194699; American Dollar to Japanese Yen = 0.009034; American Dollar to Mexican Peso = 0.050472.
CohereOne, the premier direct-to-consumer marketing agency and strategic consultancy, is pleased to announce the addition of Rob Santangelo as Senior Vice President of New Business Development. Santangelo joins CohereOne after six years at Belardi Wong in New York, where he successfully spearheaded the business development infrastructure for the marketing strategy and creative services firm. As both the youngest director and vice president in company history, Santangelo closed business with over 200 top brands during his tenure and generated at least $1 million in new business revenue each year. “CohereOne has been enjoying tremendous growth,” said Tim Curtis, President / CEO of CohereOne. “The addition of Rob supercharges our effort to serve the burgeoning direct-to-consumer industry. His insights and his understanding of how digital native brands launch and expand their use of the direct mail channel speaks for itself.” Santangelo began his career at 1-800-Flowers.com, and rapidly advanced in the organization from Associate Category Manager and Category Manager of Ecommerce Merchandising to Manager of Fulfillment Partnership Sales. Under his direction, the company’s Fruit Bouquets product line increased its fulfillment footprint from 13% to 78%.
WestRock Company announced its commitment to setting a new greenhouse gas emissions reduction target that is aligned with current climate science. WestRock has confirmed its commitment with the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) and will develop, validate and publish a science-based target within 24 months. “Building on a proud legacy in sustainable forestry and fiber management, we believe in the promise of a sustainable future, and we are committed to working with our customers, our supply chain and the communities where we work to get there together,” said David B. Sewell, chief executive officer of WestRock. “That’s why we have prioritized setting emissions reduction targets to help reduce this critical element impacting climate change.”
Metsä Board, the leading European producer of premium fresh fibre paperboards and part of Metsä Group, is proud to have been awarded again the Platinum level rating by EcoVadis for the company’s sustainability and corporate social responsibility. With a top score of 83/100 Metsä Board is among the highest 1% of companies assessed in the manufacture of corrugated paper and paperboard and containers of paper and paperboard. EcoVadis assesses companies covering four themes: Metsä Board was in the top 1% of companies for Environment, Labour & Human Rights and Sustainable Procurement and in the top 4% for Ethics.
The Book Manufacturers’ Institute (BMI), has released this year’s State of the Book Industry Report, to inform business leadership across the supply chain on current market data and emerging trends. Last year’s report was done just as many COVID lockdowns had started. It was hard to make any predictions about what the rest of 2020 would look like. Now that we are fully into 2021, this year’s report looks back at a year like none other and points to what is coming down the road. The full report is offered for free as a benefit to members of BMI; interested parties in the print sector can request an executive summary by contacting BMI directly. Topics covered in the 2021 State of the Book Industry report include: *Overall economic trends and statistics *Factors impacting book manufacturers, such as employment *Key trends in book readership, consumption, and demand *Key Management Issues for Book Manufacturers in 2021
With pandemic lockdowns as a backdrop, banks, utilities, telecoms and other large service providers boosted their efforts to switch customers from paper to electronic communication over the last 15 months, and with those efforts came a new wave of misleading environmental claims about paper – greenwashing. The Two Sides Anti-Greenwashing Campaign mobilized to push back against this tide of new claims in January after a 10-month pandemic-related interruption, and wins have been steadily increasing. Thanks to this renewed effort, 14 companies have changed or removed misleading environmental claims related to print and paper so far this year, including large banks, utilities and notably, the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, whose communications reach 44 million Americans or 15% of the U.S. population. This is in addition to seven wins in 2020 on greenwashing cases that were already in progress.
CJK Group, Inc. has announced that it has permanently raised the starting hourly wage to $15 for U.S. workers. The wage increase is a welcomed benefit to current employees as well as strengthening opportunities to attract new hires. The current labor shortage in America and the company’s tenacity to be an employer of choice, served as catalysts toward the decision to increase the minimum wage. To remain strong and competitive in the marketplace and aggressively expand in the government sector, CJK Group recognizes the need to continue to position itself as a preferred workplace. Rather than simply providing jobs, CJK Group is proud to offer its employees careers. The length of tenure at each of its companies is truly astounding, with some team members working diligently for 40+ years. This investment in raising the minimum wage for U.S. workers is another important step that CJK Group is taking to continue to add the best and the brightest job seekers to its already highly talented team.
Paper Excellence recently partnered with Cumberland Wood Products (CWP) to plant 1,000 jack pine seedlings in and around the First Nation community of Cumberland House. Cumberland House Cree Nation formed CWP to provide economic benefits directly to the communities and shareholders who remain stewards of Kitaskīnaw, the Saskatchewan River Delta. This spring, using seedlings facilitated by Paper Excellence through its partnership in Meadow Lake, CWP managed the plant with several volunteers from the community on May 27 and June 3. The jack pine is native to Saskatchewan and produces excellent habitat for local plant and animal species. The seedlings planted this year will provide a natural ecosystem buffer for key areas around the Northern Saskatchewan community, and serve to naturally enhance the regrowth on reserve.
Leading global packaging and paper group Mondi has partnered with German manufacturer VPF, an expert in self-adhesive materials and coatings, to create the world’s first sustainable release liner range made from recycled paper. VPF committed to make their labels more sustainable by producing them from recycled materials. In a next step, they wanted their release liners to also be made of recycled materials and collaborated with Mondi to make this possible. Mondi used their customer-centric EcoSolutions approach to support VPF’s sustainability commitment, and with Mondi’s EverLiner M R, all the components of VPF’s label laminates are now made from recycled materials. Mondi’s EverLiner M R was launched in February and is the first machine-glazed release liner with 70% recycled content on the market. As well as using less fresh fibres, it is available with FSC® or PEFC-certified paper and significantly reduces the CO2e footprint compared to standard liners. This means EverLiner M R is a more responsible release liner solution for labels, tapes, envelopes, and industrial applications.
Amazon announced 14 new renewable energy projects in the U.S., Canada, Finland, and Spain to advance its ambitious goal to power 100% of company activities with renewable energy by 2025—five years ahead of the original target of 2030. The new projects bring Amazon’s total renewable energy investments to date to 10 gigawatts (GW) of electricity production capacity—enough to power 2.5 million U.S. homes. Amazon is now the largest corporate buyer of renewable energy in the U.S. and the world. The latest utility-scale solar and wind projects will supply renewable energy for Amazon’s corporate offices, fulfillment centers, and Amazon Web Services (AWS) data centers that support millions of customers globally. These projects will also help Amazon meet its commitment to produce enough renewable energy to cover the electricity used by all Echo devices in use. These new projects support hundreds of jobs while providing hundreds of millions of dollars of investment in local communities.
Publishing sales at IDW Media Holdings rose 27.6% in the quarter ended April 30, 2021 over the comparable period in 2020. Sales in the group, which includes the graphic novel imprints IDW and Top Shelf, increased to $6.0 million in the quarter from $4.7 million in the second quarter of fiscal 2020. The company said the jump in sales was led by the revival of the direct market channel, which had largely shut last spring with the outbreak of the pandemic. Direct-to-consumer sales were also up in the quarter, but digital sale fell. Among the titles and series that sold well in the period were Locke & Key/The Sandman Universe crossover, Sonic the Hedgehog, X-Men, and TMNT.
American Trucking Associations’ advanced seasonally adjusted (SA) For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index decreased 0.7% in May after falling 0.6% in April. In May, the index equaled 113.7 (2015=100) compared with 114.5 in April. “Tonnage, despite falling slightly over the last two months, remains well above the lows of last year,” said ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello. “This is no small deal considering that truck tonnage fell significantly less than many other indicators during the depths of the pandemic in the spring of 2020. “One freight segment that is helping tonnage is gasoline as demand for travel, both commuting and vacation related, picks up,” he said. “I’m also expecting retail freight to remain robust as inventories are at historic lows. As retail stocks are rebuilt, it will boost freight. As has been the case for some time, trucking’s biggest challenges are not on the demand side, but on the supply side, including difficulty finding qualified drivers.”
Tredegar Surface Protection announced that it will implement a resin index based pricing plan that will apply to all products and customers, in response to unprecedented price increases and supply issues for polyethylene and polypropylene resin. This bilateral pricing model, which allows for decreases if resin prices fall in the future, will be effective on all shipments beginning July 1, 2021. Citing growing cost pressures, Dr. Bapi DasGupta, president of Tredegar Surface Protection, said, “While we are seeing cost inflation in many areas, the increase in the cost of our primary raw material is the most challenging, given that resin prices have doubled over the past year. In addition, resin supply continues to be tight as a result of recent force majeure events and issues associated with COVID-19 conditions, including supply chain delays. We continue to focus on cost-control measures across our business and remain fully committed to delivering industry-leading product quality and supply reliability to our customers.”
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 July 26, 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 continue to experience 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.
Sealed Air Corporation has dedicated more than $30 million in capital to expand global production capacity and invest in new equipment systems to meet the accelerating demand for Automated Packaging Systems (APS) AUTOBAG® brand solutions, an acquisition Sealed Air closed in 2019. The investment is for capacity expansion, “touchless” automation, and proprietary digital printing technologies primarily in SEE’s APS facilities in Streetsboro and Bedford Heights, Ohio and Keyser, West Virginia, and will be completed in 2021. The company will also expand capacity and install new equipment at APS sites in Malvern, UK; Cavite, Philippines; and Qingpu, China.
AptarGroup, Inc. announced that it has entered into exclusive negotiations with respect to a potential acquisition of all outstanding shares of Voluntis (ENXTPA: ALVTX), a pioneer in digital therapeutics. This acquisition would complement Aptar’s existing digital health portfolio of connected devices by adding digital therapeutic solutions and broadening its digital health services across multiple chronic conditions and diseases. Digital therapeutics (DTx) help patients and caregivers treat, manage, or prevent a disorder or disease through evidence-based interventions that are driven by high quality software solutions. Supported by the trend toward personalized healthcare, DTx are used independently or in connection with medications, devices or other therapies to optimize patient care and health outcomes. By acquiring Voluntis, Aptar would have immediate access to an established proprietary platform and algorithms that would drive future digital solutions provided to pharmaceutical and biotech customers as well as other healthcare stakeholders including payers and providers.
Packaging has a fundamental role in building sustainable, safe, and hygienic food systems globally. We believe that the value of packaging is more than its impact on the planet. But just as with all innovations, there are challenges to be dealt with. Water, a limited yet critical resource for both natural ecosystems and human survival, is becoming increasingly scarce. Our increasing use of this natural element, which ranges from personal consumption to agricultural and industrial applications, has led to global water demand increasing at twice the rate of population growth over the past 100 years.i Whilst climate change is an important driver of geographic water shortages across the globe, an expanding population and rapid economic development have a more immediate impact on current water levels globally. According to the EU’s Joint Research Center, approximately two-thirds of the world’s population – half of whom reside in India and China – experience severe water scarcity for at least one month per year. In Europe, more than 120 million citizens lack access to safe drinking water and half a billion people across the globe face critical shortages annually. In a study of 71 cities with more than 750,000 inhabitants, it is estimated that 35 per cent are vulnerable to water scarcity at present.ii
The Mayr-Melnhof Group ("MM") and a subsidiary of Oaktree Capital Management, LP's advisory funds have reached a firm memorandum of understanding to transfer MM's virgin fiber board plants in Eerbeek, the Netherlands, and Baiersbronn, Germany, to Oaktree an equity value of EUR 104.6 million plus net debt according to the final invoice. Eerbeek and Baiersbronn together have an annual capacity of around 245kt virgin fiber board (FBB), which is produced on two board machines, and employ around 400 people. Sales in 2020 reached EUR 195 million. The sale corresponds to and is part of MM's strategy to focus on new acquisitions and growth investments.
SCA increases prices on brown and white kraftliner by € 50 per tonne in Europe. The new prices are valid from August, 1, 2021. “Driven by the continued strong market for transport packaging, the global demand for kraftliner remains high”, says Mikael Frölander, VP Sales & Marketing Containerboard.
The Company’s revenues for the first quarter ended May 31, 2021 were $96.9 million compared to $89.0 million for the same quarter last year, an increase of $7.9 million, or 8.9%. Excluding the sales from our Infoseal acquisition, organic sales increased $2.7 million, or 3.0%. Gross profit margin was $29.2 million, or 30.1%, as compared to $23.9 million, or 26.9%, for the same quarter last year. Net earnings for the quarter were $7.3 million, or $0.28 per diluted share, as compared to $4.2 million, or $0.16 per diluted share, for the same quarter last year.
The American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA) President and CEO Heidi Brock issued the following statement in opposition to the Maine Legislature’s passage of Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) for packaging (LD 1541): ”American Forest & Paper Association members have a measurable record of success in making paper and paper-based packaging more sustainable and circular through market-based approaches. Maine’s Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) for packaging ignores the fact that our industry has achieved a consistently high paper recycling rate. Last year, nearly two-thirds of all paper was recycled, and for over a decade, paper recycling has met or exceeded 63 percent. “We urge Governor Janet Mills to veto Maine LD 1541. The current bill has direct consequences for Maine’s businesses and manufacturers, including the forest products industry, which operates 35 facilities and employs more than 13,000 people in the Pine Tree State. This legislation does not recognize the material recovery and market development achievements of the paper industry, and it should be based on sound policy that benefits the environment, consumers and reflects best practices for doing business and creating jobs.”
Domtar leaders, along with numerous Georgia state and local officials, recently broke ground to celebrate the expansion of our Jesup, Georgia-based Engineered Absorbent Materials (EAM)* facility. The project will add a large-scale airlaid production line to the facility, making Domtar a leading nonwovens provider. “This project is an integral part of our long-term strategy to grow our position as a leading global absorbent materials and technology business, offering our customers both fluff pulp and airlaid nonwoven materials,” said Domtar President & CEO John Williams about Domtar’s goal to become a leading nonwovens provider. “Combining EAM’s expertise with our world-class fluff pulp business will allow us to deliver value to our customers, and Domtar, for many years to come.” “When it comes to absorbent hygiene products, what you can’t see is often the most important part,” said Lewis Fix, Domtar vice president, commercial pulp and airlaid. “We design and manufacture customizable, thin and flexible airlaid and laminate materials that keep customers comfortable and dry. Manufacturers incorporate these high-performance materials into a wide range of products sold under the NovaThin® and NovaZorb® brands.”
