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Canopy, a group aimed at forest conservation through working with paper buyers, has withdrawn from the Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement (CBFA), citing the agreement’s lack of effectiveness.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

Leading into Earth Day on April 22, HP today introduced a series of new environmental initiatives, including an expanded return and recycling program with Office Depot, as well as news that the Forest Stewardship Council has certified its HP Everyday Paper line. The company today also reported unprecedented results in relation to its long-running environmental programs.

HP is working in collaboration with International Paper Company (IPC) to use fibre from responsibly managed forests. The resulting FSC certification of the HP Everyday Office Papers is specifically for North America, but this initiative, which applies to the complete produce line, joins HP’s existing FSC-certified portfolio in Latin America.

The company reports that more than 40 percent of its total worldwide office-paper tonnage is now FSC-certified and/or contains at least 30 percent post-consumer waste. HP announced a goal to have 50 percent or more of HP-branded paper FSC-certified, or have at least 30 percent post-consumer waste content, by the end of 2015.

“Our customers want printing solutions that offer quality and reliability, with proven environmental performance,” stated Annukka Dickens, Director of HP's Americas Environmental Leadership Team.

HP was one of the world’s first large-scale technology companies to focus environmental efforts around the life cycle of products, which today is best illustrated through the closed-loop plastics recycling process of the company’s long-running cartridge return and recycling program, called HP Planet Partners.

HP Planet Partners today is offered in 56 countries and territories, allowing customers to return used HP cartridges by visiting www.hp.com/recycle or HP Authorized Retail Collection locations. The company reports that its customers worldwide have now recycled more than half a billion HP ink and LaserJet toner cartridges through the HP Planet Partners program.

Office Depot was announced today as the newest retailer to join HP’s recycling efforts, which also includes players like Office Max, Staples and Walmart. As a result, HP’s cartridge collection network is anticipated to include more than 9,000 retail outlets worldwide. The company stated that it plans to recycle 3.5 billion pounds of electronic products and supplies by the end of 2015.

Office Depot, in its inaugural year of supporting HP’s Planet Partners, will offer HP ink recycling in more than 1,100 stores across the United States. Staples has supported HP recycling efforts for more than five years and expanded in 2012 to include hardware recycling across North America. Together, HP and Staples have collected more than 40 million pounds of ink and toner cartridges and hardware for recycling. Walmart brings the largest network of retail drop-off locations with more than 3,500 stores.
HP’s closed-loop plastics recycling process uses plastic from recycled Original HP ink and toner cartridges and other post-consumer sources to create new Original HP cartridges. To date, HP reports that it has used more than 118 million pounds of recycled content, which the company explains to have kept 280 million cartridges and 2 billion post-consumer plastic bottles out of landfills.
When compared to virgin plastic, the recycled plastic used in HP ink cartridges produced in 2010 and beyond, according to HP, has up to an estimated 33 percent smaller carbon footprint than virgin plastic in Original HP ink cartridges – even when accounting for the impact associated with collecting, transporting and processing used cartridges and plastic bottles. This plastic, according to HP’s reporting, is estimated to reduce total water used by up to 89 percent.

Torstar Corporation has launched a new set of Environmental Purchasing Principles for the paper supply chain of three of its primary operating entities, including Harlequin, Star Media Group and Metroland Media Group.

The company’s new paper purchasing principles are designed to encourage suppliers to eliminate the use of fibre from ancient, endangered forests and to also focus on the use of post-consumer recycled fibre. Torstar’s purchasing principles are also aligned to encourage Forest Stewardship Council certification (FSC) as the target standard.

Canopy, an independent environmental not-for-profit organization based in Vancouver, collaborated with Torstar over the past eight months to help establish its new Environmental Purchasing Principles. Best known as the organization behind the greening of the Harry Potter series internationally, Canopy today works with over 700 forest product customer companies to support and advise on the development of paper supply policies.

“Torstar’s readers can now start their day with a hot cup of coffee and the newspaper and end it with an equally steamy romance novel, knowing that our planet’s forests are better off,” stated Nicole Rycroft, Canopy Founder and Executive Director. “As a global publishing leader, Torstar deserves congratulations for their corporate wide approach to protecting forests such as Canada’s Boreal through strong principles that guide their paper procurement.”

Harlequin, based in Toronto, publishes over 110 titles a month – ranging from romance to bestseller fiction – in 31 languages in 111 international markets on six continents, with principal offices in Toronto, New York, London, Tokyo, Milan, Sydney, Paris, Madrid, Stockholm, Amsterdam, Hamburg, Athens, Budapest, Granges-Paccot, Warsaw, Rio de Janeiro, Mumbai and Istanbul. Half of the company’s books are sold overseas and 95 percent are purchased from outside of Canada. 

