Media Centre - Press releases
On the occasion of ‘BioEconomyUtrecht2016’, the fourth Bioeconomy Stakeholders’ Conference, the European Bioeconomy Alliance (EUBA) calls on the EU to lead a worldwide transition towards a renewable, low-carbon economy. Europe has all of the means necessary to become a global leader in the bioeconomy, if its potential is realised and embraced by European policy makers.
The bioeconomy encompasses the sustainable production of renewable resources and their conversion into food, feed, fibres, materials, chemicals and bioenergy through efficient, innovative technologies. It is already worth €2 trillion annually and employs 22 million Europeans, but holds the potential to significantly further boost competitiveness and long-term economic growth. At a time when the pressure is on to deliver on post-Paris climate commitments, the bioeconomy offers a viable solution to today’s fossil carbon equivalents and has the potential to save up to 2.5 billion tonnes of CO2 per year.
In advance of today’s conference, EUBA members, together with other stakeholders in the growing bio-based community have produced a set of recommendations on how Europe can promote bio-based products in public procurement. The report, which will be launched today in Utrecht, outlines what needs to be done at EU, regional and national level to create dynamic new markets for home-grown, EU-sourced bio-based products.
Speaking on behalf of the EUBA, Pekka Pesonen, Secretary General of Copa and Cogeca commented: ‘We are at a pivotal moment in the development of the European bioeconomy. The EU’s strategy is currently being reviewed and we find that we have both great achievements to celebrate as well as some much needed new measures to put in place. Financial tools are needed to boost innovation and investment in existing and new bio-based value chains. In addition, boosting public procurement of bio-based products is one example of how Europe can develop renewable product markets and accelerate the move towards a circular bioeconomy.’
Also speaking on behalf of the Alliance, Jamie Fortescue, Managing Director of Starch Europe, a member of the Primary Food Processors added: ‘Europe has, in abundance, the renewable resources, industrial base and know-how to lead its own bioeconomy revolution. What we now need, to attract more contributors and investment, is open and inclusive discussion underpinned by unwavering, cross-sectoral, political commitment. We want to look back at Utrecht in five years’ time and marvel at what has been achieved in the interim.’
EUBA member EuropaBio’s Industrial Biotech Council Chair, Stephan Tanda, concluded: ‘With the steadfast support and leadership of the European Institutions, the Member States and their regions, huge progress has been made over the past five years with many national authorities setting out their own tailor-made roadmaps towards vibrant and regenerative home-grown bioeconomies. In addition, thanks to the development and launch of the EU’s first ever Bio-based Industries Joint Undertaking for €3.7 billion, ground-breaking cross-sectoral innovation has been given a new lease of life. As a result, we will see new partnerships forming across borders and disciplines in the development of smarter, more sustainable products and processes. The potential is there to be harnessed and, with the right support, Europe will lead the way in the development of a world leading bioeconomy.’
Note to the Editor
BioEconomyUtrecht2016 is taking place 12-13 April in Utrecht, the Netherlands, and is hosted by the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs and the European Commission, under the auspices of the Dutch EU Presidency. The aim of the conference is to explore how Europe can enhance its bioeconomy and input into the review of the European Bioeconomy Strategy that will take place in 2016.
Commission Expert Group for Bio-based Products, Working Group Public Procurement of Bio-based Products, Recommendations 2016:
Innovating for Sustainable Growth: A bioeconomy for Europe: http://ec.europa.eu/research/bioeconomy/pdf/bioeconomycommunicationstrategy_b5_brochure_web.pdf
A number of the sectors which are fundamental to the implementation of the EU Bioeconomy strategy, represented by the European Bioeconomy Alliance (EUBA), are identified as being subject to the risk of carbon leakage under the Commission’s proposal for the ETS post 2020. These are: starch, oilseeds and protein meals, pulp and paper and sugar. The EUBA supports this approach because there is indeed a real risk that these sectors may relocate their operations outside the EU in the absence of a global level playing field on energy cost.
However the EUBA is also aware of the so-called tiered approach towards carbon leakage put forward by the French and British governments. Under this proposed approach some of the sectors being exposed to carbon leakage would receive more compensation than others. In practise this would mean that fossil-based industries, who are intrinsically most carbon-intensive, would receive 100% free allocation, to the detriment of the sectors which are contributing to the bioeconomy and thus reducing the EU’s fossil fuel dependence (who would receive from 0% to a maximum of 80% free allocation). This would create a competition distortion, undermining efforts to develop renewable bio-based materials to replace fossil fuel based ones.
