Arvato SCS Switches U.S. Site Completely To Green Power

The supply of "real" green power in the U.S. is very limited. Nevertheless, the distribution center in Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin, now obtains green power from wind and solar energy. By the end of the year, Arvato Supply Chain Solutions plans to have all its distribution centers worldwide running on green power. Arvato Supply Chain Solutions has switched 100 percent of the energy supply to its distribution center in Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin/USA, to green electricity from wind and solar power. This saves an average of around 1,500 metric tons of CO2 per year at the location. The consistent use of renewable energies is an important part of the supply chain and e-commerce service provider’s sustainability strategy and is to be implemented at all locations in the global network by the end of 2022.
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Postal Regulatory Commission Releases Fiscal Year 2021 Annual Report to the President and Congress

The Postal Regulatory Commission submitted its FY 2021 Annual Report to the President and Congress. The Commission is required by statute to address information concerning the agency’s operations, including the extent to which regulations are achieving the objectives of the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act. The Commission’s report must also include an estimate of the costs incurred by the Postal Service to provide certain services that the Postal Service would not otherwise have provided except for the requirements of the law, and further presents an estimate for the value of the postal monopoly. The Commission’s Annual Report also reflects the work it has done throughout the year as it continues to advance its mission to provide transparency and accountability of Postal Service operations. In addition to reviewing and approving planned rate changes for Market Dominant and Competitive products, new product proposals, and formal complaint adjudications, the Commission:
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IKEA To Eliminate All Plastic Packaging By 2028

The Swedish furniture company, Ikea, has just announced it will be plastic-free in six years’ time, using more renewable materials such as paper to protect its products. In the past few years, the furniture giant IKEA has propelled itself towards being one of the most sustainable retailers in the world, with a series of announcements and pledges about becoming a more circular company. Two years ago, it announced that it would be investing €200 million to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by at least 15% across the entire IKEA value chain, making the company ‘climate positive’. It followed this with a bold plan to reinvent the company’s business strategy to make all its products more circular, designing them to be reused, repaired, upgraded, or recycled rather sent to landfill or the incinerator. Now, the Swedish retailer has pledged to eliminate all plastic packaging for its products by 2028, phasing out the remaining 10% of its packaging that still uses plastic and replacing it with more sustainable materials such as paper and cardboard.
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ePac Flexible Packaging Announces Expansion into Poland

ePac Flexible Packaging is pleased to announce its third European facility, ePac Poland North, located near the cities of Poznan and Bydgoszcz. This expands ePac’s network of sales and production operations across the Continent, builds on the successful launch of European sites in the UK (Silverstone) and France (Lyon), and further signals the company’s intent to become the supplier of choice in local markets throughout Europe. ePac Poland North is a partnership between ePac and mFlex, and will operate from mFlex’s production facility, an established flexible packaging facility that already uses digital printing. The company will be led by Managing Partners Jacek Ciosek and Marcin Kowalski; both seasoned executives in flexible packaging who will manage ePac’s operations and customer relationships.
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Silgan Announces Record 2021 Earnings And Cash Generation

Highlights *Reported cash from operations of $556.8 million *Free cash flow increased 22% over 2020 to a record $466.1 million, representing a free cash flow yield of 10% based on year end stock price *Record full year volumes in the Dispensing and Specialty Closures segment, with a 9% increase over prior year record volumes *Record full year volumes in the Metal Container segment, with a further 4% increase on top of the 14% growth in 2020 *Completed the strategic acquisitions of Gateway, Unicep and Easytech *Issued the Company's inaugural sustainability report *Returned to year end target leverage ratio after completing three acquisitions in 2021
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Smurfit Kappa extends Better Planet Packaging portfolio with innovative new solution for fast food

Smurfit Kappa has developed a new, entirely sustainable packaging solution for fast food following close collaboration with independent Packaging Consultant Juozas Baranauskas. The Twin Kraft Grease Guard MB12 packaging solution, created for Lithuanian fast-food restaurant Fresh Post, is part of Smurfit Kappa’s rapidly growing Better Planet Packaging portfolio of products, which offer sustainable alternatives to existing single-use plastic solutions. The new Fresh Post food box is made from Smurfit Kappa’s Twin Kraft Solid Board, which is a paper-based mono-material specifically designed for food packaging. By integrating the company’s MB12 technology, the recyclable material can adsorb mineral oils, keeping food safe whilst simultaneously protecting aroma and taste.
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Kimberly-Clark Announces Year-End 2021 Results

Executive Summary *Fourth quarter 2021 net sales of $5.0 billion increased 3 percent compared to the year-ago period, including organic sales growth of 3 percent. Full-year 2021 net sales of $19.4 billion increased 2 percent, with organic sales down 1 percent. *Diluted net income per share for the fourth quarter was $1.06 in 2021 and $1.58 in 2020. Full-year diluted net income per share was $5.35 in 2021 and $6.87 in 2020. *Net sales in 2022 are expected to increase 1 to 2 percent, including organic sales growth of 3 to 4 percent. *The company's Board of Directors has approved a 1.8 percent increase in the quarterly dividend, which is the 50th consecutive annual increase in the dividend.
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The Carbon Trust has certified the carbon footprint of UPM Raflatac’s Linerless products

The carbon footprint of UPM Raflatac’s Linerless products has been certified by the Carbon Trust, a global climate consultancy driven by the mission to accelerate the move to a decarbonised future. The Linerless range carries the CO2 Measured label to demonstrate that UPM Raflatac offers credible calculations in accordance with ISO 14040/44 and PAS 2050. “UPM Raflatac’s ambition is to go beyond fossils and that means we are focused on reducing the carbon emissions of our products. The carbon footprint of our Linerless products has been calculated and certified by the Carbon Trust which is a way for us to credibly demonstrate to customers that the footprint has been measured accurately. Choosing Linerless is a positive climate action”, tells Robert Taylor, UPM Raflatac’s Sustainability Director.
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Kohl’s Confirms Receipt of Expressions of Interest

Kohl’s Corporation confirmed that it has received letters expressing interest in acquiring the Company. The Kohl’s Board of Directors will determine the course of action that it believes is in the best interests of the Company and its shareholders. Shareholders are not required to take any action at this time. Kohl’s does not intend to further comment publicly on these matters unless it determines it is in the best interests of shareholders to do so.
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Print Unit Sales Fell 3% in Mid-January (publishersweekly.com)

Unit sales of print books dropped 3% in the week ended Jan. 15, 2022, from the comparable week last year, at outlets that report to NPD BookScan. Nonfiction sales remained soft, and adult nonfiction sales fell 7.8% from the week ended Jan. 16, 2021. Once again, it was softness throughout the category rather than the lack of a big bestseller that fueled the decline. Indeed, the two top titles in the category—Baby Steps Millionaires by Dave Ramsey and Glenn Beck’s The Great Reset—sold about 65,000 copies and 58,000 copies, respectively, easily beating the top title at this time last year: Barack Obama’s A Promised Land, which sold about 33,000 copies in the similar week. Juvenile nonfiction sales fell 11.6% in the week, as all of the category’s largest subcategories had double-digit declines. My Little Golden Book of Betty White by Deborah Hopkinson remained the #1 title, selling almost 12,000 copies. Juvenile fiction sales also fell, dropping 2.9%.
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SFI 2022 Standards Officially Launched

SFI certification is a powerful tool to provide customers and producers of forest products with the tools and guidance they need to make responsible supply chain decisions and achieve responsible forest management goals. Over the last two years, SFI has engaged in extensive consultations as part of our goal of continuous improvement in our standards and guidance. We gathered input from more than 2,300 stakeholders from the conservation community, Indigenous communities, the forest products sector, brand owners, private forest landowners and public forest managers, government agencies, trade associations, landowner associations, academia, and the public, and have released new requirements in a variety of areas. *The SFI Climate Smart Forestry Objective requires SFI-certified organizations to ensure forest management activities address climate change adaptation and mitigation measures. *The SFI Fire Resilience and Awareness Objective requires SFI-certified organizations to limit susceptibility of forests to undesirable impacts of wildfire and to raise community awareness of fire benefits, risks, and minimization measures. *The new Objective 8, Recognize and Respect Indigenous Peoples’ Rights, ensure respect for Indigenous Peoples’ rights and traditional knowledge, and are aligned with the principles of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
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Sonoco Announces Price Increase for Paperboard Tubes and Cores

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 March 1, 2022. “Ongoing market tightness, limited paperboard supply and additional inflationary cost pressures to our primary raw materials (uncoated recycled paperboard and adhesives) make this increase necessary,” said Doug Schwartz, Division Vice President and General Manager, North America Tubes and Cores. “Despite these market and supply chain challenges, we remain committed to maintaining the quality and service that our customers have become accustomed to when working with Sonoco.”
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Amcor builds on sustainability progress with science-based targets and commitment to reach net zero emissions by 2050

Amcor announced a further increase in its sustainability efforts by committing to science-based targets to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and to achieve net zero emissions by 2050. This commitment has been recognized by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) and builds on the success of Amcor’s EnviroAction program. Since the program started in 2008, Amcor has already reduced GHG emissions intensity by 35% and is on track to deliver a cumulative 60% reduction by 2030. “For more than a decade, Amcor has been successfully reducing the footprint of its carbon and other GHG emissions,” said David Clark, Vice President of Sustainability at Amcor. “We are excited to step up those ambitions by committing to science-based targets as we continue our journey to net zero emissions.”
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Kendall Packaging Names Daren Roberts Plant Manager for Pittsburg Location

Kendall Packaging Corporation, a provider of high-quality flexible packaging solutions serving a variety of markets inside the food, personal care, and pet food industries, announced that Daren Roberts has been named Plant Manager at the company’s Pittsburg, KS facility. In his position, Roberts is responsible for overseeing plant activities to meet business objectives and is accountable for all aspects of plant performance. This includes establishing production schedules, managing the production control process, and ensuring timely delivery of customer products. “We are excited to have Daren join our team and serve as a leader of our Pittsburg facility,” said Eric G. Erickson III, Kendall Packaging President and Chief Executive Officer. “Darren’s experience and enthusiasm will help us to continue the growth of the Pittsburg location, providing flexible packaging products to a diverse client base.”
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Xerox Releases Fourth-Quarter and Full-Year Results

Financial Summary *$1.78 billion of revenue in Q4, down 7.9 percent year-over-year, or down 7.4 percent in constant currency; $7.04 billion of FY revenue, up 0.2 percent year-over-year, or down 1.4 percent in constant currency. *Q4 and FY GAAP (loss)/earnings per share (EPS) of $(3.97) and $(2.56), down $4.33 and $3.40 year-over-year, respectively. Both Q4 and FY GAAP EPS include an after-tax non-cash goodwill impairment charge of $750 million or $4.38 and $4.08 per share, respectively. *$198 million of operating cash flow in Q4, down $37 million year-over-year; $629 million of FY operating cash flow, up $81 million year-over-year. *$182 million of free cash flow in Q4, down $39 million year-over-year; $561 million of FY free cash flow, up $87 million year-over-year. *Delivered $375 million of targeted 2021 gross cost savings through Project Own It, or $1.8 billion since inception. *Returned more than $1 billion to shareholders, close to double FY 2021 free cash flow.
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Euro-Graph Publishes November Statistics of the European Graphic Papers Industry

Total graphic papers shipments in November 2021 were UP 3.0% vs. November 2020 and were UP 4.5% year-to-date. Total newsprint shipments in November 2021 were down 0.3% vs. November 2020 and were down 3.3% year-to-date. Total sc-magazine shipments in November 2021 were down 8.3% vs. November 2020 and were down 0.2% year-to-date. Total coated mechanical reels shipments in November 2021 were UP 3.1% vs. November 2020 and were UP 2.4% year-to-date. Total uncoated mechanical (improved & others) shipments in November 2021 were down 6.6% vs. November 2020 and were UP 3.2% year-to-date. Total coated woodfree shipments in November 2021 were UP 13.7% vs. November 2020 and were UP 11.8% year-to-date. Total uncoated woodfree shipments in November 2021 were UP 6.9% vs. November 2020 and were UP 10.8% year-to-date.
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ANDRITZ successfully starts up the second of two tissue machines delivered to Guangxi Sun Paper, China