Mondi has approved a €125 million capital investment project at its semi-chemical fluting mill in Kuopio, Finland. This investment will increase the facility’s capacity by around 55 thousand tonnes per annum to meet growing customer demand; enhance product quality and cost-competitiveness; and strengthen the mill’s environmental performance. The project includes an upgrade of the wood yard, fibre line, evaporation plant and paper machine. Start-up is planned for the fourth quarter of 2023. ProVantage Powerflute®, the semi-chemical fluting produced at the mill, is a high performance and top quality containerboard grade. Due to its high strength, moisture resistance and durability, it is a key component of fresh fruit and vegetable trays and boxes as well as specialised applications.
Sappi is pleased to announce that it has joined the CBA, a new global movement which places Nature at the heart of the global circular bioeconomy. Commenting on the decision to join the CBA, Dr Tracy Wessels, General Manager Group Sustainability and R&D said: “Sappi’s purpose and vision aligns very closely with the CBA. We fully support the work of the Circular Bioeconomy Alliance in facilitating a science-informed dialogue and in demonstrating on the ground through targeted investments the potential of a Circular Bioeconomy in the global South.” The Circular Bioeconomy Alliance was established by His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales under his Sustainable Markets Initiative in 2020. The Alliance aims to accelerate the transition to a circular bioeconomy that is climate neutral, inclusive and prospers in harmony with nature, by providing knowledge-informed support and a learning and networking platform. It connects the dots between investors, companies, local communities, governmental and non-governmental organizations to advance the circular bioeconomy – while also restoring biodiversity.
Huhtamaki introduces Smilepack, a 100% plastic free molded fiber egg carton, in the United States and Brazil. Smilepack cartons are Huhtamaki’s first product designed especially for the U.S. egg industry, providing a sustainable and functional alternative to traditional polystyrene foam or plastic packaging for eggs. In the United States, the egg packaging market is expected to reach $405 MN at a CAGR of 4.38% by 2025*. The Smilepack egg cartons are made with fiber recovered from recycled paper, which can be reused up to seven times. The cartons can be recycled in regular paper stream and they are home and industrially compostable. Smilepack is already in use in the U.S. by a prominent producer and distributor of free-range eggs, whose products are sold in retail stores across the country. It is estimated that by switching to fiber packaging, this company will eliminate around 4.6 million plastic egg cartons, or around 200 metric tons of plastic annually.
2020 saw dramatic changes to the way society lives. How people work and socialise might have changed forever. Consumption habits have also changed, which has had major impacts on the packaging industry. In a year when some industries struggled, the packaging industry reported increased volumes and revenue, in part, due to a surge in online shopping. But consumers are conscious of their impact on the environment and are demanding more sustainable packaging choices to be used. A recent survey shows that UK consumers believe paper-based packaging to be better for the environment and is the preferred packaging choice for many. The study, commissioned by not-for-profit organisation Two Sides and conducted by independent research company Toluna, aims to understand changing consumer perceptions towards print, paper and paper-based packaging. See more at: https://www.twosides.info/UK/packaging-preferences-unpacked/?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=TSUK%20Packaging%20Preferences%20Unpacked&utm_content=TSUK%20Packaging%20Preferences%20Unpacked+CID_683d50ad23c868cdb1a689f14452563c&utm_source=Email%20marketing%20software&utm_term=Read%20More
HH Global is pleased to announce the signing of an agreement on Monday 21 June 2021 to fully acquire Adare International from the private equity firm Endless LLP. Adare is a British-headquartered provider of marketing services with strong procurement, creative and data offerings. The combined global business will consist of more than 4,000 employees across more than 50 countries, generating approximately $2.1bn in annual sales as HH Global consolidates our leading position in the sector. Consistent with the recent merger with InnerWorkings, the fundamental rationale for the deal is the strategic fit, in that the businesses are tremendously complementary. Geographically, the acquisition enhances our international footprint and scope, particularly in Europe and Latin America. From a solutions perspective, Adare has an excellent procurement offering, as well as bringing expanded content and interactive service lines which we’re excited about taking to our clients.
ePac Holdings Europe is proud to announce that the company is expanding its European operations into Austria to serve local and regional businesses. Building on the current locations in Silverstone (England) and Lyon (France), ePac Innsbruck (Austria), will be located in Landeck (Tyrol) and will serve Austria, Switzerland, and Germany. Orders can be placed effective immediately, and will be fulfilled by ePac Silverstone or Lyon until the production facility in Austria is completed. Christian Bischofberger, John Peat and Nick Monk become the Managing Partners for ePac Innsbruck. Christian will lead the operation and is a proven specialist in the printing and packaging industry with more than 20 years of experience. He will be supported by John and Nick (Managing Partners of ePac UK Silverstone), who have already gained a lot of experience with the ePac business model through the successful establishment and operation in Silverstone.
Sonoco announced it is implementing a $50 per ton price increase for all grades of uncoated recycled paperboard (URB) in the United States and Canada, effective with shipments beginning July 15, 2021. Sonoco said the price increase was in response to continuing strong demand across its U.S. and Canada mill network which has driven order backlogs to near historical levels as well as stepped up inflationary pressures from energy, freight, papermaking chemicals and packaging materials.
Intertape Polymer Group Inc. published its 2020 annual sustainability report, titled “Our Circular Economy”. The report provides an overview of the Company’s sustainability progress in 2020 and highlights future opportunities. The report was prepared in accordance with the Global Reporting Initiative (“GRI”): Core option, with details provided in the index section of the report. 2020 Results • Improved worker safety with a 1.9 total case incident rate2 (TCIR) and a 0.6 lost workday case incident rate2 (LWCIR) in 2020 • 21% of total IPG sales were C2C certified by the end of 2020 • 47% of the Company’s packaging products, by sales, were recyclable, reusable or compostable by the end of 2020 • 7.0% reduction in direct energy use in 2020 compared to 2019 • 7.2% reduction in energy intensity in 2020 compared to 2019 • 5.9% reduction in direct CO2 emissions in 2020 compared to 2019 • 2.8% reduction in carbon intensity in 2020 compared to 2019 • 6.4% reduction in water usage in 2020 compared to 2019
Smurfit Kappa has announced it will invest €24 million to expand its corrugated plant in Rethel, North-East France, demonstrating the company's continued commitment to its French customer market. The new investment will facilitate the consolidation of two existing facilities at that plant and the installation of a new state-of-the-art corrugator and conversion equipment. This investment will result in environmental improvements at the plant including a reduction in CO2 emissions, with a saving of at least 150 tonnes annually. Phase one of the project, including installation of the new corrugator, is due to be completed in the first half of 2022, with full completion of the investment project expected in 2023. The investment will help to modernise and expand the plant, which will include a new 8200m2 building designed specifically for the installation of the new high-tech corrugator.
Packaging manufacturer PackageMedia, operating in Inkeroinen, Kouvola, created a unique, local cup series called “Images from Kouvola” and “Images from Kotka” for Prisma stores in the Kymenlaakso region; the cups are made from Kotkamills' plastic-free and easy-to-recycle cupstock. The images depict the local attractions, nature, and other sources of pride of these two cities. The Kouvola-themed cups can be purchased in a 25-cup retail package at Prisma in Kouvola, and the Kotka-themed cups are available at the Sutela Prisma in Kotka. It's easy to grab some cups while doing your regular grocery shopping, and a package of cups is always a welcomed and practical gift to bring when visiting a summer cabin. Each city series of cups contains six different images, the number of which varies in the consumer packages, so each family member can choose their own image and use the cup they selected multiple times throughout the summer day without mixing it up with a cup used by someone else. After use, the plastic-free cup is easy to recycle with other cardboard packaging.
Following the takeover by Koehler and its then sister company Euler GmbH & Co. KG the mill saw significant investment. This allowed the company to switch from producing punched card to high-quality colored office and specialty card made from 100% waste paper. It’s clear just from looking at the variety of Euler ColorTech paper available that the paper machine 1 (PM 1) developed into a real all-rounder during its 50-year career. One unique feature of the PM 1 is that it can quickly switch between colors and paper types, which is due to the short material and water circulation in the machine’s approach flow, according to Holger Palm, Plant Manager at Koehler Greiz. Another special feature of the PM 1 are the two efficient material processing systems and the resulting duplex paper formation. Thanks to these two systems, two different colored paper webs can be couched in the machine. “We are proud, with the help of PM 1, to have established ourselves firmly on the market for high-quality ‘Made in Germany’ recycled paper over the last 50 years,” says Holger Palm.
Trayforma by Stora Enso is a new wood fibre-based material composition designed for microwavable food tray packaging. The renewable material is free of PET, has a very low share of PP and a lower carbon footprint compared to traditional meal tray products. The material contains up to 95% wood fibres, making it widely recyclable in most existing carton packaging recycling schemes. Microwavable meals are typically packed in fossil-based PET trays as the material is safe for heating. Stora Enso’s Trayforma material replaces fossil-based plastics with renewable, light-weight paperboard that significantly lowers the carbon footprint of each tray. By changing to recyclable, low-carbon trays, brand owners and retailers selling microwave ready-meals can act on circular economy commitments.
A conveyor feeding wood chips both to the hardwood and softwood digesters at Metsä Board’s Husum pulp mill in Sweden caught fire on Friday, 18 June at about 12.30 CET. The city fire brigade managed to get the fire under control by about 14.30 CET and could hand over the responsibilities for surveillance to the Husum mill local fire brigade at 21.30 CET. The fire did not spread to other buildings and it did not cause personal injuries. The cause of the fire is being investigated. Investigation at the parts and facilities damaged by the fire has been started on Saturday morning. Currently, pulp and paperboard production at the Husum integrated mill is at a standstill. According to preliminary estimates, pulp production would be at a standstill for four weeks. Paperboard production is expected to start in the coming days at a lower than normal capacity. The magnitude of the damage caused by the fire and effects on production are under further evaluation.
Unit sales of print books rose 4.8% in the week ended June 11, 2021, over the comparable week in 2020, at outlets that report to NPD BookScan. Adult fiction led the way, with sales up 23.2% over the week ended June 12, 2020. The top book was The President’s Daughter by James Patterson and Bill Clinton, which sold more than 60,000 copies in its first week. Other new novels that did well included The Texan Code by Diana Palmer, which sold more than 18,000 copies, and Don Bentley’s Tom Clancy: Target Acquired, which sold nearly 16,000 copies. YA fiction print sales increased 17.9% in the most recent week, largely driven by backlist titles. They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera remained the category’s top title, selling more than 14,000 copies. Leigh Bardugo’s books continue to be steady sellers, led by Shadow and Bone, the basis for the Netflix show of the same name: the book sold nearly 7,000 copies, and six other Bardugo books sold a total of about 25,000 copies.
U.S. ad spending continued to rebound in May, according to a new, enriched database from Standard Media Index. The data, which is derived from SMI's expanded pool of actual media buys contributed by major agency holding companies, includes IPG Mediabrands, which announced in February that it was rejoining SMI's cooperative pool, and which beginning this month has been reincorporated. The addition of IPG Mediabrands means that SMI's U.S. database is more representative and less modeled for total media spending volume among the major agency holding companies. The new data, meanwhile, shows the U.S. ad market surged 56% in May, following a 53% gain in April and a 22% increase in March, which was the first to show a year-over-year rebound from the pandemic-influenced advertising recession, which began a year earlier.
D.Sc. (Tech.), Maija Pohjakallio is appointed Metsä Group’s VP, Climate and Circular Economy as of 1 August 2021. She reports to Jari Voutilainen, SVP Corporate Affairs. In her new role, Pohjakallio supports Metsä Group’s cooperation with key societal stakeholders and acts as the Group’s representative in climate change and circular economy related working groups and forums. Pohjakallio joins Metsä Group from Sulapac, a developer of new types of fibre packaging materials, from the position of Sustainability Director. Prior to this, Pohjakallio has worked at VTT, the Chemical Industry Federation of Finland and Aalto University, amongst others.
The aim of the rebuild is to increase production as well as improve quality and the ecological footprint. Start-up is scheduled for 2023. The scope of supply comprises: *Rebuild of the wire section, including major modifications to the approach flow systems with new pumps, upgrade of three existing headboxes and the hybrid former, as well as a new 2-layer PrimeFlow AT headbox with the latest state-of-the art dilution water CD profiling for better high-end product quality *New press section with two PrimePress X shoe presses for gentle, energy-efficient dewatering and bulk savings at higher dryness *Rebuild of the pre-dryer section with PrimeRun web stabilizers for improved runability *Upgrade of two under-machine pulpers in the area of the press and pre-dryer section *Complete adaptation of the automation system to accommodate the scope of supply *Machine clothings for the complete scope of supply *Assembly, start-up and production assistance. The board machine KM3 has a design speed of 800 m/min and a wire width of 5 m. It produces folding boxboard (chromo duplex quality) with 230–450 gsm.
For the first time, more than 100 businesses in the packaging value chain, together with more than 50 other organisations, publicly recognise that without Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) packaging collection and recycling is unlikely to be meaningfully scaled and tens of millions of tonnes of packaging will continue to end up in the environment every year. For a circular economy, packaging that can’t be eliminated or reused must be collected, sorted and recycled or composted after use. But currently the economics do not stack up: collection, sorting and recycling or processing packaging costs more than the revenues made from selling the recycled materials. We need dedicated, ongoing and sufficient funding to make the economics of recycling work. This statement and the supporting position paper set out why mandatory, fee-based EPR is the only proven and likely way to provide this funding.
Stora Enso has completed the installation of dispersion barrier technology at its Forshaga site in Sweden and production has now started. Completion of the installation follows the company’s EUR 10 million investment announced in 2020. The installation was carried out on time and the production of new products will be ramped up during the coming months. Dispersion barrier technology enables the production of more sustainable packaging solutions, facilitating the use of renewable wood fiber materials in demanding end uses such as food packaging. These products are also easier to handle in a recycling process, have a lower carbon footprint and can be composted in industrial facilities.
The U.S. Postal Service provided updated third quarter service performance data through the week of June 11th which shows steady performance improvement since the second quarter. Performance numbers below include the weeks of April 1 through June 11: *First-Class Mail: 87.60 percent of First-Class Mail delivered on-time against the USPS service standard, an over 9 percent increase over the second quarter. *Marketing Mail: 90.40 percent of Marketing Mail delivered on time against the USPS service standard, an over 5 percent increase over the second quarter. *Periodicals: 78.80 percent of Periodicals delivered on time against the USPS service standard, an over 7 percent increase over the second quarter.
