The Sustainability Trade Initiative on Pulp & Paper (STIPP) is described as a sector-wide initiative to accelerate Indonesia’s environmental progress in the business world.

STIPP was founded by an alliance consisting of IDH, The Sustainable Trade Initiative, Asia Pulp and Paper Group (APP) and AkzoNobel. APP explains STIPP is also supported by the Indonesian Ministry of Forestry and The Indonesia Pulp & Paper Association (APKI). The APKI includes 62 member companies.

APP explains the initiative aims to de-link deforestation from the supply chain. It is to focus on challenges like yield intensification, best peat-land management practices, community engagement and social conflict management, clean manufacturing, and High Carbon Stock (HCS) implementation.

The APKI signed onto the initiative on behalf of its 62 members as part of its mission to bring about the long-term economic and environmental sustainability of the industry.

“Sustainability in the Pulp and Paper sector is something that the whole industry must work towards,” stated Aida Greenbury, Managing Director of Sustainability of APP. “We believe it can be achieved, as long as all parties are prepared to be fully transparent about their supply chains.”

The STIPP launch was co-hosted by the Ministry of Forestry, the Ministry of Industry, and the Dutch Embassy in Jakarta. All partners signed separate memoranda of understanding outlining their intentions. APP will initially focus on conservation projects, applying zero-deforestation and responsible forest management throughout their supply chain.

AkzoNobel will share its expertise and provide technical assistance in relation to clean manufacturing methods. APKI will inform and disseminate learning among its 62 members on the initiative. APRIL is not yet a STIPP member but has agreed to explore industry standards for High Carbon Stock (HCS) along with other stakeholders.

Rob Young of Pollard Banknote Limited, based in Winnipeg, has joined the Board Of Trustees for the Canadian Printing Industries Scholarship Trust Fund (CPISTF).

The CPISTF board is tasked with selecting top Canadian students in, or about to enter, post-secondary programs dedicated to the printing industry for scholarship funding. Last year, CPISTF 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.

Young joins current CPISTF board members Richard Armstrong, Mary Black,
Tom Blockberger, Bruce Bond, Wayne Burroughs, Bob Cockerill, Don Gain, Michael Hill, Sean Murray, Ron Schroder, Jeff Taylor, Warren Wilkins and Willy Wilkins.

With more than 25 years of senior management experience in Canadian printing, Young currently serves as Pollard Banknote’s Executive Vice President of Operations. He oversees the manufacturing, prepress, and information systems departments at all of the company’s instant ticket production facilities. Young also sits on the board of the Manitoba Print Industry Association, as well as the Manufacturing & Technology Committee of Magazines Canada.

The Canadian Printing Industries Scholarship Trust Fund (CPISTF) was initiated in 1971 and has since provided over one million dollars in scholarship funding. 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.

Canadian Printing Industries Association launched what it describes as a national recruitment campaign with a new membership value proposition.

“We are very happy with our new membership proposition that is based on strategic partnerships and collaboration with pertinent supporting industry groups,” stated, Sandy Stephens, Chairman of the Canadian Printing Industries Association. “The new CPIA structure offers membership accessibility at a very reasonable cost while providing meaningful and tangible benefits for printers and industry participants.”

Industry members can join the CPIA with either monthly or annual payments, which includes support for Federal legislation lobbying and print advocacy initiatives as a medium that is effective, economical and sustainable. The range of available monthly payment pricing begins at $9.95.

“The CPIA has listened to industry stakeholders and contributors who have voiced concerns and opinions concerning the real value of an industry association,” stated Jamie Barbieri, CPIA, Secretary Treasurer. “The CPIA [has] understood that the only way to increase industry participation and collaboration is to make membership relevant and cost effective.”

The CPIA points to following membership benefits: Access to a comprehensive HR Tool Kit, credit monitoring services, and market intelligence and data identifying industry trends and market activity.



Asia Pulp and Paper in Jakarta yesterday announced a new initiative to restore and conserve one million hectares (approximately 2,471,053 acres) of forest across Indonesia, primarily within the Bukit Tigapuluh ecosystem, home to the endangered Sumatran Tiger.