ANDRITZ successfully started up the second of two PrimeLineTM W 2000 tissue machines delivered to Guangxi Sun Paper, China, for its mill in Beihai City, Guangxi Province. The tissue machine (TM6) has a design speed of 2,000 m/min, a working width of 5.65 m and a capacity of 60,000 t/a, and it is equipped with energy-saving components (steel Yankee with head insulation, heat recovery system, Yankee Ecosteam system for re-evaporation). Forming fabrics and press felts by ANDRITZ Fabrics and Rolls were installed for optimum end-product quality. Like the TM5 order, the scope of supply also included FibreSolve FSV pulpers, the paper machine approach flow systems, broke handling and fiber recovery, and automation systems.
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ANDRITZ successfully starts up leading technologies for Klabin’s Eukaliner brown pulp mill in Brazil

ANDRITZ has successfully started up state-of-the-art and environmentally leading pulp production and chemical recovery technologies for Klabin’s Puma II line in Ortigueira, Paraná, Brazil. The ANDRITZ scope of supply included: *A wood processing plant with debarking and chipping line, which can process both eucalyptus (350 m3 sob/h) and pine (400 m3 sob/h), meaning that a log truckload of wood is emptied onto the line every ten minutes. *The HERBTM recovery boiler from ANDRITZ, which has a capacity of 3,300 tds/d with high steam parameters of 103 bar(a) and 502°C to maximize power generation. It is equipped with the autonomous Smart sootblowing control solution that combines Smart sensors (HEWI) and controls to ensure the cleanability period, a higher availability of the boiler, as well as greater operating safety. *A power boiler based on ANDRITZ EcoFluid bubbling fluidized bed (BFB) technology with a steam production capacity of 220 t/h. It is combined with the recovery boiler to form a “boiler island”, and some of the auxiliary equipment is shared between the two boilers. This provides savings in investment and operating costs. *A complete white liquor plant consisting of a recausticizing plant (5,000 m3/d) and an ANDRITZ LimeKiln (450 t/d) with a multi-fuel burner.
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Mondi helps industrial customers switch to heavy-duty corrugated packaging

Mondi is making good progress in terms of integrating its new Turkish HD corrugated plants in Bursa, Corum and Gebze with its plants in Germany (Ansbach) and Poland (Simet), following the acquisition of Olmuksan in 2021. In recent years, Mondi has invested in new capacity, technology and machinery at its Ansbach and Simet plants, which are now some of Europe’s largest full-service, state-of-the-art facilities. Mondi Olmuksan is one of the leading players in the HD sector in Turkey, further expanding the group’s capacity to serve a broader range of industries and geographies. "Our customers have been impressed that a HD corrugated container can withstand a tonne of top weight, or that a corrugated box can safely transport heavy items through hot and humid climates. Once they realise that HD corrugated solutions are a viable alternative, they get excited about all the added benefits of customisation, handling and transport efficiencies. And of course, switching to a lightweight, paper-based, recyclable material helps our customers achieve their own sustainability goals." Gerald Dörzbach, Sales Director at Mondi Wellpappe Ansbach
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Full-Year Ad Spending Surges 18% Vs. 2020, 9% Vs. 2019 (mediapost.com)

The U.S. ad market has fully recovered from the recession of 2020-21, with full calendar-year spending rising 18% vs. 2020, and 9% vs. 2019, according to a Standard Media Index analysis of the U.S. Ad Market Tracker, a collaboration with MediaPost indexing total U.S. ad spending from the pool of agency holding companies and independent agencies' actual media buys. A separate analysis of month-by-month data by MediaPost, however, reveals that the expansion has been decelerating through year-end 2021 (see related story). As robust as the recovery has been, SMI's analysis indicates it has been far from even across the major media.
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Sonoco Issues Inaugural Green Bonds to Expand Circular Economy Products

Sonoco announced the completion of its inaugural offering of green bonds to support the Company’s sustainability strategy. The green bonds total $1.2 billion aggregate principal amount of unsecured notes, consisting of $400 million aggregate principal amount of 1.80% Notes due 2025, $300 million aggregate principal amount of 2.25% Notes due 2027, and $500 million aggregate principal amount of 2.85% Notes due 2032. “We are proud to have successfully placed our first green bonds, one of the largest such offerings in the U.S. packaging industry,” said Julie Albrecht, Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. “Sonoco is dedicated to operating with sustainability at the forefront of our strategy and committed to making investments to expand circular economy adapted products.” Sonoco intends to allocate an amount equal to the net proceeds from the offering, together with borrowings under a new term loan facility and its commercial paper program, to fund the $1.35 billion cash consideration payable in connection with its previously announced plans to acquire Ball Metalpack, a leading manufacturer of sustainable, permanently recyclable metal packaging. The acquisition of Ball Metalpack qualifies as an Eligible Project under Sonoco’s Green Financing Framework. Further details on Sonoco’s Green Financing Framework are available on the Company’s website.
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AKT blockade against UPM does not advance negotiations

The Transport Workers’ Union AKT has today announced a blockade against UPM in Finland to support the strikes of the Paperworkers’ Union and the Finnish Electrical Workers´ Union. AKT’s support measures will be carried out as a blockade in Finnish ports. During the blockade, the stevedores will not handle UPM’s paper and pulp. The blockade will begin on 24 January at 06:00. “AKT’s actions do not advance functioning labour markets. AKT is not even a party in the negotiations, which we aim to start with the Paperworkers’ Union,” says Jyrki Hollmén, Vice President, Labour Markets, UPM. "We hope to get into negotiations with the Paperworkers’ Union soon, so that both parties can present their goals and seek solutions acceptable to all. Members of the Paperworkers’ Union certainly have the right to strike but now it only postpones the start of negotiations. The AKT blockade doesn’t make the situation any better," Hollmén continues.
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RRD Provides an Update on the Unsolicited Non-Binding Proposal From the “Strategic Party” to Acquire RRD

R.R. Donnelley & Sons Company announced the receipt of an update to the unsolicited non-binding “Alternative Acquisition Proposal”, received from the strategic party (the “Strategic Party,” and such update to the proposal, the “Updated Strategic Party Proposal”) on December 27, 2021. On January 3, 2022, the Strategic Party had indicated to RRD that it was targeting January 21, 2022 for a submission of a binding proposal. In lieu of submitting a binding proposal, the Strategic Party delivered the non-binding Updated Strategic Party Proposal, which provides for the following, among other terms and conditions: *Value: Increases the offered price to $11.50 per share in cash. Previously, the offered price by the Strategic Party was $11.00 per share in cash. *Due Diligence: States that the Strategic Party has substantially completed its financial, legal, tax and other due diligence on RRD and its business. *Committed Financing and Timing: Does not include committed debt and equity financing and states that the Strategic Party requires an additional three weeks to obtain committed financing (February 8, 2022). *Chatham-Related Covenants: Removes the previously included conditions to the execution of the proposed Strategic Party merger agreement that required Chatham to release and dismiss Chatham’s litigation and claims made against RRD, and to vote its shares of RRD common stock to approve the Strategic Party merger agreement. *Non-Binding and Conditional: The Updated Strategic Party Proposal remains non-binding and subject to certain terms and conditions.
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Neenah Joins Soteria Battery Innovation Group Consortium

Neenah, a leading global manufacturer of specialty materials, is announcing that it has joined the Soteria Battery Innovation Group (BIG), a consortium of 100+ companies representing different developers and users across the lithium-ion battery ecosystem. The consortium is committed to using new technology to bring safer batteries to the market, which aligns directly with Neenah's passion for innovation and the company's emphasis on safety. Lithium-ion batteries continue to dominate the battery market, with projected growth from $41B in sales in 2021 to over $110B by 2030. Neenah will utilize its significant expertise in nonwovens to pursue fiber-based separator applications that can meet users' short and long-term needs.
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Mactac to Acquire Spinnaker Coating, LLC

Mactac®, a LINTEC Company, announces it has entered into an agreement to purchase the assets of Spinnaker Coating, LLC, representing $130 million of specialty revenue at a price of $40 million. The acquisition is expected to close on Feb. 1, 2022, and consists of Spinnaker’s manufacturing facility and headquarters based in Troy, Ohio, and North American distribution centers located in Atlanta, Georgia; Chicago, Illinois; Los Angeles, California; and, Vails Gate, New York. Spinnaker will operate as a standalone subsidiary of Mactac. As part of LINTEC, Mactac is one of the largest, most diversified global pressure-sensitive adhesive (PSA) suppliers. Mactac’s acquisition of Spinnaker, which specializes in the customized production and distribution of pressure-sensitive roll label and sheet base materials in North America, creates a one-of-a-kind, world-class specialty labeling company.
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Verso Corporation Files Preliminary Proxy Statement in Connection with BillerudKorsnäs Merger Agreement

Verso Corporation announced the filing of a preliminary proxy statement for a special meeting of stockholders, at which Verso stockholders will consider and vote upon various items related to the proposed and previously announced transaction with BillerudKorsnäs AB. If approved, all Verso stockholders will receive $27.00 per share in cash upon closing of the transaction, representing immediate and certain value at a significant premium. The preliminary proxy statement provides detailed disclosure regarding, among other things, the robust process overseen by the Special Committee, the Special Committee's consideration of indications of value, the fairness opinion received from Rothschild & Co., its financial advisor, regarding the merger consideration and the analysis underlying that opinion, the Special Committee's efforts to seek the best price reasonably available for stockholders, and the Board and the Special Committee's rationale for accepting BillerudKorsnäs' offer as being in the best interests of stockholders.
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U.S. Postal Service Maintains Mailpiece Time Delivery Average of 2.7 Days Across the Network

From Jan. 1 through Jan. 14, the average time to deliver a mailpiece across the postal network was 2.7 days. Second quarter service performance scores covering the period Jan.1 through Jan. 14 included: *First-Class Mail: 86.6 percent of First-Class Mail delivered on time against the USPS service standard, a decrease of 3 percentage points from the first quarter. *Marketing Mail: 91.7 percent of Marketing Mail delivered on time against the USPS service standard, consistent with performance from the first quarter. *Periodicals: 80.8 percent of Periodicals delivered on time against the USPS service standard, consistent with performance from the first quarter.
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PolkaLite™ – A Lighter and More Efficient Closure for the Sauces and Condiments Market

PolkaLite is a recyclable* snap top closure that weighs 8.4g and utilizes 1.3g less plastic than the original Polka solution. This new closure, made of polypropylene, fits bottles with a 38-400 neck finish and a 55mm outer diameter, one of the most common neck finishes for sauces and condiments. And thanks to its large 9.7mm orifice and valve, PolkaLite can be utilized in a wide range of food products, even those with chunks or a high viscosity level such as honey, salad dressing, and more.
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McClure named president of Pregis’ South Carolina film extrusion operation

Pregis recently named Jon T. McClure, president of its new $80 million blown film extrusion operation in Anderson, South Carolina. McClure brings more than 40 years of blown film operational excellence to Pregis. In 1997, he founded South Carolina-based ISO Poly Films, Inc., and served as the company’s chief executive officer until the company was sold in 2014. Under his leadership, ISO Poly Films became a leader in custom film production with two state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities and 160 employees, generating $115 million in sales.
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Domtar Pursues Net Zero, Enlists Help from NYU Stern School

Pledges toward net zero emissions have become common as global companies and industries look to address concerns about climate change. Domtar, too, is doing our part to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and develop a path toward becoming a net zero emitter by 2050. We have been tracking and working to reduce greenhouse gas emissions for more than a decade. By the end of 2020, we recorded a 27 percent reduction in total direct greenhouse gas emissions and indirect emissions from purchased energy at our pulp and paper mills since 2010. Our work to reduce our carbon footprint has also led to significant reductions in our emissions to air of nitrogen oxides, sulfur dioxide, total reduced sulfur and particulate matter.
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Can Paper Help Save the Planet? (twosidesna.org)

The recent United Nations global climate summit in Glasgow, Scotland, brought the world’s leaders together again to try to reach agreement on further commitments to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. High on the agenda was preserving the health of the world’s forests – a critical natural resource for absorbing these emissions. With this heightened international attention on preventing deforestation, primarily in the developing world, now is a good time to remind ourselves that the North American forests that supply the wood fiber for our paper and packaging products are among the most sustainably managed in the world. They are so well-managed, in fact, that our forests continue to be a net absorber of carbon. In the United States, sustainable forest management practices, the regeneration of forest area and modern harvesting practices resulted in a net sequestration of carbon every year from 1990 to 2019, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
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GLGA News: Nominations Are Now Open for the Second Annual Women in Print Excellence Award