When award-winning ethical jewellery brand Yala was looking for packaging materials compatible with its values and Certified B Corporation status, it selected Invercote Duo from Antalis. Founded by Kenyan-born Audrey Migot-Adholla, Yala takes the inspiration for its jewellery from modern Africa, combining traditional craft with 21st-century values. It is the first jewellery brand in the UK to be a Certified B Corporation, committed to treating people, communities and the environment respectfully, sustainably and ethically. It is important to Yala that every aspect of the packaging is as low impact and sustainable as possible, which is why they selected FSC®-certified Invercote Duo. Due to its strength, toughness and thickness, Invercote Duo is especially suitable for wine and spirits packaging and point of sale displays and is ideal for the packaging of luxury products such as Yala jewellery. Invercote Duo is manufactured by Iggesund at its mill in Sweden, which has been awarded Platinum for sustainability by Ecovadis, putting it in the top 1% off all 65,000 companies rated by Ecovadis.
Novolex® announced that it has launched a new Chattanooga, Tenn. production line to manufacture compostable cold beverage cups made from a plant-based plastic. The clear cups are made using polylactic acid (PLA), a plastics polymer created from starch-based plants such as corn, sugarcane and wheat straw. The cups will be available from Novolex brand Eco-Products®, a leading provider of foodservice packaging made from renewable and recycled resources. “PLA looks, acts and performs like a traditional clear plastic, yet it is 100% compostable in commercial compost facilities,” said Adrianne Tipton, Chief Technology Officer of Novolex. “It is one more sustainable choice that we are proud to offer our customers.
Total packaging papers & specialty packaging shipments in May increased five percent compared to May 2020. They were up two percent when compared to the same five months of 2020. The operating rate was 87.6 percent, up 7.3 points from May 2020 and up 5.6 points year-to-date. Mill inventories at the end of May decreased 2,000 short tons from the previous month and were up 3,000 short tons compared to May 2020.
Sappi North America, Inc. announced that it will sell its hydroelectric assets on the Presumpscot River in Maine to Dichotomy Power LLC, pending satisfactory completion of regulatory and other approvals. The move is designed to allow Sappi to focus on its core competencies and is consistent with Sappi's recent restructuring of the Westbrook site. "We are happy to have found a strategic buyer in Dichotomy Power, a company with a wealth of expertise in this area, so that Sappi can continue to focus on its core competencies," said Mike Haws, President and CEO, Sappi North America. "Today's announcement allows us to redeploy resources to further develop our growing businesses."
UPM Raflatac helped launch The U.S. Plastics Pact's “Roadmap to 2025,” an aggressive national strategy illustrating how the U.S. Pact, UPM Raflatac and fellow signatories, known as Activators, will achieve each of the U.S. Pact’s four 2025 targets through specific actions, responsibilities, and interim timeframes to realize a circular economy for plastics in the United States by 2025. Launched in August 2020, The U.S. Plastics Pact is a consortium led by The Recycling Partnership and World Wildlife Fund (WWF) as part of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s global Plastics Pact network, which unites a holistic ecosystem of cross-industry stakeholders behind a common vision and national strategy to address plastic waste at its source by 2025. “It has been exciting to be part of the U.S. Plastics Pact since its inception and work with these incredible and passionate individuals. The launch of the Roadmap illustrates how far we have come in a very short time. We have set some ambitious goals and laid out the details of our execution plan in the Roadmap,” says Kyle Strenski, Business Director, HPC, Food and Beverage, at UPM Raflatac Americas
National Average Price for Regular Unleaded Current: $3.073; Month Ago: $3.043; Year Ago: $2.111. National Average Price for Diesel Current: $3.219; Month Ago: $3.172; Year Ago: $2.424.
American Dollar to Canadian Dollar = 0.808885; American Dollar to Chinese Yuan = 0.155325; American Dollar to Euro = 1.191117; American Dollar to Japanese Yen = 0.009077; American Dollar to Mexican Peso = 0.048907.
Stora Enso has completed the co-determination negotiations concerning closing down the pulp and paper production at its Veitsiluoto site in Finland. The closure will take place during the third quarter of 2021. As a result of the negotiations, 550 people will be permanently laid off. Some 28% of the redundancies can be managed through pension arrangements. In April 2021, Stora Enso announced a plan to permanently close down pulp and paper production at its Kvarnsveden and Veitsiluoto sites due to the declining paper market. As a result of the co-determination negotiations regarding the Veitsiluoto site, the three paper machines, chemical pulp and groundwood production, and the sheeting plant will be closed permanently. The sawmill will continue operating at the site within the Wood Products division and employ some 50 persons. Pulp and paper production at Veitsiluoto is estimated to cease during the third quarter of 2021. The co-determination negotiations concerning the Kvarnsveden site in Sweden are still ongoing.
Ahlstrom-Munksjö expands its platform of durable building applications by launching FibRoc® Ceiling, a new offering of high performance solutions for ceiling applications. Following the launch of Fibroc® Flooring last year, Ahlstrom-Munksjö is pleased to announce the second portfolio launch of Fibroc® Ceiling. The new portfolio consists of a wide range of high performance fiber-based solutions for perforated plasterboard ceilings, mineral wool and wet felt ceilings, as well as perforated wood and metal ceilings. It brings together a wide range of high performance products for ceiling applications, making it easier for business partners to recognize and understand the product benefits. “Our high performance products deliver an excellent level of noise reduction,“ says Pierre Mary, Vice President, Nonwovens. “Delivering acoustic comfort within a room, as well as incorporating fire resistance, while meeting necessary safety standards” he adds.
Eight years after it bought McGraw-Hill Education for $2.4 billion, Apollo Global Management has reached an agreement to sell the company to another private equity firm, Platinum Equity, for $4.5 billion. The proposed purchase comes about a year after MH and Cengage called off their merger following opposition from the Justice Department. When Apollo acquired the publisher, MHE had revenue of about $2 billion; in the fiscal year ended March 31, 2020, company revenue was $1.58 billion and it had an operating loss of $135.3 million, with EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) of $372.9 million. Results for fiscal 2021 have not been released, but for the nine months ended December 31, 2020, revenue fell 5.4%, to $1.22 billion; still, the company posted net income of $118 million, up from a loss of $28.3 million. EBITDA in the nine months rose 6.4%, to $439.9 million.
We are a proud partner of the World Rainforest Day initiative, organized by the Rainforest Partnership to celebrate World Rainforest Day. Taking place on 22 June, World Rainforest Day is a collaborative effort to raise awareness and encourage action to protect the world’s rainforests. Did you know that rainforests cover less than 3% of the Earth's area, but are essential to life on Earth?
Sonoco announced it is expanding recovery and recycling of scrap materials from the production of its iconic EnviroCan™ paper containers in the U.S. to be used as raw material at three of its uncoated recycled paperboard mills to produce new paperboard. According to Elizabeth Rhue, Sonoco’s staff vice president of Sustainability, Sonoco expects to divert from landfills approximately 3,300 tons of scrap materials annually from four of its U.S. paper container operations in West Chicago, Ill., Greenville, Wisc., Jackson, Tenn., and Norwalk, Calif. This material, which is projected to equal approximately 165 truckloads, will be sent to Sonoco paper mills in Menasha, Wisc., Newport, Tenn., and City of Industry, Calif., where it will be used as raw material to produce 100 percent recycled paperboard, with up to 85 percent post-consumer fiber.
According to McKinsey, the pandemic accelerated the shift to e-commerce by as much as ten years, completely altering consumer and industry trends in a matter of months. While a lot of businesses benefited from reaching new and larger audiences online, supply chains were left to figure out how to adapt based on increased consumer demand for packaging. Meanwhile, consumers have been increasingly paying closer attention to the sustainability practices of companies and brands. More than half of U.S. consumers are highly concerned about the environmental impact of packaging. Companies, then, are challenged to find cost-effective and sustainable packaging at speed and scale. But embracing sustainability in the supply chain isn’t as simple as switching out your current packaging for a perceived “eco-friendly” alternative. Before anything else, companies must define what sustainable means. Consider paper packaging — it’s commonly accepted as an environmentally friendlier option, but it requires access to forests. In this case, companies would be forced to weigh the benefits of paper packaging with limited supplies and the environmental costs of acquiring it. much more at source
After decades of leadership as Nahan’s CEO, Mike Nahan, the son of company founders Jim and Helen Nahan, has announced his retirement effective June 7, 2021. Nahan will serve as an active board member following his retirement as CEO. Mike Ertel has been named as Nahan’s new CEO, effective June 7, 2021. Mike Ertel is a highly respected industry veteran who brings a wealth of industry experience and an entrepreneurial mindset that will continue to propel Nahan into the future. Mike is excited to join the Nahan team and to continue the legacy, momentum, and explosive growth that Nahan is experiencing. “Nahan is well on its way to becoming the leading provider of direct marketing services and print in the country, and I am thrilled to join this award-winning organization,” said Mike Ertel, CEO of Nahan. “With double digit growth planned in 2021, major equipment investments underway, and a recent influx of new talent, Nahan is positioned for explosive growth, now more than ever before. And the best part is we are just getting started.”
Color consistency is kind of our business, and we’ve got a shiny new badge to prove it. Even before the first purchase, your brand meets your customer in a variety of ways: packaging, store signage, mailers and vehicle wraps – all creating a perception of your company, its offerings, and, perhaps most importantly, its quality. If these are all working in harmony, that’s a great representation of your brand, and creates strong awareness. Now imagine each asset, each physical manifestation of your company, being produced in a different facility, with different standards. Each requires different inks, substrates and print processes and variation in each can lead to significant color inconsistencies across the range of materials. We’re not trying to scare you, a small variation here and there is typically within an acceptable margin of error, and likely won’t be noticed by your consumers or prospects.
We are very proud to announce that in the 2021 Graphics Excellence Awards (GEA) Competition, Arandell won 15 awards in the following categories: Best of Category (The Gutenberg); Best of Division; Award of Excellence & Certificate of Merit. The GEAs are held every year by the Great Lakes Graphics Association (GLGA), a print industry advocacy organization that represents printers and graphics companies in the three-state area of Wisconsin, Illinois and Indiana. click read more below for details
According to the report, total printing-writing paper shipments increased 11 percent in May compared to May 2020. U.S. purchases of total printing-writing papers increased six percent in May compared to the same month last year. Total printing-writing paper inventory levels remained essentially flat (+0.3 percent) when compared to April 2021. Uncoated free sheet (UFS) paper shipments increased 22 percent compared to May 2020 while the inventory level increased two percent compared to April 2021. UFS imports and exports both increased compared to April 2020, up 10 percent and 25 percent respectively. U.S. purchases of coated free sheet (CFS) papers in May decreased 16 percent compared to last May while the inventory level decreased one percent compared to April 2021. CFS imports decreased 14 percent while exports increased 32 percent in April 2021. Coated mechanical (CM) paper shipments decreased 14 percent compared to May 2020 while the inventory level increased one percent compared to April 2021. CM imports decreased 17 percent while exports increased five percent in April 2021. U.S. purchases of uncoated mechanical (UM) papers in May increased 16 percent compared to last May while the inventory level decreased 15 percent compared to April 2021. UM imports increased 10 percent while exports decreased 17 percent in April 2021.
Sustainability is an integral part of Kotkamills’ operations and is at the core of our strategy. Read more about our sustainable business on our Sustainability Report 2020. Kotkamills promotes sustainable lifestyles, living, and consumption. Sustainability is an integral part of Kotkamills’ operations and is at the core of our strategy. We want to be a trusted, agile, and successful partner that provides new and sustainable wood-based solutions now and in the future. Read more about our sustainable business from the Sustainability Report 2020.
Marc G. Serré, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Natural Resources, the Honourable Seamus O’Regan Jr., today announced $4.5 million to Mercer Celgar Limited Partnership, a company based in Castlegar, British Columbia, to deploy innovative technology and processes that improve fibre processing and address regional fibre availability issues in British Columbia. The project deploys a first-of-its-kind, high-capacity and low-operating-cost stationary flail debarker at the mill. This new flail debarker removes bark from wood that would previously end up as debris after the harvesting process. This will reduce the amount of forest waste and lower emissions from decreased forest residue burning.
Koehler has been producing colored paper such as index cardboard for more than 100 years. It is still popular for applications such as registers, brochures or index cards. Now the stock range has been expanded. Koehler's index board has been a real classic for many years. It is unimaginable, but colored paper like the index board already appeared in the Koehler Paper production book more than 100 years ago. This shows us that such a traditional quality is still up-to-date and is still used by our customers for various applications such as registers, brochures, index cards and much more. We are even more pleased to be able to expand our range to include the 70 x 100 cm LG and SG formats and thus meet the wishes of our customers. This format is available from one pallet in the colors white, yellow, buff, pink, azure and deep green. For further details, please do not hesitate to contact our FineTech Paper sales team.
Mondi collaborated with the Italian machine producer ACMI to create a new wrapping system for pallets that uses paper instead of plastic. By transforming the way pallets are wrapped, Advantage StretchWrap reduces the supply chain’s reliance on plastic, moving to a renewable and fully recyclable material. Advantage StretchWrap (patent-pending) is a brand new lightweight paper grade from Mondi made specially for wrapping pallets. It is able to stretch and resist punctures, providing robust protection for goods during transit. The current industry standard for pallet wrapping is a multi-layer plastic material with low recycling rates. The Advantage StretchWrap paper, along with ACMI’s Rocket E-500 wrapping system, makes it possible to switch to a fully recyclable pallet wrapping solution. The paper’s impressive stretchability and high-tensile strength makes it a reliable alternative for transport. Acceleration tests to simulate transportation with ESTL equipment (performed according to EUMOS 40509(1)) and real life transportation trials confirmed that pallets wrapped with Advantage StretchWrap are safe.
WestRock Company has announced an expansion of its produce packaging offerings with the launch of its EverGrow™ Collection. WestRock has achieved a proprietary approach for a produce packaging collection made using sustainably sourced wood fiber. WestRock EverGrow packaging is curbside recyclable when emptied and flattened, supporting the company’s ambition to reduce waste and build a 100 percent reusable, recyclable and compostable product portfolio. “WestRock’s new EverGrow Collection is an excellent example of how we are innovating to improve the sustainability of our products while helping our customers meet their sustainability goals,” said Patrick Kivits, president of Consumer Packaging at WestRock. “We’ve leveraged our material science, structural design and packaging automation expertise to develop a collection of truly differentiated packaging solutions for our produce customers that are functional, recyclable and eye-catching.”