APP describes its commitment as being approximately equivalent to the total area of plantation from which the company sourced pulp fibre in 2013. The APP group of companies is one of the world’s largest integrated pulp and paper entities, with an annual combined pulp, paper, and converting products capacity of over 18 million tons.

Developed with input from a number of stakeholders, including WWF, Greenpeace and various Indonesian NGOs, APP points out its new commitment will protect some of the world’s most valuable forests, as well as a range of endangered species like tigers, orangutans and elephants in the Bukit Tigapuluh ecosystem. The Bukit Tigapuluh National Park, refered to as The Thirty Hills, is a 143,223-hectare system in Eastern Sumatra well known as a centrepiece in the protection of the Sumatran Tiger.

APP's new protection announcement comes just over a year after the company launched its Forest Conservation Policy (FCP), which included what the company describes as an immediate and permanent cessation of natural forest clearance across its supply chain.

“After over a year of implementing our FCP, it has become clear that the key to success of any efforts to halt deforestation in Indonesia is a landscape level approach to forest restoration and conservation,” stated Aida Greenbury, APP’s Managing Director of Sustainability. “Land cannot be conserved or restored in isolation, the sustainability of the entire landscape must be taken into account and many stakeholders must be involved.”

As a first step, APP will work with an NGO coalition to preserve the natural forest in The Thirty Hills area of Jambi, Sumatra. According to the company, this will include increased protection of the corridor road from illegal activities, work on protecting the threatened elephant herd in the Tebo Multi Agro concession, and assessment of the viability of creating an animal corridor in the WKS concession, which would connect important forest habitat blocks.   

APP is currently in consultation with WWF and other stakeholders, to develop plans for identified priority landscapes in which APP and its suppliers have commercial forestry-based operations, which will then be implemented by the company in close collaboration with other relevant players in the landscape, while observing the principles of Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC).

APP provided the following details of its commitment plan by specific area:

Bukit Tigapuluh, Jambi
Provide wildlife corridors and additional buffer areas and restrict access to enhance the function of Bukit Tigapuluh National Park, while involving the local community.

Senepis, Riau
Support conservation of the Sumatran tiger and peat swamp forest.

Giam Siak Kecil, Riau
Secure, protect and restore the core natural forest within the Giam Siak Kecil Biosphere Reserve to provide habitat for many endangered species including Sumatran tiger and Sumatran elephants. Also, ensure sustainable conservation of peat swamp forest, while supporting the livelihood of the local communities.

Kampar Peninsula, Riau
Support large landscape protection of peat swamp forest using a multi-stakeholder approach that involves other concession holders.

Kerumutan, Riau
Support expansion and connectivity of protected forest areas.

Muba Berbak Sembilang, Jambi and South Sumatra
Protect the existing natural forest and assess the possibility of expanding the current protected forest, i.e. by restoring key areas to natural ecosystems and focusing on the protection of Sumatran Tiger and other key species. Additional support will be provided to the national parks.


OKI, South Sumatra
Create a wildlife corridor to expand the habitat of Sumatran elephants.

Kubu Raya, West Kalimantan
Maintain the integrity of orangutan habitat and also assess the possibility of expanding the existing mangrove forest to support the conservation of swamp crocodiles.

Kutai, East Kalimantan
Support the existing national park, providing buffer and corridor for orangutan habitat.


All Lecta mills have now obtained the ISO 50001 energy efficiency certification, which reflects the company’s report that it has reduced CO2 emissions per ton of paper by 10 percent since 2006.


Lecta is one of the largest manufacturers of coated wood free paper in the world with an emphasis on European specialty papers market. Its most important business is the manufacture of coated fine paper, with a current production capacity of 1,292,000 tons. Lecta also manufactures specialty papers, with an annual production capacity of 309,000 metric tons of finished product, and 123,000 metric tons of uncoated wood free and base paper.

