Tag: paper

Low paper prices hurt Mondi 

South African packaging and paper company Mondi said on Thursday underlying operating profit for the first quarter of 2017 was down 6% due to lower selling prices and inflationary cost pressures.

Underlying operating profit fell to 252-million euros ($274-million) in the three months through March from 269 million euros a year ago, Mondi, which is also listed in London said in a statement.

The figure was up 12% on the fourth quarter last year due to higher sales volumes and prices.

“Strong sales volume growth was more than offset by a significantly lower forestry fair value gain, inflationary cost pressures and lower average selling prices,” the company said.

The packaging paper division was impacted by lower selling prices for containerboard, while significantly lower gains on the value of its forestry assets, lower average export selling prices for hardwood pulp and white top kraftliner products, and a stronger rand impacted the South Africa division.

“As previously advised, we are experiencing some inflationary cost pressures across the Group and the forestry fair value gain is expected to be lower than in 2016,” the company said.

*($1 = 0.9195 euros).

By Nqobile Dludla for www.moneyweb.co.za

Paper is mightier than the microchip

Screen culture is damaging creativity. Increasingly, I see young creatives reach for their laptops whenever they have a problem to solve.

Hey, there are no new ideas on a screen. You’ll only find ideas that already exist. And you don’t want those. Do you?

The computer is a big cluttered cupboard, a superfast postman and a very clever professor. It’s not a creative tool.

Not when your task is to come up with new ideas.

The brain only truly ignites when the hand has a pen and it hovers over a huge pile of lovely white paper.

Screens encourage laziness.

Creatives simply do not bring the same mental effort to screens as they do when working with paper. Studies from around the world show that people working with screens are far more casual than those working with paper.

Paper demands more mental energy and commitment. In 2005, San José State University found that students using screens spent more time trying to take shortcuts than those working with paper.

Their time was spent browsing, scanning and hunting for keywords. The students using paper spent more time thinking. Their brains were more active in seeking out the problem. Screens tire us. They emit light that drains our energy, irritates our eyes and makes us feel tired. Paper does the exact opposite.

It reflects natural light. It has texture, weight and beauty. Paper is sensory. The physical aspects of writing and drawing on paper are simultaneously linked with our cognitive processes.

Our mind and body are interlinked.

Studies by Professor Anne Mangen at the University of Stavanger in Norway show that our brains don’t work like computers.

We don’t sense things and process the sensory perceptions afterwards.

Mangen proved that sense and process are one.

And the best way of harnessing this is via the medium of paper.

There is a close connection between what we sense and do with our bodies and what we understand.

Paper is classical and speaks to us in a mental language we comprehend.

It has been the creative launch pad for centuries, inspiring Leonardo da Vinci, Steve Jobs and David Bowie along the way.

Jean Luc-Velay, a French neurophysiologist, has produced studies showing that writing and drawing by hand stimulates different electrical impulses in the brain.
These brain impulses are dormant when we work with screens.

Which explains why the smarter institutes of learning are bringing paper back into the classroom.

Paper reveals your very own emotional mind map.

It shows you the wide roads of unhindered thoughts, the side streets where you can stop to gaze at the mental architecture, the cul-de-sacs of curious concepts and the random roundabouts that make you giddy.

Paper gets you to your destination: the big idea.

And it allows you to understand your creative journey more fully.

The next time you have a brief, shut down your laptop and grab a layout pad and a marker.

You’ll get more ideas.

You’ll get more interesting ideas.

And it will be more fun.

And if someone tells you that you are wasting too much paper, tell them they shouldn’t work for an advertising agency. They should work for the Forestry Commission.

By Tony Cullingham for www.campaignlive.co.uk

Hackers hindered by pen and paper

In an age of superfast computers and interconnected everything, the only sure way to protect the integrity of sensitive data, such as election results, is to return to paper and pen.

That is the view of Sijmen Ruwhof, an ethical or “white hat” hacker, who last month revealed that the Dutch election’s commission computer software was riddled with vulnerabilities.

