BoardConverting Serving the North American Corrugated and Folding Carton Industries for 37 years August 30, 2021 VOL. 37, NO. 35
Hiring Engaged Employees To Drive Greater Profits
NAM: Manufacturing Jumps Again In July
Manufacturing production jumped 1.4 per- cent in July, the strongest monthly gain since March, according to Chad Moutray, Ph.D. and Chief Economist at the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) Motor vehicles and parts output soared 11.2 percent in July, but production in the sector remained down 3.6 percent since January. Excluding motor ve- hicles, manufacturing production increased 0.8 percent in July, suggesting broad-based strength beyond autos. Manufacturing capac- ity utilization rose from 75.5 percent in June to 76.6 percent in July, the best reading since January 2019. Manufacturing production has soared 7.4 percent over the past 12 months, with the in- dex exceeding pre-pandemic levels of output for the first time. “In fact, output in the sector was the strongest since August 2019,” said Moutray. “Moving forward, I would expect for manufacturers to be back to pre-pandemic levels in the third quarter, with production ris- ing roughly six percent and three percent in 2021 and 2022, respectively. Looking at data that drive corrugated industry sales, the nation’s production of
BY PHILLIP M. PERRY
That popular mantra for creating a productive work force has always been easier said than done. And today the challenge is tougher than ever, thanks to slim pickings in the candidate pool. Many workers fur- loughed or exiled to home offices during the pandemic have been
rethinking their personal goals. Do they really want to return to a workplace where they never felt engaged? Or join one that promises nothing but dull routine? Today’s tighter labor environment comes at a time when hiring er- rors and subpar performance can seriously impact the bottom line. As advances in technology have reinforced the need to exceed the com- petition’s productivity levels, employers need workers who will perform at the highest levels possible. “In this competitive environment, companies have downsized con- siderably,” says Pete Tosh, Founder of The Focus Group, Macon, Geor- gia (thefocusgroup.biz). “As a result, they really need to accomplish Today’s tight labor environment requires that employers continue to recruit and retain engaged workers who will perform at the highest levels possible.
CONTINUED ON PAGE 4
6 x x 8 x x 12 x x 26 x x NAM: How Manufacturers Are Dealing With The Delta Variant 12 Peachtree Packaging Wins Best 2021 Corrugated Print Award 4 Paper, Climate Change And Common Sense 34 Does It Help To Be Self-Aware?
more with fewer employees.” Understanding Engagement
The good news is that businesses can take steps to attract and retain “A players.” The process begins with an understanding of the CONTINUED ON PAGE 20
Machinery and Handling for the Corrugated Board Industry
AVERAGE CONTAINERBOARD PRICES The average prices reported are tabulated from prices PAID by various sources throughout the United States the week previous to issue. Prices in some areas of the country may be higher or lower than the tabulated average. The prices tabulated here are intended only for purposes of reference. They do not connote any commitment to sell any material at the indicated average. Transactions may be completed at any time at a price agreed upon by seller and purchaser.
REGION E. Coast Midwest Southeast Southwest
42# Kraft liner
26# Semi-Chem. Medium
$1005.00-1010.00 $1020.00-1030.00 $1020.00-1030.00 $1020.00-1030.00 $1050.00-1060.00 $1023.00-1032.00
Short Ton Del. Short Ton Del. Short Ton Del. Short Ton Del. Short Ton Del. Short Ton Del.
$940.00-990.00 $955.00-975.00 $955.00-975.00 $955.00-975.00 $975.00-995.00 $958.00-978.00
West Coast U.S. Average
SHEET PRICES BY REGION (AVERAGE) Per 1MSF, local delivery included, 50MSF single item order, truckload delivery. Sheets
E. Coast Midwest South-SW S. CA N.CA/WA-OR US Aver.
OYSTER UP-CHARGE 8.34
275# DBL-WALL 350# DBL-WALL
116.54 137.25 117.82 145.56
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CANADIAN SHEET PRICES (AVERAGE) In Canadian Dollars, per 1MSF, local delivery included, under 50MSF single item order, truckload delivery. 200# 275# Oyster UC 275#DW 350#DW $78.56 $99.18 $9.00 $96.32 $105.83 CANADIAN LINERBOARD & MEDIUM The average prices reported are tabulated from prices PAID by various sources throughout Canada. Prices may be higher or lower in various areas of the country. The prices tabulated here are intended only for purposes of reference. They do not connote any commitment to sell any material at the indicated average. Transactions may be completed at any time at a price agreed upon by seller and purchaser. Prices are Canadian $ and per metric ton.
