Over the past couple of weeks, Prairie Pulp + Paper’s new Step Forward Paper Professional Grade has made significant advances in the commercial printing marketplace, highlighted by its use in the production of more than 110,000 copies of the newest Corporate Knights magazine featuring Woody Harrelson on the cover.

Harrelson has put his full support behind Manitoba-based Prairie Pulp + Paper and its efforts to institute new directions for North American paper production through the use of agricultural-residue instead of wood fibres. Prairie Pulp continues to drive toward establishing a Canadian mill to produce paper from waste wheat straw. This wheat sheet, as it is commonly referred to, is currently produced in India using byproducts from local wheat farms.

“When we build a plant there in Manitoba, it's going to be 100-per-cent wood free. . . really from agricultural waste,” Harrelson told the Canadian Press in a late-October interview. “I'd like to see a revolution in the paper industry and I think this is an important part of that process.”

Prairie Pulp’s efforts received a huge boost with the new Corporate Knights publication being printed on Step Forward Paper Professional Grade, which carries 60 percent wheat straw paper combined with 40 percent Forest Stewardship Council-certified wood fibre. The 110,000-plus magazine run was distributed in The Globe and Mail and Washington Post newspapers, based on the collective efforts of the Corporate Knights, Prairie Paper, Canopy and EarthColor.

Canopy, a Vancouver-based non-profit rooted in applying business strategy to the use of environmentally progressive papers, also announced several of its printing partners, including EarthColor, Hemlock, MPH Graphics and Plan It Green Printing, are now offering folio sheet versions of Prairie Pulp’s Step Forward Paper Professional Grade for the commercial market. This wheat straw uncoated folio sheet is primarily aimed at book and magazine publishers and for general marketing purposes.

Canopy has spent the past decade campaigning to make straw-based papers available to North American printers and publishers, as an alternative to virgin fibre pulled from the world’s remaining ancient and endangered forests. Straw papers, according to Canopy, carry half the ecological footprint of tree papers and have the potential to keep more than 180 million trees standing every year. Canopy has helped more than 350 businesses craft policy language to support research and development in the field. 

Semper International, a placement firm that services the graphic arts and printing industry, has published a study in which it found that despite some growth in Q3, the industry will likely witness some stagnation in the fourth quarter.

“Every sector of the economy has felt the effects of government mismanagement. From sequester to the recent government shutdown, the government’s lack of activity is hurting people,” says Dave Regan, CEO of Semper. “Semper is in the unique position of seeing the pain from both sides of the coin. We see companies struggling to keep their doors open, and we see jobseekers struggling to put food on the table and keep a roof over their heads. We need Washington to step up and provide the stability and incentives businesses need to see to start hiring and investing. It's the only way we're going to get the economy moving again.”

Survey participants include more than 300 small, medium and large printing companies in the U.S.; both clients and prospects of Semper International. While a few Canadian companies were asked, none participated in this survey. Participants provide data on revenue and hiring as well as estimated outlooks on future trends. Data is requested from a random sample and is not screened. Semper has been running quarterly surveys since February 2003.

Key findings from the study include:

• 71% of companies surveyed reported a profitable Q3. This represents a 3 point increase over second quarter.
• 42% of survey respondents reported an increase in revenue over last quarter.
• Looking at the two weeks before the survey was taken, 34% of companies reported an increase in current sales, matching data from the third quarter survey.
• 40% of companies expect sales to increase through the remainder of Q4, 2013 while 36% expect sales to stay the same. Last quarter 56% expected a sales increase and 30% expected sales to stay the same.
• The vast majority of respondents indicated that hiring levels will remain the same or increase, nearly the same as last quarter.
• Just under half of companies reported that healthcare is still the labour cost component that increased the fastest last quarter. Healthcare has remained the fastest growing component of cost for the last 15 quarters. Overtime, the next largest component, rose 12 points from last quarter. This increase in overtime could be an indicator that some segments are so unsure of the economy they are forcing overtime to avoid the hiring process - an expensive bet in the mid-term.
• The greatest competitive threat to printers remains largely unchanged from last quarter. The current economy (52%) is the largest threat, exceeding price pressures from lower cost competitors (19%), and emerging technology (11%).
• Print buyers place the greatest pricing pressure on ink to substrate printing (46%).
• Referrals (40%) continue to be the most popular way to find employees. Use of flexible staffing increased 5 points to 15%.

