Digitalization has an adverse impact on print, fibre scarcity is also a concern, and the paper market is increasingly volatile. In 2018, these challenges caught some people by surprise, as this was the first time the whole paper market was being disrupted since the early 2000s. Despite the challenges, print continues to have a role based on its unique virtues. Print is an unstressed interface and considered to be a trustworthy, long-lasting medium created by using renewable and recyclable materials.
For us at UPM, the zero-growth environment has resulted in focused development actions. We are committed to the paper business and this requires increased operational efficiency throughout the whole supply chain, without compromising quality. Our efforts have supported bringing cost savings and efficiency improvements all the way to our customers.
Fibre scarcity requires a stringent approach to sourcing, partly calling for very locally optimised solutions for fresh and recycled fibre. However, we continue to be exposed to the overall trend of fibre scarcity and volatility of fibre markets.
Innovation in news media
As a reliable supplier, we believe in delivering innovative solutions that support our customers business. Investing in new products and technologies is crucial and requires in-depth knowledge of both market and technology trends. Also, understanding customer requirements helps in steering development at UPM.
As an example, UPM Communication Papers recently launched two new products; UPM Impresse plus C and UPM EcoLite. UPM Impresse plus C is a pioneering SC paper custom-developed for coldset web offset printing, while UPM EcoLite is an affordable thin printing paper.
Uniqueness of print
According to a US study, 74% of people trust newspapers as a source of news, while just 27% trust the news on Facebook. Print has an enduring appeal, and high-quality journalism and analysis clearly carry more credibility in printed form.
While the world is, for good reasons, developing into a genuine multi-media platform, it is important that we also embrace the benefits of print. Reading printed content provides a laidback experience rather than a click-oriented, advert-ridden one with digital gadgets and servers that consume vast amounts of energy. Furthermore, print is private. It does not collect information about your preferences, nor run algorithms based on your reading behaviour.
Compared to paper, e-waste is notoriously difficult to recycle and contains toxic materials. While global e-waste recycling rates are currently around 35% in Europe, the recycling rate for paper in Europe is 73%.
Committed to print
The paper business fits perfectly into UPM’s Biofore strategy, and we continue to be a committed, reliable and sustainable partner to our customers. Now and in the future, we want to provide a platform for trustworthy messages. Our new name, UPM Communication Papers, underlines this commitment to paper.
Personally, I do appreciate quality journalism, and I always read the most interesting articles and reports on paper, both at home and at work. Print is also ‘chill-media’ for me. It is relaxed, pleasurable, and offers lean-back reading experience. I have read a book in digital format, however went immediately back to paper books.