The objective of the EU Emission Trading System is to combat climate change and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The objective of the European Commission’s bioeconomy strategy, endorsed by both the Council of the EU and the European Parliament, is that fossil fuels should be replaced with “sustainable renewable alternatives as part of the shift to a post-petroleum society”. The objectives are and must remain complementary and consistent.
According to OECD, “the full climate change mitigation potential of biotechnology processes and bio-based products ranges from between 1 billion and 2.5 billion tons CO2 equivalent per year by 20301”.
Both the EU ETS and the EU bioeconomy strategy are fundamental to the European Union's policy to reduce industrial greenhouse gas emissions cost effectively. The EUBA therefore congratulates the European Commission for being consistent and strongly warns against any attempts by Member State governments to undermine that consistency.
The Confederation of European Paper Industries (CEPI) has revised its guidelines on Paper for Recycling quality control, with recommendations for Paper for Recycling suppliers and paper mills. The objective of the guidelines publication is to achieve greater harmonisation, to improve the implementation of the EN 643 Standard and to facilitate commercial relationships between paper mills and paper for recycling suppliers.
The revised guidelines put a strong emphasis on the inspection procedure for quality control at the paper mill and explain what controllers should consider during an inspection in order to decide if a load should be accepted, conditionally accepted or refused. After a general control, further important parameters for quality control are named, i.e. bale conditions, moisture control and control of unwanted materials. The control procedure recommended is described in detail and illustrated by a decision tree at the end of the document.
The guidelines give furthermore recommendations on the level of information for suppliers, documentation and staff education.
CEPI will organise a free webinar in the weeks to come, to present the revised guidelines and to answer any questions that may arise.
You can download the publication at: http://bit.ly/1ouOkFm
For more information, please contact: Ulrich Leberle, Raw Materials Director at CEPI: firstname.lastname@example.org, +32 2 627 49 23.
Preliminary estimates based on today’s publication of the Verified Emissions and Compliance Data for the year 2015 show that carbon emissions in the pulp and paper industry in 2015 fell by at least 1% compared to 2014. Compared to 2005, the year the EU Emission Trading Scheme came into force, absolute emissions fell by 27%.
With production levels remaining substantially the same in 2015, emission reductions were primarily driven by market consolidation, investments in bioenergy, and the push from international competition to improve efficiency in production processes. And with energy being the second main component in the cost structure, reducing energy-related costs, such as CO2 emissions, is a priority to secure an internationally-competitive position.
"We have been early-movers in low-carbon investments and have further plans to grow our business in Europe, building synergies with Circular Economy as well as the Bioeconomy”, says Jori Ringman, CEPI Acting Director General. “The EU ETS should support such efforts which are completely in line with its overarching scope of transforming the industries. Therefore the EU ETS should continue to improve the predictability of the regulatory framework, by promoting and rewarding investments in low-carbon technologies”, he added.
The European Paper Industry currently receives 1.4% of the total allocations for manufacturing sectors, while employing over 6% of the manufacturing industries’ workforce and being responsible for over 5% share of investments in Europe.
For more information, please contact Annie Xystouris at email@example.com, mobile: +32 486 243 642.
The Dutch Presidency of the Council of the European Union organised a field trip for Industry and Environment Council working group members to illustrate the Circular Economy, one of the Presidency’s top priorities. The Presidency chose the state-of the-art paper mill in Roermond, The Netherlands. The mill is operated by Smurfit Kappa and its raw material is 100% paper for recycling, making it the perfect example of circularity. The visit was co-organised with the Confederation of European Paper Industries (CEPI) and the Royal Dutch papermaking association VNP.
“We are very happy to be given the opportunity to demonstrate that paper is at the heart of the Circular Economy”, said CEPI Acting Director General Jori Ringman. “The paper industry champions many aspects of circularity from reusing water to industrial symbiosis, from including the whole value chain in advancing circularity to working towards clean and safe cycles. Whilst the recycling starts already at homes and offices and is a chain of many important actors, it is vital that EU legislation acknowledges the final recycling where the material is physically transformed to start a new cycle; this is what the participants saw today in practice”, he added.
Europe is a world champion when it comes to paper recycling, achieving a 72% recycling rate in 2014.
