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01 Dec.2017

Blue Sky Young Researchers and Innovation Awards


01 Dec.2017 ,

Global Forest and Paper Industry Reports on Sustainability Progress

Gl The International Council of Forest and Paper Associations’ (ICFPA) launched its 2017 Sustainability Progress Report. It is the sixth biennial report highlighting ICFPA members’ progress on the sustainability commitments agreed upon in the 2006 CEO Leadership Statement on Sustainability.

The full report is available here

We are proud to announce our global industry’s continuous progress, which represents our commitment to social and environmental aspects associated with forest management and the manufacture of forest-based products,” said ICFPA President Jane Molony. “We look forward to continuing to supply the growing global demand for sustainable products, including fuel, fiber and forest products, while moving towards a greener economy.”

The global sustainability performance of the forest product industry is improving, with all aggregate indicators for reporting associations showing progress from their respective baseline years:

- Since 2004/2005, ICFPA members reduced their greenhouse gas emissions intensity by 16%, and increased the share of bio-energy in the fuel mix by 10.3 percentage points.

- The total sustainable forest management-certified area used to supply the global industry reached 54% in 2015, up from just 12% in 2000. - The global paper recycling rate reached 58.9% in 2015 – a 12.4 percentage point increase from 2000.

- Members improved their onsite energy intensity by 1.1% since the 2004/2005; reduced their SO2 emissions by 48% from 2004/2006; and reduced their use of process water by 7.2% since 2004/2005.

- Members’ recordable incident rate was improved by 24.5% since 2006/2007.

ICFPA members that contributed to the 2017 Sustainability Progress Report are the Australian Forest Products Association, the American Forest & Paper Association, the Confederation of European Paper Industries, Corporación Chilena de la Madera, the Forest Products Association of Canada, the Brazilian Tree Industry – Ibá, the Japan Paper Association, the New Zealand Forest Owners Association, and the Paper Manufacturers Association of South Africa. The ICFPA represents 19 pulp, paper, wood and fiber-based associations that encompass 36 countries, including many of the top pulp, paper and wood producers around the world.

For more information about the sustainability of the global forest and paper industry, visit www.icfpa.org.

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22 Nov.2017

Innovation tops the agenda at European Paper Week, as industry moves forward on the bioeconomy

The 19th edition of European Paper Week will mark CEPI’s 25th anniversary and takes place in the background of industry’s transformation towards a low-carbon, circular bioeconomy. As part of this year’s theme, attendees are invited to look forward and ‘Sense the Future’ by experiencing through the five senses the innovative, bio-based potential of the industry.

Industry transformation is gaining pace. This year’s European Paper Week provides an occasion to look forward at how we can, as the leading renewable and recyclable material industry, unleash the full potential of a circular bioeconomy,” says Sylvain Lhôte, Director General at the Confederation of European Paper Industries (CEPI).

As part of the industry’s ambition to lead Europe’s bioeconomy transformation, this year’s event will play host to the inaugural Europe-only edition of the Blue Sky Young Researchers and Innovation Awards, where eight accomplished researchers will make the case for their industry-changing ideas.

Building on this year’s theme, attendees are also invited to experience first-hand industry’s cutting-edge potential at a novel innovation expo. The expo will exhibit multiple, innovative paper-based products that can be used for purposes as diverse as human cell cultivation, aircraft structures and renewable, bio-based alternatives to plastic bottles.

This year’s High-level session will welcome Gunter Pauli, author of The Blue Economy, a world-renowned report which outlines how innovations inspired by nature’s own renewable cycles can build a sustainable economy from the ground up. This session also challenges attendees to think ‘outside the box’ and will strike a chord on how the European Commission’s revised EU Bioeconomy Strategy can help speed up the deployment of innovation from lab to market.

Looking towards the future, the industry will continue to put its words into action, as outlined in the revised version of its 2050 'Investment Roadmap' by building on the success of its pioneering ‘Roots and Beyond’ project to demonstrate, in practice, the transformative investments taking place across the industry. CEPI also intends to be at the forefront of the discussion on the next EU research and development programme to guarantee funding for the bioeconomy projects that can propel industry innovation to the next level.

Note to editor:
CEPI is the pan-European association representing the forest fibre and paper industry. Through its 18 national associations CEPI gathers 495 companies operating more than 900 pulp and paper mills across Europe producing paper, cardboard, pulp and other bio-based products. CEPI represents 22% of world production, €81 billion of annual turnover to the European economy and directly employs over 175,000 people.

From forest fibre technology to advance paper design the industry currently invests 3.5 billion annually and is a leader of the low carbon circular bioeconomy transition. CEPI’s 2050 ‘Investment Roadmap’ outlines the industry’s vision to advance this transformation in Europe through value creation and decarbonisation.

