Significant changes to its Paper division, a multi-million pound investment in innovation and systems, and redundancies are on the cards for UK-based paper, packaging and advanced materials specialist James Cropper. The company has promoted Patrick Willink to the newly created position of Chief Innovation Officer.
In a bid to accelerate growth, James Cropper is reorganizing and making investments. The group highlights that paper and packaging growth is being driven by sustainable fibers and low, or zero, carbon processing, while there is strong demand for novel and high-performance materials in the booming renewable energy and decarbonization markets.
Rather than its three separate divisions of James Cropper Paper, Technical Fibre Products and Colourform, James Cropper will reorganize into four market-facing segments, each bearing the group name, by the end of this year. These are:
James Cropper Creative Papers for the group’s historic business that includes colored and embossed papers and the CupCycling sustainable fiber option; James Cropper Luxury Packaging which encompasses packaging papers and its Colourform molded pulp; James Cropper Technical Fibers targeting the aerospace, defense, industrial and construction markets, and James Cropper Future Energy that includes TFP Hydrogen and materials and products for carbon capture, wind, batteries and fuel cells. These four segments will be headed by two managing directors – details are yet to be announced – one covering paper products and the other advanced materials.
Over the next three years, James Cropper will make a “multi-million pound” investment to “simplify processes and systems and combine group functions” to increase efficiency. Patrick Willink, who was most recently Managing Director of Colourform, has been appointed to the newly created role of Chief Innovation Officer. One of the two new Managing Directors to be appointed will take over the management of Colourform. James Cropper is set to expand its Innovation team, with increasing use of recovered fibers one area of focus.
To improve productivity and margins, James Cropper will make “significant changes” to its Paper division. It plans to reduce its number of paper machines from four to three, with two in production at any one time. The group says that around 10% of employees will potentially be made redundant, mainly within the Paper and Group functions. James Cropper employs approximately 600 people.