Graphic Packaging is honored to be a sponsor of this year’s Northside Community Carnival. The annual event is free to the public and intended to unify, engage and encourage Northside residents. In 2022, event organizers changed the theme to an Anti-Gun Violence Community Carnival to raise awareness and stand against the evolving issue of gun violence. The Northside Ministerial Alliance, which hosts the carnival, involves dozens of community partners and vendors across the city.
The Northside Ministerial Alliance (NMA) is made up of more than 40 churches in the Kalamazoo area and has been operating in the city for over 40 years. NMA works to strengthen families and promote a better quality of life for all in Kalamazoo.
We hope to see you at this year’s Carnival on Saturday, August 26!
Since the beginning of May, Graphic Packaging’s Kalamazoo mill has been actively contributing to the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southwest Michigan backpack drive. This meaningful initiative collects backpacks for “littles,” aged six to 16, who are part of the nonprofit organization’s programs. We are excited to share that we have proudly donated more than 150 backpacks to support this deserving cause.
Graphic Packaging invited Channel 3’s Andy Dominianni to the Kalamazoo mill for a tour and interview with mill manager Tom Olstad. The focus of the interview was on the progress Graphic has made to reduce H2S emissions at the mill, and the steps the company continues to take to protect employees and neighbors.
On May 1, Graphic Packaging’s Kalamazoo mill kicked off its backpack drive benefiting Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southwest Michigan. The drive, which runs through June 30, collects backpacks for “littles” ages six to 16 involved in the nonprofit’s programming.
Graphic Packaging is proud to announce that the courtyard revitalization project we are sponsoring at Hillside Middle School is well underway and on target to be complete this June. On March 24, we broke ground on the project, which will update two courtyards at the school into urban greenspaces and incorporate refreshed landscaping and seating areas.
In celebration of Earth Day, Graphic Packaging hosted Trees Into Cartons, Cartons Into Trees (TICCIT… pronounced “ticket”) at Northeastern Elementary on April 27 to teach students about the importance of recycling paper and paperboard packaging.
With spring near, you may now notice cleanup work underway in and along the banks of the Kalamazoo River. Graphic Packaging is pleased to see this U.S. EPA-directed cleanup is being done for the community as it is part of a larger cleanup of the Kalamazoo River. Part of the work now underway is occurring near our operations. The cleanup work is not related to Graphic Packaging or our Kalamazoo operations.
The EPA is overseeing the removal of PCB-contaminated sediment within Verburg Park Pond and along the banks of the Kalamazoo River. This work is part of a larger cleanup of a section of the Kalamazoo River EPA has designated as Area 1. Cleanup activities are being conducted by Georgia-Pacific LLC and International Paper Company. We understand the cleanup activities starting in March are expected to take three years to complete.
Here at Graphic Packaging, we have been hard at work in Kalamazoo for nearly two years constructing a new $600 million paper machine that expands our processing capacity and ensures job security for our local employees for years to come.
Today, we are thrilled to say that construction was largely completed at the end of 2021 and our new machine, which we refer to as K2, is now producing paperboard. Once it is operating at full capacity, the new four-story machine will produce more than 1,400 tons per day of the highest-quality recycled paperboard in the industry. Here is what it looks like inside:
Last year, we were happy to join the City of Kalamazoo and members of the community as a steering committee was formed to develop a community benefits agreement (CBA). Although our participation in any project is voluntary, we view the CBA as a positive collaboration between the community and Graphic Packaging.
Since then, Graphic Packaging has met with the committee three times and will meet again soon as we continue to discuss possible future programs and projects that would benefit the city and the communities, where our operations are located.
Over the past 12 to 18 months, we have worked with the city of Kalamazoo on our $600 million expansion project on Pitcher Street and we have listened closely to the community’s quality-of-life concerns in the neighborhood.
Graphic Packaging, and the companies that owned the coated recycled board (CRB) mill in this community before us, have been here for well over 100 years. Our employees live and work in this community and we are proud of what we do.