Barnes & Noble today announced its selection for The Best Books of 2021 (So Far). Booksellers from across the U.S. selected these ten titles, including stunning debuts, compelling memoirs, thrilling adventures and an inspirational book of essays, as the best new releases so far this year. “2021 has, so far, been a plethora of top-notch publishing,” said Jackie De Leo, Vice President, Bookstore, Barnes & Noble. “These wonderfully diverse books, ranging from a dustbowl drama to a space odyssey, show characters – real and fictional – facing and overcoming obstacles and challenges in every scenario imaginable. What connects these titles is heart and readability. Readers of all types will find something they love on this list.” “Narrowing this list down to just ten books was no easy feat,” said Shannon DeVito, Director of Books, Barnes & Noble. “It was a spirited debate between our team of book lovers that resulted in a fabulous list of titles that I am very excited about. Our booksellers from Alaska to Florida are delighted to get these must-read books into the hands of readers.” see the list at: https://www.barnesandnobleinc.com/press-release/barnes-noble-announces-best-books-2021-far/
Learning technology company Houghton Mifflin Harcourt announced that it has paid down approximately $337 million in principal of its outstanding debt with the net proceeds of its recent divestiture of HMH Books & Media, its consumer publishing business. Following the completion of the required Asset Sale Offer and Collateral Asset Sale offer on June 8, HMH has reduced the outstanding principal amount of its Senior Secured Notes due 2025 to approximately $303 million. Additionally, via a combination of mandatory and voluntary prepayments, the Company has reduced the outstanding principal amount of its Senior Secured Term Loan Facility due 2024 to approximately $22 million. All prepayments were completed at a price of 100% of the principal amount.
Rebounding from the worst month of the 2020 sales collapse, April bookstore sales soared 204% over last year, jumping to $514 million, from $169 million in April 2020. Despite the huge improvement, April bookstore sales were still 21% below sales in April 2019. The increase in bookstore sales was in keeping with the improvement in the retail sector in general in April, which had a 53.5% sales increase in the month.
Stakeholders from around the world are invited to give feedback on the revised American Tree Farm System (ATFS). Deadline for comments is 13 August. Give your feedback now! The ATFS was revised following the entry into force of the revised 2018 PEFC Sustainable Forest Management standard. The ATFS was submitted to PEFC after being revised in line with PEFC requirements. The national system is now undergoing the PEFC assessment process, carried out by an independent PEFC Registered Assessor. It must pass this assessment to maintain its PEFC endorsement. An important aspect of the assessment process is the public consultation. Over the sixty-day consultation, stakeholders from around the world can give their comments and provide feedback on any aspect of the system. The Registered Assessor will use the information received from this consultation in their assessment of the system.
In May of 2016, ePac was founded in Madison, Wisconsin to utilize new digital printing technologies to primarily focus on the growth of small to medium brands, thereby helping to rebuild local communities. In these past 5 years ePac has grown at a compound annual growth rate of 80%, operates 20 facilities globally with a capacity of about $500,000,000 and serves over 5,000 customers. The underlying strategy was to deconstruct and then reconstruct a simple replicable business model that could provide RotoGravure quality, short lead times, and no sku limitations at a competitive price. The last point basically dispels the notion that digital printing is only for short runs. During the last five years, the average order size across all ePacs has stayed constant at less than 10,000 linear feet, however, ePac today regularly handles runs exceeding 100,000 linear feet per SKU across its global virtual network.
Amcor announced its support for the launch of the U.S. Plastics Pact’s Roadmap to 2025, an aggressive national strategy for how the U.S. Pact, Amcor and other signatory organizations – known as Activators – will achieve four 2025 targets. Launched today, the plan delineates specific actions, responsibilities and timeframes necessary to realize a circular economy for plastics in the United States. As a U.S. Pact Activator, Amcor joins others in the plastics value chain to drive progress through systemic change toward the 2025 targets: *Define a list of packaging to be designated as problematic or unnecessary by 2021 and take measures to eliminate them by 2025. *100% of plastic packaging will be reusable, recyclable or compostable by 2025. *By 2025, undertake ambitious actions to effectively recycle or compost 50% of plastic packaging. *By 2025, the average recycled content or responsibly sourced bio-based content in plastic packaging will be 30%.
As we mark the end of one chapter of sustainability and embark on another, we are eager to share the positive impact we have made to date in our industry through our 2020 Interim Sustainability Report. Titled, “Enduring Values, Continuous Progress,” our latest report demonstrates the responsibilities and commitments we maintain with our environments, communities and stakeholders as we dig into a new decade of action. Click into our report to understand more about this pivotal period for our business—a year in which we both concluded our first set of formal sustainability goals (surpassing our targets for reducing our greenhouse gas emissions levels and decreasing our energy consumption) and also elevated our efforts with the launch of our comprehensive Twentyby30 sustainability program.
TC Transcontinental is proud to release its 2020 Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Progress Report, which outlines the results achieved in the course of its three-year 2019-2021 Acting Together CSR Plan and its 11 objectives around four axes: its employees, its operations, its products and its communities. Highlights of the report include innovative projects related to our commitment to the circular economy of plastics and the reduction of the corporation’s carbon footprint, in addition to an excellent performance on employee-related goals, including a reduction in the health and safety incident rate and an increased balance in gender diversity. "The achievements reflected in this progress report are supported by strong governance and oversight of TC Transcontinental's corporate strategy and sustainability objectives, by its Board of Directors and its Governance and Social Responsibility Committee. These achievements also demonstrate the resilience and agility of the Corporation's leadership and its employees," said Isabelle Marcoux, Chair of the Board of TC Transcontinental. In 2020, we continued our efforts to increase the representation of women in our leadership teams and are very proud to have surpassed our initial target by reaching 31% of women in leadership positions in our Packaging, Printing and Media Sectors."
Continuing its leadership in sustainability, the American Forest & Paper Association announced Better Practices, Better Planet 2030: Sustainable Products for a Sustainable Future, a new set of sustainability goals for the paper and wood products industry. “We have been and will continue to be a leader in sustainability,” said AF&PA President and CEO Heidi Brock. “The paper and wood products industry was one of the first U.S. manufacturing industries to adopt quantifiable sustainability goals back in 2011, and today these new ambitious goals will build upon that success in the decade ahead.” Better Practices, Better Planet 2030 advances the industry’s comprehensive sustainability record over the last decade and includes a transparent reporting process for achieving each goal. “Sustainable practices are at the foundation of this industry, which manufactures essential and innovative products used by millions of Americans each day, from renewable resources,” said Graphic Packaging President and Chief Executive Officer and AF&PA Board Chair Mike Doss. “We have a strong track record of delivering on sustainability commitments and these goals will guide our progress further into the future.”
Sappi Europe announces a price increase for Transjet, Basejet and Inkjet grades by 8-15 % valid for deliveries from 1July 2021. The unprecedented and ongoing rise of raw material costs, particularly pulp, chemicals and energy in combination with extremely high freight rates makes price adjustments unavoidable. Sappi’s sales team will be in contact with customers to discuss the detail and support the implementation.
Solopress retains a place at the forefront of print technology, with state-of-the-art software and infrastructure that allow the company to guarantee high quality print with fast turnarounds. It’s a formula that’s earned them over 23,000 five-star reviews on Trustpilot. “Now is the right time for Solopress to become members of Two Sides. Having recently introduced the Solopress Green range of carbon-offset products, we look forward to enhancing our position on sustainability yet further and promoting the wider sustainable attributes of print media,” says Simon Cooper, Managing Director at Solopress.
A leader in custom printing, specializing in wide- and grand-format graphics, Olympus Group has provided branding solutions for over 125 years. Headquartered in Milwaukee, WI, Olympus Group conducts business with recognizable high-profile clients, providing custom print solutions, as well as custom mascot characters, across a variety of markets including tradeshows & events, sports teams, entertainment, and branded environments. Olympus Group was met with the challenge of aging equipment with increasing downtime and waste. After reviewing various models, they knew they needed to take advantage of the latest technology. “We needed to have a solution for printing both rigid and roll-to-roll. This allows us to maximize the use of space within our facilities while also increasing capacity and improving turnaround speed,” stated Jason Ahart, Chief Operating Officer, Olympus Group.
Shutterfly announced an agreement to acquire Spoonflower, a global marketplace connecting makers and consumers with artists worldwide, in an accretive acquisition for approximately $225 million of enterprise value subject to certain working capital and other adjustments. The acquisition will enable Shutterfly to more broadly serve the fast-growing home decor marketplace by adding Spoonflower wallpaper, fabric, linens, bedding and other home decor soft goods to its product assortment and connecting Shutterfly’s 21 million active users to Spoonflower’s artists and design community. The acquisition, which is subject to regulatory approvals and customary closing conditions, is expected to close in the third quarter of 2021. “We are excited to welcome Spoonflower to the Shutterfly family of brands,” said Hilary Schneider, Chief Executive Officer of Shutterfly. “Millions of consumers use Spoonflower to make and upload their own designs on premium fabric, wallpaper and home decor, ignite their entrepreneurial spirit by launching small businesses or express their personal style by shopping the marketplace of more than one million designs. Driven by its passionate creative community and a visionary management team, Spoonflower has also experienced explosive growth over the last 18 months amid the thriving DIY consumer movement. It’s a highly complementary strategic fit for Shutterfly and a win/win for consumers, employees, and members of our creative community alike.”
IWCO Direct announced a new strategic plan that features the largest investment in the history of the 52-year-old company. The investment of approximately $50 million will accelerate IWCO Direct’s evolution as a leading strategic solutions partner, well-positioned to meet the current and future needs of performance marketers. “With this historic investment in IWCO Direct, we will quickly and significantly enhance the value we can bring to marketers in delivering response and business impact through our strategy, creative, data, and campaign execution,” stated John Ashe, CEO of IWCO Direct.
Kotkamills' family of ISLA® Consumer Boards are complemented by the freshest members of the family. ISLA® Ice and ISLA® Cream broaden the use of non-plastic solutions in the food industry with the expansion to ice cream packaging. Easily recyclable ISLA® Ice and ISLA® Cream barrier boards are especially suited for take-away and retail ice cream cups, bowls, and containers. ISLA® Ice and ISLA® Cream are a combination of innovative products that have been developed in parallel to work tightly together as raw materials for ice cream packaging. Ice cream packaging has commonly relied Heavily on solutions based on plastics and plastic coatings. As an innovative Forerunner Kotkamills is among the first to provide a plastic-free and recyclable alternative for ice cream manufacturers, packaging converters, retailers, and consumers.
Lecta announces, with immediate effect, a price increase of up to 15% for new orders of thermal and carbonless papers. The price increase is unavoidable to offset the continuous increase in manufacturing and transport costs. Lecta sales teams are at our customers’ disposal to provide specific information on how the price increase will be applied by product on a country by country basis.
In the first issue of American Airlines' in-flight magazine, flight attendants were called stewardesses and business travelers were pitched family fares offering half-price tickets for "your wife.'' It was 1966. The cover story in the latest issue of American Way: LGBTQ neighborhoods across the country. The changes in the seatback pocket staple reflect how times have changed in the past 50 years. But perhaps no sign of the times is more telling than this: the June issue of American Way will be the airline's last. American is ceasing publication of what it calls the industry's longest continually published in-flight magazine, joining Delta and Southwest, which stopped publishing their magazines during the pandemic and decided against bringing them back.
Hearst Magazines announced that Runner’s World is the recipient of two prestigious awards, a Pulitzer Prize and a National Magazine Award, both in the Feature Writing category, for “Twelve Minutes and a Life,” a story about the tragic killing of 25-year-old Ahmaud Arbery. The announcement was made by Hearst Magazines President Debi Chirichella. “Twelve Minutes and a Life,” published in Runner’s World’s September/October 2020 issue and written by contributor Mitchell S. Jackson, examines racism in running in America and recounts the last 12 minutes of the young Black man’s life as he was chased and fatally shot while jogging near his home. “Hearst has a long history of important reporting and storytelling in serving our communities,” said Hearst President and Chief Executive Officer Steve Swartz. “Runner’s World’s remarkable piece, covering a crucial topic and a devastating incident in the killing of Ahmaud Arbery, is a significant example of our duty as journalists to tell these stories. Congratulations to Mitchell S. Jackson and the Runner’s World team on these well-deserved honors from two of the most prestigious awards in our industry.”
With only the adult and YA fiction categories posting increases, unit sales of print books still rose 4.1% in the week ended June 5, 2021, over the comparable week in 2020, at outlets that report to NPD BookScan. Seven of the top 10 bestsellers in the week were new fiction releases, including three graphic novels from Viz Media that sold a combined 68,000 copies. The top three sellers in the week were Golden Girl by Elin Hilderbrand (more than 50,000 copies), Freed: Fifty Shades Freed as Told by Christian by E.L. James (more than 48,000 copies), and Casey McQuiston’s One Last Stop (more than 31,000 copies). Unit sales increased 19.7% in YA fiction without the benefit of a new bestseller. Adam Silvera’s They Both Die in the End remained #1 in the category, selling just over 15,000 copies.
The four coaters for the white cardboard and folding boxboard production line have a design speed of 1,000 m/min and a maximum web-width of 5,660 mm. They feature a jet nozzle to apply the coating color to the paper web. Dispensing methods can be either bent blade, stiff blade or doctor blade. The advanced nozzle geometry ensures uniform application of the coating color to the paper web, even at high speeds and high viscosities or solid contents. The four PrimeCoat Jet coaters are of very compact design, taking up very little space and providing perfect access for operation and maintenance. They enable a large operating window regarding coating weight and viscosity and can be used for pre-coating, middle- or final top-coating. The nozzle beam can be opened easily, thus reducing cleaning time and extending cleaning intervals. The redesign of the color feed system with optimized flow guidance also makes a significant contribution to this. Dead zones and the resulting color deposits are significantly reduced.
GP’s Sweetwater gypsum mill just made a sweet deal with the independent school district (ISD) of Sweetwater, Texas. They’re investing $200k into their career and technology education (CTE) program. The donation is intended to give students the foundational knowledge and skills needed to be successful in the workforce. The investment allows Sweetwater educators to redesign their existing curriculum and learning spaces for students as young as Pre-K all the way to the high school level, where students will receive OSHA (Occupational Safety Health Administration) training and exposure to safe operating procedures. There are 265 students currently enrolled in the CTE program and they will have the opportunity under this partnership to be certified in OSHA along with understanding general operation and safety procedures in industrial settings.
Lecta has published its new Responsible Purchasing of Wood and Forest-Based Products Policy, in keeping with the principles and criteria of its Integrated Management System that guides the company’s activity. With this document, Lecta strengthens its commitment and responsibility to communities and habitats where the company operates. Lecta is keenly aware of the critical role forests play for the planet and its inhabitants. Lecta also acknowledges that the wood used to manufacture all its products is a natural raw material that is both a great ally in preserving the environment as well as a source of income for many families and local communities. Wood is a renewable resource obtained from forests and forest plantations, and protecting these areas is vital for the carbon cycle. With this new policy, along with the PEFC™ and FSC® C011032 Chain of Custody forest certification systems that Lecta promotes and strictly adheres to, the company reaffirms its commitment to the purchase of responsibly managed wood and wood-based products. Lecta thereby contributes to better management of wooded areas used for forestry, environmental protection and the betterment of local communities.