Greenpeace this morning released a new report after a nine-month examination of Asia Pulp and Paper’s Forest Conservation Policy (FCP), which the papermaker launched in February 2013 in an effort to end deforestation in its supply chain.

Asia Pulp and Paper (APP) issued a statement that it welcomes the Greenpeace report, called APP’s Forest Conservation Policy, Progress Review, which highlights a number of positive steps taken by APP since the launch of the FCP, as well as future challenges. When APP introduced its FCP, Greenpeace agreed to suspend its campaign against the papermaker, while continuing to provide constructive criticism and advice as the policy is implemented.

Greenpeace’s progress report on APP looks at all aspects of how the FCP is being implemented and states, “The company is serious about its FCP plans and its key senior staff are genuinely committed to driving the delivery of these new commitments.”

APP’s FCP introduced a moratorium on all natural forest clearance, which remains in place while assessments are carried out to determine which parts of APP suppliers’ concessions are of High Conservation Value (HCV) and which are of High Carbon Stock (HCS), all of which will be protected. The assessments are being done by The Forest Trust (TFT) and HCV assessors. They are scheduled for completion in the first half of 2014.

“It is very encouraging that Greenpeace’s report recognizes the progress we have made since introducing the FCP just nine months ago,” stated Aida Greenbury, Managing Director of Sustainability for APP. “We know that many years of work lie ahead, but this report has given us additional confidence that we are on the right path as we aim to put a permanent end to deforestation in our supply chain.

“Scrutiny from Greenpeace and other NGOs has been an important driver for us and we hope to continue to work with all stakeholders in this way over the coming years.”

Asia Pulp & Paper Group, with manufacturing locations across Indonesia and China, is one of the world’s largest vertically integrated pulp and paper companies, with an annual combined pulp, paper, and converting products capacity of over 18 million tons. APP-Indonesia and APP-China currently market their products in more than 120 countries across six continents.

The Greenpeace report highlights APP’s following positive steps taken since the launch of the FCP in February 2013, including:

Overall implementation of the natural forest and undeveloped peatland moratorium;

Self-disclosure of two breaches of the FCP;

Action to improve the management and implementation of the FCP based on early lessons and breaches;

Commitment to consulting stakeholders on draft HCV assessment reports;

Progress on a key social conflict priority area (Senyerang, Jambi Province);

Plans to implement a Procedure for Association to address how the FCP is applied to future pulpwood suppliers;

Decision to seek alternative uses for Mixed Tropical Hardwood (MTH) – cleared from non-HCS and non-HCV areas (This issue, according ot APP, will be addressed through a working group that includes a number of NGOs_;

Decision to undertake third-party auditing of the implementation of the FCP; and

Additional transparency measures, notably our online monitoring dashboard.

The report also raises a number of challenges for further improvements, including:

APP should set out its plan to engage other stakeholders to help address the issue of overlapping licenses and share details of remaining challenges on its online monitoring dashboard;

APP should publish a sustainable forest management-planning schedule on the dashboard;

Progress on peatland assessment and management should be accelerated;

Conservation plans must have the input of credible experts;

APP must increase transparency on work in China;

APP must now demonstrate that long-term forecasts for its plantation suppliers in Indonesia are sufficiently robust to stand up to scrutiny.

View a PDF of the full Greenpeace progress report on APP.

The board of directors for the Ontario Printing Industries Association (OPIA) voted unanimously last week to accept the recommendation it becomes a direct affiliate of the United States-based Printing Industries of America (PIA), located in Sewickley, Pennsylvania.

“We’re looking forward to providing… PIA benefits to our existing members, as well as increasing our base by bringing in new members to the OPIA,” stated Tracey Preston, President of the OPIA.

“We were approached as an industry organization that is strong throughout Ontario, Quebec and the Eastern Provinces,” continued Preston. “We are still maintaining our relationship with the NAPL, which means that our members receive the value that they expect from their membership in the OPIA, as well as additional services and benefits from the PIA. “

The PIA affiliation, according to the OPIA, provides for services such as training, PIA ratio resources, economic reports and HR reports related to the printing industry. The affiliation also provides access to the PIA’s technical hotline and third-party paper and ink testing.

The Mackenzie Printery and Newspaper Museum, with its satellite printing shop, took part in the annual Marshville Heritage Festival in Wainfleet, Ontario. The group showed off its vintage letterpress printing technology to hundreds of festival visitors. 