42# Kraft Liner 26#
August 30, 2021
Manufacturing Jumps (CONT’D FROM PAGE 1 )
non-durable goods declined in July by 0.2 percent, follow- ing no change in output in June, according to Dick Storat, in his newsletter, Scoring Boxes . “Imports continue to supply the lion’s share of rising consumer spending for packageable goods, as their im- ports continued to rise faster than exports,” noted Storat. “During the first half of the year, the trade deficits for these goods worsened by an additional $3.6 billion. Through mid-year, export sales have risen by 14.1 percent, while the amount of imports has almost reached $100 billion, grow- ing at 16.4 percent through June.” Storat cited data that indicated manufacturing con- tinued to expand in July, despite continued supply chain and transportation bottlenecks and a shortage of workers. New orders were still growing more rapidly than inven- tories were depleting, suggesting that strong production growth will support box demand. “Both strong demand and rising costs to deal with sup- ply chain issues have caused the Producer Price Index to jump to 7.8 percent above year-ago levels in July, a strong shift from its 1.7 percent yearly gain at the beginning of the year,” he said. “While some of these increases will surely be passed through to consumers, most analysts still be- lieve the driving factors affecting producer and consumer inflation will ease once the economy returns to a more tra- ditional footing and supply chain bottlenecks are repaired.”
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NAM: How Manufacturers Are Dealing With The Delta Variant
Compensation & Mobility R.J. Corning of Whirlpool Cor- poration; and Vice President and Chief Communications Officer Shannon Lapierre of Stanley Black & Decker. The vaccination deal: Dr. Ybarra gave a rundown of the current state-of-play in the pandemic, detailing the various kinds of vaccines—protein-based, viral vector, and mRNA— and laying out which vaccines have been approved for use in the U.S. (Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer and Moderna). He explained the reasons why variants are occurring, and the possible need for booster shots as the effectiveness of vaccines wanes and variants create further challenges. • Who’s at risk: “It’s still the unvaccinated,” said Dr. Yba- rra. “It’s people who are young and think they’re in- vincible and don’t need the vaccine, and people who maybe just got one dose of the vaccine and didn’t com- plete their series. That’s the super high risk.” • Masks on: “Even if you’re vaccinated, you should wear a mask indoors,” said Dr. Ybarra. “You don’t want to stress test the vaccine.”
As the COVID-19 pandemic keeps changing, plenty of manufacturers are looking for answers on how to protect their employees. To help clarify where we stand and what comes next, the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) hosted a town hall on the strategies manufacturers are deploying to keep workplaces safe as well the vaccine policies some companies are implementing in response to the delta variant. Who participated: Moderated by NAM Vice President of Infrastructure, Innovation and Human Resources Poli- cy Robyn Boerstling, the webinar featured Dr. Michael Ybarra of the Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Association (PhRMA); NAM Senior Vice President, General Counsel & Corporate Secretary Linda Kelly; Senior Director of Global
• An important reminder: Ybarra noted a “humbling reality”: that almost all of the current COVID-19 deaths are among un- vaccinated people. “The best thing you can do right now is get the vaccine if you’re not vaccinat- ed,” said Dr. Ybarra. “It’ll provide protection against the worst impacts of COVID-19. And if you’re in that high stress environment of being indoors with people whom you don’t know are vaccinated, it’s important to wear a mask because it will provide that extra layer of protection.” A NAM policy rundown: Kelly provided an overview of the NAM’s policies and ex- plained its phased approach to a vaccine mandate for all employees. • A vaccine mandate: In July, the NAM made a decision to require all NAM em- ployees to be vaccinated or to seek ac- commodations for medical or religious reasons by September 20. • A plan: “This decision was not taken light- ly,” said Kelly. “We talked about it for a long time, we worked through a lot of is- sues, we sought outside legal advice on it. • Feedback: “As we have been rolling this out…we’ve actually heard from a number of employees who have thanked us, be- cause the policy has made them feel saf- er about being in the office,” said Kelly. • Useful advice: “No matter what you’re doing on your vaccine policies, you need to have your HR, your legal team, and your communications team working very closely together,” she added. CONTINUED ON PAGE 8
August 30, 2021
40 ft of paper travel from preheater to hot plates 3 seconds of heat, glue and bonding 1 chance to get it right! the ZONE
Design & Production
Chicago Electric offers 10 technology solutions to control ‘the Zone’ CORRUGATOR Sectoral preheating plate
Our sectoral preheating plates provide direct heat by means of a double steam circuit, allowing for efficient heating in hard-to-access locations, as well as to act as a steam shower to open the paper’s fibre, making it receptive to absorbing the heat and the glue.