All group manufacturing sites, including eight mills, also hold the ISO 9001 quality certification, ISO 14001 and EMAS environmental management certifications.

Lecta reports its recently announced 10 percent CO2 reduction is based on a range of energy-saving projects, including the start-up of new CHP plants, improvements in manufacturing processes, upgrading equipment, eliminating the use of fuel-oil and using rail rather than ground transport. In the last two years, Lecta reports to have reduced emissions to values of 0.36 percent CO2 per ton produced in 2012.

Lecta, a private company controlled by CVC Capital Partner, was created in the late-1990s through the acquisition of three long-established companies from Southern Europe: the Italian Garda, the French Condat and the Spanish Torraspapel. In 2012 Lecta had revenues of 1.6 billion Euros and around 4,000 employees.

Canopy, a not-for-profit environmental organization focused on the paper supply chain, is again asking Canadian printing companies to take part in its Green Print Leadership Survey and Report.

The results of last year’s survey were provided to major product brand companies across North America, as well as the more than 700 corporate partners that Canopy currently works with on establishing procurement policies.

Canopy’s survey is designed to identify printers demonstrating leadership on a range of environmental issues, with a primary focus on endangered forests policies, sustainability reporting, engagement on forest conservation initiatives and eco-paper procurement. It provides Canopy with raw data taht is then used to identify and promote environmentally progressive printing companies. Canopy does not assign grades, but rather makes note of environmental leadership.

“As more printers develop policies with support from Canopy, the Green Print Leadership Survey will help distinguish the leaders from the pack,” stated Marcus Ginder, Canopy’s Boreal Campaigner. “Print customers continue to seek printers that truly reflect their sustainability goals.”

Thirty-six printers, representing 254 printing plants and including three of North America’s biggest printing companies, responded to last year’s survey. The Green Print Leadership Report recognized TC Transcontinental, EarthColor, Hemlock and Sandy Alexander as standouts in their size categories.

All printers are invited to complete the online survey to gain third-party recognition for their sustainability efforts.

Participate in Canopy's 2014 survey

The Manitoba Print Industry Association (MPIA) has become an affiliate of the Printing Industries of America (PIA).

Led by Executive Director Barry Miller, the Manitoba Print Industry Association (MPIA) is structured to support the print industry in Manitoba through training, sector promotion, and advocacy.

The MPIA points out some of the key member benefits from becoming an affiliate of the PIA, including: Free economic and research reports, ratios studies, technical hotline, free training videos, and discounts on industry publications and resources. The MPIA itself also provides member organizations with training subsidies for human resource development, through provincial government initiatives, as well as discounts on MPIA workshops and seminars.

This represents the third Canadian provincial printing industry association affiliation to the PIA, which already includes the British Columbia Printing Industries Association and the Ontario Printing & Imaging Association.

The MPIA, including the following associations executives and directors, is holding its Annual General Meeting on May 27, 2014, at the Canad Inns, Polo Park, in Winnipeg, from 5:00 to 7:00 pm.

MPIA Executive Committee
Rob Young, MPIA, President
Executive Vice-President Operations, Pollard Banknote
    
Gord Boultbee, MPIA, Vice-President
Advertising Sales Manager, Derksen Printers

Glenn Buffie, MPIA, Immediate Past President
Publisher and General Manager, Derksen Printers

MPIA Directors
Mark Davis, President, Corporate Source
    
Bob Harvie, Operations Manager, The Prolific Group
    
Tony Kasdorf, General Manager, The Standard Press

Jon Leech, General Manager, Harris Printing
    
Andrea Read, Plant Manager, Transcontinental LGM-Coronet
    
Herb Vielhaber, General Manager, Cascades Boxboard Group Winnipeg

Jim Macklin, Manager Graphic Arts, Winpak

Greg Ward, Owner, Ward's Printing Services

Trish Witkowski of Foldfactory, a PrintAction columnist best known for her regular educational videos series 60-Second Super Cool Fold of the Week, has launched her first online course, called Direct Mail Strategy, on Lynda.com.