The event also featured a classic car show, a Town Criers contest, live demonstrations of a blacksmith shop, and numerous musical guests. Each year the event draws close to 25,000 visitors.

Below are some pictures of this year’s demonstrations by the Mackenzie Printery volunteer staff. Photographs are courtesy of Denis Cahill.

The Canadian Printing Industries Scholarship Trust Fund (CPISTF) continues its mandate of providing financial aid for students who are pursuing post-secondary education focused on the printing industry. 

For the current school year, beginning in September, CPISTF recently awarded 46 students from across Canada with a combined $61,250 in scholarship funding. A total of $18,750 was awarded to 12 new students enrolled in the first year of an approved course of study. A further $42,500 was provided to 34 continuing students already enrolled in the scholarship program.

“Every year the Board of Trustees is challenged to select the best and brightest as recipients of our scholarships and this year was no exception. We are pleased to be able to support 46 students in their pursuit of a career in the graphic communications industry,” said Don Gain, Chairman of CPISTF.  

The value of each annual scholarship is $1,250, but one student “exhibiting a high level of talent” is awarded $5,000 through the Warren Wilkins Prestige Scholarship (WWPS). David Vega of Brampton, Ontario, received this year’s WWPS. He is attending Ryerson University’s School of Graphic Communications Management program in downtown Toronto.

The fund is largely driven by the independent support of firms and individuals within Canada’s printing community. All scholarship applicants must be enrolled in or plan to be enrolled in a full-time two-, three- or four-year approved program and exhibit a commitment to pursue a career in the printing industry. 

The Printing Industries of America (PIA) is in the midst of trying to invalidate two digital workflow patents issued by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) that put printers at risk for infringement.

The patents, 6,611,349 (System and method of generating a printing plate file in real time using a communication network) and 6,738,155 (System and method of providing publishing and printing services via a communications network), have allowed its owner, CTP Innovations LLC, to target printing companies, who in some cases have been sued for infringement. The patents address methods for receiving customer files, using a computer network to perform various prepress functions and creating a plate-ready PDF.

“We’re not going to stand by and let a patent troll intimidate our members into paying unnecessary licensing fees,” said Michael Makin, President and CEO of the PIA. “The patents should never have been granted, since the claims were obviously based on prior patents and published documents. I hope this action will give our members the upper hand in fighting these frivolous lawsuits and causes the patent owner to discontinue its licensing campaign.”

The PIA says it hopes the petitions are accepted, after which time there will be a review by the USPTO over 12 months.

In May of this year, Xerox and Ricoh joined forces to combat a different patent holding relating to converting print documents into digital files. In 2011, NPR's This American Life radio show looked at the issue with a segment called When Patents Attack and followed up earlier this year with a second part to the series.

The Manitoba Print Industry Association announced its new Board of Directors, with Rob Young of Pollard Banknote to serve as President for 2013/2014.

The Manitoba Print Industry Association (MPIA) is a non-profit organization created to attract and retain individuals into the printing industry in Manitoba. The MPIA has partnered with the Province of Manitoba to focus on extending collaborative human resource development and training initiatives.

The complete MPIA Board of Directors looking after the group’s initiatives in 2013/2014 include:

President: Rob Young, Pollard Banknote
Vice-President: Gord Boultbee, Harris Printing
Past President: Glenn Buffie, Derksen Printers
Bob Harvie, Prolific Graphics
Jim Macklin, Winpak
Andrea Read, Transcontinental
Tony Kasdorf, The Standard Press
Herb Vielhaber, Cascades Boxboard
Mark Davis, Corporate Source
Greg Ward, Ward's Printing
Jonathan Leech, Harris Printing

The Printing Industries of America announced the winners of the 2013 Premier Print Awards today in which four Canadian printers received accolades for producing the best pieces in seven categories.

More than 2,800 projects were submitted for judging at this year’s competition. Best of Category awards, referred to as the Benny Award, were handed out to 112 winners, and numerous other printing companies from around the world received Awards of Recognition and Certificates of Merit. All the Benny-winning pieces will be featured in a publication mailed out to 10,000 print buyers, as well as be awarded at the Premier Print Awards Gala at PRINT 13 on September 8.

Hemlock Printers received three Best of Category (Benny) awards for the Digital Printing-Novelty Books, Environmentally Sound, and Business and Annual Reports (4 or more colours, printers with 101-250 employees). 

