Monday, October 11, 2010

Finch Paper is Finalist for 2 Global Paper Industry Awards

Samples of promotional items Finch Paper created and distributed to in-house and studio graphic designers as part of its “Finch is in the House” marketing campaign.

GLENS FALLS, N.Y. – Finch Paper LLC has been named an international finalist for two paper industry awards, for its safety program and a creative marketing campaign.

The awards are presented by Pulp & Paper International magazine, the leading trade publication for the global pulp, paper and paperboard industry. Finch is one of five finalists for PPI’s Managing Risk and Safety Award and one of eight finalists for Promotional Campaign of the Year. The winners will be announced in a ceremony in Brussels, Belgium, on November 16.

The company won a 2009 PPI Award for Efficiency Improvements, in recognition of an energy savings program that reduced energy consumption by 4 percent and greenhouse gas emissions by more than 13%.

“The competition for these global awards is intense, and to be a finalist in two categories speaks volumes about the quality of our people and their commitment to building a world-class company,” Finch Paper President and CEO Joseph F. Raccuia said.

“I’m especially proud of our safety accomplishments,” Mr. Raccuia said. “Finch employees are working more safely than ever before. Safety is more than a priority, it’s a way of life — a fundamental foundation of everything we do.”

As a result of a comprehensive safety awareness and action program, Finch has seen its Recordable Incident Rate, the federal government’s measure of job safety performance, decrease by more than two-thirds in the past year, from 3.12 incidents per 200,000 hours worked in 2009 to 1.04 as of Oct. 6. Similarly, the Lost Time Days Away rate, which tracks injuries that result in an employee missing a day of work, is at a historic low of 0.45 as of
Oct. 6, down from 1.34 in 2009.

A Recordable Incident Rate of 1.0 or less and a Lost Time Days Away rate of 0.5 or less are considered world class for safety in the paper industry.

Finch’s mill-wide safety initiatives include formation of a Joint Safety Leadership Team, composed of both salaried and hourly employees, that meets regularly to review and revise safety policies and procedures and raise employee awareness of safety in a team-oriented way. The partnership between union leaders and management has helped create an atmosphere in which safety is emphasized and reinforced throughout the organization.

“The joint effort with the unions and the company working together has really strengthened our safety program,” said Ron Gates, secretary/treasurer of United Steelworkers Local 155, the union that represents 135 papermakers at Finch. “There’s constant awareness and exchange of ideas, and we’re really listening to each other. The union leaders are making sure the people on the floor understand the importance of safety, and I think a big reason is the mutual respect between the company and the unions on this issue.”

The Joint Safety Leadership Team also launched a Safe Choices program that offers tangible rewards for actions and ideas that demonstrate an employee’s commitment to safety, and developed a comprehensive 5-year Safety Plan. Daily safety reports are posted throughout the mill, safety huddles are part of the daily routine in all manufacturing departments, and new employees are assigned mentors who emphasize Finch Paper’s commitment to safety.

“Any injury is too many,” Mr. Raccuia said. “We are building a workplace culture where employees are extremely safety-conscious, where they take accountability for their actions, and where they take immediate action to correct any possible safety hazard. Their efforts are contributing greatly to making Finch Paper the employer of choice in our region.”

In the Promotional Campaign category, Finch is a finalist for its “Finch is in the House” campaign, to educate graphic designers about the many applications of its high-quality, value-priced papers.

In-house and studio designers are asked to provide Finch with samples of their work on Finch Paper and, in return, are provided with the opportunity to win prizes. Contributed samples are then showcased on the “Finch is in the House” designer blog. By encouraging creative professionals to share successful Finch projects with their peers, the company demonstrates how designers are utilizing Finch Paper in various ways.

Finch used multi-faceted marketing, public relations and social media tactics to share campaign news, information, and guidelines with the targeted designer audience. The campaign has resulted in a 50 percent increase in visits to the Finch website, and enabled the company to build a samples library of more than 1,200 pieces, from business cards to college viewbooks. These samples provide Finch with qualitative customer research, as well as providing customers with ideas and inspiration.

“Our creative and sales teams have done an excellent job tapping into the end-user market, and they’ve done it by listening, staying current and tailoring initiatives to the needs of our customers,” Mr. Raccuia said. “Their strategic use of new media, in combination with good, old-fashioned customer service, is helping us speak directly to clients in a way that we never have before.”

“This is the second year we have organized the PPI Awards, and we’re very pleased again with the quality and quantity of the entries,” said Mark Rushton, Editor of PPI magazine and chairman of the jury for the 2010 PPI Awards. “We’ve received more entries from all parts of the globe this year. Making the finalists list is a great achievement for all the companies involved. I look forward to seeing the finalists in Brussels in November.”

For more information about “Finch is in the House” visit
For more information about the 2010 PPI Awards, visit