For press-related enquiries please contact Ben Kennard, CEPI Press Manager at b.kennard@cepi.org or by phone at (+32) 487 39 21 82. Full information on European Paper Week can be consulted on our website here.

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16 Nov.2017 ,

European paper industry calls for a reviewed Bioeconomy Strategy that bolsters investment

The European paper industry takes a positive stance on the European Commission’s Staff Working Document on the review of the 2012 Bioeconomy Strategy.

“To achieve Europe’s bioeconomy and climate change agenda, it is essential that the EU lays down the conditions to spur the investments which shift Europe away from a ‘fossil-addicted’ economy. The European forest fibre and paper industry stands ready to captain this transformation but the EU’s future Bioeconomy Strategy must take a holistic approach and cease treating bioeconomy dossiers as separate and distinct” says Sylvain Lhôte, Director General of the Confederation of European Paper Industries (CEPI).

The European paper industry is, at its core, an entirely bio-based industry producing the only mainstream material that is both renewable and recyclable. As part of its 2050 ‘Investment Roadmap’ to lead Europe’s bioeconomy transition, the industry foresees bringing 25 bn EUR of added value to the EU economy with pulp and paper-based novel bio products, while massively cutting carbon emissions. This transformation would require an estimated 44 bn EUR of additional investment in Europe to deploy game-changing technologies for new paper-based products and for establishing biorefineries that convert side-streams into advanced biochemicals.

The European Commission has recognised the importance of putting in place ‘a stable regulatory environment’ to support bioeconomy investments and the need to address the incoherence between the Action Plan and the Strategy. The Staff Working Document also mentions the need to better link the bioeconomy strategy with other policies, in particular the Circular Economy, which is both symbiotic and multiplies the benefits of the bioeconomy and mitigates climate change. At the same time, the Action Plan itself needs to be more specific, time bound, measurable and aligned with a reviewed Strategy.

The European paper industry believes that the time is ripe to accelerate the transition towards a low-carbon and circular bioeconomy. Cutting-edge initiatives like the flagship Biobased Industry Joint Undertaking should be prolonged and aligned with the new Strategy. Incentivising investments will also be crucial to ensuring Europe’s bioeconomy transition is put into full gear and builds on its ‘bioeconomy competitive advantage’.

Note to editor:
The Confederation of European Paper Industries (CEPI) is the pan-European association representing the forest fibre and paper industry. From forest fibre technology to advance paper design the industry currently invests 3.5 billion annually and is a leader of the low carbon circular bioeconomy transition. CEPI’s 2050 ‘Investment Roadmap’ outlines the industry’s vision to advance this transformation in Europe through value creation and decarbonisation. The full innovative bio-based potential of the industry will be on full display at European Paper Week, November 28-30 to which journalists and EU officials can attend free of charge.

For more information, please contact Bernard de Galembert, Bioeconomy and Innovation Director at b.degalembert@cepi.org or by phone at (+32) 2627 49 27

For press related enquiries, please contact Ben Kennard, Press Manager at b.kennard@cepi.org or by phone at (+32) 487 39 21 82

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16 Nov.2017 ,

Letter to European Commission Vice President Timmermans on Plastics Strategy


The undersigned organisations are writing to express deep concern over the European plastics strategy currently under development. Based on drafts released by the media, we believe the strategy seriously risks: 1) being developed in silos of plastics without a systemic view, 2) failing to respect the principle of technological/material neutrality and having serious unintentional and unassessed consequences for competing materials and technologies that may in some cases perform better in terms of environmental impacts and circularity and 3) missing the opportunity to drive a low-carbon circular economy. Representing sectors that both compete and work with plastics, we would call upon you to take corrective measures, including the concrete requests for actions listed below before the Commission moves to adopt the strategy.

1) The strategy is being developed in silos of plastics without a systemic view
Plastic materials compete on the market with many other materials with similar or better functionalities and similar or lower negative impact. We strongly believe that the silo approach adopted by the Commission – ignoring interactions, market mechanisms, competition, implications on the whole packaging value chain – will have serious unassessed and unintended consequences and does not ensure fair and equal treatment of all materials. In our view, the draft plastics strategy fails to consider and assess the value chain systems both within the petrochemical industry and even more so in the wider economy. Our observations include:
• the evident market failures of plastic prices; instead the strategy seems to suggest introducing more financial support mechanisms despite the fact that oil and gas subsidies in the EU are significant and have been growing in the OECD at a much higher rate than the growth of GDP ;
• the potential to substitute plastics by better alternatives for some applications;
• the potential to replace fossil feedstock by alternative feedstocks (to name but one, sustainable lignin );
• the sourcing element as circularity is not only about recycling but about the sustainable production of input material; sustainable sourcing is a growing concern and already a legal requirement for other technologies;
• the market impacts for other solutions, materials and products;
• other key policies such as climate change, mobility or bio-economy.

