Canadian Packaging

Paperboard Packaging Council 2016 year in review

By Canadian Packaging staff   

General Sustainability Paperboard Packaging drupa 2016 ECMA Congress Graphic Packaging International Lincoln Leadership Institute Paper 2016 Paperboard Packaging Alliance Paperboard Packaging Alliance’s Student Design Challenge Paperboard Packaging Council (PPC) Robert T. Gair Award WestRock

As 2016 draws to a close, see some good news about the paperboard packaging industry regarding community building, education, and industry promotion.

SPRINGFIELD, Mass.—During its 87th year as an association for the converters and suppliers of paperboard packaging, the Paperboard Packaging Council (PPC) focused on building community within the industry, providing leadership skills and technical education, and promoting paperboard as the premiere sustainable packaging substrate.

Throughout 2016, PPC focused on building and growing a strong community of North American folding carton and rigid box converters—a community that allows for dialogue, the sharing of best-practices, and ultimately, a better industry as a whole.

That community came together during PPC’s biannual conferences in Miami and San Antonio, which enjoyed 26 percent increased converter attendance since 2013.

PPC also welcomed nine new converter members and five new supplier members during 2016.


To cement bonds and encourage further participation, PPC gave several honors for volunteerism and participation throughout the year:

Marc Anderson of Graphic Packaging International and Bill Bloom of WestRock both received Volunteer Leader Awards for their substantial contributions to the association. During a distinguished ceremony, David W. Scheible, former president and chief executive officer of Graphic Packaging International, received the Robert T. Gair Award, the industry’s highest honor for lifelong achievement.

PPC also encouraged members to participate both in small special interest groups within the association as well as in the larger paper and packaging community outside the association.

Throughout the year PPC facilitated several communities of interest, including the Women’s Leadership Workshop, the Canadian Converters Committee, the Rigid Box Committee, and the New Generation Leaders group.

PPC staff and members also engaged with the broader community at drupa 2016, Paper 2016, the ECMA Congress, and the Paperboard Packaging Alliance’s Student Design Challenge judging week.

“The power of association is in bringing people with common interests and challenges together,” says PPC president Ben Markens. “At PPC, our members generate unique ideas and make fruitful connections—and the entire industry benefits from this collaboration.”

One of the key reasons for bringing the industry together during the past year was education, both for leaders and production floor employees.

PPC’s conferences brought industry executives together to learn leadership and managerial lessons: in the Spring, they learned how to how to bridge generational differences in their businesses and how to discover new ideas and spark the future from keynote speakers Phil Gwoke and Magnus Lindkvist.

Later in the Fall, Steve Wiley from the Lincoln Leadership Institute taught leadership lessons from the nation’s history while Graphic Packaging president and chief executive officer Michael P. Doss provided his perspective on leadership and the direction of the industry.

To help new employees master the art of carton converting, PPC held two Folding Carton Boot Camps, educating 50 employees on the basics of papermaking and the entire converting process. Furthermore, a well-attended Technical & Production workshop introduced the new technologies and developments from drupa to members’ production managers and other employees who were not able to travel to Germany.

Through its University Outreach Program and involvement with the Paperboard Packaging Alliance, PPC also donated 182 Ideas & Innovation carton design handbooks to university packaging programs across the country, as well as facilitated donations of paperboard from members.

PPC also made great strides in promoting the industry. Throughout the year, PPC served as an industry knowledge hub with its Vox Box Blog, weekly newsletter, white papers, informational website, legislative updates, and more.

PPC’s educational outreach program, TICCIT (Trees Into Cartons, Cartons Into Trees), helped members across the country plant trees and educate children about the sustainability and recyclability of paperboard packaging. The association also formed an industry taskforce to streamline members’ marketing and sustainability messaging.

“I am extremely proud of all the important work we’ve done over the past year,” says Markens. “In bringing the industry together, providing education, and promoting our sustainable product, we have provided value for our members and worked toward raising the industry as a whole. I am certain we will carry this momentum forward into 2017 and beyond.”

For a comprehensive list of PPC’s 2016 accomplishments, see the Member Center at


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