The Roermond mill is a great example of Circular Economy. It processes 600 000 tonnes or one million bales of waste paper into new paper rolls every year, which is more than 25% of the annual collected amount of paper for recycling. “The companies in our sector produce products in a very high tech and sustainable way, products that play a very important role in everyday life. The participants of the field trip could closely experience that in Roermond,” said Gerrit Jan Koopman, Director of Royal VNP.
For more information, please contact:
Jori Ringman, CEPI Acting Director General at firstname.lastname@example.org, mobile: +32 478 25 50 70
Rutger van Dijk, VNP Communication and PR at email@example.com, mobile +31 6 45 79 02 60
Note to the Editor
CEPI aisbl - The Confederation of European Paper Industries
The Confederation of European Paper Industries (CEPI) is a Brussels-based non-profit organisation regrouping the European pulp and paper industry and championing industry’s achievements and the benefits of its products. Through its 18 member countries (17 European Union members plus Norway) CEPI represents some 505 pulp, paper and board producing companies across Europe, ranging from small and medium sized companies to multi-nationals, and 920 paper mills. Together they represent 23% of world production. For further information see http://www.cepi.org/
Royal VNP – Koninklijke Vereniging van Nederlandse Papier- en Kartonfabrieken
The Dutch paper and board association represents the interests of the Dutch paper and board industry with an active lobbying focused on solutions, on current policies, legislation and sustainability. They provide services to their members and initiate policy-supporting studies. In this way they help to connect the companies’ needs and developments in society (customers, employees, government, NGOs and society in general). For further information see www.vnp.nl.
"To build a sustainable, climate-resilient future for all, we must invest in our world's forests.”
– UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon
The European forest owners, managers, forest industry and professionals, represented by key stakeholders of the European forest sector: CEPF, Copa-Cogeca, ELO, EUSTAFOR, CEI-Bois, CEPI, FECOF, UEF and USSE, welcome the declaration by the UN General Assembly of the International Day of Forests on 21 March which this year has the theme “Forests and Water”.
Water is a vital element of all natural resources and essential to life, but nearly 80 percent of the world’s population is exposed to high levels of threat to water security. There is a growing imbalance between water supply and demand in the world, and also in Europe we increasingly need to ensure adequate water quality and quantity.
The European forest sector welcomes the opportunity to emphasize the role of forests and water. We consider that EU needs to better communicate the strong link between forests and water. Forests have a close relationship to our water resources and sustainable forest management is of crucial importance for ensuring a multitude of water-related benefits.
As representatives of the European forest sector we would like to highlight some of the important ways in which our forests enable access to this vital resource. Forested watersheds and wetlands supply 75 percent of the world’s accessible fresh water for domestic, agricultural, industrial and ecological needs. Forests influence the amount of available water and regulate surface and groundwater flows while maintaining highest water quality. Forests reduce the effects of floodings, and prevent and reduce dryland salinity and desertification. Forests act as natural water filters, minimizing soil erosion on site and reduce sediment in water bodies.
In the context of this year’s International Day of Forests, we also need to mention the impact that climate change has on water and the role of forests. Climate change is one of the major challenges facing today’s society. The impacts of climate change are an imminent threat to water security, and forests themselves are vulnerable to climate change. An increased frequency of extreme weather events has an impact on both forests and water, and may result in more catastrophic events like landslides, floods and droughts.
However, forests can also help reducing the impacts of such events. Europe’s forest sector is at the forefront of combatting climate change by contributing to both climate change mitigation and adaptation. Active forest management is crucial to enhance forests adaptive capacity, making them more resilient to meet a changing climate and maintaining the vital water-related services provided by forests.
CEPF – Confederation of European Forest Owners
Contact: Meri Siljama firstname.lastname@example.org, www.cepf-eu.org
COPA-COGECA – European Farmers European Agri-Cooperatives
Contact: Oana Neagu email@example.com, www.copa-cogeca.be
CEI-BOIS – Confederation of European Woodworking Industries
Contact: Ward Vervoort firstname.lastname@example.org, www.cei-bois.org
CEPI – Confederation of European Pulp and Paper Industries
Contact: Annie Xystouris email@example.com, www.cepi.org
ELO – European Landowners’ Organization
Contact: Ana Rocha firstname.lastname@example.org, www.europeanlandowners.org
EUSTAFOR – European State Forest Association
Contact: Gerd Thomsen email@example.com, www.eustafor.eu
FECOF – European Federation of Municipal Woodowners
UEF – Union of European Foresters
Contact: Michael Diemer firstname.lastname@example.org, www.european-foresters.org
USSE - Union des sylviculteurs du Sud de l'Europe
Contact: Isala Berria email@example.com, www.usse-eu.org
A World Economic Forum publication in collaboration with industry
The European paper industry was invited to collaborate with the World Economic Forum (the Forum), the Ellen MacArthur Foundation and the McKinsey Center for Business and Environment on Circular Economy to produce a white paper with guidelines on design and management for circularity. The new publication provides essential guidance to all actors in the supply chain through simple ecodesign rules for paper products, without limiting innovation and the introduction of new techniques. This is a product of the three pilots under Project MainStream, launched during the 2014 summit in Davos.