Continue reading

The Moleskine phenomenon

From spelling out New Year’s resolutions to jotting down designer brainwaves, sometimes only a pen and paper will do, even in the digital era.

And those are the kind of niches that have enabled Italian notebook manufacturer Moleskine to leverage its historically evocative brand into the kind of rapid growth not usually associated with the staid world of stationery.

The Italian group’s sales have more than tripled in the last seven years. Turnover in 2015 was 128 million euros ($134 million); 200 million is the target for 2018 with Asia in the front line of the company’s plans to expand its retail network from 80 outlets to 120 over the same period.

According to business expert Alessandro Brun, the growth has been driven by Moleskine’s ability to successfully pitch an “extremely ordinary” item as being an object of desire imbued with history and an essential lifestyle tool for the contemporary creative.

“It is fair to talk about a Moleskine phenomenon,” said Brun, professor of company management at Milan Polytechnic.

From its launch as a brand in 1997, under then-owner Milanese publisher Modo & Modo, Moleskine has hammered away at the idea that it has revived the classic notebooks favoured by the likes of Picasso, Van Gogh and Hemingway.

Those now sold under the Moleskine brand are indeed modelled on those once manufactured by a French provincial bookbinder for Paris stationers. But they are made in China, rather than the Loire valley.

Knowledge workers

With their rounded edges and distinctive elastic binder, the original notebooks were known as “carnets moleskines” in French, because their smooth black covers were thought to resemble moleskin.

They were a classic of simple design but production stopped in 1986 when their original manufacturer, based in the town of Tours, closed.

Famously, travel writer Bruce Chatwin was so distraught he went round buying up as many as he could find, then wrote a lament to the notebooks in his book “The Songlines” that came out the following year.

Inspired by that account, Modo & Modo registered Moleskine as a trademark almost a decade later and the notebooks are still instantly recognizable, even if the new owners have substantially expanded the range of sizes, formats and paper quality on offer.

So who buys them? According to company boss Arrigo Berni the primary market is among so-called “knowledge workers” – designers, architects, engineers and lawyers.

“Our customers are marked out not so much by their level of income as by their level of education,” Berni said.

The advent of the digital era has not reduced the importance of physical experiences, he argues. If anything, the opposite is true, particularly for the 30-something generation.

“Consumers are sometimes a little more astute and intelligent than financial analysts give them credit for,” Berni adds.

As with the revival of vinyl in music, an aesthetically-pleasing, robust notebook provides an add-on to what the iPhone or a laptop can do, he argues, citing a survey of 4,000 designers which found 65 percent of them prefer a pen/notebook combination for recording ideas.

Moleskine Cafes

So how does he explain Moleskine growing sales at 20 percent a year in a global stationery market expanding at 3-4 percent?

“Beyond having a quality product, it’s about selling a brand and a sense of belonging (to a community), which is exactly what Apple does,” he said.

That vision has been behind Moleskine’s recent diversification with the brand now found on pens, accessories such as backpacks and, less obviously, in cafes.

The first Moleskine Cafe opened at Geneva airport in 2015, the second in July in central Milan.

Customers can enjoy a cup of coffee and light fare surrounded by exhibits such as sketches done in Moleskine notebooks. And of course stock up on Moleskine products.

“The cafes are about creating a link between customers and the brand,” said Brun.

Currently listed on the Milan stock exchange, Moleskine is now 95 percent owned by D’Ieteren, a Belgian group best known for its car dealerships.

The new owners are planning to take the company private but Berni is not expecting any other changes. “They have a long term vision,” he said.

By Celine Cornu for www.thelocal.it

Till 1995, paper as a commodity was called white gold. But this gold has lost its sheen. In the 1960s, economists predicted that paper would face a shortage in India when its per capita consumption of about 2 kg catches up with the global average of around 35 kg.

To be fair, in 1973 the country witnessed an unprecedented paper boom. Financial institutions liberally doled out loans to all paper mills without looking into their viability. More than 320 mini paper mills and about a dozen big paper mills started operations since 1976 and after 1980 all these new mills started closing operations systematically.

