Wisconsin’s four biggest papermakers are all making paper from the state’s largest county, Chillicothe, and they all make paper from paper that is made from recycled paper, a move that is saving papermakers a lot of money, according to a new report.
The papermakers were selected for their commitment to sustainability and to paper quality, the report said.
In Wisconsin, a state with about 10 million people, the four largest papermakers make up about a third of all paper production.
“There’s a lot that papermakers do well, but they also do very well at a lot more than one thing,” said John Wessel, president and chief executive of the Wisconsin Paper Manufacturers Association.
The group has been involved in papermaking for about 40 years, Wessel said.
“It is a very difficult industry to work in, and to have that industry in a state like Wisconsin is a really positive sign.”
The Wisconsin Papermakers Association and the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services have both sponsored the annual Paper Quality Index for the past five years, which evaluates the performance of the state papermakers and the state as a whole.
The annual report says papermakers in Chillicoke and the surrounding counties of Dane and Racine made about $2.8 billion in total revenue last year.
Chillicokes papermakers made about one-third of that total.
Wisconsin’s papermakers spend about 40 percent of their revenue on paper quality.
In 2011, the papermakers spent about $1.2 billion, and the rest on machinery, equipment and other supplies, according the report.
About half of the papermaker revenue comes from sales to the state, the group said.
The Wisconsin papermakers Association is a statewide nonprofit organization that represents papermakers.
The association’s membership includes more than 500 papermakers from more than 20 states and Canada.
The state paper makers association is a separate nonprofit organization from the Wisconsin State Paper Manufactures Association.