The Great Lakes Graphics Association is now accepting nominations for the Second Annual Women in Print Excellence Award. This sought after female-specific award supports our ongoing quest to recognize the contributions of women in the Midwest print, graphic arts, finishing and print packaging community as well as those women who support the print industry in a vendor or supplier capacity. Eligibility : Any woman working directly in print or in a vendor role supporting print who is in good standing with her company in the states of Illinois, Indiana or Wisconsin. Any level or title of employee is eligible. Process: Anyone (female or male) can nominate a candidate by completing the nomination form and emailing it to Debra Warner at dwarner@glga.info or faxing it to 262-522-2211. A nomination fee of $30 needs to be included with the nomination form.
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The Paperworkers’ Union has announced to continue its strike in several UPM mills in Finland

The Finnish Paperworkers’ Union has issued a new strike announcement to UPM, declaring that their strike at UPM’s Finnish mills will be extended by two weeks until 19 February 2022, unless new agreements are reached before that. The Paperworkers’ Union’s strike at UPM Pulp, UPM Biofuels, UPM Communication Papers, UPM Specialty Papers and UPM Raflatac units in Finland started 1 January 2022. UPM’s goal continues to be to start business specific negotiations with the union as soon as possible. “Only in the negotiations will it be possible to open up the goals of the parties and seek solutions together. Our businesses are very different from each other, which is why business-specific agreements are essential to us. Our focus is not on next month or next year, but on pursuing agreements that will enable each business to succeed well into the future. Business success also benefits our employees,” says Jyrki Hollmén, Vice President, Labour Markets at UPM.
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Amcor announces strategic investment in PragmatIC Semiconductor

In its continuing efforts to discover and develop innovative technologies for the packaging industry, Amcor (NYSE: AMCR; ASX: AMC) announced today its strategic investment in PragmatIC Semiconductor, a world leader in ultra, low-cost electronics. Based in the United Kingdom, PragmatIC Semiconductor develops flexible, integrated circuits beyond the scope of conventional electronics. Their ConnectIC® family of radio frequency identification and near-field communications (RFID/NFC) integrated chips can be embedded into packaging to store and relay information to devices such as smartphones. This technology will enable smart packaging applications across the entire product lifecycle – from manufacturing and supply chain management to consumer engagement and even material recovery.
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Aptar Food + Beverage Announces Launch of Its Rocket Sports Cap with ACTIPH Water

Rocket redefines beverage packaging safety standards by offering a unique, highly visible, and non-detachable tamper evidence system to the market. The sports cap complies with upcoming sustainability regulations, including the Single-Use Plastics (SUP) directive proposal in Europe. “Our goal was to develop a cap that meets consumers’ expectations of safety and drinking experience, while also addressing the increasing demand for companies to offer solutions that include sustainable packaging,” said David Haig, Aptar’s sales director, EMEA. “Partnering with ACTIPH Water to combine the Rocket sports cap with its brand speaks to the innovative nature of both companies, where ACTIPH wants to match the overall consumer experience with the quality of its water.”
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DS Smith accelerates carbon reduction plans with 1.5°C temperature alignment commitment

We announce our ambitious commitment to align our global operations to a 1.5°C scenario as set out in the Paris Climate Agreement. The roadmap to 1.5°C has been submitted for verification by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi)*. To achieve this, we are accelerating the reduction of carbon emissions for our own operations, as well as those of our partners and suppliers, by committing to reducing our Scope 1, 2 and 3 Green House Gas (GHG) emissions by 46% on an absolute basis by 2030, compared to 2019 levels. These targets will keep us, a member of the UN’s Race to Zero initiative, in line with our prior commitment to reach Net Zero** carbon emissions by 2050. "Today’s announcement demonstrates our ambition in reducing carbon as part of our long-term sustainability focus. This commitment not only ensures our business is leading the way in reducing our carbon footprint, but also guarantees we are challenging our suppliers and partners to do the same. Our business has ambitious growth plans over the coming years as we lead the transition to a circular economy and these commitments are a crucial part of our Now and Next sustainability strategy which will see us create a positive impact for people and the planet both now and in the future." — Miles Roberts, Group Chief Executive at DS Smith
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Smurfit Kappa takes home 13 WorldStar Awards for its sustainable and innovative packaging

Smurfit Kappa has continued to demonstrate its leadership in innovative and sustainable packaging solutions by winning 13 WorldStar 2022 Awards. Innovative solutions including groundbreaking corrugated packaging for the transportation of fresh fish, a paper-based ceiling luminaire that replaces metal and plastic fittings and a space-saving, easy-to-assemble packaging solution for confectionery all received top honours in the 2022 awards. The Beverage category was one of the areas where Smurfit Kappa shone at this year’s awards. Its popular TopClip packaging solution, which is a sustainable alternative for the shrink wrap which is commonly used to bundle multipacks of cans, took home an award. TopClip is one of Smurfit Kappa’s Better Planet Packaging portfolio of products which have garnered considerable interest from companies seeking to reduce their environmental footprint.
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TC Transcontinental ranks 16th among the world’s most sustainable corporations

TC Transcontinental is proud to have climbed to 16th place on the list of the 100 most sustainable corporations in the world, as unveiled today by Corporate Knights, in addition to ranking first in the packaging industry. This performance represents a significant improvement, whereas last year the corporation ranked 45th in the same category. According to Corporate Knights, TC Transcontinental stood out for its high percentage of clean revenue from the sale of eco-responsible products, its clean investments, and the gender diversity of its Board of Directors and senior management. The Corporation has indeed made several advances in terms of corporate social responsibility (CSR), including: *Expanding its vieVERTe sustainable packaging portfolio, which includes its commercialized compostable, 100% recyclable and post consumer resin product lines *Investing more than $10 million in product research and development (R&D) *Launching the ASTRA Center, composed of four different state-of-the-art R&D labs, located in Menasha, Wisconsin *Achieving 31% women in leadership positions in its Packaging, Printing and Media sectors, exceeding its initial target.
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Key Printing Industry Trends Reflected in 2021 Printing Impressions 300 Ranking of Largest Companies (piworld.com)

It’s not a major surprise, really, that our 38th annual ranking of the largest printing industry companies in the U.S. and Canada, as ranked by annual sales, is now the 2021 Printing Impressions 300 — and not the Printing Impressions 350 that appeared in 2020. After all, the majority of the graphic arts businesses on our venerable list reported their calendar 2020 annual sales as their most recent fiscal year, with calendar 2019 representing their previous year sales. Given the onslaught, and subsequent shutdowns, of many segments of the U.S. economy beginning in March 2020 due to COVID-19, it’s understandable that CEOs of commercial printing companies were not racing to report their annual sales numbers. And, although the printing industry was ultimately deemed “essential,” many of the vertical markets that these primarily privately-held printing businesses serve were not. Combine that with all the business uncertainty among marketers, brand owners, retailers, and other print buyers, it’s no surprise that many companies appearing on our 2021 list in this issue reported double-digit annual revenue drops.
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Sappi North America’s Ultracast Viva® Wins Awards for Sustainable Innovation

Sappi North America, Inc., a leading producer and supplier of diversified paper, packaging products and pulp, has been named a 2021 SEAL Sustainable Product Award winner for its Ultracast Viva® casting and release paper. Ultracast Viva was also selected by the International Design Awards Jury for an Honorable Mention for textile design. Ultracast Viva is the new standard for high-fidelity casting and release papers, offering compatibility with solvent-free casting systems, serving as the mold for coated fabrics by transferring texture and gloss to create authentically pleasing synthetic leathers and other coated materials. The textured surfaces are then used for end products people use every day, such as shoes, car seats, handbags, apparel and more. After use, the release paper is stripped away and can be reused multiple times.
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The Arena Group to acquire Parade (axios.com)

The Arena Group, a digital publishing company formerly called Maven, plans to acquire AMG/Parade, the parent company to the storied American magazine Parade, in a $16 million cash and stock deal. Why it matters: AMG/Parade will anchor The Arena Group's new push into lifestyle content and will boost its sports vertical, per Ross Levinsohn, CEO of The Arena Group. AMG (Athlon Media Group) includes a professional sports magazine arm called Athlon Sports and Parade Media Group, which includes Parade Magazine as well as the cooking outlet Relish and the wellness outlet Spry Living.
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Accelerate360 Buys Bauer Media’s Magazine Business, Strengthens Top Post In Newsstand Publishing (mediapost.com)

Accelerate360, the former magazine distributor that expanded into publishing, and now controls many celebrity and health brands primarily sold by newsstand, announced it is acquiring the Bauer Media Group’s publishing assets, including the one-time checkout juggernauts Woman’s World and First for Women. The transaction also includes the Bauer U.S. bookazine business, which produces more than 100 special-interest publications per year. The deal is expected to close next month. Bauer’s titles dominated the checkout slots for decades.
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ATA Truck Tonnage Index Increased 1% in December

American Trucking Associations’ advanced seasonally adjusted (SA) For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index increased 1% in December after rising 0.5% in November. In December, the index equaled 114.7 (2015=100) compared with 113.5 in November. “December’s gain was the fifth straight totaling 4.4%,” said ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello. “In December, tonnage reached the highest level since March, but it was still 2.7% below the pre-pandemic high. This is likely due to the fact ATA’s data is dominated by contract freight. Contractor truckload carriers operated fewer trucks in 2021 compared with 2020 and it is difficult to haul significantly more tonnage with fewer trucks. But overall, we have seen a nice trend up that is reflective of a still growing goods-economy.” November’s reading was revised down from our December 21 press release.
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Printpack and Sirane announce a Strategic Partnership

Printpack, a US-based manufacturer of flexible and specialty rigid packaging, is pleased to announce a strategic partnership with Sirane, a UK-based leader in paper coating and paper-based packaging. Together, the two companies will jointly enable customers to reach their sustainability goals by offering recyclable, coated paper packaging. The combination of Printpack’s printing and laminating knowledge with Sirane’s paper coating and pouch forming expertise creates the perfect partnership to fulfill the market need. Well over half of US consumers rank paperboard or paper as extremely or very sustainable. Further research reveals that 66% of US consumers think that paper is best for the environment. Its wide ability to be recycled helps positively position paper in the minds of consumers. Recyclability is one of the features most associated with environmentally friendly packaging.
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U.S. Paper Industry Reaches Record for Containerboard Production in 2021

The American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA) today released preliminary 2021 data from U.S. paper and paperboard mills indicating record containerboard production, the material used to make cardboard boxes. The preliminary data indicates total containerboard production in 2021 increased 5.6 percent compared to 2020, the ninth increase in the past 10 years. “Paper products and materials like containerboard help to meet the needs of consumers seeking sustainable choices,” said AF&PA President and CEO Heidi Brock. “These are some of the most-recycled materials in the United States – in fact, more paper by weight is recycled from municipal waste streams than plastic, glass, steel and aluminum combined.”
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ANDRITZ to supply effluent and sludge treatment line to Holmen Iggesund Paperboard Ltd.

