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Renee Yardley – Rolland Inc.

Sustainability will continue to be important for organizations big and small in the year ahead. Consumers across industries are demanding that the brands they buy make strides in sustainability. As 2020 nears, here are three valuable sustainability trends to watch.

The circular economy will continue gathering steam

This year, it was hard to ignore headlines about landfills and the United States – at under five per-cent of the world’s population, the U.S. produces 20 per-cent of the world’s trash. Increasingly, consumers are getting fed up with the old “produce, use, discard” model.

Industry-wide initiatives aimed at boosting recycling and product re-use are increasingly emerging, in response to consumer demand for purpose-driven organizations that build sustainability into their products and services. The Ellen MacArthur foundation, for example, has organized a pledge whereby companies including DS Smith and H&M have partnered with governments to create more circular processes.

For our part, we’ve embraced a closed-loop manufacturing process, using post-consumer recycled content from the “urban forest,” for new paper products that are still recyclable. Rolland has also had success investing in circular innovations, such as biogas energy and water treatment systems that reuse water to minimize waste.

Measurement, in your business and within the businesses of the partners you work with, is critical to achieving circularity. For example, we conducted a Life Cycle Assessment to measure our environmental impact and help our customers better understand how we incorporate sustainability into every part of our process.

Gen Z will continue to demand action

As the October demonstrations show, young consumers are demanding change and driving much of the conversation around sustainability – and holding brands accountable. A McKinsey study found that 90 per-cent of gen Z expects brands to take a responsible approach to environmental and social issues.

This mentality will continue to push brands to innovate and create higher standards for sustainable processes. Gen Z and millennials together account for around $350 billion in spending power in the U.S and gen Z alone will make up 40 per-cent of global consumers by 2020.

Companies are already responding to this demand with action. Some of the world’s largest consumer packaged goods companies are rethinking how they package products to incorporate post-consumer materials. This includes Nestle recently launching new recyclable paper wrappers for its YES! snack bars, among others.

Technology is transforming supply chain management

Pressure from consumers and regulators is also creating demand for greater supply chain transparency. Because of that, new technology is emerging to help companies shift to leaner, but also more responsible, supply chains.

IBM, for example, recently launched IBM Food Trust. It uses blockchain technology to create shared records of food system data, to create more transparency among all parts of the supply chain. Along with being more efficient, it also aims to improve food safety and help brands build trust with consumers. Nestle, Unilever and Walmart, among others, have all signed on to the platform already.

With a new year around the corner, it’s a great time to reflect on how businesses can make a positive societal impact for the future. As you set new objectives and decide which initiatives and partnerships to invest in, remember that the demand for sustainability isn’t slowing down any time soon and that responsible product sourcing could be a means of competitive advantage in 2020.

Why print is essential for the future of education

Source: The Two Sides Team November 12, 2019

A four-year project examining the results of 54 research studies with 170,000 people has concluded that print is vital for effective education.

The argument that reading on paper results in deeper comprehension and retention, concentration, vocabulary building and memory has been given immense weight by a groundbreaking study by Intergraf, the European federation for print and digital communication.

The research examined the results of 54 studies with a total of over 170,000 participants from 19 countries, and found overwhelming evidence that comprehension of text is much stronger when reading from paper as opposed to a screen, particularly when the reader is under time pressure.

Concerned by the effect of increased time spent reading from screens in schools, the international trade body has called upon policymakers and educational organizations at both national and European levels to ensure that print retains a significant role within education.

Better progress with print

Titled E-READ (Evolution of Reading in the Age of Digitisation), the Intergraf study is a thorough project. Taking place over four years, it involved a network of almost 200 academics from all over Europe carrying out empirical research and debates about the effects of digitization on reading, especially for students and young people.

“Students learning from digital devices only progressed one third as much as they would have done had they been reading on paper”

E-READ found that print readers have a better recall of the relationship between events and are able to reconstruct the plot of a text better than screen readers. It was also found that the advantage for print was greater under time constraints and that scrolling resulted in a significant disadvantage for digital reading.

With regard to education, the digital disadvantage during elementary school was found to be two-thirds of the yearly increase in reading comprehension, meaning that students potentially only progressed one-third as much as they would have done had they been reading on paper instead of on a screen.