The course consists of eight chapters and 46 movies, each covering what Witkowski describes as a vital direct mail strategy or concept. She continues to state the goal of the course is to give direct marketers, designers, print professionals and small businesses the tools and strategies needed to get powerful results from mail.


“I’m so proud of how the Direct Mail Strategy course turned out,” says Witkowski. “Mail is a fascinating topic and a powerful marketing medium, but you can’t just send mail and expect results. There’s a strategy and a process involved, and I’m sharing it with everyone.”

The Direct Mail Strategy course covers mailing lists, marketing strategies, writing offers, engagement techniques, format options, testing, tracking and measuring results. It provides registrants with downloadable exercise materials. Lynda.com provides a free preview of seven of the 46 videos in the Direct Mail Strategy course.



“We’re thrilled that Trish Witkowski is contributing course content to the Lynda.com library, joining hundreds of other industry experts,” stated Kristin Ellison, content manager for the design segment at lynda.com, which provides thousands of online training courses on a range of subjects. “Her insight on direct mail is invaluable and her passion is infectious. I know our members will find her course instrumental in helping make sure their next mail piece is both effective and on budget.”

Come into the digital world or you may fall behind was a key message delivered by two Canadians, Jeff Ekstein and Michael Makin, representing the Printing Industries of America at last week’s Ontario Printing and Imaging Association meeting.


The February 19 dinner meeting with these two senior-level PIA executives was held at the St. Georges Golf and Country Club in Etobicoke, Ontario, and included an enthusiastic crowd with some of Ontario’s leading commercial printers and technology suppliers. In November 2013, Ekstein, President and CEO of Willow Printing Group in Concord, Ontario, was elected as the 2014 Chairman of the Board for PIA, one of the world’s most-powerful printing associations. Makin, born in Montreal, has been President and CEO of the PIA since 2002.


The dinner meeting agenda was set to also update members about the OPIA’s earlier decision to become a direct member affiliate of the PIA. The main points of discussion from Ekstein and Makin, as well as OPIA President Tracey Preston, were how OPIA/PIA together can help printers run their businesses. As the evening progressed, this theme narrowed in on how printers can offer auxiliary services to customers and stay ahead of your competition.


One of the major setbacks with the perception of today’s media buyers, a main reason why they choose to go with digital communications, is the sustainability image portrayed by digital technology. Printing is often thought of as a non-eco friendly industry because of the over use of paper, explained the dinner-meeting presenters. The North American public has an idea that any paper use is waste. Since 1970s, however, this could not be further from the truth. 



In the last 40 years, we have seen drastic change in the business environment of printing, forcing manufacturers to get on board with lean manufacturing. Additionally, the PIA presenters suggested that printers should remind consumers how paper is a renewable resource and, in fact, there is more square footage of forests in America today than there was in the 1970s. The amount of digital-communications waste – computers, monitors, mobile phones, batteries, among other disposable hardware loaded with carcinogens – is far greater and more environmentally harmful than recyclable paper waste.


The OPIA presenters, however, also focused on why printers cannot ignore the gains and value afforded to them by digital applications. The colossal growth in smart phones opens up completely new markets for printers to offer their customers more than just ink on paper. Augmented reality, for example, was a main topic of discussion among attendees at the OPIA dinner, as they work closer with their customers. Ink on paper is still needed for the application of augmented reality. Pushing interactions between printed products and digital devices is something that printers must implement in their businesses in order to thrive in the future.


The speakers from the PIA mentioned that in 1994 there were 54,000 print-manufacturing plants in America, with an estimate of only 25,000 being around by 2020. Approximately 1,000 printers go out of business every year; and the Greater Toronto Area is one of the most condensed and competitive printing areas in the world.


Printers continue to seek answers for how they can merge these often competing platforms of analogue and digital communications. At first sight, it seems as though something like augmented reality and 3D printing are completely different approaches relative to printing and that they cannot be combined in an efficient, profit-making manner. But the dinner-meeting presenters suggested the more pressing questions should be what do our customers want and how can we make it happen for them?