International technology group ANDRITZ has received an order from Holmen Iggesund Paperboard Ltd. to supply a state-of-the art primary effluent and sludge treatment line for its mill in Workington, UK. Start-up is scheduled for the first quarter of 2023. The mill will completely replace the existing primary effluent treatment plant to improve the efficiency of the system and reduce the level of total suspended solids (TSS) in the outfall. ANDRITZ will supply a tailormade technological solution, including channel screening, clarifying, automated flocculant and coagulant dosing, and sludge dewatering: *ANDRITZ Aqua-Screen channel screens specially designed for handling wastewater streams will ensure effective coarse screening and removal of large contaminants from the influent to the clarifiers. *Clarifiers will be installed to ensure efficient solid-liquid separation for coastal discharge. The clarifier tanks will be raised off the ground on legs to facilitate operation and maintenance activities. *State-of-the-art sludge handling line, including proven ANDRITZ gravity tables prior to ANDRITZ sludge screw presses for minimum flocculant consumption, lowest solids load in the filtrate and highest possible sludge dryness.
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Solenis Acquires 100% of the Shares of SCL GmbH

Solenis, a leading global producer of specialty chemicals, closed on the acquisition of 100% of the outstanding shares of SCL GmbH (“SCL”) on January 18, 2022. Located in Ludwigshafen, Germany, SCL produces DMA3, a primary raw material for cationic polyacrylamide production. The acquisition of the SCL business helps Solenis fulfill a strategic insourcing objective and supports Solenis’ polyacrylamide strategic global growth plan. “The acquisition of this business provides Solenis with the backward integration that supports our polyacrylamide growth plan and better enables us to provide strategic products to our customers around the world,” said John Panichella, CEO, Solenis. “This is our first bolt-on acquisition following our recent ownership change to Platinum Equity. The support by the Platinum team for our strategic growth plan has been excellent, and I am confident that our partnership will yield more of these projects in the future.”
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Smurfit Kappa announces USD33 million investment in Fortaleza, Brazil

Smurfit Kappa, one of the leading providers of paper-based packaging solutions in the world, has announced an investment of over USD33 million in Brazil to expand the capacity of its plant in Fortaleza to meet the growing demand for innovative and sustainable packaging. The expansion, which includes the installa tion of a new corrugator, will significantly extend the plant’s Shelf Ready Packaging capability for FMCG customers in a range of sectors including fresh fruit, home appliances and pharmaceuticals. Several high-end printers will also be installed to provide the high level of precision and quality that is required for eCommerce packaging. In addition, a new innovation centre will foster even more customer collaboration and enhance the development of impactful, sustainable and market-leading packaging solutions.
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Flint Group Secures EcoVadis Silver Rating across its global footprint

Flint Group, including all business units within its Packaging and its Commercial Publication & Web divisions, has achieved a Silver status from EcoVadis, the world’s largest and most trusted provider of business sustainability ratings with a global network of over 85,000 rated companies. The company was considered to be in the top 21% of companies rated by EcoVadis in the manufacture of paints, varnishes and similar coatings, including printing inks. It was rated in the top 9% of companies in the Sustainable Procurement category, as well as in the top 7% for Ethics.
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Rayonier Advanced Materials Announces Investment In Second Generation Bioethanol Plant, An Important Step In Its BioFuture

Rayonier Advanced Materials Inc. announced the introduction of a second generation (2G) bioethanol product for Europe’s fast-growing biofuels market. Produced using wood-based feedstock (not in competition with food), RYAM will be among the first in France to produce 2G bioethanol fuel from wood. With a ninety percent smaller carbon footprint compared to fossil fuel-based gasoline, RYAM’s bioethanol product will help petrochemical companies meet their need for clean and renewable energy in the European market and contribute to reduced climate change. “With the successful development of second-generation bioethanol products, RYAM is taking an important step toward achieving our BioFuture and promoting a more sustainable world,” said Vito Consiglio, President and CEO of Rayonier Advanced Materials. “The strong demand for this innovative, renewable biofuel represents another example of how we can leverage our existing biorefineries and knowledge of cellulose chemistry to provide biobased solutions.”
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Millar Western pulp mill ends 2021 with zero safety incidents

The close of 2021 marked a big safety milestone for our Whitecourt Pulp Division: for the first time since its start-up in 1988, the pulp mill passed an entire calendar year with no recordable incidents – that’s 0 lost-time accidents and 0 medical treatments. Today, the mill stands at 1001 days without a lost-time incident and 557 days since its last medical aid, far surpassing the prior mill previous record of 507 days. At Millar Western, our real safety focus is on outcomes, not records. But these numbers represent individual people, going home safe to family and friends at the end of each shift. In the especially challenging year of 2021, the safety milestones reached by pulp mill staff were an especially outstanding achievement. Congratulations to all at Whitecourt Pulp, where safety’s in good hands!
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Mondi first to offer extensive portfolio of Cradle to Cradle Certified® uncoated fine papers from its European mills

Mondi received the Cradle to Cradle certification at Bronze level for its uncoated fine papers produced in its mills in Austria, Slovakia and Russia. Mondi is thus the first to offer an extensive uncoated fine paper portfolio as Cradle to Cradle Certified® meeting the high standards and demanding requirements of this certification scheme which marks the step from a linear to a circular economy. This includes Mondi´s well-known professional printing brands Color Copy and PERGRAPHICA®, as well as its range of NAUTILUS® branded recycled papers, and a wide office paper portfolio. "We are proud to kick off the year with this strong sustainability achievement underlining our Mondi Action Plan 2030 (MAP2030) commitment to create circular-driven solutions. For many years, Mondi has been a leader, and often a pioneer, in the sustainability of its uncoated fine papers. For example, Color Copy became the world´s first FSCTMcertified colour laser paper in 2005. Thanks to our new Cradle to Cradle certification our customers have a uniquely wide choice of products to support the environment and contribute to the circular economy without sacrificing on quality or price." Devan Naidoo, Marketing and Sales Director at Mondi Uncoated Fine Paper
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I.D. Images Acquires Digital Printing Concepts, Multi-Action, and Valley Forge Tape & Label

Sole Source Capital LLC, an industrial-focused private equity firm, announced today that its portfolio company, I.D. Images (“IDI”), a premier provider of product identification solutions, has made three significant acquisitions over the past five months. IDI’s acquisitions of Digital Printing Concepts, Multi-Action Communications, and Valley Forge Tape & Label Company have more than doubled the size of the company and extended its reach to several new markets across the U.S. and Canada since it became a Sole Source Capital portfolio company in August 2021. Terms of the transactions were not disclosed. IDI manufactures high-quality durable and graphic intensive labels that address a broad range of product identification needs for a variety of end markets. Digital Printing Concepts, founded in 2003 and based in East Providence, RI, is a manufacturer of custom durable variable data labels that are utilized in warehouse logistics. Headquartered in Quebec, Canada, Multi-Action Communications is a manufacturer of logistics, grocery, track-and-trace, and prime labels to customers throughout Canada and the United States. The company was founded in 1993 and operates out of three manufacturing facilities across Canada. Based in Exton, PA and founded in 1962, Valley Forge Tape & Label Company is a longstanding, full-service manufacturer of custom printed self-adhesive labels for the Food and Beverage, Healthcare, and Consumer Products industries.
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Service Performance Holds Steady for All Mail Categories As USPS Addresses Multiple Operational Challenges

The United States Postal Service reported new service delivery performance metrics for the first week of the fiscal second quarter showing service performance holding steady for First-Class Mail, Marketing Mail and Periodicals. Consistent with the rest of the shipping industry, the organization experienced some minor delays in both ground and air transportation during the week of January 1-7. The Postal Service continues to address impacts to last mile delivery due to availability challenges due to COVID-19 cases and inclement weather events including winter storms on the East Coast, Midwest and West Coast. Second quarter-to-date service performance scores covering the period Jan.1 through Jan. 7 included: *First-Class Mail: 90 percent of First-Class Mail delivered on time against the USPS service standard, an improvement of .37 percentage points from the first quarter. *Marketing Mail: 91.7 percent of Marketing Mail delivered on time against the USPS service standard, a slight decrease of .46 percentage points from the first quarter. Periodicals: 81.1 percent of Periodicals delivered on time against the USPS service standard, with an improvement of .37 percentage points from the first quarter.
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Waddington Europe Launches Pioneering Mono-Material Recyclable Meat Tray

Leading European thermoforming packaging specialist Waddington® Europe, a division of Novolex®, has introduced an innovative recyclable tray for meat, fish and poultry products. The container, called Piranha™, is sealed using a series of raised teeth that run around the sealing flange instead of applying a layer of polyethylene or adhesive, which are typically used to seal the lid of modified atmosphere packaging (MAP). The raised teeth maintain the seal’s integrity even if the flange becomes contaminated by animal fat, which can interfere with closure on traditional packaging for meat, fish and poultry (MFP) products.
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Metsä Group selects the first projects to be funded as part of its nature management programme

In the autumn of 2021, Metsä Group launched a ten-year programme to support regionally effective development projects that are carried out outside commercial Finnish forests and support biodiversity and the state of waters. The projects may relate to bird waters and wetlands, watercourse routes, small waters and coastal environments, pollinator habitats or new water protection methods. Nearly 40 projects took part in the first round of applications, which ended in late November 2021. The following projects were the first to be selected for the programme, with a total financial investment by Metsä Group of approximately EUR 350,000. *Rehabilitation and repair of the Virtaankoski dam in Tainionvirta river in Sysmä *Rehabilitation and repair of Hiitolanjoki river in Simpele *Maintenance and repair of wetlands and test use of soil improvement substances suitable for the retaining of agricultural nutrients in Lemi (“Kuuksenenselkä kuntoon” project) *Improvement of the living conditions of the large Arctic char in southern Saimaa and Kuolimo (“Pro Nieriä” project) *Repair work of Pieni Pyhävesi, headwater lake of the Kymijoki waterway in Mäntyharju *Wetland projects in Alavus, Urjala and Orimattila
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Sun Chemical to Increase Prices on Inks, Coatings, Consumables and Adhesives in North America

Sun Chemical will increase prices across its entire portfolio of packaging, commercial sheetfed and screen inks, coatings, consumables and adhesives in North America, effective immediately or as contracts allow. The unprecedented pace of inflationary cost movements continues to impact the entire spectrum of raw material inputs and packaging components for the ink industry. In addition, the sustained shortage of available labor, along with the supply/demand dynamics in both the global and regional logistics markets, are contributing factors in driving further cost increases. Sun Chemical continues to find ways of mitigating these costs, but the magnitude and speed of cost increases require the company to increase prices to offset impacts to the business.
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The ODP Corporation Delays Public Company Separation to Evaluate Potential Sale of Its Consumer Business

The ODP Corporation announced that its Board of Directors determined to delay the previously announced public company separation to evaluate a potential sale of the Company’s consumer business. In May 2021, the Company announced that its Board of Directors unanimously approved a plan to separate ODP into two independent, publicly-traded companies by means of a tax-free spin-off to ODP shareholders. In November 2021, USR Parent, Inc., the parent company of Staples and a portfolio company of Sycamore Partners, reaffirmed its non-binding proposal to acquire the Company’s consumer business, including the Office Depot and OfficeMax retail stores business, the Company's direct channel business (officedepot.com), and the Office Depot and OfficeMax intellectual property, including all brand names, for $1 billion in cash. The Company remains in conversation with Sycamore as it further evaluates the potential value and regulatory risk of Sycamore’s proposed transaction. In December 2021, ODP’s Board of Directors received a non-binding proposal from another third party to acquire the Company’s consumer business. The terms of that proposal are confidential.
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New FSC Trademark License Agreement Coming Soon

FSC individual certificate holders applying for new or renewed certification will need to sign a new Trademark License Agreement (TLA, version 6) starting January 20, 2022. The TLA is a legal document that governs the relationship between FSC and the certificate holder, granting the right to use the FSC trademarks for both on-product labelling and promotional use. The specific rules governing the use of the FSC trademarks by certificate holders are set out in FSC-STD-50-001. FSC regularly revises the TLA to comply with the latest legal requirements and to ensure that the integrity and credibility of the FSC certification scheme is upheld and protected.
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Vonco Acquires Flex-Pak, Specialty Provider of DuPont™ Tyvek®

Vonco Products LLC, an industry-leading risk-free turnkey contract manufacturer of medical devices and fluid bags, biohazard and specimen transport, infection protection and PPEs, and clean room assembly, packaging, sterilization management, and distribution, is excited to announce the acquisition of Flex-Pak Packaging Products, Inc. Based out of Batavia, IL, Flex-Pak provides world-class flexible barrier packaging and sterile barrier DuPont™ Tyvek® pouches for leading consumer and healthcare organizations. “Vonco is on a mission to create more value for healthcare devices and consumer products while reducing risk for our customers,” said Keith Smith, CEO of Vonco. “This acquisition puts Vonco in a very unique space of providing risk-free turnkey contract manufacturing of devices, packaging, and sterilization management, streamlining the supply chain for our customers.”
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Smurfit Kappa receives SBTi approval for carbon reduction targets

Smurfit Kappa has had its emissions reduction targets approved by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) as consistent with levels required to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement. The targets covering greenhouse gas emissions from Smurfit Kappa’s operations (scopes 1 and 2) are consistent with reductions required to keep global warming to well-below 2°C. The SBTi is a collaboration between CDP, the United Nations Global Compact, World Resources Institute (WRI) and the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) which defines and promotes best practice in science-based target setting and independently assesses companies’ targets. The initiative mobilises companies to set science-based targets in the transition to a low-carbon economy. Emission reduction targets are considered ‘science-based’ when their CO2 reduction targets are in line with what the latest climate science says is needed to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement.
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2022 Book Printing Market Outlook: Positivity, But Challenges Persist (piworld.com)

