Welcome to the 2022 Paper Industry Gold Awards

11 May 2022 | House of Lords Terrace

On Wednesday 11th May representatives of the UK’s Paper-based Industries gathered on the House of Lords Terrace for the first ever Paper Industry Gold Awards.   The awards were organised by the Confederation of Paper Industries (CPI) in partnership with the Paper Gold Medal Association.

Well over 100 people attended the Paper Industry Gold Awards 2022 from across industry, as well as key political stakeholders, to celebrate the achievements of the industry and recognise the exceptional work of individuals and companies within it. The awards culminated in the presentation of the Paper Gold Medal which is a lifetime achievement award for service above and beyond the norm in the UK’s Paper-based Industries. 

There were over 40 entries across the seven categories: The Recycling Award; The Net Zero Award; The Sustainable Innovation Award; The Skills Award; The Community Engagement Award; The Health and Safety Award, and The Paper Gold Medal. The judging panel were most impressed with the wide selection of outstanding applications. 

Mark Pawsey MP, Member of the BEIS Select Committee and Chair of the Packaging APPG,  Bill Esterson MP, Shadow Business Minister, and Ruth Jones MP presented the awards. 

See CPI press release announcing the winners here.

Winners Click on each of the Awards below to find out who won.

  • Recycling Award

    This award aims to identify successful projects, initiatives, and campaigns run by paper-based companies to enhance recycling and more broadly contribute to the UK’s sustainability through activities supporting paper and board recycling.

    Winner - DS Smith Recycling 
    Highly Commended - Essity UK Ltd

    DS Smith was presented with the winning award for its collaboration with Cotswold Company furniture.  The project provides a Packaging Removal Service whereby all cardboard packaging is taken from the customer’s home upon delivery of Cotswold Company furniture. This material is returned to the distribution centre, where it is baled and collected by DS Smith Recycling. The baled cardboard is delivered to DS Smith’s Kemsley Paper Mill in Kent, the largest recovered paper mill in the UK, which produces around 840,000 tonnes of finished paper each year. The Judges were particularly impressed by the way in which this project completed the circle and demonstrated exactly how the circular economy could be mainstreamed. Image: Ruth Jones MP, Sian Farrell (DS Smith), Jacquie Silvester (The Cotswold Company), and Andrew Large (CPI)

    Essity UK have received recognition for their PaperCircle® project which is the world’s first paper hand towel recycling service, with the aim of recovering resources and putting paper fibres back into the product loop. This project supports companies to go circular by closing the loop and recycling used paper hand towels locally into new paper products. It is a unique solution that cuts waste and reduces carbon footprints, while enhancing sustainability credentials. The service is providing an advanced new fibre stream for hygiene products and is dedicated to working with committed partners. Facilities have their used paper hand towels picked up from their sites and taken to the local Essity mill where they are turned into new tissue products. Image: Ruth Jones MP, Martin Walker (Essity UK Ltd), Andrew Large (CPI) and Andrew Selous MP

  • Net Zero Award

    The Net Zero Award is an award to recognise a company that has made positive strides towards de-carbonising, whether that be via general operations or with a specific project. The award is designed to acknowledge the work of businesses who are moving towards renewable energy alternatives, and going above and beyond to reach the UK and the industry’s aspiration to be net zero by 2050. The judges were looking for projects and/or operations where their success in decarbonisation could be demonstrated and measured.

    Winner – Kimberly-Clark Ltd
    Highly Commended - Impress Print Services Ltd

    The award recognises Kimberly-Clark’s establishment of a Net Zero Strategy with significant focus in Kimberly-Clark UK Operations. The strategy has 4 pillars: the Energy Conservation Program; Manufacturing Footprint Optimisation Program; Alternative and Renewable Energy Program and the Energy Supply Program. The bulk of the net zero program delivery so far is coming from two very large programs that have completed during 2021. Overall the Net Zero program is planning to deliver a 74% reduction of Total GHG emissions by 2023 in comparison to 2015, with 46% of the reduction coming from projects completed in 2021. Image: Kath Martin (Kimberly-Clark), Bill Esterson MP, Andrew Large (CPI), Oriol Margo and Rob Mack (Kimberly-Clark)

    This commendation recognises that Impress Print Services Ltd has made positive strides towards de-carbonising, through their operations, products and services. They are powered by Solar Energy, A Carbon Balanced Company, Vegan Approved and FSC Certified. Through the Planet Mark Certification they pledge to reach the target of being net zero by 2030, supported by investments in sustainable print technology.  Image: Bill Esterson MP, Mike Kille and Alison Bromley (Impress Print Services) Andrew Large (CPI) 

  • Community Engagement Award

    The Award is for a company which has clearly demonstrated an outstanding and successful Community Engagement campaign which has had a positive effect on the public at large or specific groups.