This translates into increased speed and improved quality of the cardboard sheet finish.
The system’s main advantages are as follows:
• The plate may only be used to heat, only to humidify, or both options at the same time. • The plate is sectored, which allows for applying humidity to the sections. • It provides temperature in previously inaccessible locations and near the location needed. • It compensates the loss of temperature dissipated due to distance, speed or limitations of the exiting preheaters. • Quick transferring of heat to the paper. • The combination of the hot plate and steam shower allows for providing heat even to the hardest papers to heat. • Does not dry out the paper. • Possibility of operating as a humidifier and pre-conditioner. • Maintains and improves the fibre’s elasticity. • Acts according to the operator’s needs. • Facilitates the paper’s hygroscopy to absorb the glue and improve rubberising.
1. Wrap Arm - Position & Temperature 2. Preheater Direct Drive
3. Steam Plate 4. Contact Roll 5. Glue Machine Direct Drive Touch Productivity Issue—Glue Unit Many glue units run with a rider roll or a guiding bar system. The rider roll with paper gap allows a precise glue application, but requires frequent Contact Roll
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calibrations and settings. Bar systems avoid this, but compensate this with the risk of exces- sive glue application. The system contains many wearing parts. Solution The contact roll combines the ad antage of both systems and ensures minimum contact between board and applicator roll. The system uses small pneumatic cylinders in order to achieve a “soft touch.”
6. Gap Control 7. Curved Plate 8. Roller Shoe Press When it comes to a short-term increas of web tension, spring loaded systems with shoes or airpressure activated system have problems in compensating these. The system is lifted for a short time. This may result in de-lamination and in the ‘double kiss’ effect. Solution For a defined and exact bonding point of the web fiv weight rollers will be installed usually over the first flat hotplate of the heating section. The rolls are mounted into a frame, which is actuated by means of two pneumatic cylinders. P oductivity Issu —Double Kiss Bonding
9. Thin Wall Hot Plates 10. Pressure System Benefits —Exact glue application due to defined contact of applicator roll to web. Web is in contact to less flute tips compared to bar systems. • High precision glue application • Less moisture applied to web —No wear of shoes and springs —No adjustment of shoes or paper gap —Uniform glue application over entire w orking width for all flutes by use of pneumatic cylinders instead of springs — Less contamination by paper dust and glue remains —No jam of board because of web breaks caused by splice joints going through 630-784-0800 Benefits —Rollers secure exact defined first point of contact of liner and single-faced board - No double kiss —Frame design avoids unintended lifting of roller shoe (compared to spring or air loaded systems) - No double kiss —Pressure can be increased or released for special grades or products 490 Tower Blvd., Carol Stream, IL Contact Chicago Electric to GET IT RIGHT 630-784-0800 email@example.com chicagoelectric.com Solution The ProPress system ensures an optimum heat transfer to the board. It offers a wide range of set- tings. The loadi g pressure can be varied, the number of shoes can be lifted in accordance t the line speed. The outer shoes can be lifted in accordance to the paper width. The shoe bars will be delivered pre-assembled for a short installation time. —Liftable for easy paper infeed and for cleaning of the machine —Position adjustable in paper direction to avoid grooves in hotplate Press Productivity Issue—Poor Heat Transfer Rollers are usually limiting the heat transfer, since they often have contact mainly on the edges of the plates due to wear or bent plates. They also cause often loss of caliper and bearing need to be replaced frequently. Airpressure actuated systems can only supply a limited pressure and have com- pared to shoe systems a closed surface. Pressure Shoe
Plate vity Issue—Poor Heat Control l hotplates are slow to react to pressure due to high steam volume and massive y also have high heat radiation and heat profile. Worn plates can damage crease edge crush.