When defining the outlook for book manufacturing in the year ahead, John Galligan, president of Bradford & Bigelow in Newburyport, Massachusetts, uses an apt analogy considering the topic at hand: “It’s a tale of two cities,” he says. Galligan is referring to the marked difference between the outlook at the beginning of this year to the outlook now, with regard to the ongoing supply chain challenges. In Printing Impressions’ Book Manufacturing Outlook for 2021, demand outstripping supply was already emerging as a leading concern, and as the Book Manufacturers Institute (BMI) published its "State of the Book Industry 2021," Executive Director Matt Baehr commented: “As we move forward, economic and labor trends, along with supply chain issues, will affect our industry greatly.”
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RRD Joins the Paperboard Packaging Council

R.R. Donnelley & Sons Company has joined the Paperboard Packaging Council (PPC), the North American association for paperboard packaging manufacturers and their suppliers. “We are thrilled to be accepted into the PPC as one of their Principal members,” said Lisa Pruett, President of RRD Packaging Solutions, Forms and Labels. “The leaders in the packaging industry rely on the PPC for research, education, networking, and more; I am certain we will gain great value from our membership that will enhance RRD’s place in the paperboard packaging universe translating to better service to our clients.”
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Ahlstrom-Munksjö completes the acquisition of majority stake in Chinese decor paper producer Minglian

Ahlstrom-Munksjö has successfully completed the acquisition of a 60% stake in Chinese decor paper producer Minglian New Materials Technology Co., Ltd. and forms a joint venture which comprises a state-of-the-art plant in the city of Xingtai, Hebei Province, China. A non-binding letter of intent with the majority shareholders was initially signed in November 2019 but the Covid-19 pandemic delayed the negotiations and closing of the transaction. By combining Minglian with its existing Decor business, Ahlstrom-Munksjö creates a global leader in decor papers with improved cost competitiveness and strong presence in Europe, Americas and Asia. The business combination allows Ahlstrom-Munksjö to leverage its brand and capabilities in the large and growing high-end decor paper market in China. It will strengthen Ahlstrom-Munksjö’s ability to serve international customers both in the short- and long term. Ahlstrom-Munksjö will provide technical and operational expertise to Minglian and strengthen Minglian’s customer offering and service in the domestic medium and high-quality segments as well as adjacent export markets. Minglian provides cost competitive manufacturing to the combined Decor business platform and opportunities to optimize production and extend further decor paper manufacturing capacities.
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O-I Glass Subsidiary Paddock Enterprises, LLC Files Chapter 11 Plan of Reorganization

O-I Glass, Inc. announced that its wholly owned subsidiary, Paddock Enterprises, LLC, has filed its Plan of Reorganizationand related disclosure statement with the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware as part of the Chapter 11 bankruptcy case Paddock initiated on January 6, 2020. The Plan, once confirmed by the courts, will result in a permanent resolution of all current and future asbestos personal injury claims. The Plan is jointly proposed by the “Plan Proponents,” which are O-I Glass, the Official Committee of Asbestos Personal Injury Claimants, Paddock, and the legal representative for future asbestos personal injury claimants.
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REI building fourth distribution center to support growth (chainstoreage.com)

REI Co-op is putting a new distribution center that will operate as a zero-waste facility. The specialty outdoor retailer is building a 400,000-sq.-ft. distribution center in Lebanon, Tenn., to support its continued growth on the East Coast and in the Midwest and South. Expected to open in fall 2023, the building and its operations will proactively address the employee experience, community engagement and environmental impact, according to REI. Al. Neyer is the retailer’s architect and general contractor partner. Situated on 41 acres in Wilson County, the facility will be one mile from I-40 and three miles from downtown Lebanon. The location will considerably reduce shipping times to fulfill customers' online purchases and be able to support more than 70 REI stores. Nearly 5.6 million REI members live in the service area of the new distribution center.
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PAFC Congo Basin regional certification system achieves PEFC endorsement

The Pan African Forest Certification (PAFC) Congo Basin regional system has achieved PEFC endorsement. This is the world’s first PEFC endorsed regional forest certification system. Our national members for Cameroon, Congo, and Gabon joined forces under the name of PAFC Congo Basin to develop this regional certification system. The shared language and the similar forestry conditions in the three neighbouring countries enables them to share one system. By developing a regional system, our members can maximise their impact and reach, share resources and knowledge, and reduce the costs in developing and running a forest certification system.
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5 Ways Using Paper Can Make Your Packages Greener And Less Prone to Damage

Paper is a sustainable, capable packaging material. Here are some of the ways protective paper packaging can increase sustainability and reduce damages. Executive summary: *Paper is a sustainable option for shippers who want to simultaneously protect packages and meet sustainability goals. *Protective paper packaging is an excellent material for block and brace packaging and works well for industrial components like small automotive parts. *Pregis machines like the Easypack® Packmaster™ Pro complement paper packaging and allow workers to quickly and efficiently protect products during shipment. *Box-in-box products, like those commonly used by e-commerce shippers, can be filled with paper packaging to provide extra protection. *Paper is ideal for products with sharp edges or irregular shapes, as it can be ripped and torn without losing its cushioning qualities.
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Direct Mail Printing Outlook for 2022: Still Remains as a Shining Star (piworld.com)

As we close in on two full years of the pandemic, lockdowns, Zoom meetings, and lives lived through screens, experts are finding that digital fatigue has firmly set in. Everyone is looking to make connections that don’t involve the light of a computer, phone, or tablet. Direct mail — a brand’s old and trusted friend — is one of the answers. “Businesses are realizing with digital fatigue that direct mail can play a critical role of getting attention,” notes Jeff Heyman, VP of product development and e-commerce for FedEx Office. “Direct mail is an integral part of the most successful marketing strategies that combine digital and physical communication.” He continues, “Customers are longing for connection after being home for so long and direct mail gives that to them. It allows businesses to communicate that they are open for business, and how they have adapted their business throughout the pandemic.”
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Researchers Say Signs and Graphics Significantly Boost Your Bottom Line

Studies show signs give you the biggest bang for your buck. In ancient times, signs were a primary form of communication between merchants and prospective customers. Merchants in Babylon, Egypt, Athens, Pompeii and Rome used signs to identify their shops, promote prices and distinguish their businesses from competitors. In our modern world, signs are so ubiquitous that you probably barely notice they’re there. But signs are crucial to your business’s success. Signs direct customers, remind them of your brand and inspire them to make daily decisions. Research shows that about 90% of information sent to your brain is visual; that’s why imagery is crucial if you want to connect with potential customers. Because humans are visual, custom-made signs communicate powerfully with your audience because they combine attractive color and engaging text to create memorable messages that resonate. Well-designed custom retail signs with stunning graphics increase brand awareness. And the more potential customers who know about your brand, the more they’ll trust your services and the more likely they will purchase from you.
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Rayonier Advanced Materials Announces ISCC Plus Certification At Fernandina Beach Facility

Rayonier Advanced Materials, Inc. announced that it has achieved International Sustainability and Carbon Certification Plus (ISCC+) recognition at its Fernandina Beach facility. The certification will allow RYAM’s customers to procure ISCC+ certified High Purity Cellulose, addressing sustainability requirements in their end markets. This certification only applies to the Fernandina Beach facility initially across various end uses, but may be expanded to other facilities as customer demand for sustainable inputs rise. “The ISCC Plus certification demonstrates RYAM’s commitment to sustainable production and to provide its key customers with the highest quality biobased products,” said Vito Consiglio, President and Chief Executive Officer at Rayonier Advanced Materials.
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Sappi Southern Africa dissolving pulp facilities complete the Higg FSLM self-assessment

Sappi Limited, a leading producer of dissolving pulp sold under the brand name Verve, is pleased to announce that it has completed a self-assessment of the Higg Facility Social and Labour Module (FSLM) at its Ngodwana and Saiccor Mills in South Africa. The self-assessment results were very positive and highlight Sappi’s commitment to maintaining a high level of social and labour practices. Ngodwana and Saiccor Mills produce dissolving pulp under the Verve brand, which is used primarily in the textile and hygiene product industries. Developed by the Sustainable Apparel Coalition, the Higg FSLM is part of a suite of tools that enables manufacturing facilities within the textile value chains to measure themselves against a standard set of criteria in the areas of recruitment and hiring, working hours, wages and benefits, worker treatment, worker involvement, health and safety, termination and management systems.
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SFI Names Bettina Ring New Chief Sustainability and Diversity Officer

The Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) announced Bettina Ring as its new Chief Sustainability and Diversity Officer today. Ring will provide leadership internally and externally on strategic initiatives related to sustainability and diversity. She will also seek to leverage SFI’s scale to drive meaningful change in the forest and conservation sector through collaboration with SFI’s network. Ring has deep connections to the forest sector, most recently serving as Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry for the Commonwealth of Virginia, and to SFI, having formerly served on the SFI Board of Directors and recognized as the SFI President’s Award winner in 2018. Additionally, under Ring’s leadership, 68,000 acres of Virginia’s state forests were certified to the SFI Forest Management and American Tree Farm System Standards, which provide assurance of sustainable practices on managed forestlands.
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Tetra Pak and Elvir join forces in a world first: carton packages using certified recycled polymers

Tetra Pak, in partnership with Elvir, a subsidiary of Savencia Fromage & Dairy - a world leading milk processor - has become the first carton packaging player in the food and beverage industry to launch a cap using certified recycled polymers. This move marks a key step in both companies’ progress towards circularity. By helping to find an economically sound use for plastic waste and responsibly sourcing raw materials, Tetra Pak and Elvir continue to minimise their dependency on virgin, fossil-based resources. Elle & Vire chose the HeliCap™ 23 cap solution to complement its cream products, which are distributed in Tetra Brik® Aseptic 1L Slim carton packages. This one-step resealable screwcap is manufactured at Tetra Pak’s Châteaubriant plant in Loire-Atlantique, France – a site that has been awarded the Roundtable on Sustainable Biomaterials (RSB) Advanced Products certification and boosted by a €100 million investment to accelerate the transition to the production of tethered caps. The HeliCap™ 23 cap offers consumers ease of opening and features a clearly visible tamper evidence ring, providing reassurance that the product hasn’t been opened before.
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Taylor Rebrands Assets to Reflect Powerful Synergy of Company Offerings

Taylor Corporation announced today the rebranding of three companies acquired over the past two decades to better reflect its “Taylor United” corporate strategy. The three companies are Curtis 1000, a leading provider of commercial print and packaging; Vectra Visual, known for design-forward solutions in retail signage and merchandising; and Optima Graphics, one of the nation’s leading wholesale suppliers to the trade show and event markets. Together, the companies comprise the newly-named Taylor Print & Visual Impressions, Inc., led by enterprise group president Mike Robinson. The newly created group encompasses 2,250 employees, 17 facilities and a diverse range of print capabilities, all supported by marketing, data and analytics designed to optimize the creation of high-impact brand communications and experiences.
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2022 USPS Promotions

Developing a strategy for future campaigns can feel overwhelming—we get it. Staring at a white wall is how it usually starts. Well, how about first looking at where you can save money? WHAT’S THIS USPS PROMOTIONS AND INCENTIVES PROGRAM ABOUT? In 2011, the USPS introduced the marketing mail promotions program, in which they discount a percentage of postage on any campaign that meets the requirements. The purpose is to encourage marketers to integrate different technologies with mail to engage audiences and strengthen the relevance of direct mail. After ten years now, it’s been proven successful.
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UPM Raflatac collaborates with WWF Poland to enable circular economy and promote sustainable forestry

UPM Raflatac and WWF Poland have renewed their contract to build a smarter future beyond fossils together. During the new three-year contract period the collaboration will focus on promoting circular economy including waste management as well as sustainable forestry practices. To increase the engagement and support for both of these important initiatives facing today’s challenges, this three-year contract is also set to engage UPM Raflatac’s internal and external stakeholders. “As part of UPM The Biofore Company, we are committed to building a sustainable, innovation-driven future and want to share our expertise and assets with the communities we operate in. UPM Raflatac is part of the packaging value chain and labels can play a key role in enabling circular economy in this value chain. Given the resource needs today, promoting sustainable forestry supports our journey beyond fossils,” says Vera Bartsch, UPM Raflatac.
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URBN Reports Record Holiday Sales