Wrong forecast
Recently, Ballarpur Industries accounting for almost 35 per cent of the Indian paper market shut down citing financial constraints and adverse market conditions. Just a year ago Sirpur Paper Mills, a leading producer also shut its mill citing adverse market conditions.

Thus the pundits’ forecast turned out to be mere bluff, like the Malthusian theory of population which predicted famine for an increasing population in geometric progression. Robert Malthus did not figure technology in food production.

In the case of paper, computers and telecommunications greatly displaced the use of paper. A compact disc of 700 MB can store matter than can be printed in 60 reams of paper (double demy) of 60 gsm equivalent to one tonne of writing /printing paper.

This means, India’s 2 million tonnes of writing and printing paper production can be stored in some 1350 hard drives of 1 TB, which can be kept inside a small shop of 1,000 sq feet. One can understand the economics behind this. Also, one can think in terms of easy retrievability of data from computers, or discs, when compared to hard copy retrieval from paper board files.

Almost all government departments, regulatory bodies negotiable instruments, bank transfers, and so on have switched to electronic data keeping thanks to itseasy retrievability, accessibility, speed and safety. Therefore, there can be no speakable growth rate in paper in future.

In 1990s, the production of paper in the US in writing and printing grade was around 90 million tonnes which has dipped to around 60 million tonnes; it is continuing to decline.

The US government which used to be a leading consumer of paper is now storing data in metallic tapes and computers. This substitutes consumption of around 33 million tonnes of paper. This is the position for all governments worldwide.

Most of the demand prediction in India was based on the increase in the income levels of the lower and middle level income group. As this populace graduates towards the upper income level, a fresh demand would be created especially through education. This under normal circumstances was true especially for a country like India where 36.4 per cent of the population was living below-subsistence levels.

Electronic invasion
Income level did increase as predicted and a good percentage of our population graduated to upper income levels. But consumption of paper didn’t go up as expected. The electronic media invaded. Children are now using smartphones and computers for learning.

A greater section of the younger generation, including the eligible working population, has now turned to electronic medium. Thus the anticipated demand for paper did not materialise.

The book publishing industry too had been greatly affected; though the reading habit has greatly increased, readers now use laptops and mobile platforms for reading, which offers them great convenience in terms of bookmarking and revisiting passages.

In the office segment the effect is profound. All files are now stored on internet-based (cloud) applications from Google, Apple, etc.. Demat of shares and downloading of public limited company balance sheets in company websites, electronic telephone bills, e-ticketing, all have impacted paper consumption.

What vanished in the meantime was manifold paper, manila pink cover paper, duplicating paper, bond paper, ledger paper, account book paper, share application paper, policy bond paper and so on. Only copier grade paper mainly used in taking print outs from electronic printers is in use. That is in short a shift in consumption pattern that happened due to technology.

Also, a sea change has taken place in the way pulp is made. Added by advancement in chemical engineering in gumming fibres, most nations use ash content or saw dust in their pulp for very good quality paper thus substituting precious long fibre coniferous trees. Time magazine is printed in six-colours on paper using 35 per cent ash content on advanced printing machines.

The road ahead
In the paper manufacturing process, the advancement in high-speed machinery consuming optimum energy and controlled by electronic sensors, resulted in immense cost reduction for paper mills. Also, the latest technology would help them to conform to green emission/pollutions norms.

In about 15 years, consumption for writing and printing grade paper would have declined tremendously. As a standing reference, one can note that big photo film companies such as Kodak or Konica had to shut down their production of photo films when smartphones arrived.

There is no point in Indian paper manufacturers blaming cheaper imports. Countries such as China, Indonesia, Malaysia, which have stronger currencies and better technologies, export to India. A focus on further cost reduction by implementing latest technologies would be a better option rather than to expect price increase through demand growth. For example, the ability to make copier grade paper in 40 gsm instead of the present 70 gsm should be the focus. The existing paper mills would survive only if they try to improve their pulping and paper machine technology instead of blindly adding capacity. However, packing grade paper such as kraft and duplex board may witness steady marginal growth due to rejection of plastics.