    Winner - The Cardboard Box Company 
    Highly Commended – James Cropper PLC

    Based in Accrington, the Cardboard Box Company has a long history of involvement in local community and charity projects, including being: Founder patrons of Blackburn Youth Zone, sponsors of East Lancashire Hospice events, the Royal Lancashire Agricultural Show and The Festival of Making. More recently, during the pandemic they went above and beyond to support their local community and charities across the North West, particularly in supporting the more vulnerable in society by donating and supporting local initiatives, such as 30,000 boxes for Blackburn with Darwen Council to distribute food parcels and providing over 1600 Blessing and Wellbeing Boxes for distribution to residents in need. Image: Mark Pawsey MP, Ken Shackleton, Tom Penman and Stephen Latham (Cardboard Box Company), Andrew Large (CPI)

    James Cropper Ltd received this award for their project named the ‘Burneside Community Energy project’ which is a social initiative, whereby a series of Solar PV arrays have been installed on roof space at James Cropper's Burneside Mill to generate clean, green electricity in a way that doesn't compromise the special ecology or landscape of our location in the English Lake District. Any profits from the scheme go to fund environmental and social projects in the local community, ranging from help and advice for those in fuel poverty, support for young people and the school, to conservation and wildlife enhancement.  Image: Mark Pawsey MP, Julie Thomlinson (James Cropper) and Andrew Large (CPI)

  • Health and Safety Award

    This award recognises companies that have gone above and beyond to ensure a safer and healthier working environment for their staff, whether that be through innovative safety projects or initiatives to support the health of their staff.

    Winner - Smurfit Kappa Corrugated UK Ltd 
    Highly Commended - Logson Group 

    This award recognises the positive benefits from Smurfit Kappa Corrugated’s ‘Well-being Strategy’, which promotes a range of health and well-being activities for its workforce focusing on physical, mental and social health whilst empowering colleagues to take personal responsibility for maintaining and improving their own wellbeing. Most notably, all those in leadership roles have undertaken a mandatory ‘Mental Health Champions’ Course and each site has a team of Mental First Aiders.  Image: Andrew Large (CPI), Nigel Elias, Michelle Knight and Gemma Board (Smurfit Kappa), and Ruth Jones MP 

    This commendation recognises the positive steps Logson have taken to grow a safe and healthy working environment for their employees. This includes a SWOT analysis which identified issues with how health and safety was being managed, how significant risks were being controlled and how site health and safety cultures were being led. Significant financial investments have been made in improving physical safety such as machinery guarding and workplace transport layouts. Investment has also been made in the health and safety management system and software. Logson have significantly increased the time spent discussing health and safety with their workforce which has been at the heart of their success. Image: Ruth Jones MP, Andrew Large (CPI), Mark Ryan, Chloe Doda and Mark Deer (Logson Group)

  • Sustainable Innovation Award

    The Sustainable Innovation Award is designed to recognise the innovative work of companies across the sector. Companies should enter specific projects or initiatives which are pioneering in the field, and which will benefit the future of the industry by making the production process more efficient, sustainable and minimising the wider impact on our environment.