Paper a technology of proven strengths

The fact that young people only learn one-third as well when reading from a digital device is clearly alarming, and so Intergraf have called for urgent action to be taken at all levels to “ensure that education in Europe is not degraded by the rapid and unsubstantiated introduction of screen reading in schools”.

The statement continues: “The development of students’ reading comprehension and critical thinking skills must be immediately safeguarded. A failure to act on the advice given in such studies creates an immediate risk that students’ learning outcomes will be negatively affected by the increasing tendency of schools in Europe to promote reading on digital devices without the necessary tools and strategies to ensure this does not cause a setback in reading comprehension and critical thinking skills. Products that are proven to facilitate comprehension and critical thinking, such as paper books and other printed informational texts, already exist and should not be overlooked. Paper is a technology of proven strengths.”

Urgent action required

The results of the Intergraf study and their recommendations entirely chimes with the work of Two Sides and the results of our recent study into people’s preference for print. The study, titled Busting The Myths, found that 68% of US consumers preferred to read books in print, with 65% preferring print for magazines and 53% for print newspapers.

There are many studies that show that reading in print improves the understanding of information, as well as memory and recall, which is essential for the education of people of all ages, but especially for young people. This Intergraf study is a vital piece of work that proves that print has great advantages over digital for learning. Let’s hope the governments and institutions are listening.

For more information about the Intergraf E-READ study, click here

Read more like this:

Is this the end of print textbooks?

Infographic – Why do so many people love print?

This is your brain on print.

What is electronic media doing to our health?

“Switching off” and turning to print is better for your health and it may also be the answer to a good night’s sleep.

From: Two Sides [ ]

The prevalence and use of electronics in all aspects of daily life is steadily increasing with the average U.S. adult spending 6.3 hours each day with digital media, over half of which is spent on their smartphones. The number is even higher, up to 9 hours per day, for teens.1, 2

According to a 2019 Two Sides sponsored study conducted by Toluna, there is mounting evidence that consumers are feeling digital overload and the long-term negative health effects of electronic overuse.3

In the U.S. and Canada, 53 and 52% of respondents, respectively, are concerned that the overuse of electronic devices could be damaging to their health. Similar numbers, 49% and 46% believe they spend too much time on electronic devices.  Finally, 31% of American respondents and 27% of Canadians feel they are suffering from “digital overload.”

Too much screen time can indeed affect your health. Digital eye strain (DES), also known as computer vision syndrome, includes symptoms such as headaches, double vision, blurred distance vision, irritated or burning eyes, dry eyes and tired eyes.  Estimates suggest 50% or more of computer users suffer from at least one of these symptoms while they are looking at a screen.A study that compared reading on a screen to reading on paper noted that after reading from a smartphone, eye strain symptoms were significantly worse than for the printed hardcopy.5  Scientists are wondering how much of the recent and alarming rise in myopia (nearsightedness or difficulty seeing distant objects clearly) is due to too much screen time. If current trends continue, 50% of the world’s population will be myopic by 2050.6

One thing researchers do agree on is the harmful effects of reading from screens on sleep.7  Several years ago, a National Sleep Foundation survey found that 90% of Americans reported using light-emitting devices within an hour of going to bed and greater use was associated with worse sleep outcomes at all ages. Users may sleep less, sleep patterns can be disrupted, and daytime sleepiness increased.8,9  And all those changes in sleep can have detrimental effects on our well-being and the nationwide impact to long-term brain health is potentially large.10

The light emitted from electronic devices is enough to disrupt sleep patterns, negatively impacting concentration and brain development. This is especially important for children where the quality of sleep is necessary for mental development.11

A recent study conducted by the American Association of Pediatrics (AAP) shows supporting evidence that a greater-than-average screen time promotes a greater chance of developing attention problems. A correlation between excessive screen time and attention deficiencies is clear.12

Too much screen time has also been linked to increases in anxiety and depression, shortened attention spans and a variety of other negative effects on our well-being although evidence is often contradictory.

We evidently understand that too much screen time can be bad for us. There is also a clear preference among the Two Sides survey respondents to enjoy the “offline” world with 71% of Americans and 68% of Canadians believing in the importance of “switching off” and reading more in print.