Harlequin had 390 bestseller placements in 2010 with a combined total of 1,048 weeks on bestseller lists. Since its inception, Harlequin has sold approximately 6.05 billion books. Torstar’s Star Media Group and Metroland Media Group together publish over 125 daily and weekly newspapers across Canada.

Metroland Media Group, led by President Ian Oliver, is one of Canada’s largest community media companies with operations in newspapers, digital properties, flyer distribution, printing, consumer shows, magazines, directories and a teleshopping channel. It is also one of the country’s largest printing operations, with nine printing plants in Ontario housing 14 press lines.

The combined distribution of the community newspapers published by Metroland, including such dailies as The Hamilton Spectator, the Waterloo Region Record and the Guelph Mercury, is approximately 5-million copies a week.

Star Media Group is centered on Canada’s largest daily newspaper, the Toronto Star, and thestar.com Website. This operation also includes the majority-owned Metro free daily newspapers in Toronto, Ottawa, Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Halifax, Winnipeg, Saskatoon, Regina and London, Ontario, as well as the jointly owned Sing Tao Daily, the largest Chinese-language daily newspaper in Canada, as well as toronto.com, The Grid city magazine, Torstar Syndication Services, the Canadian Immigrant magazine and Star Content Studios.

Michael Makin, CEO of the Printing Industries of America association, yesterday issued an open letter Craig Jelinek, CEO of Costco Wholesale Corp., about an article to be published in The Costco Connection newsletter. The article, according to the PIA, includes several misconceptions about the impact of paper on the environment.

Makin’s open letter to Costco’s CEO comes just a few weeks after the PIA helped to end what it felt to be misleading claims leveled in Toshiba (No Print Day) and Google (Go Paperless 2013) marketing campaigns about poor environmental chains of responsibility in the printing and paper industries.

The following message from Michael Makin was sent on April 1 to the Printing Industries of America membership.

Dear Members:

This is not an April Fool’s joke. It has been brought to our attention today that the printing industry is under attack by yet another industry giant. Costco Wholesale Corp. is planning to distribute the April 2013 issue of The Costco Connection with an article titled “Good for the earth and business” by Carrie Madren. This article claims to be dedicated to green and sustainability but contains several serious misconceptions about the negative environmental impact of paper and the superior performance of electronic communication.

In an open letter to Costco Wholesale Corp. CEO Craig Jelinek today, I encouraged the organization to consider the facts about print. Printing is the only medium with a one-time carbon footprint with all other media requiring energy every time they are viewed and, additionally, most of the energy is from non-renewable fuels, whereas paper made in North America is made with at least 60 percent renewable energy.

I told Mr. Jelinek that the printing industry in this country employs almost one million people, many of whom are Costco customers. Presenting distortions of fact as Costco has done in their newsletter is a disservice to them.

Facts about our industry, with information for even more resources to dispel the common misconceptions about print, can be found in The Value of Print Flip-Book, available in the Printing Industries Press Online Store; or in a  digital version; and most recently as a mobile app for Apple, Android, and Blackberry users.

The Flip-Book is an invaluable tool that can be used to give responses to the common misconceptions about print, promote its effectiveness with statistics, discuss the importance of the printing industry and its large economic footprint, and refer to additional websites for more information.

Let’s all rally behind our industry and encourage Mr. Jelinek to correct the false claims in his April newsletter.

Michael Makin
CEO, Printing Industries of America

Michael Makin has declared victory over Google’s Go Paperless 2013 campaign after his letter to the Google executives has caused them to remove a misleading slogan of “Save money. Save time. Save trees.”

In Makin’s initial letter to Google, he described how the printing industry is at the forefront of sustainability efforts and that printing is the only medium with a one-time carbon footprint, whereas electronic devices require the mining and refining of numerous materials and non-renewable resources. “We all must do our part to respect the environment, but pitting one segment of the communications spectrum against another is not the right way to achieve this goal.”

Below is the newly released letter to the PIA membership about how it has changed the Google campaign:

Dear members,
It may have taken months, but I am pleased to report that as a result of the protest by Printing Industries of America—along with other groups such as Two Sides—Google has corrected its misleading claims made as part of its ill-conceived Paperless 2013 campaign. While the campaign to reduce office paper use will continue, its offensive tag line “Save money. Save time. Save trees” has been eliminated!

You may remember that in January this year, I sent an open letter to Google CEO Larry Page and Chairman Eric Schmidt, challenging Google on this offensive initiative. It appears our protest did not fall on deaf ears.

Misconceptions like these are common in our industry, and that is why Printing Industries of America has spent time and resources putting together The Value of Print campaign, a tool that can be used to dispel many misconceptions about our industry.

The Value of Print Flip-Book and its accompanying mobile app can be used to give responses to the common misconceptions about print, promote its effectiveness with statistics, discuss the importance of the printing industry and its large economic footprint, and refer to additional websites for more information.