It is imperative for printers to be constantly learning about new trends in both printing and digital communications. Whereas in the past, printers could focus purely on printing technology, they must now research varied and continuously emerging fields of communications to remain relevant.



Newspapers, stationary, or financial statement printing alone are not services that will keep small- to medium-size printers alive and well, suggested the evening’s presenters. Integration of marketing, augmented reality, near field communication, and 3D printing, among others, should be considered to be part of ongoing business modifications. Some of these services may not be a financial reality for many small printers, but making sure to have these conversations with customers and suppliers to find out how auxiliary services can be added to your product line is a crucial part of keeping print alive.


Accepting the rise of digital applications in combination with the power of printed pieces is a start to getting a printing facility ahead of the competition and toward higher profits. Printers must think beyond ink and paper in order to stay competitive and to keep their customers from going elsewhere.

This report was produced by Krista Brown, a third-year student in Ryerson University's School of Graphic Communications Management.

Canopy, a Vancouver not-for-profit environmental organization dedicated to protecting forests, species and climate, announced its support for a Lifecycle Analysis produced by Kimberly-Clark Corporation, which is noted as the world’s largest producer of tissue paper.

Kimberly-Clark is also the global producer of Kleenex, Huggies and many other major brands sold in over 175 countries.


The company’s Lifecycle Analysis, described by Canopy as a cutting-edge study of the existing and potential raw materials for its products, was authored by the Georgia Institute of Technology, with assistance from Canopy, which provided independent expertise on the study’s advisory board.

Canopy, best known for helping J.K. Rowling steer millions of her Harry Potter books onto environmentally sound paper, works with industry and environmental groups to build policy and procedures for progressive supply chains. Founded in 1999, Canopy currently works more than 700 companies, such as Sprint, EILEEN FISHER, TC Transcontinental, Quiksilver, Random House/Penguin, The Globe and Mail, Scholastic and The Guardian, to develop progressive supply chains. 


“With an eye to protecting our planet’s remaining ancient and endangered forests – and not trading off one environmental issue for another – we have reviewed countless lifecycle assessments related to traditional forest products,” stated Amanda Carr, Campaign Director with Canopy. “The key to our endorsement of Kimberly-Clark’s report is that this study includes measurements for biodiversity and carbon stored in our global forests as part of the environmental considerations.”

With the inclusion of eight key environmental indicators, such as land occupation, human toxicity, climate change and water depletion, the study concluded that recycled paper along with alternatives such as leftover wheat straw had reduced environmental impacts when compared with traditional use of forest fibre. “Canada’s ancient and endangered Boreal Forests continue to be made into toilet paper and incontinence products,” stated Carr. “This study is exciting because it weighs the other options for a global company that had over US$20 billion in sales last year. That is a lot of purchasing power exploring what is best for our planet.”


Kimberly-Clark Corporation, global producer of Kleenex, Huggies and many other major brands that are sold in over 175 countries, has published a comprehensive Lifecycle Analysis, which Canopy describes as “a cutting-edge study of the existing and potential raw materials for their products.”


Vancouver-based Canopy, a not-for-profit organization that works with corporations and environmental programs to build progressive supply chain policies and procedures to protect forests, provided independent analysis to the advisory board that oversaw the creation of Kimberly-Clark’s Lifecycle Analysis. The report itself was authored by the Georgia Institute of Technology.


“With an eye to protecting our planet’s remaining ancient and endangered forests – and not trading off one environmental issue for another – we have reviewed countless lifecycle assessments related to traditional forest products,” stated Amanda Carr, Campaign Director with Canopy. “The key to our endorsement of Kimberly-Clark’s report is that this study includes measurements for biodiversity and carbon stored in our global forests as part of the environmental considerations.”

With the inclusion of eight key environmental indicators, such as land occupation, human toxicity, climate change and water depletion, the study concluded that recycled paper along with alternatives such as leftover wheat straw had reduced environmental impacts when compared with traditional use of forest fibre.