Thin-Wall Hot Plates
t by peripheral drilled hot plates. anufactured out of special wear and nt steel, through which a continuous is drilled, with one inlet and one outlet. ecured by a massive steel frame.
ance from steam to paper surface results in fast heat flow n higher plate surface temperature
Dealing With Delta Variant (CONT’D FROM PAGE 6)
Box Shipments ( U.S. Corrugated Product Shipments) Industry Shipments In Billions of Square Feet Month June 2021
Cases in point: Corning and Lapierre discussed the actions they have taken at Whirlpool and Stanley Black & Decker to prioritize employee health and safety. • Masking up: Both Whirlpool and Stanley Black & Deck- er have responded to the increase in cases by re-im- posing mask mandates. • Incentivizing vaccines: While vaccines are not yet man- datory for employees, Whirlpool is focused on making it easy for people to be vaccinated—in particular by holding large onsite vaccination clinics where possible. It is also providing $250 to people who get vaccinated. Stanley Black & Decker has sent its chief medical officer and local doctors to facilities where vaccine uptake is low to answer questions and provide encouragement. • Collecting data: Whirlpool is working to collect data from its employees to better understand who is getting vaccinated, and to gather information on any break- through infections. Stanley Black & Decker, meanwhile, surveyed its employees early on in order to gauge in- terest in vaccinations so it could target its efforts appro- priately. Both are taking care to protect their workers’ confidentiality. The last word: “We’re not going to have all the answers, but we can help guide people in the right direction and help them make the best choices for their circumstances,” said Boerstling.
Percent Change Avg Week Percent Change
Percent Change Avg Week Percent Change
Containerboard Consumption (Thousands of Tons)
Percent Change Year-to-Date Percent Change
Container Board Inventory - Corrugator Plants (Thousands of Tons)
Corrugator Plants Only
Percent Change Weeks of Supply
SOURCE: Fibre Box Association
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There’s Still Time To Register For ICPF’s Weekend In NYC
ICPF’s Holiday Weekend in New York takes place Fri- day, December 10, through Sunday, December 12, and be- gins with a Friday evening reception sponsored by Pratt Industries. On Saturday, ICPF guests will attend a Saturday matinee of The Christmas Spectacular at Radio City Music Hall, sponsored by BW Papersystems. On Saturday night, participants will be treated to a reception and dinner at the renowned Lattanzi restaurant. The reception is sponsored by Fosber America, and the dinner is sponsored by the WestRock Corporation. Greif and Kiwiplan also are spon- sors for the weekend. Bring your spouse or guest for holiday shopping, sight- seeing, dining, Broadway plays, and enjoying New York’s holiday season, all while supporting ICPF’s educational programs and student outreach. Many participating exec- utives (manufacturing executives, box plant owners, and service & supplier executives) invite clients and reward key executives from their companies with this special hol- iday weekend event. ICPF Chairman, Greg Hall, President & COO of Hood Container Corporation, stated, “It is a special opportuni- ty to reunite with peers in an informal social environment. ICPF’s holiday weekend in New York is one of the most unique events in the industry. Your participation supports ICPF, an important resource for our future.” Visit www.careersincorrugated.org and go to News & Events to download a registration form, or e-mail registra- email@example.com for specifics.
As projected, this year’s Holiday Weekend in New York appears that it will sell out even earlier than in past years. But it’s not too late to join the celebration of ICPF’s return to New York and enjoy the best Manhattan has to offer
during the holiday season! Capacity remains for 5-7 more couples. To ensure participation, ICPF advises registering for this special event ASAP, but no later than September 10. Registration is on a “first-come, first-served basis.” On Saturday, December 11, ICPF guests will attend a matinee of The Christmas Spectacular at Radio City Music Hall.