Urban Outfitters, Inc. announced net sales for the two and eleven months ended December 31, 2021. Total Company net sales for the two months ended December 31, 2021, increased 14.6% compared to the two months ended December 31, 2019. Comparable Retail segment net sales increased 14%, driven by strong double-digit growth in digital channel sales, partially offset by high single-digit negative retail store sales primarily due to reduced store traffic. By brand, comparable Retail segment net sales increased 47% at the Free People Group, 15% at the Anthropologie Group and 3% at Urban Outfitters. Total Retail segment net sales increased 15%. Wholesale segment net sales decreased 18% primarily from reducing the Free People Group’s sales to promotional wholesale customers. URBN now believes that the total Company fourth quarter gross margin could deleverage due to higher than anticipated inbound transportation costs. For the eleven months ended December 31, 2021, total Company net sales increased 14.4% compared to the eleven months ended December 31, 2019. Comparable Retail segment net sales increased 16%, driven by strong double-digit growth in digital channel sales, partially offset by low double-digit negative retail store sales due to reduced store traffic. Wholesale segment net sales decreased 22% primarily from reducing the Free People Group’s sales to promotional wholesale customers.
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Chico’s FAS, Inc. Reports Holiday Sales

Chico's FAS, Inc. reported holiday sales and updated its outlook for fiscal 2021 fourth quarter sales and earnings. Molly Langenstein, Chico's FAS Chief Executive Officer and President, and Patrick ("PJ") Guido, Chico's FAS Chief Financial Officer, will discuss progress on the Company's strategic plan and these results at the ICR Conference today at 3:30 PM ET. For the nine-week holiday period ending January 1, 2022, total net sales grew approximately 30% compared to the same period last year. Comparable sales for the nine-week holiday period grew approximately 31.5% over fiscal 2020. The Company has updated its fourth quarter outlook and expects fourth quarter net sales at the low end of the $495 million to $510 million range previously provided on November 30, 2021 and expects diluted earnings per share at the high end of the previously provided $0.00 to $0.05 range.
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Being PEFC certified provides essential value for us

In our interview series Meeting our Certified Companies, we hear from companies from around the world, large and small, which are proud to be a part of PEFC, and to help safeguard our forests through their commitment. In our latest interview, Natàlia Carmona, Director of Food Quality and Safety at Spanish cardboard packaging manufacturer Alzamora Group, shared her thoughts on sustainability and respect for the environment.
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Birdley James elected to SGP Board of Directors

The Sustainable Green Printing Partnership (SGP), the leading authority in sustainable printing certifications, announced the election of Birdley James of Miller Zell to its Board of Directors. James is SGP/EHS Coordinator & Compliance Manager and leads Miller Zell’s sustainability efforts. His responsibilities include expanding recycling initiatives, and overseeing sustainability program compliance, SGP certification requirements, environmental & safety compliance audits, environmental safety processes & procedures and safety training.
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SPC Expands Lettershop Resources with the Acquisition of American Marketing Services

Specialty Print Communications (SPC) added another milestone on its strategic growth path by acquiring the assets of American Marketing Services & Consultants (AMS). Based in Mundelein, IL, AMS was founded in 1976 and provides a number of mail, letter shop & fulfillment services for companies of all sizes. With an experienced team and state of the art equipment, AMS provides added firepower to SPC’s existing lettershop. “We are excited to have AMS onboard”, stated Adam LeFebvre, SPC President. “We have a long history with AMS and the timing is right for us to make this important investment. Our business has seen dramatic growth in recent years and an expanded lettershop team will help us keep up with client demand.” SPC has retained the entire AMS team and will integrate all lettershop operations within its existing facility in Niles.
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Ahlstrom-Munksjö extends its dye sublimation portfolio by launching EcoJet[TM] Transfer S Series

Ahlstrom-Munksjö introduces EcoJetTM Transfer S Series for digital-transfer printing applications. The new product series consist of high-quality transfer papers that offer excellent printing and transfer resolution, fast ink drying, and high ink acceptance, especially suitable for hard surface image transfer. Digital printing is an effective and economical method that reduces lead time compared to traditional printing methods. It is also a more sustainable method as it uses less water and produces less waste. In digital sublimation printing, the printed transfer paper is placed onto a surface, after which the paper and the soft or hard surface are pressed together at high temperature to adhere the ink on the paper to the surface. Ahlstrom-Munksjö’s multipurpose EcoJet™ range offers trusted and innovative solutions for digital transfer printing for garments, household, technical and visual communication, including both Transfer Paper (Dye Sublimation) and Protection Tissue (used to protect and increase the lifetime of the printer, while preventing ink penetration). The EcoJet™ range is produced from responsibly sourced wood pulp, certified according to Forest Stewardship Council® standards.
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Mondi sets ambitious science-based plans to transition to Net-Zero by 2050

Global packaging and paper leader Mondi has accelerated plans to take action on climate by committing to transition to Net-Zero by 2050. This next step builds on almost two decades of progress, including a 45% reduction in specific greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions against a 2004 baseline and science-based targets approved by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) in 2019. "The climate crisis is the most urgent risk facing society and businesses must take decisive action to mitigate their impact. Mondi has a long track record of investing in our operations to reduce our GHG emissions and the Board’s approval of our new Net-Zero plan reinforces our commitment to contributing to a better world. The adoption of science-based targets in line with 1.5°C is an important milestone in our journey to Net-Zero. However taking action today is an absolute imperative and we already have a clear roadmap to achieve our 2025 milestones." Andrew King, Mondi’s Group CEO
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Clearwater Paper Launches NuVo® with BioPBS™ Cup

Clearwater Paper Corporation introduced NuVo® withBioPBS™, a sustainable cup stock that provides foodservice operators with a compostable alternative to hot cups coated with low-density polyethylene. NuVo® withBioPBS™ is the first cup stock to combine a compostable barrier, 35% post-consumer fiber, Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC®) chain-of-custody certification (FSC-C008402), and a high-definition print surface. “When we launched the NuVo® brand in 2019, we made a promise to continually innovate to maximize product differentiation and sustainability. We are pleased to continue delivering on that commitment by introducing NuVo® withBioPBS™, a next-generation cup stock that we believe will allow our customers to be at the forefront of growing trends in sustainability,” said Steve Bowden, senior vice president and general manager of the pulp and paperboard division.
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Minnesota-Based Taylor Corporation Acquires the Assets of Reindl Bindery (piworld.com)

Corporate Graphics Commercial, a Taylor Corporation company, is pleased to announce that it has reached an agreement to acquire the assets of Reindl Bindery Co., Inc. of Germantown, Wis. The acquisition of Reindl expands CGC’s capacity and capabilities and offers immediate growth opportunities for its publishing business. “We’re seeing greater demand for bindery services than at any time in our history,” says Dan Kvasnicka, President of Taylor Print Impressions. “By adding the talent and technology of Reindl, we are positioning Taylor to serve even more customers.” Founded in 1978, family-owned Reindl Bindery has a legacy of providing innovative binding solutions throughout the printing industry, with capabilities spanning a wide range of bindery applications including perfect, layflat and case binding to Smyth sewn books, Wire-O systems and more. “We are thrilled to welcome Reindl to the Taylor team,” said Kvasnicka. “Our capabilities are complementary, and both teams are known for industry-leading quality, responsive service and innovation.”
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Grupo Modelo Partners With WestRock and Grupo Gondi in Transition to CanCollar® Eco Packaging, Eliminating Over 100 Tons¹ of Plastic Waste

In a partnership with WestRock and Grupo Gondi, Grupo Modelo is investing roughly 4 million dollars in the sustainable, fiber-based CanCollar® Eco solution in Quintana Roo, a Mexican state on the Yucatan Peninsula. The partnership aims to help advance the beer company’s sustainability goals by eliminating its use of plastic rings in Mexico. Grupo Modelo is the first company in the Americas to adopt the recyclable CanCollar® Eco technology, which will replace hard-to-recycle plastic packaging and is expected to result in over 100 fewer tons1 of plastic waste each year. “At Grupo Modelo, we are continuing to evaluate various alternatives for plastic rings in the packaging of beer cans,” says Soqui Calderon, regional director of Sustainability for Grupo Modelo. “This is how we discovered CanCollar Eco, a new solution developed by WestRock and produced in Mexico by Grupo Gondi. Made from recyclable paperboard, this innovative packaging uses the least amount of material required to hold and to keep our beer cans secure through the supply chain.”
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Tilly’s, Inc. Announces Record Holiday Period Net Sales

Total net sales of $173.3 million increased by 16.5% for the 2021 holiday period compared to $148.7 million for last year’s comparable nine-week holiday period ended January 2, 2021 (the “2020 holiday period”). *Total comparable net sales, including both physical stores and e-commerce, increased by 14.1% for the 2021 holiday period compared to an increase of 2.7% for the 2020 holiday period. *Comparable net sales in physical stores increased by 23.2% for the 2021 holiday period compared to a decrease of 12.4% during the 2020 holiday period. Comparable net sales in physical stores increased by a double-digit percentage in all but one of 14 geographic markets compared to the 2020 holiday period. Net sales in physical stores represented 74.5% of total net sales for the 2021 holiday period compared to 68.4% of total net sales during the 2020 holiday period.
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Aptar Food + Beverage Announces New 2” Ultra XLV Closure

Aptar Food + Beverage proudly announces the 2″ Ultra Extra Large Valve (XLV), the newest expansion to its inverted closure product line with SimpliSqueeze® technology. The 2” Ultra XLV is Aptar’s first stock closure offering with a valve large enough to successfully dispense very thick or high viscosity products, including those with particulates. The 2” Ultra XLV can be used with a rigid bottle or paired with an inverted flexible pouch to ensure a clean, controlled, convenient dispense with every squeeze. “We are excited to showcase the new 2” Ultra XLV closure to the industry, as well as leading food brands and co-packers that can benefit from this innovative technology,” shared Susan DeGroot, marketing director at Aptar. “Our extra-large flow control valve allows consumers to experience the ultimate in clean, controlled, convenient dispensing in new, thicker or high viscosity product categories. All with the proven technology our easy-to-use SimpliSqueeze® valve has delivered to consumers for more than 25 years.”
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Sun Chemical Acquires SAPICI to Expand Customer Offerings in Polymers and Lamination Adhesives Market

Sun Chemical has acquired SAPICI, a global leading company in high-performance polyurethanes for coatings, flexible packaging, industrial adhesives and more. With SAPICI, Sun Chemical reinforces its integrated supply strategy in the packaging market by adding capabilities to develop and produce unique polymers for the entire portfolio of inks, coatings, and lamination adhesives. The combined resources and technologies of DIC/Sun Chemical and SAPICI will provide a comprehensive and unique polymer portfolio for areas such as industrial coatings, elastomers, industrial adhesives, and sealants.
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USPS Accepted More Than 13.2 Billion Mailpieces and Packages this Holiday Season

The United States Postal Service reported preliminary performance metrics for the 2021 holiday season showing the organization saw volume increase when compared to the same time last year. Between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve, it took on average 2.7 days to deliver a mailpiece or package across the Postal Service network. During the same timeframe, the network accepted more than 13.2 billion letters, cards, flats and packages for delivery, exceeding 12.7 billion accepted for delivery during the same timeframe in 2020. The Postal Service’s peak season preparations included: *Stabilizing the Workforce and Preparing for Pandemic-related Challenges;*Expanded Facility Footprint to Resolve Bottlenecks and Improve the Flow of Mail and Packages; *New Package Sorting Equipment to Expedite Handling and Sortation of Increased Package Volumes; *Diversified, Reliable Transportation Options.
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The New York Times Company to Acquire The Athletic

The New York Times Company announced that it has entered into an agreement to acquire The Athletic, the global digital subscription-based sports media business that provides national and local coverage of more than 200 clubs and teams in the U.S. and around the world, for an all cash purchase price of $550 million, subject to customary closing adjustments. The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2022. Meredith Kopit Levien, president and chief executive officer of The New York Times Company, said, “Acquiring The Athletic puts us in a position to be a global leader in sports journalism and offer English speakers around the world another reason to turn to the Times Company to meet their daily news and life needs. The Times already provides distinctive sports coverage for a general interest audience as part of our core report. As a stand-alone product, The Athletic will enable us to offer much more — extensive coverage for fans who seek a deep connection to and understanding of their favorite teams, leagues and players. With one of the largest dedicated teams of reporters covering sports globally and a commitment to everyday reporting, The Athletic is a great complement to The Times.”
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New ‘Super Plant’ to be built in Fort Worth, TX

