The start, the year in which the company was founded. PaperWise was created and would change the world of paper. We cannot accept that agricultural waste – full of cellulose – is disposed of and burned. What a waste! Alongside the loss of valuable raw materials and unnecessary CO2 emissions, this approach creates environmental pollution in the soil and air (such as ash and smog). We discovered that our proposals could result in benefits to the environment and immense social gains.
SNEAK PEEK PAPERWISE
It's fun to innovate, but it remains a challenge. No mark of quality was applicable to PaperWise. We therefore decided to commission an independent environmental study. This meant that we partnered with IVAM, which was a part of the University of Amsterdam. They used a Life cycle analysis (LCA) to calculate the differences in environmental impact between PaperWise, paper made from trees, and recycled paper. And guess what?
Media and awards
Over 43 media outlets in eight European countries reported on PaperWise on the radio, in daily papers, specialist journals, and online outlets! We won three awards out of four nominations! Additionally, PaperWise was allowed to open the Dutch Euronext stock exchange in Amsterdam on behalf of Peter van Rosmalen. Banging the gong was a great experience for him😉
PAPERWISE OPENS AEX-INDEX
If you start a company, you often already have a good idea. After a while you'll also have a product – all you need now is clients. At least, this was the case for PaperWise. It's time to establish links with companies that share our belief in a circular world in which waste products are used as raw materials. We're always looking for people who personally want to make a positive difference. Together, we can build a future-proof world. In 2015, we welcomed several customers.
PaperWise is now a mainstay. Social awareness concerning sustainability is growing, and the number of applications for our environmentally and socially responsible paper is growing even more. During the Week van de Ondernemer (entrepreneurs' week), we were offered the chance to meet Prime Minister Mark Rutte. We suspect that PaperWise paper for copying machines was a present he had not expected 😉 But there’s one more special encounter…
MEETING PRIME MINISTER
At this point, PaperWise exports to over nine countries and is approached by Ørjan Risanger, director of HBO Norway. One of the best printing businesses in Norway (HAUGESUND BOK & OFFSET AS), not the famous American cable and satellite television network. Meanwhile, our growing success was still being built on from the proverbial garage. It was time for change. PaperWise had developed into a fully-fledged company, so we decided to move to the Cwartier .
TRADE MISSION & GROWTH
During the autumn of this year, the Dutch government organized a trade mission to India together with "MVO Nederland" under the supervision of Prime Minister Mark Rutte. PaperWise was invited to join! Increasing numbers of people and companies are joining us to give agricultural waste a second life through PaperWise paper and board. This includes companies such as KPN and Weleda as well as the Tomorrowland festival. Exports are growing exponentially and now we are focusing on England and Northern Ireland.
Lufthansa, the biggest airline in Europe, launched a pilot project in which the packaging for numerous catering products is made from PaperWise products to replace plastic. In the Netherlands, we won the 2019 Circular Award for the manufacturing industry, meaning that our trophy cabinet continues to grow. We are grateful to have ended the year on a high note, thanks to the nomination for Business News Radio's Green Quest Award!.
CELEBRATING AND REFLECTING
We're celebrating our fifth anniversary – time really flies! It's a great opportunity to reflect on what we've achieved so far. Our mission is to give as much agricultural waste as possible a second life, to prevent the burning of these valuable raw materials. Since PaperWise was founded in 2015, we have worked with 1,500 clients in nineteen countries to give over nine million kilos of agricultural waste a second life as paper and board for printing and product packaging. This means that we have saved 13,500,000 kg of CO2 as a result of not burning the agricultural waste. The CO2 savings are equal to the amount that would be produced by 8,500 cars over the course of a year. By transforming agricultural waste into high-quality paper and board, we saved the equivalent of 26,500 trees. Together, we have prevented 25.5 kilometres of deforestation, which is equal to 3,600 football fields. We are very proud of this!
Hundreds of millions of small-scale farmers with very low incomes in developing countries only receive income for the food that their plants (such as wheat, corn, barley, rice, maize, cane sugar, etc.) produce, which is only 20% of the actual plants. The remaining 80% of the plants consists of stems and leaves, which are agricultural waste. We looked for and found the answers to many questions, such as: Why do we burn agricultural waste around the world? How much agricultural waste is produced each year? What currently happens to agricultural waste? Is there enough agricultural waste? Why does the paper industry currently use trees that need to grow for 10 to 80 years before use, when a more logical raw material (agricultural waste) is literally abundant?
