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20 Nov.2019

PRESS RELEASE 4evergreen: a unique industry alliance to boost the contribution of fibre-based packaging in a circular economy

Cepi, the European association representing the paper industry, announced today a new alliance called 4evergreen. The aim of the alliance is to boost the contribution of fibre-based packaging in a circular and sustainable economy that minimises climate and environmental impact. 

The alliance will increase awareness about the benefits of fibre-based packaging materials, advocate for EU legislation supporting product design for recyclability and call for the development of optimised collection systems and appropriate recycling infrastructures.

The rise of environmental awareness and consumer concerns, as well as the increase of packaging focused regulation, such as the Single Use Plastics Directive, have helped companies to accelerate the development of alternative packaging materials including fibre-based packaging with a view to helping consumers make more climate-friendly choices.

4evergreen was created as a forum to engage and connect industry members from across the fibre-based packaging value chain, from paper and board producers to packaging converters, brand-owners and retailers, technology and material suppliers, waste sorters and collectors.

“Fibre-based packaging can be a game-changer for material substitution”, says Eija Hietavuo, Chairwoman of 4evergreen and Senior Vice President Sustainability Stora Enso Consumer Board. “Our common goal is to deliver a holistic approach to optimise the sustainability and circularity of the fibre-based packaging’s life cycle.”

 “The time to act is now!” says Jori Ringman, Director General at Cepi. “Our industry already has a strong track record in environmental performance and recycling, but our ambition is higher. We are driving a system-wide shift to transition to the next level of circularity and climate resilience. 4evergreen will be the place for the whole industry value chain to co-create and collaborate for a change.”

The first 4evergreen alliance members include Nestlé, Danone, Mars, Stora Enso, Smurfit Kappa, Sappi, Metsä Board, UPM, Mayr-Melnhof Group, Reno de Medici, Mondi, Burgo, Kotkamills, DS Smith, Heinzel Group, Ahlstrom Munksjö, International Paper, BillerudKorsnäs, Huhtamäki, SEDA, SIG Combibloc, Tetra Pak, Elopak, Walki, Schur Group, Cardbox Packaging, Firstan Ltd., WestRock, Leonhard Kurz Stiftung & Co. KG, Graphic Packaging International, AR Packaging, Baumer hhs GmbH, Van Genechten Packaging Group, Sonoco, VTT. The alliance is welcoming more organisations to join the collaboration.

 

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19 Nov.2019

Forest-Based Industries Vision 2050

In light of the climate crisis, the European Forest-Based Industries, including the pulp, paper and other fibre-based product industries, the woodworking industries, the producers of furniture, the bio-energy sector and the printing industry, have come together to present their vision of the European society in 2050 and the essential role that they can play, delivering on the carbon neutrality goal.
 
The Forest-Based Industries (FBI) will provide the most competitive and sustainable net-zero
carbon solutions. They will do that by:
• substituting CO2-intensive raw materials and fossil energy with forest-based alternatives
• eradicating waste and boosting recycling with a sector target of at least 90% material collection and 70% recycling rate for all wood-based products
• driving resource efficiency and enhancing productivity in all areas including materials, manufacturing and logistics
 
We will maximise the use of recycled fibres. Our paper products are easily recyclable and effectively recycled across Europe; the recycling rate of paper is already 71.6% today. As we can meet the society’s current and future needs with non-fossil materials, we anticipate a growing demand for wood and wood-based products that we expect to be translated into FBI market growth of 3% annually. 
 
Our vision is also supported by the European forest owners, farmers, parquet industries and agricultural contractors. While the implementation of this pioneering vision needs to overcome some hurdles, such as the need for accepted recyclability protocols at European level, new technological solutions that will radically change production processes, and a shortage of skilled workforce or market distortions, we plan to deepen our existing partnerships.
 
We will boost innovation through applied research and innovation programmes such as the Forest-based sector Technology Platform, and engage in market development, to ensure our innovative solutions are attainable for consumers in their daily lives.
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19 Nov.2019

CEO INITIATIVE: Our contribution to EU 2050 climate neutrality

It is clear that renewability and circularity are key solutions to decarbonise society. And that forests are the most effective carbon sinks known to man.
 
Through our sustainable forest management we contribute significantly to the growing forest coverage in Europe, thereby enabling forests to play their combined role of carbon sequestration as well as providing carbon neutral materials for carbon storage and substitution of fossil-based raw materials.
 
Our industry offers innovative and resource-efficient solutions for current and future challenges. As a vital part of a circular bio-economy, we provide consumers with a wide range of renewable and recyclable solutions for packaging, different papers, textiles, bio-composites, bio-chemicals and energy products.
 
In addition, we operate as a strategic element of the circular forest-based industry value chain, providing an ever-increasing range of solutions for our customers, for other industries, and for society at large.
Our industry has therefore a strategic interest in being at the forefront in making the decarbonisation of European society happen.
 