PDI picked up two Benny Awards in Digital Printing-Brochures and Booklets (4 or more colours) and Print/Graphic Arts Self-Promotion (printers with 101-250 employees). 

Calgary-based Rhino Print Solutions received its Benny in the Art Books (1, 2, or 3 colour) category.

Students at Ryerson Unversity's Graphic Communications Management program received Benny acclaim for their RyeTAGA Student Journal in the Post-Secondary Students category.

Finally, Toronto-based Webcom Inc. won its Benny Award in the Digital Printing-Juvenile Books category.

Below is a full list of this year’s Best of Category award winners:

Soft-Cover Books
1010 Printing International Limited
The Total Gun Manual

High School Students
Admiral Arthur W. Radford High School
14th Annual James Alegre Invitational Basketball Tournament Poster & T-Shirt

Art Books (4 or more colours)
Artron Enterprise (Group) Limited

Artron Enterprise (Group) Limited

Novelty Books
Artron Enterprise (Group) Limited

Stochastic Printing
Artron Enterprise (Group) Limited
40th Anniversary of the World Heritage

Labels and Wraps—Cut and stack, sheetfed
Artron Enterprise (Group) Limited

Special Innovation Awards—Printing
Artron Enterprise (Group) Limited

Booklets (1, 2, or 3 colours)
Baton Rouge Printing Company
The Family Church Women's Conference

Booklet or Brochure Series
Body of Work
Body of Work The Chameleon Series

Service Catalogs (4 or more colours, non-printer)
Body of Work
Trivett Classic Car Corporate Book

Book Jackets
Body of Work
Trivett Classic Car Corporate Book

Art Prints
Body of Work
Behind the Florentine Veil

Body of Work
Body of Work 2014/15 Calendar

Digital Printing—On-Demand
Body of Work
Body of Work 2014/15 Calendar

Other Special Finishing Techniques
Body of Work
Trivett Classic Car Corporate Book

Print/Graphic Arts Self-Promotion (prepress companies, finishing, advertising, and other graphic arts firms)
Body of Work
Body of Work Casino Collection Catalogue

Business and Annual Reports
(1, 2, or 3 colours)
Burton & Mayer, Inc.
Special Olympics Annual Report

Hard-Cover Trade Books, Journals, and Other Books
C&C Offset Printing Co., Ltd
The Earth, Our Home

School Textbooks
C&C Offset Printing Co., Ltd
Lippincott's Textbook for Nursing Assistant

Diaries and Desk Calendars
C&C Offset Printing Co., Ltd
2013 Year of the Snake

Invitations (1, 2, or 3 colours)
C&S Sales
Wynn Invite

Fashion/Popular Culture Magazines
(printers with fewer than 250 employees)
Clear Image Printing
7 Magazine

They Said It Couldn't Be Done
Color FX, Inc.
Hamid N. Zadeh Series

Media Kits
Color Incorporated

Cross-Media Promotion
Color Ink, Inc.
FunDeco Furniture and Décor

Magazine Series
Colorcraft of Virginia, Inc.
Nature's Best

Programs (1, 2, or 3 colours)
Colorcraft of Virginia, Inc.
The Crisis

Programs (4 or more colours)
Colorcraft of Virginia, Inc.
50th U.S. Senate Youth Program

Cartons and Containers
Samsung Galaxy Note—Sell Kit

Direct Mail Campaigns, Consumer
ColorGraphics, A Cenveo Company
Chrysler 2013

Business and Annual Reports
(4 or more colors, printers with 21-50 employees)
Colornet Press
The Grammy Museum Annual Report

Architectural/Art/Travel/Other Magazines (printers with fewer than 250 employees)
Continental Colorcraft
Process Magazine "The Art of Stochastic Printing"

Product Catalogs (4 or more colours, printers with 21-50 employees)
Craftsman Printing Inc.
Life's Best Moments. Furnished.

Brochures and Broadsides, Large
DGI, A Bolger Company
Radiance Redefined

Flyers (4 or more colours)
Digital Hub
Aflac Handout

Booklets (4 or more colours, non-printer)
Dillon Bindery, Inc.
Shift Your Thinking

Product Catalogs (4 or more colours, non-printer)
Dillon Bindery, Inc.

