A History of Innovation
Paper Group formed in September 2012 when FutureMark Alsip (previously known as FutureMark Paper Company) and FutureMark Manistique (previously known as Manistique Papers) joined forces to form North America's leading producer of responsibly made recycled paper for books, magazines, commercial printing and packaging applications. In addition to sharing an executive management team and board of advisors, both recycled paper producers share a strong history of innovation and of fulfilling customers' unmet business needs in environmentally sustainable paper. Some recent examples:
- Pioneered novel purchasing practice of buying recovered fiber
from waste paper suppliers through multi-year agreements at a single,
predetermined price. Such contracts help ensure we get the high-quality
waste paper needed to sustain our operations and to offer our products
at competitive prices.
- Created Future Book™ paper, North America's first coated paper
for picture books with more than 90% recycled fiber, for a major global
- Among the first companies to employ biotechnology to extract
inks embedded in waste paper more efficiently and effectively, reducing
the use of whitening and de‐inking chemicals and caustics by up to 30
- Developed agile production process that can jump from making
recycled brown packaging materials to high‐bright recycled publication
papers in just a few hours.
- Created 100% recycled Future Pack™ product line for packaging
converters who needed high-quality, recycled kraft paper that could
arrive on their docks within days of placing their orders.
- First North American company to replace approximately 40 percent of the petroleum‐based latex in paper coatings with a renewable corn‐based latex.
About FutureMark Alsip
The FutureMark facility in Alsip, Illinois, just outside Chicago, produces coated printing paper. It was built in 1968 to make recycled newsprint. In 2000, more than $200 million was invested in the facility to upgrade its production to high-quality coated printing paper for books, magazines, catalogs and advertising circulars. The Alsip paper production facility is the only one in all of North America making exclusively high-recycled coated printing paper.
In November 2009, The Watermill Group
, a Boston-area private investment firm, purchased the Alsip facility
and renamed it FutureMark Paper Company. The Watermill Group injected new management expertise and capital into FutureMark, and the mill reinvented itself to serve the growing number of publishers and corporations wanting to print on environmentally responsible paper. Today, FutureMark Alsip is recognized as one of the most environmentally sustainable producers of coated printing paper in North America.
About FutureMark Manistique
In May 2012, The Watermill Group acquired Manistique Papers
in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. The recycled paper mill, the second acquired by The Watermill Group, opened in 1920 as a newsprint producer. It began using old newspapers as a fiber source in 1959 and switched to using exclusively recycled fiber in its products in 1984. About 14 years later, the facility benefited from a $13 million investment to enable it to produce high-brightness specialty papers in addition to newsprint. Today, FutureMark Manistique is the sole North American producer of exclusively 100% recycled high-bright printing papers.