The undersigned deeply regret that - despite several attempts to be heard - they have not been allowed to contribute to the discussion on the strategy.

We would call for the Commission to incorporate the following elements in the plastics strategy:
I. Interaction of the many connected policies, including low-carbon bioeconomy.
II. Implications for competing technologies and materials to ensure fair competition and a level playing field.
III. A holistic view reflecting the reality where plastics are not addressed in isolation and a dynamic understanding of the sectors involved and impacted by the strategy.
IV. Assessment of the systems of value chains within the petrochemical industry, with a view to subsidies for fossil-based plastics and in the wider economy.
V. Assessment of the petrochemical industry as a resource.
VI. Improved assessment of alternative feedstocks, including existing by-products from other sectors and their accessibility, and symmetry in assessing traditional fossil feedstocks’ environmental impacts.
VII. Our industry should be included in the platforms which will be established to discuss and implement this strategy as it will have a direct impact on us.

2) The strategy risks failing to respect the principle of technological neutrality
The measures proposed in the draft plastics strategy and the associated financial and other support would fail to respect the principle of technological neutrality and non-discriminatory policy. And this, notwithstanding that circular economy targets would remain lower for plastics than for other materials.

We find it unfair to have a strategy that rewards the laggards whilst other materials who have done the work and paid for it themselves in the past decades risk being penalised. It would be a strange outcome if the final strategy were to favour a material that remains problematic over less problematic ones.

We would call for the Commission to incorporate the following elements in the plastics strategy:
VIII. Full respect of the principle of technological neutrality in a fair and equal approach.
IX. Reserving an equal amount of public funding for other solutions, materials and technologies as will be the case for plastics.
X. Acknowledgment and promotion of sustainable substitution by competing solutions, materials and technologies; more sustainable packaging materials should be preferred when there is a choice.
XI. Assessment of, and setting policy requirements for, plastics with metrics and boundaries comparable to competing technologies; targets set for plastic materials have to be set on a par with targets for other materials.
XII. Consideration of the full life cycle of plastics, including upstream sourcing of feedstocks (both alternative and traditional).

3) The strategy misses an opportunity in a low-carbon and circular economy
The strategy misses an opportunity to combine a drive for resource efficiency and a move away from non-renewable resource use. As highlighted by President Juncker and the Industrial Policy Strategy released by his Commission, the aim is to build a low-carbon circular economy.

The potential offered by the bio-based economy should be considered alongside the potential to streamline the plastics value chain and make it more efficient. The US public procurement strategy for bio-based materials and products has had a significant positive impact in terms of growth and jobs : similarly the public procurement in Europe should first consider sustainable substitutes to plastics.

We would call for the Commission to incorporate the following elements in the plastics strategy:
XIII. To ensure that public procurement rules or economic incentives are fair, proportionate and not unduly supporting a material, such as recycled plastics, instead of choosing other solutions, materials and technologies, in particular renewable or already highly recycled, over fossil-based plastics.
XIV. Indeed, we would call for the Commission to incentivise industry to encourage companies to choose more sustainable, renewable materials in the first place when selecting their packaging materials. This might be through taxation on the use of plastic or providing positive incentives to use more sustainable materials.

We share a common aim: producing a sustainable circular European economy. The buy-in of the wider economy and society in general for the plastics strategy prepared by the European Commission would require a much more holistic and systemic approach and respect of the principle of technological neutrality by giving a fair and equal treatment to all sectors. At the same time, the plastics strategy should be seized as an opportunity to bring the plastics industry on a par with other industry sectors regarding responsible performance, not least to protect the marine environment and other water bodies.

We remain at your disposal to discuss the matter further and will be in contact with your respective teams of Commissioners in order to support the development of the strategy.

Kind regards,

CITPA, International Confederation of Paper & Board Converters
CEPI, Confederation of European Paper Industries
ACE, The Alliance for Beverage Cartons and the Environment
CEPI CONTAINERBOARD, European Producers of corrugated case materials
CEPI EUROKRAFT, European Producers of Sack Kraft Paper and Kraft Paper
ECMA, European Carton Makers Association
EMBALPACK, European Association of Makers of Packaging Papers
EMFA, European Moulded Fibre Association
EUROSAC, European Federation of Multiwall Paper Sack Manufacturers
FEFCO, European Federation of Corrugated Board Manufacturers
PRO CARTON, European Association of Carton and Cartonboard Manufacturers

 

CC: Commission Vice-President Katainen, Commissioners Moedas, Vella, Bienkowska
Secretary General of the Commission
Director Generals of DG Grow, DG RTD, DG ENV

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