Vendor Profile: Telling the HP Papers story

International Paper has been producing HP Papers for 20 years. Its partnership with HP has grown and evolved over time and has proved mutually beneficial for both companies.

Launched in 1996 and initially manufactured by Champion International, HP Everyday Papers is a premium line of uncoated cut-size papers scientifically engineered and tested to work across all makes and models of printer and copier equipment. The papers are optimised to provide superior print performance when used with HP hardware and supplies.

HP Papers have been manufactured and marketed exclusively worldwide in over 72 countries by International Paper (IP) under licence from HP since 2000 (when IP bought Champion). Since the company launched the first ream of these papers, it has been relentlessly focusing on improving its performance, such as printability, for example. 

Broadly speaking, HP Papers comprise a full range of high-quality office papers and support a wide range of print applications, from everyday copies to full-colour presentations. Consumers can be assured of consistent, high-quality performance every time, whether they are looking for high-volume, standard black and white document printing or for premium-quality papers for colourful, professional presentations and communication. 

IP also offers its channel partners a wide range of product packaging that will suit both B2B and B2B consumers. 

The manufacturer’s three paper mills in Europe, the Middle East & Africa (Kwidzyn, Poland; Saillat, France; and Svetogorks, Russia) and the mills in the US and Brazil are all qualified to produce HP Papers and IP is able to efficiently supply them to customers across EMEA. Based in sales offices in all major countries in the region, IP’s sales and marketing teams have a deep understanding of all local markets and provide expertise and marketing support to their customers.

IP has been serving customers specifically in the EMEA market for half a century and continues to grow its business in the region. The company’s uncoated woodfree papers business is a key player in the EMEA office and converting papers segment.  

Guaranteed performance quality

HP Papers are tested and qualified on a number of different printers and copiers to assure best performance across all office equipment. And while the majority of the hardware is from HP, the paper is also tested on high and medium-speed copiers and printers manufactured by other OEMs. These printers and copiers range in speeds from 20 pages per minute (ppm) to 180ppm.

HP’s qualification process is an extensive testing protocol with stringent performance requirements. Paper is evaluated in a range of environmental conditions, for instance, simulating cold dry climates such as Alaska in the winter or hot humid tropical weather prevalent in the rainforest. All this determines the robustness of the specifications and design. 

Paper that runs and prints well across this broad range of climates will perform exceptionally well in the office environment. The final product is only approved by HP if it meets all the criteria.

HP Everyday Papers are designed to work with all home and office printers and copiers. To ensure complete customer satisfaction, International Paper offers a performance guarantee and a replacement or refund of the purchase price in the unlikely case of any print performance issues. 

Advanced ColorLok technology 

HP and IP have also been collaborating to make ordinary paper extraordinary with HP ColorLok technology.

With this technology that was first launched in 2005 and co-developed by integrating HP’s ink technology with International Paper’s manufacturing expertise, scientists from both companies have jointly redefined what paper can do. HP Papers with ColorLok produce noticeably richer and more vivid colours, deeper and bolder blacks, crisper text – all with a quick-drying, smudge-free formulation. It quite simply creates a new standard in printed imagery. 

“ColorLok technology is an example of how powerful HP’s partnership with International Paper really is,” says Gerald Demets, Commercial Director at International Paper. “Innovating the chemistry of paper as part of a total printing system allows us to deliver unparalleled benefits to
 our customers.” 

As colour printing becomes more prevalent in the home, home office and business, HP and International Paper continue to develop new ways to increase performance and output quality through the role of the paper within the printing system. 

HP Papers with ColorLok are suitable for laser printing, but additional benefits can be realised when used with inkjet printing systems.

Committed support with Pink Ream

Sometimes an innovative product can bring other benefits too. HP Papers in North America have donated over $800,000 to causes that work hard to make a difference, especially to breast cancer awareness and research programmes. Focused on life-changing innovations, these organisations tirelessly work to improve outcomes and change people’s lives for the better, and HP Papers are proud to support them – it’s innovation for the greater good. 

This year HP Papers will expand its long-standing collaboration with breast cancer network, the Susan G Komen organisation, into Europe by launching the HP Pink Ream product. From each ream of HP Office Pink Ream €0.10 – with a minimum guarantee of €100,000 – will be donated to help save lives from breast cancer through the Susan G Komen Europe Network. 

Environmental commitment 

HP Papers is the only office paper range in Europe that is 100% FSC, PEFC and EU Flower-certified. International Paper only sources wood from controlled forests and pursues independent certification of its products and facilities in accordance with recognised certification schemes across the globe.

Demets adds: “International Paper paper mills are up to 85% energy self-sufficient and we are committed to the long-term sustainability of our business. We have set ourselves 12 voluntary goals for 2020 which we report on regularly and in a transparent manner.”

Mobile printing focus

Addressing the needs of a customer base that is becoming ever more mobile, IP launched an app called Happy2Print in 2015. Developed to promote mobile printing, the goal was to increase consumer awareness of the ease of printing from mobile devices. 

The app, which is available on Android and iOS platforms for both smartphones and tablets and works on all printers has so far been downloaded over 120,000 times in Europe. It is available to all consumers in Europe free of charge and aims to make their experience when printing from mobile devices hassle-free. 