Green Bay Packaging Inc. (GBP) announced they will begin construction of a new 600,000 square foot corrugator plant in Fort Worth, Texas. Construction on the site is set to begin in the first quarter of 2022 and startup operation is scheduled for the second quarter of 2023. The new “super-plant” will be replacing GBP’s current 200,000 square foot corrugator plant in Fort Worth. GBP has operated a plant in Fort Worth for over 50 years. The new plant will be equipped with a new 110” Fosber corrugator and all new state-of-the-art high-speed flexo folder gluers and rotary die cutters.
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Pharmaceutical Printed Literature Association Joins Two Sides North America

Two Sides North America is pleased to welcome the Pharmaceutical Printed Literature Association (PPLA) as its newest member. PPLA is a coalition representing printers, equipment manufacturers, raw material suppliers and distributors of regulated printed pharmaceutical information used by both medical professionals and patients, including package inserts, medication guides, and other label packaging such as folding cartons and pressure-sensitive labels. PPLA’s 25 member companies employ thousands of individuals across manufacturing operations in 15 states. “As Two Sides continues to grow our membership across all sectors of the print, paper and paper-based packaging industry, we are delighted to have PPLA join us and look forward to working with them to help promote the sustainability of our industry and our products, and printed pharmaceutical information in particular,” said Two Sides North America President Kathi Rowzie.
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Sihl Acquisition Announcement

We are pleased to announce the acquisition of Dietzgen Corporation® in Tampa, Florida. Dietzgen Corporation® is a leading provider of converting and distribution services for digital print media including papers, films, and textiles to the US market. Dietzgen reliably provides their partners with nation-wide just in time delivery from an extensive inventory housed in six strategically located facilities. The privately held corporation has an extensive network of dealers selling their well-known media brands which include Dietzgen® – Reprographic, Magic® – Sign and Display, Museo® – Fine Art, and Validation® – Premium Proofing. The acquisition of Dietzgen is an important milestone in the strategic development of the Sihl company, especially in North America. We are excited about this transaction as it fuels our vision to become the leading high-end coated print media supplier in the US. The combination of Dietzgen´s superior converting, logistics and distribution capabilities with the innovative product offering and service level of Sihl will create an exceptional offering for our customers in terms of quality and service. We look forward to discussing with you how this transaction can possibly create advantages for you at your earliest convenience and further strengthen our continued partnership.
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Oliver Completes Fourth Packaging Acquisition

Oliver Inc. announces it has acquired Professional Image and aspecialtybox.com (collectively, “Professional Image”). Professional Image is a leading manufacturer of custom folding carton packaging and e-commerce provider of innovative stock packaging and accessories serving customers in food and beverage, beauty products, confection, health and wellness, and consumer goods markets. Based in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Professional Image will continue delivering design-forward packaging solutions from its current location. “The addition of Professional Image accelerates Oliver’s position as one of the nation’s largest independent specialty packaging providers,” said Dan Rodenbush, President/CEO of Oliver. “We are proud to welcome the Professional Image and aspecialtybox.com team to the Oliver family. Together, we will better serve our customers with additional geographic reach, capacity, and high-end, design-forward product offerings.”
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Walgreens Boots Alliance Exceeds Expectations for Fiscal 2022 First Quarter Earnings

First quarter highlights: *First quarter earnings per share (EPS*) from continuing operations was $4.13, compared with a loss of $0.45 in the year-ago quarter; continuing operations adjusted** EPS increased to $1.68, up 53.1 percent on a constant currency basis *First quarter sales from continuing operations increased 7.8 percent to $33.9 billion, up 7.6 percent on a constant currency basis *First quarter operating income from continuing operations increased to $1.3 billion, compared with a loss of $535 million in the year-ago quarter; adjusted operating income from continuing operations increased to $1.8 billion, up 48.5 percent on a constant currency basis *VillageMD and Shields majority investments closed on November 24th and October 29th, respectively
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U.S. Postal Service Board of Governors to Meet Jan. 12

The U.S. Postal Service Board of Governors will meet Jan. 12, 2022, in open session at Postal Service headquarters, 475 L’Enfant Plaza, SW, Washington, DC. The public is welcome to observe the meeting beginning at 4:00 p.m. ET in the Benjamin Franklin Room on the 11th floor. The Board is expected to discuss the following items: 1. Call to Order and Remarks of the Vice Chairman 2. Remarks of the Postmaster General and CEO 3. Board Leadership 4. Adjournment. Open session meetings of the Board of Governors are available on live audio webcasts at http://about.usps.com/who/leadership/board-governors/briefings/welcome.htm. Three hours after the conclusion of the open session meeting, a recorded audio file will be available for listening. In compliance with Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act, the audio webcast will be open-captioned.
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Amazon reduces packaging waste with machine learning (chainstoreage.com)

Amazon is tackling packaging sustainability at scale with several artificial intelligence (AI) technologies. In a corporate blog post, Amazon described how it is using machine learning (ML) approaches and a combination of natural language processing and computer vision to determine how to use the right amount of packaging for the hundreds of millions of products it ships. According to Amazon, these tools have helped it reduce per-shipment packaging weight by 36% and eliminating more than a million tons of packaging, equivalent to more than 2 billion shipping boxes, over the past six years. To make a prediction about whether a given product could be safely shipped in a particular package type, Amazon built an ML model based largely on text-based data from online product listings such as item name, description, price, and package dimensions.
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The Navigator Company applies 15% surcharge to tissue prices due to strong cost increases

The Navigator Company announced today that it will apply an energy, logistics and commodities surcharge to its tissue products, amounting 15% of the sales price, to offset the significant and unexpected raising of its input cost. Its application will be effective for all dispatches from 15 th of January onwards. The continuity and amount will be regularly reviewed based on the evolving market conditions. The global change in the economy, with dramatic impacts, affects the overall industry with unsustainable increase in input costs, such as energy, natural gas, pulp, chemical products, packaging materials, wood pallets and logistics. Navigator believes that this exceptional measure is imperative to support the long-term sustainability of its business model and of the overall supply chain.
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I.D. Images, LLC Acquires Digital Printing Concepts, Multi-Action, and Valley Forge Tape and Label

Sole Source Capital LLC announced that its portfolio company, I.D. Images (“IDI”), a premier provider of product identification solutions, has made three significant acquisitions over the past five months. IDI’s acquisitions of Digital Printing Concepts, Multi-Action Communications, and Valley Forge Tape & Label Company have more than doubled the size of the company and extended its reach to several new markets across the U.S. and Canada since it became a Sole Source Capital portfolio company in August 2021. Terms of the transactions were not disclosed. IDI manufactures high-quality durable and graphic intensive labels that address a broad range of product identification needs for a variety of end markets. Digital Printing Concepts, founded in 2003 and based in East Providence, RI, is a manufacturer of custom durable variable data labels that are utilized in warehouse logistics. Headquartered in Quebec, Canada, Multi-Action Communications is a manufacturer of logistics, grocery, track-and-trace, and prime labels to customers throughout Canada and the United States. The company was founded in 1993 and operates out of three manufacturing facilities across Canada. Based in Exton, PA and founded in 1962, Valley Forge Tape & Label Company is a longstanding, full-service manufacturer of custom printed self-adhesive labels for the Food and Beverage, Healthcare, and Consumer Products industries.
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Sustana Fiber Signs Commitment to Increase Paper Cup Recycling

Sustana Fiber along with a group of prominent paper mills and end markets across North America signed a declaration of acceptance and a commitment to increasing recycling of paper cups. The group includes Essity, GP PRO, Graphic Packaging International, Great Lakes Tissue Company, ND Paper, Pratt Industries, WestRock and Sustana Fiber. These organizations representing 75% of mixed paper demand (by quantity consumed) in the U.S. and Canada are accepting paper cups. Seven companies with 25 paper mills actively accept residential mixed paper bales (ISRI grade 54) with paper cups included, while three companies with five facilities currently accept paper cups when included with aseptic and gable top cartons in carton bales (ISRI grade 52). Paper cups have a coating on the inside (for hot drink cups) or on both sides (for cold drink cups) that provides a liquid barrier to the fiber. Although the coating has long been seen as a reason not to recycle paper cups, several companies have conducted tests and determined that the coating does not present an obstacle to recycling the cups in their facilities. The mills use pulping systems that separate the coatings from the fiber, recovering the fiber with a 70% to 90% yield.
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Tennessee to Expand Wildlife Area by 1,000 Acres

Tennessee’s Bear Hollow Mountain Wildlife Management Area officially just got bigger by 1,000 acres. The area is north of the Alabama border and an hour west of Chattanooga. The Associated Press reported that the new land connects the divided land. Thanks to the Conservation Fund’s land purchase in March 2021, the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency found time and money for the land purchase. The agency manages 125 wildlife management areas throughout the state. According to The Chattanoogan, The Conservation Fund worked in partnership with the Open Space Institute (OSI), The Nature Conservancy in Tennessee (TNC), and the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA) to close the deal. The Nature Conservancy of Tennessee helped out with some donations. They came from the Riverview Foundation, the WestRock Foundation, and a private estate gift.
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Graphic Packaging International Names New Executives in Americas and International Business Units

Graphic Packaging Holding Company announced that Maggie Bidlingmaier will join Graphic Packaging as EVP and President of the Americas business unit. Ms. Bidlingmaier was most recently President, Performance Solutions for Invista, a subsidiary of Koch Industries, where she led numerous multimillion-dollar global businesses within the flooring, apparel and airbag fiber segments. Prior to that, she was Vice President, Surfaces at Invista, following a successful career with Avery Dennison in global sales and marketing roles of increasing responsibility. President and CEO of Graphic Packaging, Michael Doss, commented, "Maggie's expertise in driving comprehensive vision shifts to accelerate growth and expansion complements our vision of growing with the best customers in the best markets and generating superior returns for our stakeholders. We look forward to Maggie's leadership in developing team dynamics that will drive our high-performance culture to the next level." Joe Yost, previously EVP and President, Americas, has been appointed EVP and President of the International business unit, based in Brussels. In this role, Mr. Yost will have responsibility for converting operations outside the Americas, including the Company's businesses in EMEA, Australia and New Zealand.
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S&P Global Acquires The Climate Service, Inc.

S&P Global and The Climate Service, Inc. announced today that S&P Global has acquired The Climate Service. Based in Durham, North Carolina The Climate Service, Inc. was founded in 2017. Since then, The Climate Service has won multiple awards for its innovative approach to analyzing climate risks, including winner of the 2021 ESG Investing Best Specialist ESG Data Provider award, New Wave Leader 2020 by Forrester and World Changing Ideas by Fast Company. The acquisition will add capabilities to S&P Global's leading portfolio of essential environmental, social, and governance (ESG) insights and solutions for its customers. Through this acquisition, S&P Global will be able to offer its clients even more transparent, robust and comprehensive climate data, models and analytics.
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The Paperworkers’ Union has announced to continue its strike in several UPM mills in Finland

The Finnish Paperworkers’ Union has issued a new strike announcement to UPM, declaring that their strike at UPM’s Finnish mills will be extended by two weeks until 5 February 2022, unless new agreements are reached before that. The Paperworkers’ Union’s strike at UPM Pulp, UPM Biofuels, UPM Communication Papers, UPM Specialty Papers and UPM Raflatac units in Finland started 1 January 2022. “If the members of the Paperworkers’ Union want to continue the strike, they naturally have every right to do so. UPM’s goal continues to be to start business specific negotiations with the union as soon as possible. Negotiations are the only way forward. It is important that the negotiations for new agreements begin with a forward-looking mindset and determination to find the best solution for each business and its personnel” says Jyrki Hollmén, Vice President, Labour Markets at UPM. Just before the strike started, UPM received from the Paperworkers’ Union an email proposal for a new collective labour agreement, without any prior negotiation contact. The proposal was practically the same old collective agreement, which expired at the end of 2021. UPM, however, aims to have genuine interactive negotiations on the new terms of labour.
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CEPI Pledges To Support A Transition Towards Sustainable Products

The European paper industry fully supports the EU ambition of making Europe the world’s first climate-neutral continent by 2050 and building a European circular economy. The carbon neutrality objective requires the European pulp and paper industry to become even more sustainable, efficient and innovative. The pledge has been taken by the industry as a whole, covering diverse products and materials made in the sector. Cepi, as the organisation representing the industry at EU level, will also leverage its existing networks within users of paper and forest fibre products, including many major companies with a global footprint. This will ensure that the pledge gains enough traction and has a real impact on climate neutrality, resource efficiency, and circularity. The new commitment is based upon three main pillars: *The achievement of full circularity performance for paper-based products and packaging. *The acceleration of innovation to replace fossil-based materials. *Ensuring responsible sourcing for paper-based products and packaging.
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Aptar Food + Beverage’s Rocket Next-Generation Sport Cap