Business and Annual Reports
(4 or more colours, non-printer)
Dillon Bindery, Inc.
The Options Clearing Corporation

Service Catalogs (4 or more colours, printers with 51-100 employees)
Dual Graphics
Artifact Photography Book

Business and Annual Reports (4 or more colours, printers with more than 250 employees)
EarthColor Houston
MINERA FRISCO 2012 Annual Report

Booklets (4 or more colours, printers with 20 employees or less)
Evolve Printing
"THINK" Evolve Printing 2012

Print/Graphic Arts Self-Promotion
(printers with 20 employees or less)
Evolve Printing
"THINK" Evolve Printing 2012

Print/Graphic Arts Self-Promotion
(printers with 21-50 employees)
Facform Impressos Ltda.
Facform 2013

Internal Communication Pieces
(1, 2, or 3 colours)
Fey Printing
Matheson Seed Kit

Genesis Press
Wofford's "Taking Chances" Mailer

Directories and Source Books
Geographics, Inc.
2013 Voyages Atlas Directory

Customized/Personalize/Variable-Data Digital Printing
GPA, Specialty Substrate Solutions
Rock it Out Tour—Dscoop8 Promotion

Booklets (4 or more colours, printers with 51-100 employees)
Graphic Visual Solutions
Dream by Cougar

Business and Annual Reports (4 or more colours, printers with 51-100 employees)
Graphic Visual Solutions
Nursing Annual Report 2011

Hi-Fidelity Printing
Graphic Visual Solutions
Dream by Cougar

Business Cards
H & H Graphics
Anything but Ordinary


Business and Annual Reports (4 or more colours, printers with 101-250 employees)
Hemlock Printers Ltd.
Teck 2012 Annual Report

Digital Printing—Novelty Books
Hemlock Printers Ltd.
Dream Pieces: The SAIT Polytechnic Trades and Technology Complex

Environmentally Sound
Hemlock Printers Ltd.
North Face Broadside

Print/Graphic Arts Self-Promotion
(printers with more than 250 employees)
Herff Jones Yearbooks
Ideas That Fly, Volume 18

Presentation Folders/Portfolios
(4 or more colours)
HM Graphics
BANK OF AMERICA—Global Market Literature Kit

Point-of-Purchase Materials
HM Graphics
MAURICE'S—Holiday Store Decorations


HM Graphics
Popcorn Factory—Envelopes

Promotional Campaigns, Consumer
HM Graphics

Direct Mail Campaigns,
HM Graphics
Phonak Quest Product Direct Mail Campaign

Specialty Inks or Coatings, Fragrances, or "Invisible" Printing Inks
Hot Graphics & Printing, Inc
HOT's Promotional Book

Service Catalogs (4 or more colours, printers with 101-250 employees)
Imprenta Mariscal Cia Ltda
Pura Raza Española

Product Catalogs (4 or more colours, printers with 20 employees or less)
Impresos Florida, S.A. de C.V.
Catalogos Mini 5 Modelos

Product Catalogs (4 or more colours, printers with 51-100 employees)
Impritec, S.A. de C.V.
Catalogo Handbags SS13

Magazines (Cover—sheetfed;
Infagon Web, S.A. de C.V.
Morelos: Turismo, Cultura y Desarrollo

Web Press Printing (4 or more colours, coated paper)
Infagon Web, S.A. de C.V.
Amura Praga

Service Catalogs (4 or more colors, printers with more than 250 employees)
Ipsis Grãfica E Editora S/A
Ipsis Litteris 8

Internal Communication Pieces
(4 or more colors)
J.S. McCarthy Printers
Estēe Lauder Start Book

School Yearbooks
Jostens Printing and Publishing
U.S.N.A. Lucky BAG 2012

Juvenile Books
Leo Paper Products Limited

Newsletters (4 or more colours)
Leo Paper Products Limited
Leo Express Vol. 31

Business and Annual Reports
(4 or more colours, printers with 20 employees or less)
Leo Paper Products Limited
Annual Report

Diecuts, Pop-ups, Unique Folds, and Involvement Devices
Leo Paper Products Limited
På Besøg hos Prinsesse Puf

Stationery Packages
(4 or more colours)
Leo Paper Products Limited
Treasured Passages Connecting Hearts & Histories

Service Catalogs (4 or more colours, printers with 20 employees or less)
Master Print Group
Farr—Gold Series