Unleashing the full potential of our sector brings Europe closer to achieve a climate neutral economy, leveraging on our strengths: competitiveness, renewability, and circularity.
 
 
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19 Nov.2019

Paper-based packaging recyclability guidelines

How can the value chain, including retailers and brand owners, specify and design paper-based packaging to support the recycling process?
 
There is a growing expectation from consumers, brands and retailers that the packaging they use is recyclable, as part of a global ecodesign approach to reduce its impact on the environment. Producers and recyclers of paper-based packaging are committed to delivering on this expectation.
 
A primary function of packaging is to protect the packed goods during the logistics chain until their final consumption in order to avoid product loss and food waste. Another important function is the communication to the consumer. Paper is always recyclable but some functional properties expected from the packaging require it to be in some cases coated, laminated or treated in other ways in order to meet the different barriers or functional requirements (e.g. for food contact) which can be more challenging for the recycling process. The combination of paper and board with other materials must therefore be implemented in a way that does not hamper recycling, while ensuring that the expected role of packaging is fulfilled.
 
The recommendations here in will allow the value chain, including retailers and brand owners, to improve the recyclability of paper packaging products in the paper recycling process.
These recommendations are generally applicable in Europe, however it is recommended that national Extended Producer Responsibility schemes or relevant bodies are referred to in order to ensure the recyclability of the packaging on the targeted markets and to comply with specific national protocols for assessing recyclability of packaging. National protocols are divergent due to the presence of different collection systems and requirements for collection in the paper and board stream. While national specificities continue to exist, steps towards a harmonisation of recyclability test methods are underway. The recommendations below should be communicated widely to the value chain, including retailers and brand owners, to further improve paper packaging recyclability and help meet national protocols and requirements. The undersigned organisations will continue the open dialogue in the value chain to assess developments in material and recycling technology in order to review these guidelines, as appropriate.
 
The full text of the guidelines can be downloaded below.
 
For more information about Recyclability, please contact Ulrich Leberle, Cepi Raw Materials Director at u.leberle@cepi.org
 
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19 Nov.2019

PRESS RELEASE: European paper industry CEOs declare a strategic interest in supporting the decarbonisation of our society

Climate change is a global crisis that demands urgent action and requires every actor in society to play his/her part in responding to the crisis. Industries have both a duty and an opportunity to become more sustainable, more efficient and more innovative.

“With the help of the new European Green Deal, we can reduce our impact on climate change while increasing production in Europe. Our industry has a strategic interest in being at the forefront of the decarbonisation efforts for 2050” said Ignazio Capuano, incoming Cepi Chairman and CEO of Burgo group taking over from Karl-Henrik Sundström, CEO of Stora Enso, during Cepi’s annual conference, Paper and Beyond, today in Brussels.

In this spirit, the CEOs representing the European paper industry outlined their plans to reach a climate-neutral Europe by 2050 in a declaration which was officially handed over to Clara De La Torre, Deputy Director-General of DG CLIMA and Timo Pesonen, Director-General of DG GROW, present along with other European Commission representatives.

The way forward finds its foundations in the very solid basis of our existing achievements. We have guaranteed the sustainability of our raw materials, improved the performance of our processes and proven the climate friendliness of our products.

Sustainable raw materials: our raw material is wood pulp, which is intrinsically renewable if coming from properly managed forest sources; this is why we have helped create a number of programmes for the certified sustainability of forests across Europe such as PEFC (Programme for Endorsement of Forest Certification and FSC (Forest Stewardship Council). We have expanded sustainable forest management practices in Europe and globally.

Decarbonised processes: we have delivered a successful decarbonisation of our operations of 27% from 2005 to date. Our sector is investing at a rate of more than €5 billion per year to decarbonise, with a commitment to making our production processes more efficient and decreasing our overall carbon footprint thanks to new technologies and collaboration with our partners. A step change is ultimately needed and supported by breakthrough technologies and solutions. We are committed to searching for them.

Climate-friendly products: world champions in recycling, we have worked with local authorities to improve separate collection of paper and board to boost the use of recycled fibres in new products. We now plan to push our model even further in a final goal of providing innovative sustainable solutions for a range of new sectors, for example textile, through new bio-based products.

To turn this ambition into reality, we call upon European policymakers to support our efforts by setting an appropriate legislative framework, namely:

  • Improved market access for recyclable and bio-based products, through a coherent product policy and clear framework conditions for the new bioeconomy-related products
  • More support for the sustainable management of forests and recycling schemes: forest-based raw materials should be made more easily available and accessible.
  • A coherent, stable and predictable regulatory framework, with clear milestones for a cost-competitive energy transition, to promote and reward decarbonisation investments and guarantee access to clean energy.

Our final goal is to empower consumers, who will get a larger choice of climate-friendly products that are easily available and affordable.

 

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