Antti Koulumies, the new Senior Vice President of UPM Timber, stepped into his position in early June, at a point when the timber business is booming. At the same time, the carbon footprint and effect on biodiversity of raw materials are ever more important to customers. Koulumies believes that UPM Timber, as a pioneer of responsible practices in the timber industry, has everything it needs to meet customer expectations now and to further develop in the future. “UPM Timber’s product – timber from responsibly grown forests – is very much in tune with my own values. All four of our sawmills run on renewable energy, and our timber products sequester carbon throughout their lifespan”, he explains.
Quad/Graphics Inc. has announced the appointment of Josh Golden as Chief Marketing Officer effective July 5, 2021. Golden most recently served as president and publisher of the advertising and marketing trade magazine Ad Age. Golden brings to Quad a unique ability to transform organizations, including Ad Age and before that Xerox and NBC Universal. His experience will position Quad to be more accessible to brands and businesses and help the company grow. “Josh has incredible insight into what keeps marketers up at night and is an advocate of our uncomplicated approach to addressing those challenges,” said Joel Quadracci, Quad Chairman, President and CEO. “The energy and expertise he will bring to our organization is key to highlighting our singular place in the market, where we offer the breadth of service of a massive holding company with the ease of engagement of a specialized agency. We are a formidable force as a marketing solutions partner, and we are excited about the future with Josh as part of our team.”
Verso Corporation announced the preliminary results of its "modified Dutch auction" tender offer for the purchase for cash of shares of its Class A common stock, par value $0.01 per share, having an aggregate purchase price of not more than $55.0 million, which expired at 12:00 midnight, New York City time, at the end of Thursday, June 10, 2021. Based on the preliminary count by Computershare Trust Company, N.A., the depositary for the tender offer, a total of 3,039,712 Shares were properly tendered at or below the purchase price of $18.10 per Share and not properly withdrawn.
Verso Corporation today announced the launch of its redesigned website, featuring all-new content that covers numerous topics and areas of interest, from its library of paper promotions to sustainability information and much more. "At Verso, we saw an opportunity to create a more impactful online presence that's better aligned with our industry leadership and innovative, resilient spirit," said Verso Director of Communications Shawn Hall. "New technology enabled us to build a much more dynamic, user-friendly site for an experience that both informs and inspires." The new website takes the user through sections for products, careers, sustainability and education—featuring Verso's highly popular Ed® series—as well as investor and customer resources. The showstopper: the product promotion section, which shows visually stunning photo layouts of printed Verso product promotions, many providing the opportunity to order the actual printed piece. "It's just beautiful," said Hall. "A perfect expression of the vibrant future we see for our company."
Huhtamaki has completed the acquisition of Jiangsu Hihio-Art Packaging Co. Ltd.’s assets. Jiangsu Hihio-Art Packaging is a privately owned manufacturer of paper bags, wraps and folding carton packaging in China. The acquisition strengthens Huhtamaki’s position as the leading foodservice packaging provider in Asia and expands its product portfolio allowing it to better serve both existing and new customers in China. Huhtamaki now has approximately 850 employees across four manufacturing units in China, with Hihio-Art Packaging Co. Ltd.’s approximately 200 employees joining as Huhtamaki employees at the newly established Huhtamaki Foodservice (Xuzhou) Limited. The net sales of the acquired business were approximately EUR 20 million in 2020. The debt free purchase price was EUR 27 million. The acquired business is incorporated into and reports as part of the Foodservice Europe-Asia-Oceania reporting segment as of June 11, 2021.
The U.S. Postal Service provided new service performance data today for the week of May 29 through June 4, 2021. During the seven-day period, First-Class Mail and Periodicals experienced positive improvement in service delivery, while Marketing Mail saw a slight decline. Key performance indicators for the week of May 29th include: *First-Class Mail: 89.95 percent of First-Class Mail was delivered on time, a 1.06 percent increase from the week of May 22. *Marketing Mail: 90.67 percent of Marketing Mail was delivered on time, a 1.29 percent decline from week of May 22. *Periodicals: 80.70 percent of Periodicals were delivered on time, a 1.31 percent increase from the week of May 22.
Fourth Quarter 2021 Summary: GAAP results: Revenue of $536 million, Operating Income of $51 million, and EPS of $0.73. Fiscal Year 2021 Summary: GAAP results: Revenue of $1,942 million, Operating Income of $186 million, EPS of $2.63, and Cash Flow from Operations of $360 million; Free Cash Flow of $257 million, up 48% from prior year; Digital products and tech-enabled services now at 82% of total revenue, up from 80% a year ago
RH reported first-quarter sales and earnings that beat expectations and raised its full-year forecast, expressing confidence that its strong performance will continue through the rest of the year and in 2022 and beyond. The luxury home furnishings company (formerly known as Restoration Hardware) cited a number of factors for its positive outlook, including a strong housing and renovation market (both with pent up demand and a long tail), a record stock market, low interest rates and the reopening of several large parts of the economy. It will also launch the largest new product introduction cycle in its history, beginning this fall. “Additionally, the un-masking of the general public could lead to a Roaring Twenties type of consumer exuberance,” CEO Gary Friedman wrote in his quarterly letter to shareholders.
Best Buy is the latest retailer to announce it will keep its stores closed on Thanksgiving Day this year, CNBC reported. The company will instead offer its Black Friday deals online for the second year in a row. Best Buy joins a growing list of retailers that have started to share holiday season plans. Both Target and Walmart will also be closed on Thanksgiving Day. For years, Black Friday had been the kick-off to holiday shopping, but more recently, retailers pushed for consumers to shop earlier by providing discounts to them in-store on Thanksgiving Day. However, the pandemic shifted consumers' shopping patterns, with many opting to shop online or use curbside pickup. As a result, more companies offered shoppers discounts online.
A new sculpture to highlight the issue of electronic waste has been built in Cornwall in preparation for the G7 Summit, which will see 7 world leaders discuss big issues such as Covid recovery, climate change and trade. Sculptor Joe Rush, commissioned by the online tech retailer musicMagpie, created an impactful sculpture with hope of provoking a deeper discussion during the G7 meeting on the damage caused by the disposal of electronic waste. Named “Mount Recylemore”, the sculpture is made up entirely of electronic waste and depicts the seven leaders, from left to right, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Japan’s Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, French President Emmanuel Macron, Italy’s Prime Minister Mario Draghi, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel and the U.S. President Joe Biden. Joe Rush explained to the BBC, that the location for his sculpture had to be highly-visible to the seven leaders during the summit and therefore chose to build the piece just across the water from the Carbis Bay Hotel, where the summit is due to take place. In an interview with the BBC, Joe Rush said “We have this looking at them and hopefully we’re going to prick their conscience and make them realise they’re all together in this waste business.” He further added that “The key message is ‘talk to each other’ and let’s sort this mess out”. When talking about the reusability and recyclability of electronics, he said ”It needs to be repairable or made to last longer because the stuff is going into landfill.”
Waddington Europe, a division of Novolex®, has joined forces with its longstanding packaging distribution partner Produce Packaging to introduce containers made with 100% recycled material that are also 100% recyclable after use. Produce Packaging’s new containers will be made with Waddington Europe’s Eco Blend™ 100 material that consists entirely of a combination of post-consumer (PCR) and post-industrial (PIR) recycled PET (rPET). The new containers will be available to all Produce Packaging customers, including growers, packers and importers that supply major retail outlets. The switch to Eco Blend 100 reflects the decision by Produce Packaging to focus increasingly on packaging that is environmentally sustainable.
The new, industrial, entry-level EFI™ Reggiani BLAZE scanning printer from Electronics For Imaging, Inc. is making its debut at the ITMA Asia tradeshow, 12-16 June in Shanghai, China. The new high-quality printer is an easy-to-use, smart solution to help textile companies blaze their successful trail into the world of efficient, sustainable industrial inkjet printing. It is equipped with EFI Reggiani’s state-of-the-art technology, offering the highest quality, reliability and flexibility on the widest variety of designs. “Despite the impact of the pandemic, EFI Reggiani has continued to invest and develop the next trailblazing technology for the textile market,” said EFI Reggiani Senior Vice President and General Manager Adele Genoni. “Our customers are our number one priority no matter how small or big they are. With the EFI Reggiani BLAZE, we are able to offer an ideal solution for companies that want to enter the industrial textile digital printing space. We are excited to be able to offer such a solution and look forward to embarking on this journey with our customers.”
PRINTING United Expo is on track to be the global printing event in 2021. The first in-person industry event of significant magnitude since its inaugural 2019 Expo, the fall event — which takes place at the Orange County Convention Center (OCCC) in Orlando, Fla., on Oct. 6-8 — is welcoming printing’s leading companies to display their newest technologies coming to market on-site. Registration for the event, which includes access to Expo Preview, Expo Live, and Expo Wrap-Up, is now live at printingunited.com. Market segments across the industry are represented on the show floor at PRINTING United Expo 2021. Throughout the pandemic, companies have been forced to modify original plans for both technology coming to market and respective sales projections. PRINTING United Expo will be the launching point to refuel sales pipelines and new technology debuts in 2021 and beyond.
Paper Excellence announced today that several key roles have been filled as work to restart the Prince Albert pulp mill ramps up. Charles Ray was hired as Director, Project Delivery and is responsible for ensuring the project is constructed on time, within budget and in accordance with all safety and environmental standards. The other following individuals have also recently joined the Prince Albert team: Bob Hajnal – Project Safety Manager; Brett Knoll – QA/QC Project Manager; Dale Richardson – Community Relations Manager; Blair Rydberg – Power and Recovery Manager; Heather Walker – Operations Administration Assistant; Brett Young – DCS/Power Distribution Project Manager.
Mondi has once again won the prestigious EUROSAC Grand Prix Sack of the Year award, this year for its revolutionary EcoWicketBag. EUROSAC, the European Federation of Multiwall Paper Sack Manufacturers, chose Mondi’s EcoWicketBag for its potential to reduce plastic packaging waste in the global hygiene industry. Mondi’s EcoWicketBag design is a paper-based packaging solution that provides an alternative to traditional plastic packaging, replacing it with renewable, recyclable paper. Created from strong virgin kraft paper sourced from sustainably managed forests, it is the first paper wicket bag that runs on existing equipment. It is available in a variety of sizes, is strong enough to handle the filling process and protect the product throughout the supply chain. EcoWicketBag’s design and printability ensure great on-shelf appeal, it is also easy to open and end-consumers know how to dispose of paper correctly.
Resolute Forest Products Inc. announced additional capital investments of $50 million in its wood products operations to support its continued growth, and it confirmed the repayment of all amounts outstanding under its revolving and term credit facilities, reducing debt by $180 million in the second quarter. The additional $50 million in wood products investments include: $22 million to modernize equipment at the Senneterre (Quebec) sawmill, which will enhance overall efficiency and productivity of the Abitibi regional operations; $13 million at the Thunder Bay / Fort William First Nation (Ontario) sawmill to increase capacity by up to 40 million board feet with new equipment and modifications to the fiber flow; and $15 million at the Glenwood (Arkansas) and Cross City (Florida) sawmills to support fiber optimization and overall efficiency. The Cross City investment will also increase capacity by up to 20 million board feet. Each of these projects will serve to generate additional value from Resolute's wood products segment across market cycles.
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Stora Enso has decided to invest EUR 21 million to improve the competitiveness and environmental performance of the Anjala-Ingerois production sites. Stora Enso will also invest EUR 26 million in modernising the pulp production at Nymölla in Sweden. The goal of the investment at Anjala paper- and Ingerois board production sites is to reduce the emissions and to ensure flexible use of different fuel mixtures in heat production. The project work is planned to start during the second quarter of 2021 and to be completed in the third quarter of 2023. The project at Nymölla is the second modernisation step towards making the pulp production process more competitive and sustainable for the future. The objective of the investment is to increase the annual softwood pulp production capacity from approximately 220 000 tonnes to 245 000 tonnes. The modernisation is planned to start during the second quarter of 2021 and to be completed in the third quarter of 2022. In Anjala Stora Enso produces book papers, magazine papers and improved newsprint. In Nymölla Stora Enso produces chemical pulp and woodfree uncoated paper for office use.
Stora Enso has joined the new WWF platform, Forests Forward. The platform engages businesses and investors to deliver on forest related sustainability ambitions, such as biodiversity protection and forest restoration. As participants in Forests Forward, companies commit to engaging in areas such as sustainable forest management and trade, better silviculture, reforestation and ecosystem restoration, and biodiversity protection and recovery. Forests Forward aims to support companies, investors and communities in improving the management of a targeted 150 million hectares of forest globally by 2030. “Sustainable forestry and biodiversity are at the top of Stora Enso’s forest management agenda. We can play a key role in contributing to more sustainable forest management, which will be enhanced with collaborations across the sector. The cooperation with WWF is a great example of a collaboration where we can exchange knowledge and findings to accelerate positive change together,” says Annette Stube, EVP, Sustainability at Stora Enso.
Retail supply chains are working overtime to keep up as consumers return to normal shopping patterns amid increased vaccination rates. “There’s no shortage of demand from consumers, but there continue to be shortages of labor, equipment and shipping capacity to meet that demand,” said Jonathan Gold, VP for supply chain and customs policy for the National Retail Federation. “Supply chain disruptions, port congestion and rising shipping costs could continue to be challenges through the end of the year.” Supply chains are finding it difficult to keep up with demand as shipping capacity struggles, added Ben Hackett, founder, Hackett Associates, which produces the monthly Global Port Tracker report for the NRF.
The papermaking industry has a reputation for being energy hungry. But another investment in innovation at our Kemsley mill has cut the power consumption of our paper machines. These two papermaking machines at Kemsley mill account for over half of the mill’s average annual production capacity of over 840,000-tonnes. At the ‘wet end’ of the papermaking machine, water is removed by a series of foils and suction boxes. We’ve partnered with Runtech Systems to make this production stage more power-efficient and have now replaced the old liquid ring pumps with a new RunEco paper machine vacuum system. At the heart of the system are three EP600 Turbo Blower units with titanium blades that run at 10,000 rpm – the equivalent speed of a jet engine. They have the potential to cut PM3’s power consumption by two-thirds, providing annual power savings of 1,500 kw. Combined with previously installed turbos on PM6 this investment has the power saving potential of 2,626kw a year.
