Premier Paper Group is wrapping up the year by looking to the future, both with its business and in mitigating the environmental impact of paper production for the next generation.
As it marked the close of 2017 with a donation to the Woodland Trust of more than £600,000, derived from its carbon capture campaign, Premier said its plans for 2018 included exploring the possibilities of new substrates for small-format digital machines and continuing to develop its point-of-sale offering.
On 27 November, the group ran its headline drive for eco-awareness by inviting 150 customers and staff to plant tree saplings in Heartwood Forest, near St Albans, to replace the trees used up by Premier’s production processes. Targets to plan 2,000 trees were exceeded as guests managed to plant 3,000 saplings in total.
“Carbon Capture has been a very personal campaign for me ever since walking through the woods years ago and realising our industry’s duty to give back to the planet,” said marketing director Dave Jones.
“Any industrial process will use up resources, but with paper we can endeavour to pretty much generate our own resources. As we take trees away for use, we plant more, which makes it far more sustainable than something like the use of fossil fuels.
"Timber can be used in construction, while paper production makes use of what is left of the tree. Processing to make pulp also results in black liquor which can generate energy for boilers and other equipment – it generates 95% of our energy.”
Headquartered in Birmingham, the Premier group will continue to “focus on and extend” its campaign to plant and maintain trees for use in paper production. The Heartwood site is now entirely filled, so Jones said other sites will be planted on in coming years.
Over 2017, the group has established a display team of “experienced individuals” to develop its offering on substrates for point-of-sale, while Jones also pointed out the ample possibilities in the small-format digital printing sector.
He said: “Printers are only just scratching the surface of what these new machines can do and we are very excited to be coming up with new products for them to make the most of the opportunities opened up by digital.”
With 450 staff across 18 UK sites – 16 of which are fully-fledged branches – Premier, one of the hadline sponsors of next March's PrintWeekLive!, is on track to exceed its 2016 turnover of £217m this year.