Product/Service Catalogs
(Cover—sheetfed; Interior—web)
Offset Multicolor S.A. de C.V.
Anuario 2012

Stochastic Printing
Offset Multicolor S.A. de C.V.
Catalogo La Europea 2012

Web Press Printing (4 or more colours, uncoated paper)
Offset Multicolor S.A. de C.V.
Berger Times No. 15

Service Catalogs (4 or more colours, printers with 21-50 employees)
Offset Santiago S.A. de C.V. 
Gabriel Orozco

Invitations (4 or more colours)
O'Neil Printing
Barrett-Jackson, Palm Beach

Print/Graphic Arts Self-Promotion (printers with 51-100 employees)
O'Neil Printing
Wide Format Printing

PBM Graphics, Inc.
Bell Helicopter Navy Poster

Digital Printing—Brochures and Booklets (4 or more colours)
PDI Inc.
PDI-Innovation brochure & sleeve

Print/Graphic Arts Self-Promotion (printers with 101-250 employees)
PDI Inc.
PDI-Innovation brochure & sleeve

Magazine Inserts
Performance Companies
MiO Water Reveal

Large-Format Printing
Philipp Lithographing Company
Corona Crawfish Boil—Mass Display

PJ Printers
It's a Wonderful Life

Single Promotional Self-Mailer
PJ Printers
It's a Wonderful Life

Product Catalogs (4 or more colours, printers with 101-250 employees)
Premier Press
Mastercraft Catalog Two Thousand Twelve

Stationery Packages
(1, 2, or 3 colors)
ProGraphics Communications
White and Haines Identity Package

Binders (Loose-leaf)
Heron Dance, Art Studio

Miscellaneous Specialties—Other
R and R Images
Cosmo Pitch Book

Fashion/Popular Culture Magazines (printers with more than 250 employees)
Regal Printing Limited
Helmet Magazine #3

Digital Printing—Cookbooks
Regal Printing Limited
Moet & Chandon Champagne

Special Innovation Awards—Other
Regal Printing Limited
Hour 25

Art Books (1, 2, or 3 colours)
Rhino Print Solutions
Composition in Stone

Fashion/Popular Culture Magazines (printers with more than 250 employees)
Ripon Printers

Magazine Series
Ripon Printers
ELITE LUXURY PUBLISHING—Jan/Feb 13, Mar/Apr 13, Nov/Dec 12

Booklets (4 or more colours, printers with more than 250 employees)
RR Donnelley Pittsburgh
2014 Equis Brochure

Post-Secondary Students
Ryerson University
RyeTAGA Student Journal Publication

Product Catalogs (4 or more colours, printers with more than 250 employees)
Stilgraf Artes Graficas e Editora Ltda.
Catalogo AB Maes

Architectural/Art/Travel/Other Magazines (printers with more than 250 employees)
Stilgraf Artes Graficas e Editora Ltda.
Revista Santa

Foil Stamping and Embossing/Debossing
Superior Foil Print Pty Ltd
My Mother—Ava Rushgrove

Promotional Campaigns, Business-to-Business
The First Impression Group
The Bear Pre-Arrival Kit

Booklets (4 or more colours, printers with 21-50 employees)
The Fox Company, Inc.
Miron Construction Brochure

Booklets (4 or more colours, printers with 101-250 employees)
The Hennegan Company, a Consolidated Graphics Company
Briggs & Riley Winter 2013/Spring 2014 Consumer Catalog

Brochures and Broadsides, Small
(4 or more colours)
Watermark Press
Friends of the Academy Platinum Circle

Digital Printing—Juvenile Books
Webcom Inc.
These Hands

Foil Stamping and Embossing/Debossing
Wide Ocean Printing Co., LTD.
Wide Ocean Printing Company Red Packet Set 2013 


Pacific Bindery Services of Vancouver received a 2013 Product of Excellence Award for its first-place finish in the Stitching category of the Binding Industries Association’s annual competition dedicated to the best in post-press production.

Twenty-five Product of Excellence Awards were handed out by the Binding Industries Association (BIA) after a panel of judges weighed through more than 200 entries from around the world. Pacific’s Product of Excellence Award, representing the only first-place finish by a Canadian company, is for its stitching work on the Private Residences at Hotel Georgia project.

Pacific was founded in 1971 and now describes itself as the largest bindery and finishing operation in Western Canada, employing 80 staff. The company is led by Brad Clement.