Second Quarter Financial Highlights: *Net income of $149.8 million compared to net income of $11.4 million. *Net cash provided by operating activities increased by $52.5 million to a source of $152.3 million. *Total debt decreased by $368.9 million to $2,313.4 million. Strategic Actions and Announcements: *Completed the sale of approximately 69,200 acres of timberlands in southwest Alabama to Weyerhaeuser Company for approximately $149.0 million in cash. *Achieved record Intermediate Bulk Container (IBC) volume, reflecting strong market demand. *Published Greif's 12th consecutive sustainability report highlighting the Company's commitments to environmental, social and governance (ESG) principles and key metrics.
Metsä Group is expanding the operations of its innovation company Metsä Spring that was established in June 2018. So far, Metsä Spring has been mainly involved in development activities outside the current business areas of Metsä Group. From now on, it will also support research and development related to Metsä Group’s current business areas. Research and development cooperation will be increased both within Metsä Group and with different research institutions and stakeholders. A wider innovation ecosystem plays a central role in the Metsä Group model. With this change, the company aims to strengthen its position even further in different networks and carry out research and development cooperation actively with various partners. “Metsä Group has to be able to continuously renew itself. We improve Metsä Group’s readiness to react to a changing operating environment and be better positioned in the forefront of development. We must find new development areas that promote sustainable bioeconomy. At the same time, we must be able to develop our current products so that they can be used for a wider range of end uses,” says Ilkka Hämälä, President and CEO of Metsä Group.
Smurfit Kappa’s Bag-in-Box division has announced the completion of a significant €12 million investment in a new flexible material production facility at its plant in Ibi, Spain. The new state-of-the-art production facility commenced operations, on a phased basis, earlier this year and will be one of the most advanced Bag-in-Box manufacturing plants in Europe. The investment has resulted in the addition of an extra 4,300 m2 production area which will be equipped with high-tech and advanced machinery which allows for more specialisation in the manufacture of film. The new machinery will allow the plant to complete the full production cycle of Bag-in-Box packaging solutions, from start to finish. This integrated production model means not only quicker and more efficient service to customers, but also a considerable reduction of the environmental impact – up to 21% less estimated CO2 emissions for the current flexible materials portfolio.
2021 Second Quarter Results: Revenues decreased by $1.8 million, or 0.3%, from $625.1 million in the second quarter of 2020 to $623.3 million in the corresponding period of 2021. Operating earnings increased by $11.8 million, or 26.8%, from $44.1 million in the second quarter of 2020 to $55.9 million in the second quarter of 2021. In the Packaging Sector, adjusted operating earnings decreased by $7.0 million, from $38.2 million in the second quarter of 2020 to $31.2 million in the second quarter of 2021. In the Printing Sector, adjusted operating earnings increased by $14.1 million, or 35.8%, from $39.4 million in second quarter of 2020 to $53.5 million in the second quarter of 2021. Net earnings attributable to shareholders of the Corporation increased by $9.9 million, from $25.7 million in the second quarter of 2020 to $35.6 million in the second quarter of 2021.
The Twin Rivers Paper Company has received FSSC 22000 Certification for Food Packaging, for its New York-based, Lyonsdale, Mohawk Valley, and Mill Street mills. FSSC 22000 is a GSI recognized, food safety certification developed to improve consistency and integrity throughout all aspects of the food safety supply chain. Twin Rivers’ compliance to the requirements of this internationally recognized standard is another assurance that its food packaging products meet the food safety requirements its customers require. “With the passing of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) in 2011, many of our customers are already certified or are in the process of becoming certified and statistics show that approximately one out of four companies are asking their suppliers to achieve certification. Achieving this industry-wide, recognizable, and auditable standard tells our customers that we have the proper systems in place to ensure food-safe packaging. It’s something that is quickly becoming a necessary part of doing business,” said Jeff Hederick, Chief Commercial Officer.
With physical stores closed during the pandemic, the boom in online shopping resulted in record numbers of packages arriving on consumers’ doorsteps. Along with all that merchandise came a growing awareness of the materials used to package and ship products, and the impact those materials have on the environment. A new survey commissioned by Two Sides North America and conducted by international research firm Toluna found that U.S. consumers believe paper-based packaging is better for the environment than other packaging materials. Survey respondents were asked to rank their preferred packaging material (paper/cardboard, plastic, glass and metal) based on 15 environmental, aesthetic and practical attributes. Overall, paper/cardboard packaging was preferred for 10 of the 15 attributes, with half of respondents saying paper/cardboard is better for the environment. Consumers also preferred paper/cardboard packaging on other environmental attributes, including being home compostable (65%) and easier to recycle (44%).
The need for easily understandable information regarding sustainability issues is constantly increasing. By creating the ‘Sustainability Unfolded’ platform, Metsä Board, part of Metsä Group, aims to provide a consumer-oriented and fresh way to open up and address sustainability topics, especially in the context of packaging sustainability. The targets are clear: increase understanding, challenge myths, and help make the right everyday choices. When talking about sustainability, themes like deforestation, climate change, recycling and greenwashing are crucial topics that deserve attention. In the era of information overload, corporations have to find ways to democratise sustainability information and make it more accessible and understandable. Metsä Board decided to tackle this in a new way. “The way ‘Sustainability Unfolded’ talks about these complex issues is somewhat unconventional for the industrial B2B-sector. The goal is to stimulate and engage the reader, and encourage everyone to look at the topics from a wider viewpoint. We built an editorial platform to make the subject matter more engaging to consume, with intriguing headlines and content that people will want to explore further,” states Marjo Halonen, VP Communications at Metsä Board.
Resolute is committed to managing the resources in our care with the highest respect, differentiating the company as an environmental supplier of choice. Our ongoing commitments and annually revised targets help us improve our environmental management performance and reduce our overall footprint. Here are some highlights from our 2020 sustainability reporting, prepared in accordance with the GRI Standards. In 2020, we recorded 13 environmental incidents, surpassing our 2019 performance of 18 incidents. Continuous improvement moves us toward our long-term aspirational goal of zero incidents. We also trained over 200 directors, managers and superintendents to reinforce the company’s commitment to environmental incident management and regulatory compliance. Training took place via four virtual sessions led by our Legal team. We take a preventative and proactive approach to environmental management – driven at the local level by our operations’ managers and overseen by Resolute’s senior management. Our employees work collaboratively across all levels to develop and implement environmental risk audits designed to identify potential non-compliances or environmental incidents before these occur.
Noted conservationist and Bass Pro Shops founder Johnny Morris is challenging families everywhere to put down their digital devices and head outside to discover the joys of fishing this summer. Morris, Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s are once again donating more than 40,000 rods and reels to hundreds of not-for-profit partners that help kids from all backgrounds connect to the great outdoors to kick off Gone Fishing. Many of the recipients engage underprivileged, minority and urban youth who might otherwise not have a chance to get introduced to the sport of fishing. The nationwide movement is part of an annual call-to-action that aims to introduce the sport to millions of kids. In addition to donating tens of thousands of rods and reels, all Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s stores will host free in-store fishing and casting activities during the weekends of June 12-13 and 19-20. Since the program’s inception, Johnny, Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s have donated more than 500,000 products to youth-focused nonprofit organizations across North America and helped millions of families catch their first fish, with over 150,000 kids participating in free events.
Today we announce a series of ambitious climate targets. This includes a science-based target which requires at least a 40% reduction of CO2 emissions per tonne of product by 2030, compared to 2019 levels, and a commitment to reach Net Zero* emissions by 2050. These targets will be validated by the Science Based Targets initiative** as being in line with the goals of the Paris Agreement. To further underline our ambition and commitment, we are also announcing our membership of the UN’s Race to Zero. "I’m delighted DS Smith has joined the UN’s Race to Zero. It is great to see a company with an ambitious 2030 target and commitment to reach Net Zero by 2050. DS Smith is making great progress against its previous carbon reduction targets, tackling the challenges associated with decarbonising the paper and packaging sector. Business plays a key role in driving the UK’s transition to a low carbon economy, with over 40 of the FTSE100 now signed up to the UN’s Race to Zero, I hope this announcement inspires other companies in the sector to take action." — Andrew Griffith MP, former business advisor to the PM and current UK Net Zero Business Champion
VPK France is a subsidiary of VPK Group – a family-owned business that is now turning into an international privately-owned packaging supplier, with over 65 plants across 20 countries. With a huge focus on sustainability and a strong existing relationship with Sun Chemical, the company recently made a strategic decision to switch ten of its French sites’ printing operations to Sun Chemical’s SunVisto AquaGreen renewable inks. While the first of VPK France’s site (based in Lille) has already made the switch to Sun Chemical’s SunVisto AquaGreen range, the remaining sites are planned to be converted sequentially by mid-2021. The inks are being used across many industries, including food, dairy, automotive, e-commerce, cosmetics and wine packaging. “Sun Chemical have been our trusted supplier for many years.” explains Philippe Tran, Managing Director of VPK France. “After a short break, VPK renewed this partnership in 2019, with the focus on SunVisto AquaGreen ink technology, which we intend to deploy across all of our corrugated packaging applications throughout our French sites. Our previous supplier did an adequate job, but the relationship was not as strong and we did not get the same sense of having such a solid shared vision – particularly around issues of productivity, sustainability and environmental responsibility. With Sun Chemical, we are able to communicate openly and with a high level of trust and transparency to get the best deals, both technically and economically. Working with a market leading company such as Sun Chemical also enables us to collaborate to form innovations that truly meet the specific needs of the market today.”
Santanol, Mercer’s plantation and distillation company in Western Australia that grows, distills, and sells Indian Sandalwood oil, is known in the fragrance industry for its sustainable practices and high-quality oil. Used in flavour and fragrance, aromatherapy, skincare and pharmaceutical products, Sandalwood adds a luxurious depth and history to its products. But just how do we produce this high-quality oil while maintaining our commitment to Pure. Ethical. Sandalwood? The Santanol plantations were established as part of a global conservation program, with our Research and Development Centre developing methods to grow East Indian Sandalwood trees in the Australian climate. These methods needed to ensure that the trees were protected without compromising the habitat for local wildlife or tampering with the quality of this rare resource – environmental integrity and product integrity work hand-in-hand for material this fine.
Since the initiation of the strategic review process in New Zealand in October 2020, a process made necessary by the secular decline of the publication paper industry and the impact of COVID-19, Norske Skog has explored a range of alternatives for the Tasman mill. Following a careful review, this process has resulted in a decision to close the Tasman mill and a sale of the mill’s assets. Production will cease by 30 June 2021, reducing Norske Skog’s newsprint capacity by approximately 150,000 tonnes per annum. The Tasman mill has only produced very limited volumes during 2021. Norske Skog will honour all redundancy and contractual obligations to the mill’s approximately 160 employees as the workforce is progressively reduced during the third quarter. The decision to close the Tasman mill follows a detailed review over the past eight months. It will address the substantial imbalance between newsprint production capacity and customer demand in the Australasian region. The Tasman mill has been an important contributor to the regional economy in New Zealand for the past 66 years, producing more than 15 million tonnes of publication paper over its lifetime. I would like to thank everyone who has worked at the mill for their outstanding contribution throughout the years, and their significant efforts to ensure a long and good life for the mill, says Sven Ombudstvedt, CEO of Norske Skog.
It is the busiest time of the year, when our Nordic forests are being regenerated by planting or seeding. This year, Stora Enso will plant a total of more than 48 million tree seedlings in Finland, Sweden, Russia and Estonia. In northern forests, the planting season is typically about 150 days long, which means that, during this year’s planting season, about 320 000 seedlings are planted every day. Using cultivated plants and seeds, forests can grow as much as 20% faster than they would naturally. This means added value for forest owners and Stora Enso, as well as for nature and the climate. In 2020, Stora Enso invested 68 million euros in forest growth. In 2021, Stora Enso and Tornator are, together, planting 14 million seedlings in Finland. In Sweden, where Stora Enso owns approximately 1.4 million hectares of forest and where seedlings are delivered from Stora Enso's own nurseries, the company is planting 33 million seedlings. Russia follows, with approximately 850 000 plants in Carelia and 250 000 in Novgorod. In Estonia, Stora Enso is planting around 31 000 seedlings in private forests.
Canfor Corporation is excited to announce it will invest approximately $160 million USD to build a new, state-of-the-art sawmill near DeRidder, Louisiana. The Company is pleased to be receiving significant state and local incentives in support of the project. The facility will have an annual production capacity of 250 million board feet on a two-shift basis and will directly employ about 130 people plus create significant additional indirect jobs. The Louisiana facility will have manufacturing capacity and flexibility to produce a wide variety of highvalue wood products for our customers. Startup is expected to commence late in the third quarter of 2022. The investment in Louisiana is in addition to the approximately $300 million of 2021 capital spending, including about $200 million for the solid wood and pulp operations in Western Canada and $100 million for the solid wood operations in the U.S. South.
Red Leaf Pulp Ltd., developer of a proprietary wheat straw-based pulp mill, announced the Company will locate its initial facility in Regina, Saskatchewan. The Company has secured properties on the west side of the City of Regina and will commence construction of the $350 Million facility in early 2022. The initial plant will have the capacity to produce approximately 182,000 tonnes of market pulp annually from waste wheat straw collected and aggregated from local producers. This represents a $350 Million direct investment in the local community and is expected to create 110 permanent full-time jobs, and 250 jobs during construction.
LSC Communications announced today that its Book Division, the largest book producer in the United States, will now operate as Lakeside Book Company. In addition to book manufacturing, Lakeside provides distribution, sales and marketing services, as well as IP and brand protection technology for book publishers and others requiring premium quality print and distribution-related services. The new name of the Book Division as Lakeside Book Company is rooted in the company’s rich history and marks a renewed commitment to providing best-in-class printing and fulfillment services. "Lakeside Book Company represents the best of our past and the opportunity to build on that foundation and write our future as the go-to book producer for publishers large and small. The Lakeside name is a nod to our roots and symbolic of the trust our company has earned to help stories of all kinds be shared. We have taken the opportunity to revisit our company values and align ourselves around the true purpose of our business: crafting books for readers and serving our publishing customers,” says Dave McCree, CEO of Lakeside Book Company.
UPM has completed the employee consultation process in Finland started in April. The company will improve efficiency in global functions by reorganising and streamlining the operations. As a result, the number of employments in Finland will decrease by 28. In Germany and Austria, the process is still on-going. UPM provides support for employees who are affected by the reductions. It includes outplacement services and training opportunities that support re-employment of the affected employees. 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.