By TS Viswanathan, MD of Subramaniam Brothers, for www.thehindubusinessline.com

In many ways paper is the perfect example of the circular economy; it is both an end product and the main raw material when recycled into the next generation of products.

In order for the paper sector to remain profitable – especially important given the recent surge in raw material prices – recycling must be made as operationally efficient as possible and able to create innovative new products of higher value than before.

One key challenge to this has been determining the overall efficiency of the recycling process from start to finish. Current tools can determine, say how efficient a recycling plant is processing raw material at any one given time, but achieving a global picture of the entire process has been difficult to capture. The EU REFFIBRE project, which hosted its final conference in September 2016, has developed new tools to achieve exactly this.

Achieving recycling efficiencies will have significant – and positive – business implications for the paper sector. The policy and consumer-driven shift towards a bio-based economy (and away from a fossil fuel-based one) has had the knock-on effect of increasing demand for tree-based raw materials from sectors like energy, which has in turn driven up prices.

The project’s concept is that by gathering information on the potential impact of new processes, raw material input and product innovations – and combining this information with key processing data – paper makers will be equipped to make the most informed decisions on how to run their operations as efficiently as possible.

REFFIBRE began by identifying and then testing various production and process modelling tools. As raw material selection and stock preparation can influence pulp properties, tools for predicting this have been developed. This means that key parameters, such as the Mean Fibre Age (number of times a fibre has been used before entering a paper mill) and the Mean Number of Uses (number of times a fibre will be used after leaving the paper mill), can now be calculated.

REFFIBRE partners have also worked on tools to help paper makers take into full consideration issues such as the impact on energy use outside the paper mill, and what happens if reduced quality recycling material is fed into the process. These tools were then tested under real processing conditions, and the results of each case study combined into a practical guide targeted at industry decision makers. In addition, it is expected that the results will be used to further develop industry standards.

Achieving recycling efficiencies is one way that the pulp and paper industry can mitigate raw material price increases, and at the same time reduce its environmental impact. There is a significant business opportunity here; Europe paper fibre is recycled an astounding 3.5 times a year; world-wide the average is 2.4 times. The recycling rate in Europe reached 71.7 % in 2012. All this strongly suggests that the infrastructure for paper recycling is already in place. And now, thanks in part to the REFFIBRE project, so is the technology.

Source: www.phys.org

Montblanc launches Augmented Paper

Montblanc celebrates the art of writing with a new product that merges technology and the charm of using pen and paper. Launched during Berlin’s technology fair IFA, Montblanc Augmented Paper allows hand-written notes to be transferred onto digital devices thanks to a newly developed technology.

The kit includes a black leather case containing the electronic digitiser, a notebook with lined paper, USB cable to charge the device, three ballpoint refills and tweezers to exchange them.

The Augmented Paper can be used with a writing instrument from the brand’s StarWalker collection, a pen that has been specially fitted with custom-made technology to write with the new device.

Text written by hand can be seamlessly transferred to any mobile device and edited or shared, with writing recognition available in 12 languages including English, German, Russian and Chinese. Notes are collected on an app (called the Montblanc Hub), which stores them digitally and that can also be used independently from the Augmented Paper.

“Nothing compares to the sensation of writing on paper,” says Montblanc CEO Jérôme Lambert, who has always been clear on the brand’s commitment to the art of writing.

“Being able to share work and thoughts digitally has become essential,” he adds. “Augmented Paper bridges these two worlds with a simple and highly functional product.”

It’s promising to become the start of a small writing revolution, which will give new scope to written matter and test new frontiers for the digital world. And we can’t wait to get writing.

By Rosa Bertoli for www.wallpaper.com

For many industries, information flow has seen a remarkable transformation from paper media to digital in order to save time, space and money. Not to mention digital media tends to be more organised than paper-based information. Paper companies have not backed down to the industry threat, however.

