PPI Awards Showcase Industry Excellence

The PPI Awards held in Brussels recently was a very special event coinciding with CEPI’s 25th Anniversary.


Winners of the 2017 PPI Awards.

The 9th Annual PPI Awards were held as part of a special celebration recently, marking the Confederation of European Paper Industries’ (CEPI) 25th anniversary. Once again, companies and mills from the pulp and paper industry around the world excelled themselves with entries of superb quality. The event was held at the prestigious Royal Museums of Art and History in Belgium’s capital, Brussels. The winners were:

International CEO of the Year Award 
Sponsored by StepChange Consulting
Winner: Berry Wiersum – Sappi Europe SA

Berry Wiersum joined Sappi Europe in January 2007 as chief executive officer. He started his career at ICI Fibres and served as president of Amoco Fabrics (Europe) and then president of Amoco Chemicals (Europe). When Amoco was taken over by BP, he assisted in the integration of the two groups in Europe before joining Pechiney SA in France, running the CEBAL packaging division. He later joined Kappa Packaging as managing director of its packaging division, and became the member of Kappa Group’s Management Board responsible for paper manufacturing and packaging. He served as chairman of CEPI (Confederation of European Paper Industries) from 2009-2011, and in 2017 was named RISI’s European CEO of the year.

Runners up:
• Cheung Yan – Nine Dragons
• Jaroslav Jiřička – Krpa Paper, A.S.
•Mark Kowlzan – Packaging Corporation of America (PCA)
• Walter Schalka – Suzano

Mill Manager Award
Sponsored by Valmet
Winner: Pavan Kumar Suri – JK Paper Mills, Rayagada

Pavan Kumar Suri has been mill manager at JK Paper Mills, Rayagada since November 2012. Under his leadership, the mill embarked on a major expansion program that enabled it to produce 215,000 metric tons of pulp and 165,000 metric tons of paper while generating 55 MW of power. The result has been a significant change in the mill’s fortunes, with a loss-making plant becoming one of the best performing units in India. Suri has created a set of proactive and repetitive processes for continual improvement and has set new benchmarks in the development of the business.

Runners up:
• Abdul Razik Askalani – MEPCO
• Massimiliano Listi – Smurfit Kappa, Ania
• Mike Schultz – Sappi North America, Cloquet
• Rick Parker – Smurfit Kappa Forney Mill

Environmental Leadership Award 
Sponsored by Exxon Mobil
Winner: DS Smith

DS Smith plc is building a more sustainable business, concentrating on creating shared value through responsible recycling, defining paper and packaging solutions, reducing the environmental impact from design through production supply to recycling, while ensuring the safety and wellbeing of colleagues. To demonstrate environmental leadership, DS Smith has made a commitment to undertake a biennial materiality exercise that identifies the issues most important to its stakeholders, both internal and external.

Runners up:
• Billerud – Korsnäs AB
• Domtar – Ashdown, Arkansas Mill
• Holmen Paper AB – Hallsta Paper Mill
• Klabin S.A. – Puma Unit
• Procter & Gamble
• Unipak – Tissue Mill

Resilience – Managing Risk Award 
Sponsored by FM Global
Winner: Smurfit Kappa – Zülpich

Smurfit Kappa believes that people are its greatest asset and it has developed a risk management strategy that focuses on the health and safety of employees, a strategy that was carefully evaluated by the Zurich Risk Engineering company in its recent assessment. SK Zülpich has taken an innovative approach to health and safety improvement planning whereby it comes into the project with an open mind, looking into modern technology opportunities and coming up with innovations that work in the live environment. The mill is going the extra mile with its resilience strategy: it has been Lost Time Accident (LTA) free for 1,000 days as a result of sustainable systemic improvements.

Runners up:
• BILT Graphic Paper Products Limited – Unit Ballarpur
• Smurfit Kappa – City of Industry

The Innovation in Cellulosic Applications Award 
Sponsored by NC Partnering Ltd.
Winner: Processum – Forest Fish

Fish meal is the dominant protein source in fish feed, but its production is an environmental threat in itself since large quantities of fish are harvested from the sea and ground down. The expected shortage in protein must be met with alternative protein sources. The idea of producing Single Cell Protein (SCP) is not new, but its development is more attractive today because of eco-awareness and the sharp price rises caused by the depletion of protein raw material. In 2011, Processum in Sweden started to develop the idea of producing SCP from hemicellulose and fiber sludge, and after just over a year the project moved from the laboratory phase to the pilot phase with an investment in a 50 liter pilot bioreactor. Having proved the process on this scale, demonstration runs on a 10 cubic meter scale were successfully performed in the Biorefinery Demo Plant in Örnsköldsvik.