Bertelsmann is expanding its footprint in Brazil’s fast-growing education market. The international media, services and education company is acquiring a 25-percent stake and 46 percent of the voting rights in Afya, the leading provider of medical education and training in Brazil, for the equivalent of €500 million. Bertelsmann co-founded and helped build Afya. The transaction is pending regulatory approval. Since 2017, Afya has grown its revenue by an average of 80 percent per year to €203 million in 2020. Based on market capitalization, Afya is Brazil’s largest education company focused on the medical field.
PEFC-certified board was chosen for the new packaging of the award-winning home fragrance collection FieldDay. Founded in 2002, FieldDay is inspired by the scents of the Irish countryside and pays homage to the country’s many native wildflowers. A recent brand refresh gave the company the opportunity to choose new packaging for their range of vegan and cruelty-free candles, soaps and home collection, matching the brand’s environmental credentials and commitment to sustainability.
More than 600 people joined the 2021 Virtual SFI Annual Conference, May 12-14, to learn from a diverse and dynamic group of speakers about critical global issues facing our sector. Climate change: How will sustainably managed forests and forest products help meet the climate challenge? A big part of the answer we heard at the conference is using tools like requirements for climate-smart forestry and fire resiliency and awareness that are included in the newly approved SFI 2022 Standards and Rules. Environmental, social, and governance (ESG): The increasing influence of ESG factors and how SFI’s work aligns with helping companies meet new reporting structures was the focus of much discussion. Speakers and attendees identified a need to help elevate understanding of the positive role of the forest sector among a variety of audiences.
Aptar Food + Beverage, a global leader in elastomeric flow solutions for more than 25 years, has received Critical Guidance Recognition from The Association of Plastic Recyclers (APR) for its SimpliCycle™ recyclable valve technology. APR Critical Guidance Recognition acknowledges technologies or packaging components that solve long-standing problems in sustainable package design. The recognition applies to both specific package design components and packages incorporating the component. SimpliCycle™ passed the required APR Critical Guidance test protocol performed by an independent, third-party testing laboratory.
The lives of consumers around the world were upended by the COVID-19 pandemic. Norms around work, school, travel and socialization changed virtually overnight. Eating habits also became fundamentally different, with a greater number of consumers cooking from home and eating healthier. The ability to physically visit retail stores also changed beyond recognition, and as a result e-commerce and direct-to-consumer models – which were already gaining huge traction pre-pandemic – accelerated rapidly in terms of sales. According to Euromonitor, online grocery is one of the most significant trends to emerge in the packaged food industry due to stay-at-home rules. Many major brands are prioritizing this channel within their corporate strategies having recognized the fact that its forward momentum is unlikely to ease. E-commerce is set to be the fastest growing channel as we continue to battle with COVID-19, and metal packaging is perfectly suited to the needs of both the consumer and the supply chain. *Retail value sales of the packaged food industry grew by 4.6% in 2020, compared to 1.7% in 2019 *The imposed stay-at-home rules, resulted in food sales from foodservice and institutional channels shifting to the home with a benefit to the retail channel *This, together with the essential nature of the food industry, has meant strong performance in 2020. 
Balcan Plastics, a Quebec-based manufacturer of flexible packaging and technical films, has bought a roughly 215,000-square-foot facility in Pleasant Prairie’s LakeView Corporate Park. A village official said the company is planning an operation there with 60 employees. An affiliate of the company paid $13 million to acquire the 50-acre property at 7201 108th St. from Mondi Akrosil LLC. The property was assessed at $9.14 million for 2020, according to Kenosha County records. “We are pleased to see Balcan Plastics invest here in Pleasant Prairie,” said Nathan Thiel, village administrator of Pleasant Prairie. “The company had several options around the nation, but ultimately selected on our community, which will result in manufacturing jobs and enhance the use of an existing building.” Mondi Akrosil, a division of London and Vienna-based international packaging and paper company Mondi plc, informed state officials last year the company planned to close the facility by July 1 of this year, a move that eliminated 108 jobs.
Pregis’ new Phantom Mask protective film solution offers unparalleled protection for plastic sheeting while eliminating adhesive transference and decreasing waste. Plastic is a part of our future. Everything, from kitchen utensils to complex scientific instruments, is made of the stuff. It’s found in equipment exploring the bottom of our oceans, and in technology probing the outer bounds of our solar system. Plastics technology is driving innovation in automobiles and airplanes, and home goods and healthcare. But while the things we make out of plastic grow, evolve, and improve, many parts of the plastics manufacturing chain are mired in “yesterday’s approaches.”
Tom Pazdera has been named the new Vice President and General Manager of ND Paper’s Rumford Division. Pazdera brings three decades of experience with internationally recognized companies including International Paper, MeadWestvaco, Boise Paper and, most recently, as President and Unit Head of AV Terrace Bay, in Ontario, Canada, where he oversaw day-to-day operations of an 1,100 tons per day NBSK plant. “Tom brings incredible knowledge and industry experience that will prove instrumental in helping us create a new era of growth and success at our Rumford Division,” said ND Paper CEO Ken Liu. “Because beyond operations and management of our largest facility, Tom will also be critical in helping us execute the continued capital transformation program for the division and the company.” In addition to his background as a project engineer, Pazdera has guided business operations and management teams at several largescale paper manufacturing sites across the country during crucial turning points. “Tom is a proven leader of transformational organizations, because he brings the personable leadership as well as the technical knowledge to advance our operations during a critical time,” confirmed Michael LaVerdiere, ND Paper Executive Vice President and COO.
The transport of timber and wood chips between Larvik and Norske Skog Saugbrugs in Halden has long taken place using trucks. Norske Skog is now using trains on the stretch, which will significantly reduce CO2 emissions from the transport. The train line will transport timber and wood chips from Bergene Holm in Amundrød near Larvik to Norske Skog Saugbrugs in Halden. The transport to the east will consist of an approximate 50/50 split between wood chips from the sawmill at Amundrød and pulpwood from surrounding forests. In return, Bergene Holm will transport sawn timber from the Halden area to the sawmill at Amundrød. Thanks to Norske Skog Saugbrug's strategy of moving transport from road to rail, by the end of 2021 the company will annually have a total of 7 500 fewer lorries on Norwegian roads compared with 2015. Following the introduction of all transport measures, Norske Skog Saugbrugs will have reduced CO2 overall emissions for inbound timber and wood chip logistics by just over 25 per cent.
Sappi offers Transjet Tacky Industrial, a coated dye sublimation paper for digital transfer printing, specially developed for high-speed inkjet printing on highly elastic textiles. Also new is the uncoated dye sublimation paper Basejet, which has been developed for light designs for high-speed digital printing of fashion and home textiles. · Transjet Tacky Industrial: Immediate tack effect, high ink transfer, fast ink drying; no ghosting on elastic textiles thanks to reversible tack · Basejet: Consistent print quality for light designs, fast ink-drying, very fast transfer process. Transjet Tacky Industrial enables highly elastic fabrics to be printed on industrial high-speed machines that work with a higher glycol content, such as printheads from Kyocera. The paper is first printed with the desired image or pattern which is then transferred to the elastic polyester fabric by means of heat and pressure.
Verso Corporation announced that Brian D. Cullen will become its Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer effective June 16, 2021. "I am very pleased to have someone of Brian's caliber join Verso's leadership team and serve in this critical role for our company," said President and Chief Executive Officer Randy Nebel. "His operating finance proficiency and experience combined with his strong strategic thinking and leadership skills will be extremely beneficial to Verso as we continue to strengthen our position as a leader in the paper industry." Mr. Cullen has over 20 years of broad financial and strategic leadership experience, with the majority of his career holding executive and senior leadership roles at Fortune 500 companies, including McDonald's Corporation and The Procter & Gamble Co. Prior to joining Verso he served as US Vice President of Finance and Controller for McDonald's Corporation. Mr. Cullen holds a B.B.A. in Finance with accounting concentration from The University of Notre Dame in Indiana.
The ODP Corporation confirmed that its Board of Directors has received a proposal from USR Parent, Inc., the parent company of Staples and a portfolio company of Sycamore Partners, to acquire the Company’s consumer business for $1 billion in cash. ODP’s Board of Directors is carefully reviewing Staples’ proposal with the assistance of its financial and legal advisors to determine the course of action that it believes is in the best interests of the Company and its shareholders. No action is required by the Company’s shareholders at this time. Last month, the Company announced a plan to separate into two independent, publicly-traded companies, each with a unique and highly focused strategy and investment profile.
Walmart announced all U.S. store locations will close for Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 25, as a ‘thank you’ to associates for their continued hard work during the pandemic. Associate Elizabeth Brown, a people lead from Store 5260 in Rogers, Arkansas, shared the exciting news before a crowd of approximately 1,000 associates during the retailer’s Associate Celebration meeting. This is the second year running that Walmart has closed stores on Thanksgiving Day to give time back to associates. Throughout the pandemic, Walmart has continued to place a heavy emphasis on the well-being of its associates. Recently, the company expanded access to no-cost counseling and extended its COVID-19 emergency leave policy through Sept. 30. Closing its stores on Thanksgiving Day is an additional way the retailer is thanking associates for their dedication to serving customers and their perseverance throughout the pandemic.
The revised American Tree Farm System (ATFS) has been submitted to PEFC for assessment. The public consultation, which is your chance to give your feedback on this revised system, will run from 14 June to 13 August 2021. The ATFS was revised following the entry into force of the revised 2018 PEFC Sustainable Forest Management standard. The American Tree Farm System is run by the American Forest Foundation and is one of two forest certification systems operational in the USA. The other system is the SFI system, which is also operational in Canada.
The print and paper advocacy group, Two Sides, are excited to announce its newest member, award winning printer, Hampton Printing. Hampton Printing use a creative approach and deliver efficiency which is underpinned with the best technology, innovation and support. They push boundaries to make visual differences, challenging themselves to be the best in print. “Hampton is delighted to become a member. We look forward to working with Two Sides to promote the sustainable story of print and paper and enhance our own sustainability story,” says Managing Director, Mike Malpas. When it comes to communication, whether it is electronic or traditional mediums, consumers must be informed about the environmental impact of those activities.
SCA’s planting work in Latvia started in spring 2020, when SCA needed to move 100 00 seedlings from Estonia to Latvia. The plan ting continued in the autumn. This year, SCA has already planted over 800 000 seedlings. During one year we have planted over one million seedlings. Most of them are spruce seedlings from SCA, so called SuperPot which is a bigger seedling suitable for ground with a lot of grass. We have also planted some pine, birch and black alder, which we bought from other countries to get the right kind of seedlings, says Edgars Birks, department manager forestry, SCA in Latvia. The land in Latvia consist of a lot of overgrown agricultural land that is very fertile. Therefore it is very important to cut down the grass and bushes, so the seedling can grow.
Sappi Europe announces a price increase for all its containerboard grades by 8 - 10% for deliveries from 1 July 2021. The ongoing sharp rise in raw material costs, particularly pulp, chemicals and energy in combination with high freight rates make price adjustments unavoidable.
The United States Postal Service announced today improved deliveries of First-Class Mail, Marketing Mail and Periodicals since the second quarter as its operations continue to recover from challenges experienced during the COVID-19 pandemic. Since the second quarter, delivery performance against existing USPS service targets showed the following improvements: *A 9.5 percentage point improvement in First-Class Mail deliveries, as 87.6 percent were delivered on-time against the USPS service standard in May. On average, a first-class mailpiece took 2.4 days to be delivered so far this quarter. *A 5.5 percentage point improvement in delivery of Marketing Mail to 90.6 percent against the USPS service standard in May. On average, a marketing mailpiece took 2.9 days to be delivered so far this quarter.
First Quarter Results Overview - The comparisons refer to operating results for the first quarter of fiscal 2021 versus the first quarter of fiscal 2020 ended May 2, 2020: *Total net sales were $163.2 million, a record for a first quarter, which represented an increase of $85.9 million or 111.1%, compared to $77.3 million last year. *Gross profit was $54.8 million, or 33.6% of net sales, compared to $1.6 million, or 2.1% of net sales, last year. *Operating income improved to $14.9 million, or 9.1% of net sales, compared to an operating loss of $(28.4) million, or (36.7)% of net sales, last year as a result of the combined impact of the factors described above. *Net income improved to $11.0 million, or $0.36 per diluted share, records for a first quarter since the Company became publicly-traded, compared to a net loss of $(17.4) million, or $(0.59) per share, last year. Weighted average shares were 30.5 million this year compared to 29.7 million last year.
Grainger announced the launch of its 2021 Corporate Responsibility Report on www.GraingerESG.com. This marks Grainger's 10th consecutive year of publishing this report, continuing the company's commitment to addressing key environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues and opportunities. Other report highlights include: *New one-page corporate responsibility program overview *ESG governance updates, including the Board's ESG oversight framework, and management's new ESG Leadership Council which is led by Macpherson *Expanded diversity, equity and inclusion content and a feature on Grainger Board members sharing insights with team members *New recycling and zero waste updates *Overview of Grainger's COVID-19 response and safe return-to-work facility plan
Unit sales of print books rose 11.6% last week over the week ended May 30, 2020, at outlets that report to NPD BookScan and through the first five months of 2021, sales were up 22.4% over the comparable period in 2020. The adult fiction category had another big week, with sales up 25.8% over the week ended May 30, 2020. Legacy by Nora Roberts was the top-selling title in the category, selling nearly 33,000 copies in its first week on sale. Other new books that cracked the top 10 adult fiction bestseller list were Christine Feehan’s Shadow Storm, which sold more than 18,000 copies, and The Saboteurs by Clive Cussler, which sold over 14,000 copies. Through May 29, print unit sales were up 32.4% over the first five months of 2020.
“SFI’s commitment to making better choices for the planet also means better choices for its people,“ said Kathy Abusow, President and CEO of SFI. “Our grantees are leaders in their communities and we look forward to collaborating with them on so many important issues that will strengthen local communities and support solutions to important sustainability challenges.” The grants address key themes across SFI’s work including urban and community forestry, forest literacy and education, building a diverse and resilient workforce, promoting Indigenous forest stewardship, and connecting communities to conservation. Urban and Community Forestry: SFI is elevating its role in this important issue with the development of a new SFI Urban and Community Forest Sustainability Standard. Forest Literacy and Education: SFI is committed to helping all people better understand the values and benefits of sustainably managed forests. click read more below for details
Amcor introduced ACT2100™ heat seal coating for medical grade DuPont™ Tyvek®2 and paper packaging applications. This next generation coating technology delivers enhanced performance features for healthcare applications and will be produced in multiple locations worldwide to offer customers increased flexibility to be supplied from the most suitable location for the manufacturing and packaging of their devices. Customers choosing ACT2100 will benefit from the solution’s broader seal range in combination with numerous materials, allowing for a wider operating window in their manufacturing operations, as well as enhanced seal strength for more robust package integrity through distribution. Consumers will enjoy speedier ethylene oxide sterilization cycles thanks to the material’s improved porosity, a fiber-free peel, and a bright, white adhesive that does not yellow. In addition, documentation and data will be available to support healthcare packaging regulatory requirements in all regulated markets.
