Pulp Magic

SEPTEMBER 4, 2014

Glatfelter — Specializing In Just About Everything

“Enhancing Everyday Life” is simultaneously a humble and audacious aspiration.  It’s a claim that our industry can identify with.  Paper and packaging is both indispensable and largely invisible to the people who depend on it.  In fact, it’s so ubiquitous that most people don’t give it a second thought.  Yet paper enhances everyday life in ways that are impossible to measure.  And “Enhancing Everyday Life” also happens to be something close to a mission statement at Glatfelter, the global supplier of specialty paper and engineered products.

Glatfelter2_1200I had the pleasure of pondering the humility and audacity of this aspiration on a recent tour of the Glatfelter’s York, Pennsylvania headquarters.  For 150 years, Glatfelter has been making paper in the area around York and now around the world. They started with newsprint and expanded over time to include envelopes and then just about everything from books to tea bags and stamps to voting ballots.  Just about every paper-based product you need around the home, office, school or factory can be made by Glatfelter.

And if you need reminding of this there is a helpful display case in the lobby that gives you a first-hand view of the enormous range of products Glatfelter makes.  What struck me was how familiar all of these items were to me and yet how unfamiliar I was that a single company was behind them all.

As you might expect from a company that has survived for a century and a half, Glatfelter is deeply committed to long-term sustainability and conducts its business with the next century in mind.  That too is both humble and audacious.  Humble because the current managers see themselves as custodians of something valuable that was created before them and will outlive them.  And audacious because any company that looks so far ahead is operating on a higher plane than almost any others.

If you get an opportunity to visit York be sure to make time to pay a call on Glatfelter. They’ll be glad to see you in their 150th anniversary year. But if you can’t make it this year, they’ll be here next year, and the year after that.