Picking up a book, magazine or newspaper may be the ticket to relaxation and a good night’s sleep, not to mention getting immersed in your subject.  The preference for reading in print by a majority of consumers was reflected in the Toluna study which found that 68% of Americans and Canadians prefer reading a book in print (versus digital).  For magazines, the preference for print was 65% for the U.S. and 59% for Canada.

Detailed results of the Toluna survey can be found at


Mary Meeker’s 2019 Internet Trends report: All the slides and highlights.
Teens spend an average of 9 hours a day with media.
Toluna and Two Sides, 2019.
4 Sheppard, A. and Wolffsohn, J. 2018. BMJ Open Ophthalmology.
5 Antona et al. 2018. Symptoms associated with reading from a smartphone in conditions of light and dark. Applied Ergonomics 68: 12-17
Long, E. 2018. Evolutionary medicine: Why does the prevalence of myopia significantly increase? Evolution, Medicine, and Public Health, Volume 2018, Issue 1, 2018, Pages 151–152.
7  Makin, S. 2018. Searching for digital technology’s effects on well-being. Nature.
Hale, L and Guan, S. 2015. Screen time and sleep among school-aged children and adolescents: A systematic literature review. Sleep Medicine Reviews 21:50-58
Gradisar, M. et al. 2013. The sleep and technology use of Americans: findings from the National Sleep Foundation’s 2011 Sleep in America poll. J. Clin. Sleep Med. 9: 1291– 1299.
11 National Sleep Foundation. Electronics in the Bedroom: Why it’s Necessary to Turn Off Before You Tuck In –
12 MedicineNet.  Too Much Screen Time Can Threaten Attention Span.

Why We’re All Marketing to Five Generations at Once

Source: Freeport Press

With Baby Boomers staying in the workforce longer and Gen Z being the first “fully digital” generation at work, B2B marketers have a tricky challenge. Effectively marketing across five generations – Baby Boomers, Generation X, Millennials, Gen Y and Gen Z – means taking a strategic approach to multi-channel campaigns and content.

“We live in a multi-channel world with digitally connected devices that are always on. We receive marketing messages, ads, and alerts from many platforms, devices, apps, and websites,” writes Lois Ritarossi in Printing Impressions. “There are five generations in the workforce making buying decisions for consumer and B2B products and services. Marketers must define and deploy omnichannel strategies to engage with their various customer segments in the channels the customers prefer for different types of communications.”

Those customer preferences may seem obvious – digital natives want everything digital, and Boomers hate smartphones, right? The reality is digital natives often long for human and tactile interactions. They appreciate unplugging away from work hours and recognize the downside of too much time on social media.  And Baby Boomers are embracing technology to help stay connected and in touch.

Meanwhile, Millennials have a real fondness for print, especially when the information “matters.”

This multi-generational and cross-channel reality means marketers are once again embracing traditional media like printed magazines, catalogs and direct mailers that may have been considered obsolete when digital natives started making up more and more of the workplace.

“Great print and well-designed catalogs and direct mail create engagement and demand attention that drives e-commerce sales,” Ritarossi writes. “Retailers are using demographic and spending data to optimize when to send catalogs and direct mail focusing on key times such as holidays, life events — such as moving — or targeted direct mail for abandoned e-commerce shopping carts that spur spending.”

It’s beyond question that technology has changed how we communicate with and engage our B2B audiences. What hasn’t changed? The fact that we are all humans, with an innate attraction to the real and the tangible. This is the reality of marketing today, no matter what generation you aim to attract.

P&G Made an Inkjet Printer for Your Face

After a decade of R&D, its Opté beauty wand gives a targeted, diagnostic approach to putting makeup on your skin.

Source: Bloomberg

Inkjet printers aren’t often ­associated with luxury, beauty, and luminosity. But Opté, a handheld makeup printer for your face, promises to deliver exactly those things. With tiny cameras that take photos at 200 frames per second, Opté quickly scans for blemishes such as age spots and hyper­pigmentation, then covers them precisely as you run the device over your skin. It clicks ­quietly as it goes, shooting out pigment, to instantly camouflage for the day, and also a serum containing niacinamide, a form of vitamin B3 designed to fade imperfections such as dark spots in 8 to 12 weeks.