“We trust helping circular thinking in all steps of the complex value chain will help reach higher in what is already a high recycling performance”, said CEPI Sustainability Director Jori Ringman, one of the draftsmen of the guidance, in a panel discussion on the feasibility of higher recycling rates at the Packaging and Sustainability event in Brussels on Wednesday. “In circular economy, your downstream is your upstream and what you pass on into the loop will have an impact on your own business.”
Although highly recyclable, paper is usually converted by industries that add chemicals to it through printing inks and other auxiliary materials. This can lead to problems in subsequent circular chains, as these chemicals cannot easily be removed from the paper before re-entering the mill. Furthermore, the already highly-optimised recycling process cannot follow the speed of the evolution of inks and toners.
The publication summarises the key choices to be made by direct (printers, papermakers, collectors) and indirect (such as local authorities, ink producers, equipment manufacturers) stakeholders. More specifically, it identifies the choices that can influence businesses ordering a fibre-based product - printed paper, packaging or other.
“Businesses will have many priorities topping their agendas, such as meeting customer requirements, creating functionalities that meet both the purpose and profitability, and respecting environmental considerations”, says Ringman. “This document is meant to make decision-making in companies easier when balancing these priorities.”
For more information, please contact Jori Ringman at firstname.lastname@example.org, mobile: +32 478 25 50 70.
Note to the Editor
Project MainStream is a collaboration between the World Economic Forum, the Ellen MacArthur Foundation and the McKinsey Center for Business and Environment, seeking to remove bottlenecks in the large-scale transitioning to the circular economy.
CEPI aisbl - The Confederation of European Paper Industries
The Confederation of European Paper Industries (CEPI) is a Brussels-based non-profit organisation regrouping the European pulp and paper industry and championing industry’s achievements and the benefits of its products. Through its 18 member countries (17 European Union members plus Norway) CEPI represents some 505 pulp, paper and board producing companies across Europe, ranging from small and medium sized companies to multi-nationals, and 920 paper mills. Together they represent 23% of world production.
The European Paper Sector Social Partners welcomed more than 60 participants from all across Europe for a conference in Vienna to discuss the preliminary research results on the education and training systems and typical curricula relevant for the paper sector in Europe. This extensive research will build the foundation for a gap analysis that will be the second step towards policy recommendations to policy makers, training providers and industry.
“It is high time for us to tackle the challenge of potential future skills mismatches in our sector” said Peter Schuld, Vice-Chairman of the Paper Sector Social Dialogue Committee“. The analysis from key experts demonstrates that we urgently have to adapt to the technological developments and prepare for the transformation within our sector by providing the relevant skills.”
The pulp and paper industry is a sustainable and innovative sector with great potential in Europe, if it continues to look into the future of the sector and the skills needed. At the same time, it is facing an image and perception challenge that deters youngsters to join the industry workforce. This fundamental message was unanimously shared by the training and education experts as well as industry and trade union representatives at the mid-term conference of the European Paper Sector Social Partners’ project on the future skills and competences in their sector.
“Our sector is part of the bio-based industries and will remain competitive – a message that we have to broadly disseminate”, stated Bernard de Galembert, Chairman of the Paper Sector Social Dialogue Committee. “To overcome the lack of appeal, we need to develop identify targeted campaigns to address the general opinion and in particular youngsters and catch their interest for a highly innovative and sustainable sector.”
The project intends to deliver policy recommendations that will be available in November 2016.
For any further information, please contact:
industriAll Europe: Corinna Zierold email@example.com Tel +32 (0) 2 226 00 55,
CEPI: Bernard de Galembert firstname.lastname@example.org Tel +32 (0) 2 627 49 27
The EU paper sector social dialogue brings together the paper workers and employers from the EU member States, represented by IndustriAll European Trade Union and CEPI.