Says Demets: “Our message is that there is room for both digital and traditional media, and we want to encourage consumers to print from their mobile devices documents that they want or need on paper.”

Continuous innovation 

International Paper has always put great emphasis on innovation within its portfolio. And this has paid off. Its Easy Open Solution was recognised at the Benelux Office Product Awards 2016, winning the office product category and by Germany’s office supplies brand association Verband der PBS Markenindustrie in early 2017, also in the office product category. 

On a pan-European basis, International Paper won a European Office Products Awards (EOPA) in the Core Office Products category with its Easy Open Solution. The ‘Tear-Strip’ is available for several IP brands, including HP Papers. The solution allows the ream to be opened with just two fingers, with no unintended tearing of the packaging. A pull on the ‘Tear-Strip’ which is integrated into the wrapper will open the ream in an instant, and the paper will be ready to be loaded into the printer. 

As the EOPA judges said: “A ream of paper that has a tape which can be easily pulled open like a zip is a concept that’s been used in many categories, but not in office paper.”

Based on a solid foundation

Overall, IP and HP’s relationship is one that has clearly stood the test of time. John Ferraro, Director and General Manager of Media Supplies and Solutions at HP, says: “HP and International Paper have collaborated for 20 years in the office paper category. Business relationships don’t last 20 years without strong collaboration as a foundation. We have a shared focus on our synergies and a shared vision for the category that enable us to deliver great products. 

“I can definitely say that innovation has driven the success of this collaboration which has resulted in the development of ColorLok technology, EcoFFICIENT paper and a drive to support sustainable forestry practices. As HP dives deeper into the office space on the hardware side of the equation, I expect our partnership with IP will continue to deliver innovation to support it.”

Working in partnership

Maria Dannemiller, IP’s Global HP Brand Manager, talks to OPI about International Paper and HP’s long-standing relationship and its benefits for end consumers.

OPI: What’s the importance of HP Papers in International Paper’s (IP) global product portfolio?

Maria Dannemiller: HP Papers strengthen International Paper’s strong portfolio of brands that cater to diverse users of printing papers. It is IP’s global premium brand bringing a complete solution to users who prefer to see the synergistic effects of all HP original supplies when printing in the home or in the office.    

This iconic brand complements IP’s position as a leader in cut-size papers globally. IP’s imaging brands such as Rey, Pol, Ballet, Svetocopy, Hammermill, Chamex and Reflection are designed to work across all imaging equipment while HP Papers are developed and optimised to have the best performance with HP inks, toners and printers. 

We are constantly innovating whether it is through technologies like Colorlok, low grammage papers such as the EcoFFICIENT brand in North America or commitment to causes supporting breast cancer research with the Susan G Komen foundation.

OPI: Please tell me about the ‘interaction’ of HP Papers with HP hardware? 

MD: For the past 20 years, IP and HP have innovated together to bring customer solutions that not only improve the printing process, but also reduce the overall cost of printing. Most notably the ColorLok technology was brought to market as a result of our two companies listening to their customers and meeting the needs for improved inkjet performance and lower cost of printing. Since the ColorLok launch both companies have continued to improve both the print and paper technology.  

HP has recently launched its OfficeJet Pro line of printers and HP Papers have been optimised to meet the challenge of the faster printing speeds with paper that dries ink faster yielding vivid colours and crisp text and images.    

As you know, before going to market, HP Papers are run through a comprehensive series of tests called the HP qualification process, jointly developed by IP and HP. These tests follow industry standards but also include HP and IP proprietary tests (see page 41). They test for print quality, jam-free testing as well as other criteria that ensure papers are non-abrasive and have the specialised surface properties that protect the life of the printer as well as the consumables.

The qualification and development process as well as the strict adherence to manufacturing specifications including end-use testing at the manufacturing facilities allow us to boast our “any printer guarantee”.  

OPI: What about HP Papers performance on non-HP hardware? Does the quality deteriorate?

MD: Because some offices and printing centres may have different brands of imaging equipment and do not want to carry different brands of papers, our labs and manufacturing facilities also test and qualify HP Papers for all other major OEMs. In fact, 25% of the paper tested during qualification is on other OEM equipment, in particular the very high-speed copiers normally found in print centres. 

So to answer your question, ‘no’, it will not deteriorate. We guarantee the performance of HP Papers across any OEM equipment or we will replace the paper or refund your money.

OPI: Let’s talk about the ColorLok qualification you mentioned before. How are IP and HP still working together to promote ColorLok as an industry standard?

MD: HP and IP are committed to offering papers that promote ColorLok technology. Both companies continue to invest in awareness and purchase preference through campaigns, advertisement and customer events. 

In fact, in the very near future all HP Papers including those normally specified for laser applications will contain the technology.

Last year, HP launched a new global ColorLok website that is user friendly, dynamic and rich with information about the technology. It also has a grade selector showing the products containing ColorLok technology in each country or region of the world. 

It is a standard for better printing in both laser and inkjet applications. Combining ColorLok with HP’s home and office printers gives significantly better results – vivid colours and sharper images. With the increased installed base of high-speed inkjet printers I’m certain we will continue to see higher demand for ColorLok technology.

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