WISE WITH WASTE
The results were clear: PaperWise scored 47% better than paper made from trees and 29% better than recycled paper, when looking at environmental impact. Wow! This quickly gave rise to the slogan: Wise With Waste. The slogan represents our beliefs!
And the winner is...
We won three awards out of four nominations! The awards we won were: Rabobank and MKB Nederland's Next Entrepreneur award, the Heineken International Dragon's Den award for sustainable products, and the publishing house Industrielinqs’ Enlightenmentz of the Year award in the Product category. We were a runner-up for the Accenture Innovation Award.
AND THE WINNER IS…PAPERWISE!
WISE WITH WASTE TOGETHER!
In 2015, we welcomed the following customers among others: Eosta, one of the largest European wholesalers of organic vegetables and fruit. Solidaridad, an organization that offers development aid to combat poverty. It has taken the initiative on marks of quality such as Fair Trade, Max Havelaar coffee, Bonsucro, Eko-Oké bananas, and Kuyichi-jeans. Tony’s Chocolonely, the chocolate brand that aims to ensure that the cocoa industry is 100% free of slavery. Because we won the aforementioned Awards, Heineken and VNO-NCW MKB Nederland joined us as client. PaperWise is a way for people and companies to make a positive change to the system; a change that they value and one that we value. Welcome everyone!
Once a year, a select group of people who have made a positive contribution to society are invited to have lunch with King Willem Alexander and Queen Máxima. We have never seen Peter being so reverential... He was sitting next to our country’s Queen, wow! Paper for copying machines was our first product, and we quickly introduced types of paper and board for print and product packaging. PaperWise is perfect for processing according to the most common printing techniques such as offset, digital, rotogravure, and flexo. To cater to the hotel, restaurant, catering, and food sectors, we expanded the PaperWise product range with moisture and grease repellent paper and board. 2016 is the year in which PaperWise was awarded certifications for Food Contact Materials - Regulation (EC) 1935/2004 and European standard for industrial composting EN 13432. From that date on, PaperWise Natural paper and board could be disposed of in the organic waste bin.
Yet another example of someone wanting to make a positive difference. Ørjan from HBO travelled to the Netherlands of his own accord and at his own expense to meet PaperWise. He shares the view that the paper industry needs to change! As such, he joined PaperWise's paper revolution and in our preferred partner in the high North. We move to Cwartier, a multitenant building in what used to be the town hall of the Municipality of Weert in the south of the Netherlands. This place is a great location for our team to do their work! Our new base of operations is a fantastic match for our vision of a circular economy. We furnished our office with second-hand tables and chairs that were previously used by employees of the municipality, which means that the location and the furniture were given second lives!
One of the subjects during this trade mission was finding solutions to ensure agricultural waste doesn't need to be burned on farms any more. In India, in the area north of the city of Delhi, twenty million tonnes of rice straw are burned each year. This results in significant amounts of environmental pollution and loss of raw materials – kilometres of burning fields and significant levels of smog. This has to change! After we were joint winners of the UK Packaging Award 2018 with the Agri-Rap (product packaging that does not use plastics or fossil fuels, making it suitable for composting), we established a foothold. We created the first ‘Recipe for Disaster’ bags for the United Nations. It's something we're very proud of! The Pukka brand (owned by Unilever) opted for PaperWise packaging thanks to Bio4pack, one of our clients. 2018 was also the year when we signed the Healthy Printing Charter, an initiative by the Environmental Protection Encouragement Agency (EPEA) and the DOEN Foundation to promote food security and recycling paper and cardboard on which Cradle to Cradle approved ink is used.
AWARD TOPSEAL PACKAGING
Together with our client Zalpak, PaperWise developed the first board topseal. This is a special development because our topseal packaging is subject to a patent application. Mucci Farms, a company operating in the Canada and United States of America, won the ‘Best Sustainable Packaging Award at Fresh Summit 2019’ thanks to this PaperWise topseal packaging. PaperWise continued to innovate and obtained DinCertco's certificate for composting at home, guaranteeing that PaperWise can be composted at people's home.
Our PaperWise team is at the forefront of the next big revolutionary innovation: reinventing the pulping process! We need to develop this technology to source cellulose from residual waste biomass in a sustainable way. At the moment, it's a chemical process that has an impact on the environment. Wouldn't it be great to create a world in which we can use a safe and environmentally friendly process to transform agricultural waste and other plant residues into high-quality paper and board? A world which also ensures that the people who work in this supply chain are fairly and equally rewarded in this new economy? We are Wise With Waste, in thoughts and actions. Will you join us?