Rekindling Our Connection to Print and Paper


by Paul Lansbergen

I have always been a paper guy – preferring to sit down with a good book in hand, not a digital device.  So I felt right at home when my organization, the Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC) joined Two Sides.  I had the pleasure of participating in the Sustainability and Marketing Committee meeting on November 16th.  I would like to tell you about some highlights and takeaways from that meeting and also about the Gravure Association of the Americas (GAA) Sustainability Conference which took place the following day.

The members of Two Sides all believe that even as we travel along the ‘Internet of Things’ mega-trend, paper still plays an important role in our daily lives.  The paperless office isn’t here yet.  I still prefer printed material, particularly for longer documents and books.  Did you know that we comprehend and recall more effectively when we read or write with paper vs digital communications?  Students surveyed have said they perform better when reading on paper rather than a screen.  We also have more emotional connection with hardcopy print because of the physical material, even if you are a ‘tablet reader’.  We also discussed the many print and paper myths that tend to float around in social media, mainstream media, and some corporate communications.  If you are interested in learning about some facts that dispel these myths, I invite you to review Print and Paper:  Myths and Facts. 

The next day at the GAA Conference I learned more about the Paper & Packaging – How Life Unfolds™.  It is a promotional campaign in the U.S.  They have some fascinating TV commercials that truly tug at your heartstrings on how important print and paper can be to us individually and our relationships with others.  My favourite is ‘Letters to Dad’.  They have a multitude of other materials and information about print, paper, and packaging.

Those discussions further solidified my pride in our Canadian industry.  The paper, packaging, and many other forest products we produce are among the most responsibly produced in the world.  We lead the world in 3rd-party sustainable forest management certification; have a high recycling rate; and we are part of the solution to addressing climate change.  These achievements have earned us the best environmental reputation in the world, according to a Leger survey of international customers completed in 2014.

I enjoyed meeting the many other members of Two Sides and look forward to the next time we can get together to discuss how print and paper still have a place in today’s ever-changing society.

Oh, I hear my book calling me, time to go read for a while.

Paul Lansbergen is the Acting President & CEO of the Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC)

Source: Image: Dollar Photo Club