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Peachtree Packaging & Display Wins Best 2021 Corrugated Print Award
Lawrenceville, Georgia based Peachtree Packaging & Display has won an award for its LoCo Cookers Peanut Oil Box. The box won in the Flexogra- phy Category of the Premier Print Awards for Post/Direct Print Corrugated packages. “It is an honor to be recognized by experts in the printing industry and have our products put in the national spotlight,” said Chad Wagner, pres- ident and CEO of Peachtree Packaging. “We thank the Printing United Alliance and we appreciate the hard work of our designers, engineers,
Packaging ERP Algorithmic Scheduling Web-Based Access Online Customer Portals
operators and staff who bring packaging solutions to life. We have made a commitment at Peachtree to be a leader and ‘best in class’ in our execution of printed finished goods. It feels good to be awarded for that.” The LoCo Cookers Pea- nut Oil box provides cus- tomers with an attractive easy-to-carry container ca- pable of safely holding and moving three gallons of fryer oil. The container also
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showcases Peachtree Packaging’s high quality flexographic printing capa- bilities with its Goepfert 5-Color Dual-Die Cutting Press. The press allows Peachtree to attain very specific color matching to maintain brand integrity and clearly communicate the product’s features to attract new buyers. “The LoCo Cookers project is a perfect example of how Peachtree Packaging’s state-of-the-art technology and its unwavering commitment to quality combine to produce a final result that showcases a client’s brand in a package that is not only functional, but also capable of carrying a brand’s story to a new generation of buyers,” said Andy Auchmuty, vice president, Peachtree Packaging. The PRINTING United Alliance Premier PRINT Awards is one of the industry’s most prestigious award honoring print communications. The competition represents all areas and categories of print—screen, offset, digital, wide format, flexographic, letterpress, gravure printing, and embel- lishments/enhancements—produced by commercial printers, sign/display shops, package printers/converters, in-plants, trade binderies/finishers, graphic designers, and students. This premier event highlights the extraor- dinary work that is produced in the industry for customers. Peachtree Packaging & Display is a cutting-edge, customer-driven packaging manufacturer that employs more than 150 workers and occu- pies 250,000-square-feet of manufacturing space at two facilities in Law- renceville, Georgia. Peachtree produces around one million square-feet of product daily, a volume that equates to 31 NFL football fields of corrugated product. The company is known for innovations in Experiential packaging, graphic package solutions, point-of-purchase displays, and subscription box designs. Peachtree Packaging is also a champion of green business efforts. Its products are made from 60 to 100 percent recycled materials, and it recy- cles 100,000-square-feet of scrap and trimmings daily.
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Paper, Climate Change And Common Sense BY KATHI ROWZIE
that could stifle an industry that is, in reality, a part of the solution. Mitigating climate change demands a common-sense approach that is grounded in sound science, embraces proven strategies, and invests in driving continuous im- provement. This approach, in a nutshell, is why the North America paper and paper-based packaging industry is a A look across the life cycle of paper shows that its car- bon footprint can be divided into three basic elements: carbon sequestration, greenhouse gas emissions and avoided emissions. Each of these elements is influenced by important characteristics that distinguish paper from other products: it’s made from a renewable resource that stores carbon, it’s manufactured using mostly renewable, climate mitigation leader. Paper’s Carbon Footprint carbon neutral energy, and it’s easily recyclable. Sustainable Forestry And Carbon Sequestration Sustainable forest management, the cornerstone of the North American paper and paper-based packaging indus- try, helps increase the ability of forests to sequester carbon while also protecting and conserving other forest values like soil, air and water quality, wildlife habitat and biodi- versity. An infinitely renewable resource, healthy forests sequester carbon by capturing CO2 from the atmosphere and transforming it into biomass through photosynthesis. The carbon stored in forests helps to offset releases of
The UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) recently released updated projections about the effects of human activity on our planet, warning that inaction to immediately address climate risk will yield dire consequences. The IPCC’s conclusions and recom- mendations will no doubt be the subject of continuing debate, but there are three things that most people agree on: the climate is warming, humans play a role, and we need to do some- thing about it. However, without broad-based public understanding of how the environment works, there is an unfortunate ten- dency to believe that all manufacturing industries and pro- cesses must be part of the problem, a misconception that some in the ENGO community and the news media are only too happy to exploit. They push the thoroughly unsci- entific narrative that paper contributes massive amounts of carbon dioxide (CO2) to the atmosphere, a byproduct of tree harvesting, manufacturing processes and paper waste. Far from mitigating climate change, it’s a narrative Kathi Rowzie
CONTINUED ON PAGE 16
August 30, 2021
Paper, Climate Change (CONT’D FROM PAGE 14)
CO2 into the atmosphere from sources like the burning of fossil fuels and deforestation (the permanent loss of trees). The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) re- ports that sustainable forest management practices result- ed in net carbon sequestration each year between 1990 and 2018. As reported in the agency’s Inventory of Green- house Gas (GHG) Emissions and Sinks, U.S. forests and wood products captured and stored roughly 12 percent of all carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) emissions in 2018. CO2e is a measure of the global warming potential of all GHGs compared to CO2. The Canadian government re- ports that forestlands captured and stored around 19 per- cent of the country’s total CO2e emissions in 2018. Planting new trees and improving forest health through thinning and prescribed burning are some of the ways to increase the uptake of forest carbon in the long run. Ac-
cording to the U.S. Forest Service, the perpetual cycle of harvesting and regenerating forests can also result in net carbon sequestration in products made from wood and in new forest growth. In its 2020 Global Forest Resources
Assessment, the U.N Food and Agriculture Organization reported that net forest area in the U.S. increased by approximately 18 mil- lion acres between 1990 and 2020, while net forest area in Canada remained stable at around 857 million acres during those same years. Paper And Greenhouse Gas Emissions The North American paper and pa- per-based packaging industry was among the first industries to take voluntary action to reduce GHG emissions. Between 2011 and 2019, the U.S. industry reduced greenhouse gas emissions from 44.2 million metric tons to 35.2 million metric tons or 20 percent, according to the US EPA. Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) reports that between 2007 and 2017 the Canadian industry reduced GHG emissions from 22 million metric tons to 13.1 million metric tons or 40 percent. These reductions are attributed to the predominant use of carbon-neutral, wood- based biofuel (which accounts on average for around 60 percent of energy generation at North American mills), the switch from coal and oil to less carbon intensive fuels such as natural gas, and investment in equipment and process enhancements that improved overall energy efficiency. Contrary to the claim that the North America paper and pa- per-based packaging industry is a major con- tributor to GHG emissions, EPA and NRCan data show that U.S. and Canadian producers account for only 0.5 percent of total GHGs in their respective countries. A continuing in- crease in the use of biomass energy at North American mills has the potential to reduce GHG emissions even further.
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Paper, Climate Change (CONT’D FROM PAGE 16)
GHG emissions are avoided. That’s a significant environ- mental benefit when you consider that around two-thirds of all paper and paper-based packaging is recovered for recycling in the U.S. and Canada, more than plastics, glass and metals combined. When you single out corrugated cardboard, the recovery rate jumps to nearly 90 percent. The US EPA reports that the amount of paper and pa- per-based packaging that was recycled instead of going to landfills lowered U.S. GHG emissions by 155 million met- ric tons of CO2e in 2018, an amount equivalent to taking over 33 million cars off the road for an entire year. The North American paper industry continues to invest billions of dollars in technology to increase the types of pa- per products that can be recycled as well as infrastructure investments that expand recycling capacity. For example, U.S. producers have announced or planned $4.5 billion in manufacturing infrastructure investments by 2023, more than $2.5 million per day. The industry also is focused on “recyclable by design” innovations that help brands, re- tailers and other end users develop fully recyclable paper packaging by eliminating non-recyclable elements. Paper producers’ commitment to sustainable forest management, the use of renewable, carbon neutral en- ergy, and support and investment in recycling has trans- formed the circularity of paper products from vision to real- ity, and will help to drive further GHG emission reductions. Kathi Rowzie is President at Two Sides North America. For more information, visit https://twosidesna.org.