“It’s about not looking fake,” says Becky Kaufman, a group head in R&D at P&G Ventures, a division of Procter & Gamble Co. in Cincinnati. The target consumer is anyone who wants the look of flawless skin without the appearance of wearing ­foundation—men or women who are looking to have the natural translucence of their skin show through.

Made of 350 components, the high-tech device took more than 25 patents to develop, at a company better known for affordable skin-care products such as Olay and Ivory soap. Not only did inkjet printer technology have to be miniaturized, but P&G Ventures solved a problem that had long stymied the ink industry: how to suspend the whitening agent titanium dioxide, which usually sinks to the bottom of a mixed fluid. It took a decade to overcome this hurdle, which finally got worked out in a partnership with Japan’s Funai Electric Co.

P&G’s three formulas for Opté, designed to cover light-, medium-, and dark-toned skins, are intended to work for about 98% of tones. If the 98% can afford it. The device will go on sale in 2020 for roughly $599. “It’s the most premium beauty product we’ve developed,” P&G Ventures spokeswoman Lauren Thaman says.

Print Books and the Millennial – a Love Story

The stats may surprise you. According to CNBC, people still love to own physical books … and the proof is in the bottom line.

“Publishers of books in all formats made almost $26 billion in revenue last year in the U.S., with print making up $22.6 billion and e-books taking $2.04 billion,” writes Lucy Handley in CNBC News, “according to the Association of American Publishers’ annual report 2019. Those figures include trade and educational books, as well as fiction.”

In the U.K., industry experts see similar trends.

“I think the e-book bubble has burst somewhat, sales are flattening off, I think the physical object is very appealing,” said Meryl Halls of the Bookseller’s Association in the U.K. “Publishers are producing incredibly gorgeous books, so the cover designs are often gorgeous, they’re beautiful objects,” Halls told CNBC.

Halls poses one reason why, and it keeps coming back to the value we place on the physical.

“People love to display what they’ve read,” Halls noted. “The book lover loves to have a record of what they’ve read, and it’s about signaling to the rest of the world. It’s about decorating your home, it’s about collecting, I guess, because people are completists aren’t they, they want to have that to indicate about themselves.”

Another reason? A growing trend toward digital minimalism, as the digital generation longs to disconnect.

“While millennials are sometimes blamed for killing industries, it’s actually younger people who appear to be popularizing print,” writes Handley. “Sixty-three percent of physical book sales in the U.K. are to people under the age of 44, while 52% of e-book sales are to those over 45, according to Nielsen.”

E-books certainly have their uses. Handley shares how JD Salinger’s family eventually decided to publish “Catcher in the Rye” as an e-book after receiving a letter from a woman with a hand disability who found it hard to manipulate print books. Yet overall, future generations will continue to embrace print for its many benefits. Print books aren’t going anywhere, especially as younger generations embrace reading on paper.

5 times when using paper and a pen is better than using an app

From: FastCompany || STEPHANIE VOZZA

We’re living in a digital world—one where screens dominate our time. The average American adult spends three hours and 43 minutes on mobile devices, according to 2019 research by eMarketer. This doesn’t include the time spent on a computer at work or parked in front of the television at home.It’s easy to find an app or software platform to help you do run your life, making paper and pen feel old-school. But paper products offer advantages that tech does not. Here are five times when you should choose analog over digital:


“One of the biggest assets that paper can provide is that it stimulates our reticular activating system,” says Holland Haiis, digital detox expert for How Life Unfolds, the consumer content site for the Paper and Packaging Board. “It boosts learning and helps with goal achievement by providing better recall and performance.”

This reticular activating system is responsible for filtering out unnecessary information, helping with memory. Instead of taking notes on a smartphone or laptop, use a journal or notebook to record important information you need to remember. For example, if you are working on a speech you want to deliver with fewer notes or slides, consider writing it by hand to boost retention.


Working with paper can make certain tasks faster, says Christine Hofler, owner of Curate for Joy!, a Marie Kondo-certified organizing professional.

“If you only have a short list, a simple calendar, or a small number of contacts to keep track of, paper is faster and easier,” she says. “You can grab a pen and paper and write out a few words much faster than you can open your digital device, locate the app or program, and type in those same few words.”