Exported jobs, illegal timber: EUTR implementation report fails to tackle loophole on printed products
The implementation report of the EU Timber Regulation (EUTR) published yesterday is a missed opportunity. It does not recommend the inclusion of printed products strongly enough in the regulation’s scope.
Marco Mensink, CEPI Director General: “Not including printed products in the scope is wrong. Products printed and produced in Europe comply with EU law to be proven legal. Products printed outside Europe do not have to comply at all. This is very odd, as the risks of illegal logging are much larger in the regions exempted. The EU promotes printing outside Europe and exports jobs. We fail to understand why”.
Beatrice Klose, INTERGRAF Secretary General: “Illegal logging damages the reputation of printed products and the European Union must ensure that all products on the European market are safe from illegal logging. The only way to do this is to include printed products in the scope of the European Timber Regulation.”
The annex of the EUTR contains a list of timber and timber products under the scope of the regulation, but does not contain products under chapter 49 of the Combined Nomenclature i.e. printed products. This is inconsistent and should have been addressed more clearly in the report. CEPI and INTERGRAF urge the Commission once again to amend the annex of the EUTR and include products under the chapter 49 of the Combined Nomenclature.
In 2014 the volume of trade in printed products imports into the EU amounted to €3 billion. This greatly impacts our European industry from a competitive perspective. The non-inclusion of printed products will lead to circumvention: There is a risk that illegally-logged wood is traded to countries with less stringent rules on legality, before being traded to the EU.
Furthermore the paper and printing industries see a need for consistent enforcement among Member States and clearer guidance. However, the Commission’s vague reference to a possible expansion of the product scope is disappointing.
For more information, please contact:
• Ulrich Leberle, CEPI Raw Material Director at email@example.com or
• Laetitia Reynaud, Intergraf Policy Advisor on Economic and Environmental Issues at firstname.lastname@example.org
Note to the Editor
CEPI aisbl - The Confederation of European Paper Industries
The Confederation of European Paper Industries (CEPI) is a Brussels-based non-profit organisation regrouping the European pulp and paper industry and championing industry’s achievements and the benefits of its products. Through its 18 member countries (17 European Union members plus Norway) CEPI represents some 505 pulp, paper and board producing companies across Europe, ranging from small and medium sized companies to multi-nationals, and 920 paper mills. Together they represent 23% of world production. More at www.cepi.org
Intergraf represents 22 national printing federations in 20 countries in Europe. Intergraf's main task is to promote and protect the interests of the printing and related industries, working with the European Institutions, and to enhance the sector's competitiveness through lobbying, informing and networking. More at www.intergraf.eu
• IMPACTPapeRec is a European project to further increase the separate collection of paper for recycling and promote appropriate schemes to avoid landfilling and incineration.
• A best practice handbook will be developed to support the different EU regions in the implementation of best collection procedures.
IMPACTPapeRec started on 1 February 2016 for a period of two years and is financed by the European Union Horizon 2020 programme. It has evolved from a commitment on separate paper collection in the European Innovation Partnership on Raw Materials.
36 experts from eight countries representing research institutes, municipalities, obliged producers, paper industry and NGOs gathered in Valencia, Spain, to kick off the project and plan the activities for the next few months.
The project focuses on countries with below average paper recycling rates such as Bulgaria, Poland and Romania as well as countries where paper from households, small shops and offices is often collected in a commingled stream with other recyclables like in France and the UK. The participants started discussing the existing schemes as well as indicators to define best practice separate collection schemes.
Antonio Dobon from the project coordinator ITENE said: “We are very excited about the start of the project. It comes at a time when the European Commission presented its proposal for a Circular Economy stressing the importance of separate collection. With this project we will work to reach the recycling targets in those territories that are below the average. We will also seek for Paper for Recycling collection practices that allow reach both environmental and economic benefits. For doing so, we will define these best practices and spread them widely in Europe so that other municipalities can adopt them”.
IMPACTPapeRec is a consortium of 19 partners from 8 countries, i.e. Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria France, Germany, Poland, Romania and Spain. IMPACTPapeRec aims to put Europe at the forefront of paper for recycling (PfR) collection by providing an innovative and common knowledge platform. The innovative approach of the defined participatory strategy is based on the real engagement of the whole paper value chain including research, industry, policies, standards, municipalities and citizens.
This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 690182
For more information:
Ulrich Leberle, CEPI Raw Materials Director, Tel: +32 2 627 4923, email@example.com
The press release is also available in French.