Some in the ENGO community argue that because biomass releases just as much CO2 in the atmosphere as fossil fuels, it isn’t really carbon neutral. But the U.S. De- partment of Energy (DOE) and other experts disagree. As DOE explains: “Burning biomass releases about the same amount of carbon dioxide as burning fossil fuels. However, fossil fuels release carbon dioxide captured by photosyn- thesis millions of years ago – an essentially “new” green- house gas. Biomass, on the other hand, releases carbon dioxide that is largely balanced by the carbon dioxide cap- tured in its own growth.” In other words, biomass contains carbon that was only recently removed from the atmosphere by photosynthe- sis, and that same carbon is returned to the atmosphere as part of the natural carbon cycle when it is burned to gen- erate energy. This inherent property exists whether or not trees are regrown. Sustainable forest management prac- tices help make sure that biofuel use does not outpace forest regrowth. The IPCC concludes that, “Regardless of how carbon neutrality is defined and calculated, the use of forest biomass produced under conditions where forest carbon stocks are stable or increasing always yields long- term mitigation benefits.” Avoided Emissions: Paper’s Recycling Success Story When paper products are sent to landfills, they release GHGs as they decompose. When they are recycled, these
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Hiring Engaged Employees (CONT’D FROM PAGE 1 )
about their work environment. “The most common mis- conception by employers is thinking people are engaged when they aren’t,” says Tosh. A close look at employee attitude is likely to be eye opening. A recent Gallup report revealed that only 36 percentof employees at the typical business are fully en- gaged, which means giving their best efforts or working to their full potential. Fully 13 percent are “actively disen- gaged,” which means they are miserable in their duties and spreading unhappiness to coworkers—and, presum- ably, customers. Perhaps as alarming was Gallup’s finding that 51 percent of employees are “not engaged”—psycho- logically unattached and just “going through the motions.” In other words, a majority of employees are not pulling their weight. The best way to assess employee engagement is to speak with them one-on-one. “Periodic conversations with employees will reveal any issues about their working con-
forces that propel top achievers. “There is a difference between motivation and engagement,” explains William J. Rothwell, Professor of Workforce Education and Develop- ment at Pennsylvania State University. “Motivation is inter- nal to people while engagement is a passion for what they do. Engagement requires a match between the person’s passions and their daily work activities.” Employees who are both motivated and engaged con- tribute maximum value to their employers. Not only do they get more easily into the flow of their work, but they reduce costly turnover by sticking around longer. “A re- cent Gallup survey shows that engaged employees drive 12 percent more profit,” says Tosh. “They are far more pro- ductive and lead to higher customer satisfaction.” Before taking steps to improve employee engagement, a business needs to assess how its staff currently feels
ditions,” says Rothwell. “The business environ- ment is one thing, but how people perceive it and feel about it is very often another.” Here the supervisor plays a key role. “Ef- fective supervisors are catalysts,” says Tosh. “They impact and utilize employee talents to achieve business goals.” It’s the frequent touch points of supervisor and employee, he adds, that offers the greatest potential. “Each interaction, even momentary, is an opportunity to build the relationship, to coach, and to im- prove the employee’s performance.” Unfortunately, too many supervisors see worker interactions as interruptions rather than opportunities. Other times, the personalities of supervisors clash with their charges. And that can be a major demotivator. “An employee’s perception of their relationship with their man- ager is far more important than their percep- tion of the organization as a whole,” says Tosh. Bonus tip: Engage the cynics. What to do with that subset of employees that always seem to have a negative interpretation of workplace events? Harness their energies. “Sometimes your cynics are your best critics,” says Bob Verchota, senior consultant at RPVerchota & Associates, Minneapolis. “Make a focus group out of them. Then you can really work on re- moving barriers to efficient employee perfor- mance.” Top Motivators Supervisors can use motivational tech- niques to re-engage workers and keep ev- eryone performing at an elevated level. But what techniques will work? While the common wisdom says throwing more money at peo- ple will stimulate performance, studies have shown that not to be true. “When people are
CONTINUED ON PAGE 22
August 30, 2021
Hiring Engaged Employees (CONT’D FROM PAGE 20)