I want to thank Messrs. Page and Schmidt for reconsidering the message of the Paperless 2013 campaign. This is just one more victory for our industry, but we can’t sit back now. I am encouraging everyone to view a copy of the Flip-Book by visiting www.printing.org/valueofprint and to help spread the true message about print. And don’t forget to download the app, available for Apple, Android, and Blackberry users.

Michael Makin, MBA
President and CEO

According to a new study released by the Pew Research Center regarding news consumption trends, newsstand sales declined 16 percent for all major news magazines in the U.S. during 2012, with magazines overall declining 8.2 percent. While newspaper subscription revenues were steady, a major decline in print ad revenue continues.

Among the hardest hit were The Economist, which declined 17 percent and The Week, which declined 18 percent. Newsweek, which stopped publishing a print edition at the end of last year, dropped five percent. Print subscriptions were relatively stable, a fact which the study attributes to discounts and special offers. Of six magazines studied, ad pages declined 10 percent in 2012.

For newspapers, daily circulation fell 0.2 percent, a number that is buoyed by new digital pay plans implemented by 450 newspapers in the U.S. Advertising revenue numbers provided by the Newspaper Association of America indicates the industry has fallen below US$20 billion. For every $16 in print ad revenue lost, only $1 in digital ad revenue was recouped, a worsening trend from the $10 to $1 ratio witnessed in 2011. Newspaper ad revenues now sit at 60 percent of what they were a decade ago.

On the whole, magazine revenues declined 10.4 percent and newspapers declined 5.9 percent year over year, with Digital (online) and Local TV gaining 16.6 and 10.1 percent respectively.

Read the key findings of the media study here.

The Canadian Printing Industries Association released a progress report yesterday about its direction, as well as the status of the Printing Industries of Canada initiative, with the upcoming closure of the Canadian Printing Industries Sector Council.

Below is the full statement issued by Sandy Stephens, Chairman of the Board for the Canadian Printing Industries Association:

Canadian Printing Industries Association (CPIA) is one of the two founding members of the Canadian Printing Industries Sector Council (CPISC). The Government of Canada decided to end core funding for all Sector Councils effective March 31, 2013. As a result, CPISC will cease operations shortly, as announced last week. That closure will be a loss for the industry.

During its years of activity, the Sector Council generated significant intellectual property specific to our industry. The Council will transfer these assets to CPIA for continued industry access. CPIA will maintain and continue to develop these resources and, as a result, our Association has been strengthened.

While CPIA and the Sector Council have been mutually supportive over the years, they have been separate legal entities. Therefore, the closure of CPISC will not have an adverse impact on the Association.

In 2012, CPIA and CPISC announced the potential formation of a new association, Printing Industries of Canada (PIC). While the demise of CPISC has rendered the future of PIC uncertain at this time, it has not affected CPIA’s pivotal role in our industry.

CPIA has long been recognized by elected and appointed officials of the Government of Canada as the legitimate voice of our industry. That advocacy role has been, and will continue to be, the primary mandate of the national Association. Key current initiatives include an examination by Environment Canada of air emissions from the printing and packaging industries; in-house digital operations within Government of Canada offices; and the lead content in print raw materials, of concern to the Consumer Product Safety Branch at Health Canada.

CPIA, with its 80-year history of service to the Canadian printing and allied industries, will continue. Just as our industry must constantly evolve to meet an ever-changing business environment, so must our Association. CPIA is scheduling a teleconference call with industry leaders from across the country to solicit input on the future direction of the Association.

Domtar has released a series of videos which uses a humourous approach to illustrate the value of printed products. The four new videos are part of the company's PAPERbecause campaign, which made its debut back in 2010.

"The PAPERbecause campaign has always promoted the responsible use of paper and the need to balance print vs. pixels, and we wanted to illustrate several instances of when paper is the most effective way to communicate on a logical and emotional level," said Paige Goff, Domtar's Vice-President of Sustainable Business and Brand Management. "Our previous office videos reminded people how Domtar has long been a leader in sustainable paper production, but with the new videos, we wanted to focus on everyday life."

"We've been very pleased with the recognition PAPERbecause has received, and we think it speaks to a bigger point," adds Goff. "Even after 2,000 years, there are times when no substitute for paper will suffice."

Despite the pending dissolution of the Canadian Printing Industries Association, the Canadian Printing Industries Scholarship Trust Fund (CPISTF) is to remain as a viable entity providing scholarships to students in post-secondary graphic communications programs in Canada.

It was also recently reconfirmed that the Canadian Printing Industries Sector Council (CPISC) would be closing down, effective March 22, 2013. The CPIA and the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada (CEP) were founding members of CPISC, which received large government grants to institute human resource initiatives.

CPISTF Chairman Don Gain, President and CEO of Harmony Printing in Toronto, emphasized that CPISTF will see some administrative changes but will continue to offer scholarships to those students already supported, as well as to new students for the upcoming 2013/14 school year.