    Joint Winner - Smurfit Kappa Townsend Hook
    Joint Winner - CorrBoard UK Ltd  

    The project at Smurfit Kappa Townsend Hook focused on the optimisation of the drying process in a containerboard mill, with improved process control and consequent reductions in CO2 emissions. The tangible results of this project are a 5% reduction in steam requirement for the mill, with a CO2 emissions reduction of up to 5% as well from this single project. The judges noted that this is exactly the kind of sustainable innovation that will be required in order to meet the future challenges of the industry.  Image: David Upton and the Team from Smurfit Kappa, BEIS and the Carbon Trust, with Geof Nuttall and Barry Read (PITA)

    CorrBoard UK Ltd links food process waste from food product manufacturers to the corrugated materials from which their packaging is made by their customers. This is achieved through the relationship with CorrBoard Bioenergy Ltd based adjacent to the factory, which produces over 140% of CorrBoard UK's energy requirement for electricity and heat. Ordinarily, the bulk of food waste ends up in landfill, but this sustainable innovation diverts material from landfill into CorrBoard Bioenergy where, through a process of anaerobic digestion, it is converted into biogas, electricity and heat used at the corrugated sheet-feeder. The whole CorrBoard UK site is carbon neutral in its manufacture of corrugated sheet board. Excess energy produced at CorrBoard Bioenergy is seamlessly transferred into the National Grid for the nation to use. Image: Andrew Large (CPI), Rob Burgin and Paul Broderick (CorrBoard UK), and Bill Esterson MP

  • Skills Award

    The Skills Award will recognise a company that has made a significant investment in skills development and training. Companies can enter specific programmes or initiatives which focus on the development of skills within their workforces and which benefit the future development of the industry by facilitating innovation, greater sustainability and the attractiveness of the industry to new recruits.

    Winner - Palm Paper Ltd 
    Highly Commended – Saica Paper UK Ltd

    Palm Paper Ltd has made significant investments in employee training. Many staff members are Open University Engineering degrees and the Paper Technology Master’s Degree.  One particularly example of excellence concerns Zach Stanford. He started at the company 11 years ago as a Paper Technologist Apprentice, and is now Technical Assistant to the Managing Director. To achieve this progression throughout the company required significant investment in education and training. This started with the Paper Technologist Apprenticeship, which was a mix of in-house training, and theoretical education in the German Paper Technology Centre in Gernsbach. Further to this Palm Paper sent Zach to the University of Warwick, as a full time student, to study engineering where he was top in his class and he is now completing a master’s degree.  Zach now a key role in the business where for example, he was integral to the commissioning of the new CHP plant. Image: Mark Pawsey MP, Zach Stanford (Palm Paper) and Andrew Large (CPI)

    This Commendation recognises the  significant amount of time and money that Saica Paper UK has invested in training and developing its workforce to increase skills, knowledge, and competence.  Examples of their work include, initial training for new recruits in Spain, competency matrix further education support, as well as papermaking training apprenticeship recruitment and development.  This has then evolved over the years as the business and employees have developed in order to suit the requirements at any given time. Image: Mark Pawsey MP, Anna Duckworth and Darren Johnston (Saica) and Andrew Large (CPI)

  • The Paper Gold Medal Award

    The Paper Gold Medal is now over 50 years old and is presented annually to an individual, in recognition of personal excellence and achievement beyond their normal duties, who has made a unique contribution to the UK’s Paper-based Industries. Find out more about the award at: https://papergoldmedal.org.uk/the-medal/

    This year, there were two nominees that met the exacting criteria for consideration and both John Swift and Geof Nuttal were presented with their Gold Medals.

    John Swift
    John has over 35 years of experience working in print and packaging as a Quality and Technical Manager and latterly as a Regulatory Affairs and Standards expert. He has represented the industry at national and European level. He was nominated for his long dedication to enabling the industry to successfully influence UK and EU legislation, regulations and standards. As his nomination stated, “The truth is that it will take the efforts of many to cover the wide range of activities that John had mastered. He is sorely missed by all in the industry.”  

    Geof Nuttall
    Geof, who began working in the paper industry in the early 1950s, was nominated in recognition of his lifetime of both paid and voluntary contributions to the paper industry, in the UK, Europe and indeed all over the world. The nomination for Geof noted that “as well as championing the introduction of exciting new technologies, something he has continued to do into his 90s, he has acted as a technical ambassador for the UK Paper industry in Europe and further afield in both his professional duties and philanthropic commitment to the industry.”

    He has also been an active member of the British Association of Paper Historians (BAPH) for well over twenty years making many insightful and thought provoking contributions.  

    Congratulations to all!

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