worthy of recognition we want to be recognized,” says Altschuler. “Whether it’s a celebratory Yahoo party or a plaque that someone can hang on their office wall, recognition creates a sense of personal pride.” • Provide autonomy. Anything a manager can do to cut back on stifling bureaucracy is a good thing. “People need some personal freedom in their work practices,” says Verchota. “They need to feel that achieving an outcome is important, but how they get there is some- thing they get to decide.” • Encourage new skills. “People need to feel they have become masters at some task,” says Verchota. Increas- ing the number of such tasks can make an employee feel great about the workplace. • Cut checkpoints and paperwork. “Bureaucracy de-mo- tivates people by creating obstacles to their job perfor- mance,” says Rothwell. “It makes people very angry if they need to sit around waiting for their boss’s approval to do routine and simple things.” • Emphasize larger goals. “People need to feel a sense of purpose,” says Verchota. “They need to feel an emo- tional connection with their work and that their duties align with their value set.” Hidden Motivators As important as the top motivators are, one size does not fit all. “Not everyone is motivated by the same thing,” says Verchota. And the only way to discover what those CONTINUED ON PAGE 42
paid more, their performance does increase temporarily, but then it goes right back down,” says Jack Altschuler, president of Fully Alive Leadership, Northbrook, IL ( fully- aliveleadership.com ). “And they then view higher pay as an entitlement.” Money, then, does little to inspire great workers. But Altschuler offers three caveats. “For lower wage people in financial distress, more money does matter and can change their engagement level,” he says. “Additionally, people who feel they’re being underpaid will respond pos- itively to increased financial reward.” Finally, at the lower end of the wage distribution scale money can determine who applies for a job and who stays on once they’re hired. “If somebody is paid $7.25 an hour, and they can get $12 someplace else, they’re gone.” Those exceptions aside, what really motivates people is a nurturing workplace that meets their basic human needs. And to establish such an environment experts sug- gest supervisors do the following: • Appreciate employee contributions. “The number one thing employers can do to drive employee engage- ment is show appreciation,” says Altschuler. “Very often doing so is no more complicated than something like this: ‘Mary, thanks so much for staying late to finish the report that we needed this morning.’” • Recognize achievements. “When we do something
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FBA 2021 Mid-Year Review: Rising To The Challenges BY DENNIS COLLEY
As we transitioned into 2021, manufacturing has been burdened with labor, adhesive, and pallet shortages. Pro- duction is being hampered in most areas of the country and backlogs for durable products like autos, furniture and appliances are increasing. According to Dick Storat’s Eco- nomics Trends and Outlook Report, the market segments that provide demand for corrugated boxes are expected to grow by 3.6 percent in 2021 and 2.3 percent in 2022. Based upon continued covid-relief funds being distributed to middle-Americans to boost the economy, this number could possibly be understated. January is typically a busy month for the FBA data services department and this year was no different. Data requests went out for a variety of benchmarking reports and data to populate the Corrugated Industry Annual Re- port. The Technical, Safety & Health, and Environmental committees continued to meet virtually every six weeks instead of twice a year in person. The more regular meet-
Let me begin by congratulating the corrugated industry for stepping up to the challenges of 2020 and shipping more corrugated boxes than ever re- ported in Fibre Box Association’s (FBA) history. With a previous re- cord of 405 billion square feet (BSF) in 1999, the industry shipped 407 BSF in 2020, aided by a ro- bust surge in e-commerce. Corru- gated boxes are an essential part of the U.S. supply chain and the industry did its part in getting America back to pre-covid conditions. Dennis Colley
ing schedule allows each of the committees to stay better connected to each other and to their project slate. In February, FBA introduced members to the new Box Segment Demand Indicators Re- port which provides member companies with macroeconomic and market segment data summarized and illustrated in graphs with ac- companying bullet point information. Data is sourced from the latest government resources and compiled to keep you informed about the drivers of demand for box shipments between quarterly statistical reports. FBA held its first quarter webinar on the Economic Trends and Outlook for Corrugated Products Report and published the 2020 FBA Advertising and So- cial Media Impact Report detailing a successful year 4 of the Corrugated Industry Promotion Program. In March, FBA formed a new Cybersecurity Committee. Chaired by Greif’s Tim Bergwall, the purpose of the committee is to share up- to-date technology and information available to help protect corrugated industry companies against cybersecurity attacks. The committee held its first meeting on April 14th and began work on a framework to define focus areas and activities of the committee. FBA also informed the industry about OSHA’s Covid-19 National Emphasis Program and rolled out registration for the Virtual Annual Meeting. Rachel Kenyon and I had a virtual meeting with members of Kroger’s supply chain team. The decision was made in April to cancel FBA’s 81st in-person Annual Meeting and in- stead plan for a virtual event. FBA partnered with social media influencers to expand mes- saging on recycling boxes for Earth Day and
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