“You may have heard that the Canadian Printing Industries Sector Council (CPISC) will cease operations later this month however our scholarship program is a separate legal entity from both CPISC and CPIA,” said Gain. “Though CPIA has been extremely supportive financially and administratively over the many years of our existence we have always had our own Board of Trustees governing the activities of the Fund.”

The organization is continuing to accept applications through the CPIA, but will soon provide a new Website and contact information.

Dscoop, a cooperative of HP printing technology users, recently wrapped up its eight annual conference in Nashville, announced plans for what the organization calls two major business developments: Dscoop University and Dscoop Print Directory.

Dscoop University, to be driven by HP, is a community-training program designed to help print service providers grow their businesses. The curriculum is to span multiple market segments and functional tracks like marketing, sales, operations and technology-specific topics. According to Dscoop, the course curriculum is to be primarily derived from the experiences of Dscoop members, supplemented by HP resources.

“A unique attribute of the Dscoop community is its ‘members helping members’ platform of knowledge sharing,” stated Eric Hawkinson, Executive Director of Dscoop. “It will also be a real differentiator against other business development and training programs offered elsewhere in the print industry.” Dscoop University is to offer dual-platform learning through an online component and in-person venues.

The Dscoop Print Directory is to be launched this spring as a Web-based tool for brand owners and designers to research and connect with print service providers employing HP technology. The directory, which is to be available in nine languages, will provide information about each participating print service provider’s capabilities.

Founded in 2005, Dscoop (the Digital Solutions Cooperative) is an independent global community of graphic arts business owners and technical professionals who use HP equipment and related solutions, including HP Indigo and HP Scitex printers and presses.

The Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI), non-profit group based out of Washington, but with a mandate to serve all of North America, announced plans to deliver up to $400,000 to support research into responsible forestry practices in 2013.

Through the SFI Conservation and Community Partnerships Grant Program, the organization is now accepting applications, Request for Proposals, for conservation research projects that explain or inform the role of sustainable forestry in the following grant categories: Working Forests; Water; Carbon and Bioenergy; Capacity Building; and Wildlife and Biodiversity. 

Since 2010, SFI has awarded 33 grants totaling more than $1.32 million to support projects that promote sustainable forestry practices and engage communities. When leveraged with project partner contributions, that total investment exceeds $4.8 million. 
"The decisions we make today regarding research investments and partnerships will better inform our future understanding of how working forests can continue to provide jobs, forest products and a variety of conservation services and benefits," said Kathy Abusow, President and CEO of SFI Inc., based out of Washington, D.C.
Up to $250,000 is to be awarded to new grants in 2013, which will bring SFI's total investment in conservation and community grants in 2013 to $400,000. This amount includes ongoing multi-year research grant commitments for projects awarded to groups like Ducks Unlimited Canada and the World Resources Institute.

Ducks Unlimited Canada's grant supports developing and testing best management practices for forestry roads on SFI program participant managed lands that serve to protect wetland ecosystems in the Western Boreal Forest. Results to date include the construction of five monitored wetland-crossing sites. A sixth wetland crossing is planned for 2013. 

The SFI 2013 RFP is available online. The deadline for this year's grant applications is Monday, March 18, 2013.

Flash Reproductions and Unisource Canada partnered to launch Wayward Arts magazine, a new publication to highlight Canadian design studios. The companies held a launch event last night.

Toronto-based Avanti Computer Systems made a $75, 000 donation to Ontario’s University of Waterloo, where all three of the company’s owners originally met and from where many of it’s current employees graduated.

“The University of Waterloo played such an important role in both our professional development and in bringing the three of us together, that we wanted to give something back,” stated Patrick Bolan, Avanti’s President and CEO.

Bolan, Stephen McWilliam and Peter Funnell, who together own Avanti, which develops management information system software, including Web-to-print and workflow products, are all University of Waterloo graduates. The trio formed a business partnership and purchased Avanti in 2004. They have since tripled the size of the company and expanded its reach well beyond Canada’s borders.
“What a thrill, for me personally, to come back to see a campus with all the familiar icons from my time at Waterloo, integrated with all of the new facilities,” said Stephen McWilliam, Executive VP at Avanti, who recently visited the campus for the first time in many years to mark the $75,000 donation.
“Many of Avanti’s long-term and new employees are University of Waterloo graduates. They have played, and continue to play, a vital role in our product innovation,” said Peter Funnell, Avanti’s CFO. “We are excited to be supporting the University of Waterloo and we look forward to continuing to tap into both the co-op program and graduates for new Avanti team members to support our growth.”

From quantum computing and nanotechnology to clinical psychology, engineering and health sciences research, the University of Waterloo is today recognized as one of North America’s leading post-secondary institutions within a range of research fields and information technology.

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