Paper360 - November/December 2012 - (Page 13)

PROUD TO BE A PAPERMAKER Contd. from page 11 TRENDSPOTTING to make sure that everyone who works for us knows how important it is that our paper customers get a boxcar that will move their product from the mill to the printer with no problems. Unhappy customers will go elsewhere or they will want to ship in a truck, and that’s not good for us. So we need to get every load of paper we can on the rails and be sure that these folks stay competitive.” Fink has also work hard to establish strong relationships with top executives at the paper companies. “We’ve come a long way in the last two years, but it is through the efforts of paper executives like Mike Jackson, Lyle Fellows, Mark Gardner, John Donahue, Russ Drechsel and Wayne Howard, that we are where we are today, so we really appreciate the senior level input.” Pan Am’s efforts seem to have paid off. Despite the changes within the pulp and paper industry, Pan Am is hauling more paper now than they did 10 years ago which Fink attributes in part to the fact that they deal with mills that produce high quality paper. “Even though there is less of it, it is still in demand,” he says. Fink compares running a railroad to managing a factory. “Some people say all businesses are alike,” he says, “but ours is basically a 1500-mile assembly line that’s outside which can lead to difficult operating circumstances—such as weather. For instance, people in Northern Maine don’t realize that a tropical storm in Vermont can wreak havoc on our ability to serve them. It is different than a factory that has a big roof over it.” Transforming an Industry The Canadian industry adopts a new vision and signs a landmark environmental agreement T he startlingly fast rise of electronic media for accessing news, devastated the newspaper industry which, in turn, has had a disastrous impact on newsprint mills. Hard hit was the Canadian pulp and paper industry which suffered additionally as a result of still-depressed home starts. “The main topic of conversation within the Canadian industry today revolves around improving our competitive position,” says Catherine Cobden, a passionate supporter of the forest products sector for 22 years and executive vice president of the Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC), the voice of Canada’s $57 billion a year wood, pulp and paper industry. “It has been a tough few years.” According to Cobden, the industry didn’t just sit back and wait it out. “While we were in that deep, dark place we did our homework,” she says. “We completed a detailed investigation of how to get the most value from every tree we cut, and identified 37 different pathways for the forest products industry to transform itself. “We found opportunities in bioproducts and today there are shifts going on in Canada in that regard. We also saw opportunities in other areas such as serving the textile industry. And I’m amazed at how specialty cellulose has grown in Canada. We are really becoming a global leader of that product.” The Canadian biochemical market is estimated to be about $200 billion, and growing; something the Canadian industry didn’t initially realize. “Now that we’ve been awakened to that potential, pulp mills are getting more serious about taking the steps necessary to become the biorefineries of the future,” says Cobden, “And the start up of CelluForce’s NCC project has made the rest of the world envious.” innovations and growing markets; deliver a further 35 percent improvement in the sector’s environmental footprint; and renew the workforce Contd. on page 14 Catherine Cobden A NEW VISION In May, FPAC announced a new vision for the Canadian industry called “Canada’s Natural Advantage,” a transformation strategy based on: productivity improvements (to become low cost producers); market diversification; green credentials; and how to extract more value from forests. By 2020, the Canadian forest products industry intends to generate an additional $20 billion in economic activity from new 608339_Xerium.indd 1 advanced tissue felt technology Paper360º NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2012 03/10/12 5:18 PM 13

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Paper360 - November/December 2012

Over the Wire
Achieving Zero Landfill of Fiber
Creating a Monument to Safety
Keeping the Paper Flowing
Transforming an Industry
Supporting the Community
David Paterson Takes the Reins at Verso
New Tissue Fabric, Felt, and Roll Cover Technology
Protecting Your Mill Against Cyber Threats
Association News
TAPPISafe Takes a Page from Other Industries
Paper360° Online Exclusives

Paper360 - November/December 2012