Smurfit Kappa Group is pleased to announce that it has completed the acquisition of Cartones del Pacifico, a leading paper-based packaging company in Peru. The acquisition represents an important milestone for the Company as it expands its footprint in the Americas from 12 to 13 countries, and builds on the Group’s leadership position as the largest pan-regional supplier in Latin America. As part of the transaction Emusa Group has acquired Smurfit Kappa’s flexible packaging business in El Salvador.
Ahlstrom-Munksjö has expanded its portfolio of biodegradable and renewable fiber-based solutions for food packaging papers, receiving compostability certification from the Biodegradable Products Institute®. Continuing to be at the forefront of sustainable product offerings, Ahlstrom-Munksjö’s FluoroFree® and ParaFree® food packaging papers produced in North America are now BPI® certified, in addition to offering multiple sustainability attributes in a single product. These certifications facilitate the possibility for Ahlstrom-Munksjö customers, whether converters or brand owners, to achieve their own sustainability goals. By using a scientific process, BPI officially certifies compostable products that meet ASTM D6400 and ASTM D6868 standards for compostability. BPI Certification proves that a material will compost in a commercial composting facility, leaving behind no toxic residue or microplastics.
Mondi has signed a new €750 million 5-year revolving multicurrency credit facility agreement (‘RCF’) to refinance the existing €750 million facility that was due to mature in July 2022. It includes an option to extend the RCF by one or two years with each bank's approval. The RCF incorporates key sustainability targets linked to MAP2030 (Mondi’s Action Plan to meet its ambitious 2030 sustainability goals), classifying the facility as a Sustainability Linked Loan. MAP2030 is designed to tackle global issues across the value chain with commitments focused on three action areas: circular-driven packaging and paper solutions, created by empowered people, taking action on climate. All areas are aligned with the UN Sustainable Development goals as part of Mondi’s focus on being sustainable by design.
Following a year of extraordinary disruption to the nation’s educational system and the necessary shift to online instruction, parents of students in grades K-12 have reached a clear consensus: When it comes to books, the physical version matters. Parents are acutely focused on what their children learn and are convinced they will learn more via printed materials, according to national study conducted in the United States recently by pollster Frank Luntz. The survey of 1,000 parents with school-aged children across the country found the following: *Virtually every parent wants physical materials as a part of student learning. *76% of parents find physical books “extremely/very” impactful, compared to 68% for online/digital books. *When given the choice of only one or the other, 69% of parents prefer physical materials and only 31% choose online materials. *Physical books matter greatly in school board elections. 71% of parents would be more likely to vote for a school board member who supports students learning with physical materials – over the 29% who would prefer a member who wants online materials. *The frustrations with online learning during COVID are real. More than 80% of parents from all backgrounds (including 74% of those who typically favor online materials) believe physical materials would have made their jobs easier helping their students from home.
National Average Price for Regular Unleaded Current: $3.047; Month Ago: $2.913; Year Ago: $1.991. National Average Price for Diesel Current: $3.190; Month Ago: $3.088; Year Ago: $2.409.
American Dollar to Canadian Dollar = 0.830945; American Dollar to Chinese Yuan = 0.156690; American Dollar to Euro = 1.224094; American Dollar to Japanese Yen = 0.009138; American Dollar to Mexican Peso = 0.050224.
Meredith Corporation announced that it has accepted a revised proposal from Gray Television, Inc. to acquire Meredith's Local Media Group for approximately $2.825 billion in cash, and that the two companies have entered into an amendment to their previously announced definitive merger agreement reflecting the revised terms. Under the terms of the revised Gray proposal, Meredith Corporation shareholders would receive $16.99 per share in cash, revised from the previously announced $14.51 per share in cash, and 1-for-1 equity share in post-close Meredith. Meredith received an unsolicited proposal from another party after announcing the definitive agreement with Gray and subsequently received the revised Gray proposal. Meredith's Board of Directors gave due consideration to both proposals and carefully assessed the risks and benefits of each and unanimously approved the revised Gray proposal. The Board of Directors of Meredith unanimously recommends that Meredith shareholders vote in favor of the revised Gray proposal.
UPM has entered a partnership with Aalto Design Factory to study sustainable design. Aalto Design Factory will investigate the extent that sustainability guides designers’ choices and explore new perspectives and ways of addressing sustainability throughout the life cycle of products and services. For example, decisions on materials are often made already during early design phases, and these have a significant impact on the resulting product sustainability. UPM is keen to participate widely in research and development promoting sustainability. The core aim of Aalto Design Factory’s research project Design+Sustainability is to find new, effective means of promoting sustainability and to yield new information about how sustainability can be promoted from the earliest stage of the design process in the creation of new products and services.
The world’s top producer of plastic waste has gone on the offensive to ensure a greener future for its citizens. If China succeeds, it could offer lessons for the rest of the globe. Over the past few years, the phrase “war on waste” has been popping up frequently in Chinese media headlines. Last year, China’s state news agency Xinhua described tackling the waste problem as “a tough and drawn out battle.” The campaign began in March 2017, when the Chinese central government set out a waste sorting plan with the goal of recycling 35% of municipal solid waste in 46 of the country’s major cities by 2020. Shanghai and Beijing, the two largest cities, have since amended the municipal rules to enforce mandatory waste classification – in July 2019 and May 2020, respectively. In January this year, a state commission announced another ambitious goal: to eliminate all non-biodegradable plastic bags across the country by 2025.
The Postal Regulatory Commission (Commission) issued its analysis of the United States Postal Service (Postal Service) Fiscal Year (FY) 2020 Annual Performance Report and FY 2021 Performance Plan. The Commission is statutorily required to review whether the Postal Service met its goals and may provide recommendations to the Postal Service related to the protection or promotion of public policy objectives. 39 U.S.C. § 3653(d). The Commission’s in-depth review of the Postal Service’s four performance goals: 1) High-Quality Service, 2) Excellent Customer Experiences, 3) Safe Workplace and Engaged Workforce, and 4) Financial Health finds that: *The Postal Service did not meet the High-Quality Service performance goal, which measures on-time delivery of mail and packages. *The Postal Service partially met the Excellent Customer Experiences performance goal, which measures customer service satisfaction, because it only met four of the eight targets associated with the goal. *The Postal Service partially met the Safe Workplace and Engaged Workforce performance goal because it met the Total Accident Rate target but missed the Survey Response Rate target. The Postal Service also partially met the Financial Health performance goal—missing one target but meeting another.
The Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) and the Forest Stewards Guild have brought together partners who live and work in the Southern Blue Ridge, including Evergreen Packaging, an SFI-certified company, to collaborate on forest conservation approaches. Forests of the Southern Blue Ridge are biologically rich and span Virginia, Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia. The area supports a diverse ecosystem, provides recreational opportunities, and is a source of sustainable forest products. Stakeholders have identified mountain oak forests and mountain cove forests as two types of forest worthy of conservation attention, to help ensure the health and vitality of this unique place. Project partners identified areas of collaboration to address a few key themes, with a focus on leveraging the SFI Fiber Sourcing Standard. One priority was to examine enhancements to water quality practices for ecological benefits. This aligns well with the SFI Fiber Sourcing Standard requirements for all participants to adhere to water quality best management practices (BMPs). Additional themes include leveraging landowner outreach approaches under the SFI Fiber Sourcing Standard requirements, piloting land-management practices to connect separately owned parcels of land, and broadening the impact of conservation strategies.
In the context of the upcoming World Environment Day, and following a year of work and consultations with stakeholders, Cascades, the 17th most sustainable company in the world according to Global 100, is pleased to launch its fourth Sustainability Action Plan, the most ambitious in its history: "Driving Positive Change". The plan, which includes 15 defined targets for 2025 and 2030, is based on four main pillars: Respectful of the Planet, Solutions Driven, Community Minded, and People Focused. It is also aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations and with the recommendations of the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) in terms of reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Cascades is launching a plan which contains several targets to further reduce its environmental footprint. Among these are: *Reducing Scope 1 and 2 greenhouse gas emissions of paper manufacturing plants by 38.7% by 2030 compared with 2019 (kg of CO2 eq./metric tonnes) *Reducing Scope 3 greenhouse gas emissions by 22% by 2030 compared with 2019 (kg of CO2 eq./metric tonnes) *Sourcing 100% renewable electricity by 2030 *Reducing paper mill water effluents by 15% by 2025
Metsä Group has started a planning process with the City of Äänekoski with the aim of expanding the production of mechanical wood products at the Äänekoski mill site in the future. A detailed plan is being applied for as an industrial area for the Henttalanmäki area south of the existing mill site. The area currently has a general plan in force and it is mainly owned by Metsä Fibre, a part of Metsä Group. “One of Metsä Group's strategic targets is to increase the production of products that store carbon for a long time such as sawn timber, LVL and plywood. With the plan change that is now being launched, we are preparing to expand the production of our mechanical wood products at the Äänekoski mill site. The synergy benefits of operating in a large mill integrate are significant related e.g. to the utilization of raw materials, logistics and energy, ”says Ilkka Hämälä, President and CEO of Metsä Group.
Specialty Print Communications, Inc is transforming into an integrated and end-to-end direct response marketing services organization with the acquisition of FuelPop Marketing, LLC. Founded in 2018, FuelPop distinguished itself with leading-edge advertising technology offerings, data and targeting strategies, and creative innovation squarely focused on helping companies generate more sales. “We’ve successfully worked side-by-side with the FuelPop team over the last two years,” says SPC president Adam LeFebvre, “In this short time, we realized our ability to be more of a one-stop-shop is strategically and practically valuable to our clients. This acquisition instantly expands SPC beyond our direct mail production expertise to a fully integrated marketing toolkit.”
Ennis, Inc. announced its acquisition of the assets and business from AmeriPrint Corporation in Harvard, Illinois. The closing occurred on Monday, May 31, 2021, Memorial Day. AmeriPrint Corporation is a trade printer specializing in custom-printed documents, barcoding, integrated products, and business forms. Although Jim and Vicky Schulty are retiring after the sale, many of the same people will continue to work at the two facilities in Harvard, Illinois. Keith Walters, Chairman, President & CEO of the Company stated, “We are delighted to have the opportunity to bring AmeriPrint, their employees and their customers into the Ennis family. AmeriPrint is strategically located company in the Chicago area with 30 years of print industry experience and we will continue to operate the company in its same location. They pride themselves on exceptional customer service as does Ennis. This brand brings added capabilities and expertise to our expanding product offering including barcoding and variable imaging and will add depth to the products and services we already have at Integrated Print Group in South Elgin, Illinois.”
If 2020 was anything but business as usual in the world of direct mail, 2021 is most certainly cut from the same cloth. From lockdowns in the beginning of the year to – what appears to be – a sharp economic rebound, the COVID-19 economic roller coaster is ever-present in the acquisitional direct mail markets. At the time of this post, we have seen paper supplies become constricted and schedules move out, all while marketers appear to be clamoring to reach their consumers (flush with cash and new-found freedoms) in reliable and effective ways. Direct mail contractors that understand today’s paper market, forge and maintain strong alliances with their vendors, and understand the importance of a schedule will be far better equipped to fair the tumultuous seas of 2021. For a decade, mills have been shuttering doors one-by-one to try to control the supply-demand equation. Today, however, mill operating rates are well above 95%, have put all its customers on allocation (which prevents hoarding and is typically a function of historic usage), and have little to no flexibility in scheduling. It’s widely expected that mills will have another increase this summer (some are announcing at the release of this memo) and that schedules will stay tight through the end of the year.
American Eagle Paper Mills announced today Allan Bobb, Machine Room Superintendent, and Colin Symons, Furnish Prep Manager, have become the first employees invited to the ownership team since the Mill reopened in 2003. “This a cause for celebration amidst challenging times in our industry and our community. Buying into the Mill underscores the significant commitment Allan and Colin have made to American Eagle and to their fellow employees. They bring dedication and talent to the Mill every day. They believe in the Mill’s future and are an important part of its success,” said Scott Igoe, President and partner. Board member Philip Devorris agreed. “I couldn’t be happier than having Allan and Colin join the ownership team, a group that includes long-time employee-owners, Igoe, Clark Adelman and Bill Naugle. As an outside owner, along with my partners Harry Sickler and Todd Lewis, we recognize Allan and Colin as key leaders in the Mill’s future.”
The movement to save the world’s Ancient and Endangered Forests from ending up as take-out containers, shoe boxes, or other paper packaging just got kicked up a notch. Crown Van Gelder is thrilled to join a cadre of companies in the Pack4Good [and Canopy Planet] in committing to eliminate controversial forest fibre from our packaging, while exploring Next Generation Solutions for packaging made from alternative sources. Crown Van Gelder’s papers are 99% bio based; pulp sourced from sustainably managed forests, sugar beet pulp, starch, natural pigments and surface water. Only a few auxiliary materials, colouring agents and glues are not bio based; natural gas is used as an energy source in the manufacturing process. After two years of research in 2020 Crown Van Gelder developed Crown Native with the Dutch agricultural cooperative Cosun Beet Company as a strategic partner. The agricultural process residue from Cosun’s production process, beet pulp, forms a valuable resource for the paper and Crown Van Gelder succeeded in creating paper with 20% beet pulp, thus achieving environmental gains in several areas.
Ensuring that vaccine vials and their potentially life-changing contents remain safe, sterile and identifiable throughout their tightly controlled supply chain is no easy task, and taking risks is not an option. With the new extended 360 Service offering, Metsä Board, part of Metsä Group, is testing the paperboards and simulating packaging designs used by pharma manufacturers to package and protect vaccine doses, providing absolute confidence that the materials are up to the task. COVID-19 and other vaccines are typically stored and transported in extremely cold conditions, which can be as low as -70 degrees Celsius, before being thawed out ready for administration. The secondary paperboard packaging must be able to withstand these temperature extremes and protect the vials throughout the entire process. When a converter is producing packages for cold-chain transportation they have to be 100% certain that the materials they are using are appropriate. This is where Metsä Board’s in-depth testing and simulation capabilities are extremely valuable for the pharma industry.