BindTech Inc. of Nashville – with over 300 employees – won the BIA’s 2013 Graphic Finisher of the Year Award, while Holum and Sons Co. of Westmont, Illinois, was named the Custom Loose Leaf/Information Packaging Company of the Year. Pacific Bindery was named by the BIA as Canada’s Top Graphic Finisher back in 2009.

The full list of 2013 Product of Excellence winners includes (Category/Company):

Mechanical Folding, Leo Paper Products Ltd.
Stitching, Pacific Bindery Services Ltd.
Adhesive Binding, Bindtech Inc.
Case Binding, Leo Paper Products Ltd.
Mechanical Binding, Seidl's Bindery
Diecutting, Leo Paper Products Ltd.
Foil Stamping and Embossing, C & C Joint Printing Co. (Shanghai)
Hand Work, Leo Paper Products Ltd.
Gluing, Reindl Bindery Company Inc.
Special Products, Bindtech Inc.
Graphic Finisher Self Promotion, C & C Joint Printing Co. (H.K.)
They Said It Could Be Done, McGraphics Inc.
Foil Stamping/Debossing, Holum & Sons Co. Inc.
Screen Printing (Single Colour), Duraweld Ltd.
4-colour process digital onto vinyl, Space Age Laminating & Bindery
Applique, Silvanus Products
Turned Edge Casebound, Trends Presentation Products
Sewn Products, Silvanus Products
Boxes and Totes, Pack Appeal
Innovative Use of Materials, Binding Solutions, Inc.
Special Products, Holum & Sons Co. Inc.
Product Design, Holum & Sons Co. Inc.
Self Promotion, Trends Presentation Products
They Said It Couldn't Be Done, Trends Presentation Products
Turned Edge Casebound, Silvanus Products

Canopy, a Vancouver-based non-profit deeply rooted in environmentally progressive business strategy, has published its Green Print Leadership Report – a survey-focused program that began some two years ago.

The report, referred to by Canopy as a first of its kind for North America, profiles printing companies that are leaders in paper procurement, forest conservation and sustainability reporting. It includes some of the industry’s best-known operations like TC Transcontinental, R.R. Donnelley, Sandy Alexander, and BC-based Hemlock Printers.

“We’ve been very pleased by the response to Canopy’s survey and especially with the growing number of printers showing an increasing level of conservation leadership,” said Marcus Ginder, Print Campaigner with Canopy. “The companies we work with are looking beyond tri-certification to support printing firms that take an active role in advancing endangered forest conservation.”

The Green Printer Leadership Report will be circulated to executives of large print buyers like Random House, Time, Scholastic, as well as Canopy’s 700-plus signatory companies and those with a stated interest in forest conservation.

Thirty-six printing firms, accounting for a total of 250 North American plants, participated in Canopy’s survey portion of the report. Neva Murtha, Canopy Print Campaigner, points out that while 92 percent of the respondents have sustainability policies only 42 percent of those are publicly available.

“Printers play a key role and can make a significant contribution to protecting the world’s remaining forests,” said Murtha. “Canopy is committed to collaborating with printers to do just that, by working with them on strong forest conservation policy development, implementation and transparent reporting.”

The full PDF report can be downloaded from canopyplanet.org.

The Ontario Printing Industries Association (OPIA) last week handed out its several awards in its annual Excellence in Print Awards program.

The top divisional winners of the 2013 OPIA Excellence in Print Awards included C.J. Graphics Inc. Printers & Lithographers and Metroland Media Group Ltd. Both companies are based in Toronto.

C.J. Graphics won the top award in three divisions, including Sheetfed, Digital and Specialty Printing. The Tempo Division of Metroland Media received the top OPIA award for Web Printing.

The awards were presented at the Mississauga Convention Centre on the night of May 22, which featured a keynote address from personal-finance guru David Chilton, who is best know for his books The Wealthy Barber (1989) and more recently The Wealthy Barber Returns. Chilton is also one of the panelists on CBC’s hit television series, The Dragon’s Den.

Web exPress Inc. of Coquitlam, British Columbia, becomes the newest printing company to join Agfa Graphics’ GreenWorks program, designed to celebrate Agfa customers who commit to the use of environmentally progressive technology.