Runners up:
• ellutech – Bicycle Helmet
• Dr. Malay Das, Dr. Samik Bhattacharya and Dr. Jayadri Ghosh – Molecular Techniques for Bamboo Pulp Production
• MetGen Oy – Industrial Enzymes for Lignocellulose Biomass
• Paptic – The Next Generation of Paper

The Pulp & Paper Industry Internet of Things Award 
Sponsored by Andritz
Winner: Metsä Group

Metsä Fibre’s Joutseno mill is one of the world’s largest single-line softwood pulp mills, and in addition to northern bleached softwood pulp, it also produces other bioproducts such as tall oil and electricity. The mill has been extremely active in using digital solutions to support these activities, including environmental management, production, and safety. Results have included the online modelling of pulp product quality and mill CO2 emissions, the automated tracking of pulp deliveries, the optimization of process performance, the introduction of advanced process control systems, and the introduction of solutions to support mill process maintenance.

Runners up:
• Koehler Paper Group
• Mondi
• Progroup
• Södra

Tissue – Innovation Award 
Sponsored by It’s Tissue
Winner: Cascades Tissue Group – Cascades Fluff & Tuff

Cascades’ company mission is to expand the boundaries of innovation and sustainable development. With a diverse product range, each year Cascades pushes the envelope in terms of research and adjusts its processes so that today it offers a wide range of environmentally friendly bathroom tissues and paper towels, some of which are composed entirely of recycled fibers. Two brands, Cascades Fluff™ and Cascades Tuff™, were recently re-launched following a comprehensive redesign that aimed to enhance quality while fully matching consumers’ needs.

Runners up:
• Atlas Tissue – Green Heritage Recycled Tissue Product Line
• Sofidel S.p.A. – Full Tech
• Sofidel S.p.A. – Regina Wish Kitchen Towel
• Universal Paper & Plastics – Dinu Kids Collection Multi Bathroom Tissue

Bringing Paper to Life – 
Innovative Printing & Writing Campaign of the Year Award 
Winner: Smurfit Kappa Colombia, Cali Mill – CartoPrint

With the objectives of attracting attention and creating empathy for its products, Smurfit Kappa developed a product display incorporating an image characteristic of the avifauna found in forestry plantations. The display can be modified to meet space needs at retailers, with the size appropriate for the space available in any given instance. The display features an audio system activated when a customer presses a sensor on the front panel and the audio track invites purchase, stressing that the product is environmentally friendly. As a result of the displays, Smurfit Kappa enjoyed a substantial increase in sales during 2016/2017.

Runners up:
• Grupo Gondi – Augmented Reality Portfolio
• JK Paper Ltd – DAAKROOM- The Letter Writing Carnival
• Sappi North America – Verticals: The Marketing of Higher Education
• Sappi North America – McCoy 
OCD Cards

The Packaging Innovation Award
Sponsored by Voith
Winner: Graphic Packaging International – FruitPack

Graphic Packaging International’s (GPI) premium FruitPack range offers a variety of fully sustainable mono-material, shelf-ready solutions for protecting and preserving fresh fruit and vegetables. A shift to multi-packed fruit and vegetables in the produce market in recent years has led to an increased need for convenient packaging, and GPI’s FruitPack offers a sustainable alternative to plastic designs. Visually stunning, the packs can be fully branded for maximum on-shelf impact. Made from renewable and recyclable resources, FruitPack presents an excellent premium “artisan-look” alternative to existing plastic-based packaging.

Runners up:
• Grupo Gondi – Augmented Reality Product Portfolio
• Menasha – Unilever Deodorant Boxes
• Metsä Board – LidLoc
• Smurfit Kappa – Honey Comb Queretaro

Water Efficiency Award 
Sponsored by Nalco Water
Winner: Soffass – Sofidel S.p.A.

Soffass S.p.A. is a subsidiary of the Sofidel company, which operates eight plants across Italy. Soffass Cartiera Via G. Lazzareschi is the company’s main paper mill with an annual capacity of 120,000 metric tpy. The plant is located in the heart of an important industrial district where there is a high concentration of paper production and processing facilities and thus considerable demand for water on nearby aquifers and rivers. In the past, deep wells have had to support water supply shortages. The company recognized the risks and set water management as a priority, pushing water efficiencies to the limit in the paper production process. Consequently, water withdrawal and consumption figures are well below even the strict limits imposed by local authorities. The company recently made a €2.5 million investment in its water treatment plant, more than halving water usage in the past two years.

Runners up:
• Gulf Paper Manufacturing Company
• JK Paper Mills – Rayagada
• Smurfit Kappa Forney Mill
• Tamil Nadu Newsprint and Papers Limited

The PPI 
Awards Judges
An expert panel of judges independently reviewed the entries according to each category’s award criteria. The judges on this year’s panel were:
■ Adam Bushong, Dell
■ Bob Latham, Delphi Projects
■ Bodo Kottwitz, BKay Tissue Advice
■ Donna Harman, AF&PA
■ Esko Uutela, RISI
■ John Pollard, Unilever
■ Kari Vainio, Kolumbus
■ Kevin O’Grady, Pinnacle Quality
■ Nicholas Mockett, Moorgate Capital
■ Robert Wilson, AMEC
■ Rod Young, RISI
■ Stuart Andrews, CDP Worldwide