Retrieving the info can also be quicker, says Hofler. “Just a glance at the paper or page,” she says. “Paper doesn’t go to sleep or run out of power as a digital device can. Another advantage: A single piece of paper is more portable than even the smallest device.”


When you are working with paper tools, your focus is increased, and you cannot attempt to multitask, says Haiis. “When we hold a device, we are subject to its rings, tings, pings,” she says. “The more we task switch, the more we get into brain fog and burnout.”

Paper commands your focus in and doesn’t have built-in distractions that can take you off track. If you need to finish an important project or get caught up on reading, consider paper tools instead of digital.


Paper can help foster deeper collaboration during meetings because it doesn’t distract. If people take notes in a meeting with laptops, however, it can be too tempting to check email. When you’re looking for an email, you’re not contributing, says Haiis.

“Any time you are distracted by a device, you go into less depth with a conversation,” she says. “This creates less trust and less camaraderie. If you’re going to move projects forward, you need to work together as a team. Too often, we meet a week later and wonder why we haven’t moved forward. It’s because the meeting didn’t have our attention.”

Make a policy of no technology in meetings, and use paper to take notes instead of your laptop or phone.


Out of sight is out of mind, and if you store notes or to-do lists in a digital app, it can be easy to overlook them.

“You can’t accomplish what you need to do if you don’t know what that is,” says Debra Eckerling, author of the upcoming book Your Goal Guide: A Roadmap for Setting, Planning and Achieving Your Goals.

She recommends creating a dedicated notebook for your to-do lists, keeping it in the same location on your desk. “That way, you always know where to find your upcoming tasks and action items,” says Eckerling.

At the beginning of each week, put the date at the top of a new page and make as detailed a list as possible. Eckerling recommends dividing your list into categories, clients, or projects. “Whatever makes the most sense,” she says.

While it’s nice to have a digital copy of your to-dos, the value of paper is manifold, says Eckerling. “Having your to-dos on paper, where you can check off items as you do them, enables you to be more productive,” she says. “It’s also less likely for things to fall through the cracks.”

Haiis notes that many of us are drawn to digital tools because of the dopamine hit you get when you get a new notification. You can get just as many when you use paper tools, such as crossing something off a to-do list or using colorful tools to make notes visually stimulating, she says.

“When you partner paper with your devices, you get a better balance, professionally and personally,” says Haiis.

McDonald’s Canada announces country’s first “Green Concept Restaurant”

McDonald’s Canada is on a journey to make its packaging more sustainable as part of its goal to reduce its environmental footprint and source 100 per cent of guest packaging from renewable and/or recycled materials.

To help get there, McDonald’s will unveil two “Green Concept Restaurants” in London, Ontario and Vancouver, BC. These restaurants will act as incubator locations to test new packaging options and recycling initiatives.

The Green Concept Restaurants will continue using much of the current McDonald’s packaging but will also test items with the potential to be rolled out more widely in the future. The first innovations will begin testing in the coming months and include:

The company says that, alongside current packaging, the two locations will introduce lids for all three cold cup sizes that are made from 100% Forest Stewardship Council certified wood fiber. In addition, the restaurants will offer customers wooden cutlery, wooden stir sticks, and paper straws.

In January 2018, McDonald’s announced that by 2025, 100 percent of McDonald’s guest packaging will come from renewable, recycled, or certified sources with a preference for Forest Stewardship Council certification.

Tom Murray, Vice President of EDF+Business at Environmental Defense Fund noted “McDonald’s global preference for Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified materials demonstrates their far-reaching commitment to source packaging that benefits people and forests around the world,” said Kim Carstensen, director general of the Forest Stewardship Council. “The partnership between McDonald’s and FSC – the world’s most trusted certification of forests and forest products – also creates a uniquely powerful opportunity for McDonald’s to engage customers about simple ways to protect forests,” he added.

Source: Newswire

Canada Post Smartmail Marketing – Generation Gap Infographic

About half of us are overwhelmed by how many promotional emails we receive and over 40% of all age groups responded to print or direct mail promotions. Talk to us about your next SmartMail Marketing Campaign!