“Canada’s ancient and endangered Boreal Forests continue to be made into toilet paper and incontinence products,” stated Carr. “This study is exciting because it weighs the other options for a global company that had over US$20 billion in sales last year. That is a lot of purchasing power exploring what is best for our planet.”


The study is available online at www.kimberly-clark.com

Hemlock Printers of Burnaby, British Columbia, one of the world’s most environmentally progressive printing companies, launched two new offset portfolios (domestic and international) for its carbon neutral printing program called Zero.



In partnership with Offsetters Climate Solutions, Hemlock’s new initiatives allow clients to direct their support, as defined and recorded within its Zero program, to national or international climate offset projects.

Originally launched in 2009, Hemlock’s Zero program has now served 278 clients throughout North America, with more than 16-million pieces being printed within the carbon neutral program. As a result, more than 4,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions have been offset to date, which is the equivalent of taking 833 cars off the road for one year.


“We first started working with Hemlock Printers in 2008 with a simple offset purchase. Since then, our relationship has evolved into an innovative partnership, growing Hemlock’s business while tackling climate change,” stated Jeff Calvert, CFO and VP of Marketing for Offsetters Climate Solutions. “By building on Zero with these new [climate] offset portfolios, Hemlock has once again demonstrated why they are North America’s most environmentally progressive and client-focused printer.”


Within Hemlock’s Zero program, clients can direct support to the following new initiatives within a Canadian Offset Portfolio: The Great Bear Rainforest Carbon Project, which is an Improved Forest Management initiative that generates emissions reductions by protecting forest areas that were previously designated, sanctioned or approved for commercial logging; and the Nanaimo Landfill Gas Capture and Flare project, where carbon offset funds have enabled the Regional District of Nanaimo to reduce emissions of methane from its landfill by capturing and flaring the landfill gas that is normally produced.


The International Offset Portfolio available through Zero support now includes the Mai Ndombe REDD+ project in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, helping to protect 300,000 hectares of tropical rainforest from complete loss of forest cover; increased distribution of efficient wood burning cook stoves in Uganda to households and institutions; and Lee Country Waste to Energy Facility in Florida, which uses a combustion process that eliminates 100 percent of the potential of municipal solid waste to generate methane.


“The enhancement to our Zero program through the addition of these new portfolios allows us to further emphasize the benefits of this program for our clients,” stated Richard Kouwenhoven, President and GM of Hemlock Printers. “By working with Offsetters, we have been able to identify a fantastic group of portfolios for our clients to choose from.”


As part its overall sustainability program, Hemlock also made a commitment to reduce its own operational emissions by 33 percent by 2020. The company conducts an annual waste audit to ensure it is continuing to divert over 90 percent of non-paper solids and 100 percent of paper waste from the landfill.

Canopy, a not-for-profit environmental organization dedicated to protecting forests, species and climate, has updated its Ecopaper Database, which is a comprehensive searchable database of eco-paper options available in North America. Vancouver-based Canopy first developed the database 10 years ago.


The Canopy Ecopaper Database (CED), supported by the Environmental Paper Network, now contains more than 440 of the leading eco-papers available in North America. The updated CED has added 86 new papers, including Second Harvest fibers made from agricultural residue such as wheat straw.

CED’s update includes 52 new papers or paper products made with Second Harvest fibers and more than 220 Ancient Forest Friendly papers, which are stocks directly supported by Canopy as being environmentally sound in the protection of ancient forests. The Canopy Ecopaper Database also includes 409 products with recycled content and 225 papers made with 100 percent total recycled content (pre and post consumer).


CED includes eco-paper category leaders for book, magazine and newspapers publishers, as well as copy papers, commercial printing papers, tissue, office products, stationary, fine-text-writing papers, packaging, board, and now molded fiber products like wheat straw bowls.

All papers listed in the database have been screened according to The Paper Steps, a paper-grading tool developed by consensus of the steering committee organizations of the Environmental Paper Network.

View the Canopy Ecopaper Database



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%.

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