Rocket sport cap offers visual consumer safety through a yellow-colored band that indicates whether the packaging has been opened on store shelves or at home. This solution redefines beverage packaging safety standards as the first one in the market providing a visual and intuitive non-detachable tamper evidence indicator. “Aptar is dedicated to creating solutions based directly on consumer feedback,” Nguyen Hoang, Sebastien, global business development director beverage, said. “Rocket was born from consumer insights to offer visual safety that provides reassurance, in addition to an improved drinking experience that brings the comfort and convenience consumers value.” In addition to its visible safety, Rocket provides further safety to consumers with its “no-dust”, double-wall lid design that protects the spout from external contaminants, in addition to being designed to adhere to child safety standards (BSDA & EN 71*). A large finger recess and audible closing “click” sound makes opening and closing Rocket easy and reassuring for consumers.
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AAP November 2021 StatShot Report: Industry Up 8.3% for Month and 13.1% Year-to-Date

The Association of American Publishers (AAP) released its StatShot report for November 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 November 2021 were up 8.3% as compared to November 2020, coming in at $1.3 billion. Year to date revenues were up 13.1%, at $14.3 billion for the first eleven months of the year.
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Hearst Agrees To Acquire CellTrak, A Leading Provider of Care Documentation Software Solutions

Hearst announced it has agreed to acquire CellTrak, a leading provider of care documentation software solutions in the personal care market. The announcement was made by Steven R. Swartz, Hearst president and CEO; Gregory Dorn, MD, Hearst Health president; Scott Decker, Homecare Homebase president; and Dan Wacker, CellTrak CEO. Terms were not disclosed and the transaction is expected to close in Q1 of 2022. CellTrak will become a wholly owned subsidiary of Homecare Homebase, with Wacker continuing as general manager of the company. “In-home care services have grown significantly the past 10 years as it is the preferred venue for people to receive care, and Homecare Homebase has been the leading platform providing vital workflow solutions in the home health and hospice categories,” said Dorn. “Extending their capabilities to personal care is the right next step for caregiving in the home.”
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Ann C. Fisher Elected Vice Chairman of the Postal Regulatory Commission

Postal Regulatory Commission Chairman Michael Kubayanda announced the election of Commissioner Ann C. Fisher as vice chairman of the agency. PRC regulations state that the Commission elect a member to serve as vice chairman for a term of one year. In making the announcement, Chairman Kubayanda said, “Congratulations to Vice Chairman Fisher on her election to the vice chair role for 2022. She brings extensive experience and knowledge of postal issues to the position. I would also like to thank Commissioner Ashley Poling for her excellent service as vice chairwoman throughout calendar year 2021.” Vice Chairman Fisher was appointed commissioner of the PRC in August 2019 following her nomination by President Donald J. Trump and confirmation by the United States Senate. Her experience with postal issues spans close to 3 decades.
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The Publishing Industry Is Still Waiting for the New Normal (publishersweekly.com)

The publishing industry made it through 2020 in much better shape than most thought it would when the pandemic first emerged nearly two years ago. Though there were many challenges and some companies and segments of the industry struggled, most companies had good financial years, and overall industry sales were unexpectedly robust in 2020. With the hope that the negative effects of Covid-19 would ease in 2021, most industry members expected that the business would settle into something of a new normal last year. But that was not to be the case. The biggest story of 2021 was the ongoing impact the pandemic had on the industry. Virtual author tours, conferences, and fairs became standard practices in 2020, but there was hope that 2021 would eventually bring a return to in-person events—for the most part, however, those ideas were thwarted. During the summer, bookstores slowly began experimenting with live author appearances, usually held outdoors or in limited numbers indoors with masked customers. But as colder weather set in and different variants sprang up, in-person tours largely ended, and there's no certainty among the industry regarding when they might return in a significant way.
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PEFC announces departure of CEO

We begin 2022 with the announcement that Ben Gunneberg is departing PEFC after a long and distinguished career as Secretary General/CEO. “The PEFC global alliance is grateful for Mr Gunneberg’s outstanding service and commitment to PEFC, as well as his significant accomplishments over his distinguished tenure,” said Eduardo Rojas Briales, Chair of PEFC International. "Under his leadership, PEFC has made a real and measurable difference in forests around the world and in the lives of people who depend on these forests." Mr Gunneberg has been the leading advocate for PEFC and for our common objective of promoting sustainable forest management during his 22 years of service. We are deeply grateful for his unwavering dedication, loyalty, and outstanding service.
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Greif, Inc. Announces Definitive Agreement to Divest 50% Stake in Flexible Packaging Joint Venture to Gulf Refined Packaging for $123 million

Greif, Inc. announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to divest its 50% share in the Flexible Packaging joint venture, or "FPS" to Gulf Refined Packaging (GRP) for a total cash consideration of $123 million, subject to certain conditions and post-closing adjustments. Greif expects to use the proceeds for debt repayment. "While we have worked closely with our joint venture partner, each partner held different views of the appropriate path forward for the FPS business," said Pete Watson, Greif's President and Chief Executive Officer. "As a result, we entered into a process to determine a single owner and utilized our disciplined capital allocation framework that resulted in an agreement to sell our ownership stake to GRP for significant value. I would like to thank our FPS colleagues for their hard work over the last 11 years and for their continued commitment to the business during the transition ahead."
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Tetra Pak awards BillerudKorsnäs for being ahead in fighting climate change

BillerudKorsnäs has been awarded the Climate Prize as part of the supplier engagement initiative “Join us in protecting the planet”, driven by Tetra Pak. The company, which is one of BillerudKorsnäs’ most important customers, launched this initiative last year to create a movement aimed to accelerate sustainability actions across its value chain. “We commit to making safe food available, everywhere. And we promise to do that in a way that protects what’s good: protecting food, people and the planet. In order to shape the future with secure and sustainable food systems we are decarbonizing the materials we use as well as the production processes, and the key ingredient for success here is collaboration. Our supply partner BillerudKorsnäs has achieved the lowest greenhouse gas emissions for the products provided to us and has submitted the most ambitious climate action plan, that is approved by the Science Based Targets initiative in line with a 1.5°C pathway. By doing this, they are one step ahead and this award recognises that they are leading by example in fighting climate change,” says Lars Holmquist, Executive Vice President for Sustainability & Communications at Tetra Pak.
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Packaging regulation is changing around the globe

What do Italy, Australia and India have in common? In each country, new regulations aimed at reducing packaging waste and promoting alternatives to plastic will come into force in 2022. While packaging is often necessary to protect products, everyone in the industry is looking for ways to reduce waste and overpackaging. This goal is complemented with efforts to make packaging more sustainable with renewable and recyclable materials. The quest for sustainability unites big brands with responsible consumers and – regulators around the world. In recent years, governments have responded to public concerns by devising rules that seek to tackle packaging waste – single-use plastics in particular – and improve recycling and waste management systems. Many of these new norms will become effective in the next years, creating a worldwide regulative trend that can help promote more sustainable packaging. Here’s a quick look into what various countries are currently doing to reduce packaging waste and how this affects companies and consumers.
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Strikes started at most UPM mills in Finland – businesses still seeking to start negotiations with the Paperworkers’ Union

Members of the Paperworkers’ Union, the Finnish Electrical Workers´ Union and the Trade Union Pro have this morning (1-Jan-2022) started strikes at UPM mills in Jämsänkoski, Kouvola, Lappeenranta, Pietarsaari, Rauma, Tampere and Valkeakoski. According to the unions, the strikes will continue until 6 o’clock on 22 January 2022 unless a new collective labour agreement is reached before that. The Paperworkers’ Union has not excluded any work from the strike, not even tasks critical to the society, such as operating and maintenance of water treatment and power plants. UPM businesses falling under the strikes are UPM Pulp, UPM Biofuels, UPM Communication Papers, UPM Specialty Papers and UPM Raflatac. The strikes do not concern UPM Plywood and UPM Timber, both of which signed business specific collective agreements with the Industrial Union in December. Furthermore, UPM Energy operates as usual, as it complies with the generally applied collective agreements of the energy industry.
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Huhtamaki has acquired full ownership of its paper bag joint venture in Poland

Huhtamaki has acquired full ownership of its Polish joint venture company Huhtamaki Smith Anderson sp. z o.o. from Smith Anderson Group Ltd. (SA). The company manufactures and sells foodservice paper bags in Eastern Europe at Huhtamaki's facility in Czeladz, Poland. Paper bags have become an increasingly important part of Huhtamaki’s product offering and the acquisition enables the company to invest in and further grow the business in Eastern Europe. The purchase price for additional shares and related manufacturing equipment is approximately EUR 2 million. The business has been reported as part of the Foodservice Europe-Asia-Oceania business segment since beginning of operations in 2018.
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Metsä Board to purchase all shares in Hämeenkyrön Voima Oy

Metsä Board, part of Metsä Group, purchases from Pohjolan Voima Oyj all the shares in Hämeenkyrön Voima Oy that it owns. Metsä Board has announced its plan to purchase the shares on 27 September 2021. In addition, Metsä Board will purchase from DL Power Oy, part of Leppäkoski Group, all the shares in Hämeenkyrön Voima Oy that it owns. Both transactions have been completed on 1 January 2022, after which Metsä Board will own 100% of Hämeenkyrön Voima Oy. The transaction will not have a significant impact on Metsä Board's key financial figures.
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U.S. Postal Service Sustains Strong Service Performance for First-Class and Marketing Mail through Christmas

The United States Postal Service reported new service delivery performance metrics showing ongoing strong service for First-Class Mail and Marketing Mail, with a slight decline for Periodicals through the first 12 weeks of the fiscal first quarter. Since Thanksgiving, the Postal Service has accepted 11.1 billion pieces of mail and packages for delivery and anticipates it will deliver more than 12 billion pieces of mail and packages by New Year’s Day. First quarter-to-date service performance scores covering the period Oct. 1 through Dec. 24 included: *First-Class Mail: 89.8 percent of First-Class Mail delivered on time against the USPS service standard, an improvement of 1.24 percentage points from the fourth quarter. *Marketing Mail: 91.7 percent of Marketing Mail delivered on time against the USPS service standard, a slight decrease of .73 percent from the fourth quarter. *Periodicals: 81.2 percent of Periodicals delivered on time against the USPS service standard, a decrease of 1.57 percent from the fourth quarter. *Overall, the average number of days to deliver a mailpiece across the network was 2.7 days.
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The ODP Corporation Announces Sale of Its CompuCom Subsidiary in Transaction Valued up to $305 Million

The ODP Corporation announced that it has sold its CompuCom Systems subsidiary to an affiliate of Variant Equity in a transaction valued up to $305 million. “This action represents an important step in continuing to align our business model and resources towards our core strategy,” said Anthony Scaglione, chief financial officer of The ODP Corporation. “By enhancing our core focus and leveraging our B2B assets and digital commerce platform, we are in an excellent position to maximize returns for our shareholders.”
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Sonoco Recycling Acquires American Recycling of Western North Carolina

Sonoco Recycling, one of the largest sustainable global packaging companies, announced it has acquired American Recycling of Western North Carolina, a privately owned recovered paper recycler located in Asheville, N.C. American Recycling of Western North Carolina is a privately owned business that processes approximately 30,000 tons of recovered fiber annually at its well-capitalized Asheville material recovery facility. The business expects to generate approximately $9 million in sales in 2021 and it is strategically located approximately 65 miles from Sonoco’s Newport, TN, uncoated recycled paperboard mill. “This acquisition provides Sonoco’s mill operations with a stable, lower-cost supply of recovered fiber with the opportunity to grow volumes in the region,” said Palace Stepps, Division Vice President and General Manager of Sonoco Recycling.
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Ox Industries Expands Footprint with South Carolina Acquisition

Ox Industries acquires York, SC-based York Industries Inc. York Industries is a leading producer of green protective packaging and paper tubes and cores, converting over 16,000 tons of uncoated recycled paperboard. Founded in 1989, York Industries is traded under Customer Paper Tube SE and Edgeboard SE brand names and is a regional supplier servicing customers in the Southeast US. “This acquisition further expands our geographic footprint of providing niche products that vertically integrate into our mill network. We look forward to working with the York team members and expanding the service and products for our customers.” CEO Kevin Hayward.
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