The company runs Agfa’s :Energy Elite product, which is a long run, no-bake thermal plate. To become a member of Agfa GreenWorks, printers must use one of the following plates from Agfa Graphics: :Azura TS, :Amigo TS, :Energy Elite/Pro, :Azura Vi, and :N94-VCF.

“It is obvious to us that a sustainable future in life and in business is absolutely critical,” stated Byron Sheardown, owner of  Web exPress. “Environmental soundness must be in the foreground of our decisions. Our customers are happy and encourage our efforts to be green as long as it doesn't cost more. With :Energy Elite, we got a superior plate that delivers higher quality printing to our customers.”

Established in 1997 with eight staff members, Web exPress today runs three web press lines and two Heidelberg sheetfed presses, as well as large bindery and mailing departments. The company was listed among Business in Vancouver magazine’s Top 100 Fastest Growing Businesses in British Columbia in 2011.
In addition to using :Energy Elite plates, Web exPress recycles plastic, wood, metal, paper and cardboard. The company is FSC certified and claims to have been the first North American importer of 100 percent wheat-straw paper from India.

Canopy, a group aimed at forest conservation through working with paper buyers, has withdrawn from the Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement (CBFA), citing the agreement’s lack of effectiveness.

The agreement, launched in 2010, was put forth by nine environmental groups and the Forest Products Association of Canada (including its 19 member companies). The CBFA aimed at unanimous objectives for large-scale protection and ethical forest practices. In the three ensuing years, however, Canopy alleges that the group has not been able to agree on any protection recommendations while milestones and deadlines have been missed.

“This collaboration with the logging industry was supposed to be a game-changer for the protection of species and conservation in Canada’s threatened Boreal forest,” said Nicole Rycroft, Founder and Executive Director of Canopy. “The disappointing reality is that not one hectare of forest has been protected and species and ecosystems are still at risk.” 

Boreal forests are the world’s largest terrestrial carbon sink, serving to store the equivalent of 26 years of global fossil fuel emissions in trees, soil, water and peat. Thirty percent of North America’s bird populations rely on the Boreal forest for breeding. Canada’s Boreal forest contains 80 per cent of the world’s unfrozen fresh water and provides critical habitat for the endangered and iconic Woodland caribou. The CBFA had an initial 76 milestones to protect 50 to 70 percent of the Boreal, a percentage science has deemed necessary to ensure ecological certainty.

NGOs still part of the CBFA include: Canadian Boreal Initiative, Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society, David Suzuki Foundation, ForestEthics, The Nature Conservancy, Pew Environmental Group International and the Ivey Foundation. The forestry companies participating are: Alberta-Pacific Forest Industries Inc., AV Group, Canfor Corporation, Canfor Pulp Limited Partnership, Cariboo Pulp & Paper Company, Cascades inc., Conifex Timber Inc., Daishowa-Marubeni International Ltd., F.F. Soucy Inc., Howe Sound Pulp and Paper Limited Partnership, Kruger Inc., Louisiana-Pacific Canada Ltd., Mercer International, Mill & Timber Products Ltd., Millar Western Forest Products Ltd., NewPage Corporation, Resolute Forest Products, Tembec, Tolko Industries Ltd., West FraserTimber Co. Ltd., and Weyerhaeuser Company Limited — all represented by the Forest Products Association of Canada

“Canopy works with over 700 large corporate consumers of forest products and we will be informing them about the logging reality in Canada,” said Rycroft. “The decision to leave the CBFA was not taken lightly. We remain committed to collaborative solutions building and hope that by re-­‐invigorating our markets work we can open the door to large-scale and timely conservation of the boreal forest.”

The Association of American Publishers (AAP) has published an report which says that in 2012, U.S. Trade publishers’ net revenues grew by 6.2 percent over 2011.

The data, based on numbers provided by 1,193 publishers, also notes the rapid growth of eBooks which now accounts for 22.55 percent of revenues compared to 16.98 percent in 2011 and just 3.17 percent in 2009. When the report started tracking eBook numbers in 2002, the number was at 0.05 percent.

In formats, Adult Fiction/Non-Fiction saw growth in eBooks, downloaded audiobooks and paperbacks while Children’s and Young Adult eBooks, hardcover and board books saw increases. The eBook format in the Religious Presses category also grew as compared to 2011.

According to a report by Publishers’ Weekly last fall, Canadian publishers reported that digital book sales were estimated to be 12 to 13 percent of the book market for 2012, up from the 12 to 13 percent figure of 2011.