Source: Canada Post Smartmail Marketing | Generation Gap: Connecting Brands and Customers of All Ages


Renée Yardley
May 15, 2019

All over the world, organizations in every industry are looking for ways to operate in more sustainable ways. At the same time, our landfills continue to overflow.

But this environmental challenge has the potential to actually power sustainability. We prove it every day at Rolland, by using biogas.

Why we turned to biogas

When you think about how paper can be more environmentally friendly, most people immediately think about recycling it. But it comes down to how it’s produced, too.

To us, true sustainability means making sure our entire manufacturing process takes the environment into account, from start to finish – in turn, giving our customers more confidence that the paper they use has a minimal environmental impact. That includes using energy in a way that’s clean, sustainable and renewable, which is why we’ve used biogas since 2004.

A key part of our Sustainability Strategy is our belief in a closed-loop future, where our products are made from recycled materials and can continue to be made into new products after they’re used. This philosophy is also the heart of biogas itself, because biogas energy comes from reuse of materials: from garbage.

In our case, using biogas starts at a nearby landfill, where methane from decomposing waste is captured, preventing it from being released into the air. Then, it’s purified, compressed and transported through a dedicated eight-mile pipeline, ultimately meeting 93 per cent of our paper mill’s thermal needs.

How biogas takes us from problem to solution

Unlike traditional fossil fuels, biogas is a renewable energy source, because it comes from converting organic materials that are continually produced but would otherwise go unused because they’re sitting in a landfill.

Fossil fuels, on the other hand, come from drilling far into the ground for organic material that once used up, won’t return. Biogas is also considered carbon neutral, because the CO2 that comes from burning it as fuel has already been extracted from the environment during the organism’s lifecycle.

As Pascal Meunier, Rolland’s Environmental Manager, has put it, the choice to use biogas at Rolland was based on it being available, but also the fact that it could be harmful to the environment if it is not recovered. “When methane, the main component of biogas is emitted into the atmosphere, it’s a powerful greenhouse gas 25 times greater than CO2,” he says. “By not using biogas, greenhouse gas emissions from natural gas extraction would end up being higher.”

Renewable energy like biogas is critical in the fight against climate change. In the United States alone, nearly 40 per cent of CO2 pollution comes from fossil fuels. In short, it’s much better for preserving our environment for years to come – a passion point for us at Rolland.

“Energy management is built into our core strategy,” says Pascale Vachon, Rolland’s Corporate Vice President, EH&S and Quality, “and biogas, like use of post-consumer recycled materials, plays a key role in our manufacturing process in keeping the environmental footprint of our products as small as possible.”

Results for the environment, the economy and our customers

Indeed, using biogas allows us to curb our CO2 emissions by 70,000 tons – the equivalent of 23,400 compact cars – every single year.

It’s in part because of biogas that Rolland’s Enviro product line also has less than half of the environmental impact compared to the North American paper industry average, as our Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) reveals. Specifically, its impact on climate change is an impressive 62 per cent lower than other papers in North America, also with lower human health impacts throughout its entire life cycle, in terms of toxicity and contribution to respiratory effects.

Beyond this, the benefits of using biogas extend to the local economy: Before turning waste into biogas, the landfill operator we partner with wasn’t getting any value from the excess materials in the landfill and didn’t have the reliable revenue stream that comes from turning it into biogas.

“Biogas is an economical alternative to burning natural gases, especially for residue landfills which would have otherwise been burned,” explains Pierre-Michel Raymond, Rolland’s Mechanical Engineer and Energy Supervisor. “Plus, a utility operates the pipeline and all parties receive revenue as part of the Rolland supply chain.”

Even putting those positive social impacts aside, biogas has also proven to be good business for Rolland. Using biogas allowed us to drop our plant’s thermal costs by 35 per cent in the first year of biogas use. Clearly, using renewable energy has not only set us up for environmental success, but for long-term business success, too.

We’ve long held the belief that responsible purchasing and product use involves the entire product lifecycle. With energy management and closing the loop being core to our Sustainability Strategy, biogas has become integral to our business.

By using biogas, we’re helping our customers gain confidence that the paper they use came from a process with a limited impact on the environment. In turn, this supports a path to their own lower environmental impact and to a more sustainable, closed-loop future.

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