The paper industry’s activism in the mutual fund space

“When the government planned to make it easier for mutual funds to quit mailing investors billions of pages of reports each year, the paper industry got involved,” says Andrew Ackerman of the Wall Street Journal.

According to the WSJ writer, American Mutual funds spend over $300-million every year for paper in order to send investors hundreds of millions of reports every year. Many of these densely written packets are tossed out and unread.

Last year, in order to save time and money, Securities Exchange Commission regulators began proposing a digital solution, not requiring funds to send hard copy reports to their investors. As part of the justification, only “24.5 percent said they would request a mailed hard copy” if the switch occurred according to the WSJ.

The paper industry strikes back

“The push for “logical progress,” however, was not progress to everyone, as the American Forest & Paper Association and the Envelope Manufactures Association teamed up to stop the proposal, added Ackerman.

The two paper groups jointly funded the Consumers for Paper Options group while rallying retirees and consumer groups “decrying what they call the government’s rush to digitalise,” says Ackerman.

“Millions of our fellow Americans will be left out in an information desert,” Rep. Bruce Poliquin, a Maine Republican leading the pro-paper faction, warned on the House floor July 6, according to WSJ.

In the end, the paper industry’s activism prevailed and the chairman of the SEC commission, Jo White, decided to drop the plan. White noted the plan had drawn “considerable attention,” and planned on a formal announcement this autumn, says Ackerman.

By Andrew Efimoff for www.benzinga.com

Just a quick scroll through your inbox and it won’t be long before your come across statements like “think before you print”; “please consider the environment – do you really need to print this e-mail?”; “go green – go paperless”; and “do your bit for the environment and choose e-billing”.

The misconceptions about print and paper are still a major issue for the industry.

As these messages are unsubstantiated, they are misleading and can have a lasting effect on consumer perceptions of print and paper.
The print and paper industry is a world leader when it comes to sustainably-managed materials, renewable energy and recycling.

Some of the most common myths surrounding paper are:

European forests are shrinking;
* Planted forests are bad for the environment;
* Paper is bad for the environment;
* Paper production is a major cause of global greenhouse gas emissions;
* Only recycled paper should be used;
* Print and Paper is a wasteful product;
* Electronic communication is more environmentally friendly than paper-based  communication;
* Digital is always the preferred means of communication; and
* Packaging is wasteful and unnecessary.

Some key facts about print and paper’s sustainability:

* Between 2005 and 2015, European forests grew by an area the size of Switzerland – that’s 1 500 football pitches every day;
* Europe recycles 72% of its paper;
* 84% of the industry’s raw materials come from Europe;
* Between 2005 and 2013, the CO2 emissions of the European pulp and paper industry were reduced by 22%; and
* 56% of the industry’s total primary annual energy consumption is biomass-based.

TwoSides has created a new fact sheet, full of alternative e-mail sign-offs, to help encourage individuals and businesses to use fair, factual and honest statements in their e-mails.
The company has come up with a number of alternative footers for you to consider:

* Print and paper is renewable, sustainable and powerful. If you print, please recycle.

* Printed emails create a permanent and sustainable record but please ensure all waste paper is recycled.

* Responsibly Produced Print and Paper is Renewable, Recyclable, and Powerful. Visit www.twosides.info for more information.

* Responsibly produced paper has unique environmental features. It is highly recyclable and comes from a renewable resource. If you print, please recycle.

* Print on paper is a practical, attractive, and sustainable communications medium. If you print, please recycle.

* In Europe there is no shortage of trees. Responsibly produced paper is a renewable and recyclable product and can be an environmentally sustainable way to communicate. If you print, please recycle.

* If you print, please recycle. Ensure you choose paper from companies that source fibre from well-managed, certified forests.

* Yes, it’s OK to print your emails – but please recycle waste paper.

We shouldn’t have to feel guilty about printing our e-mails. Just ensure that you use paper from certified or sustainably-managed forests, print double-sided and always recycle.

Source: www.twosides.info

 

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