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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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29 Oct.2019 ,

Joint Press Release - Investors Won’t Eyeball Sustainable Tech Without A Coherent Framework. Can Brussels Help?

Brussels, 22 October 2019 - We support the final objective of the sustainable finance regulation: to enable financial flows to support sustainable growth and transition to a carbon neutral economy. Private investors need a sound regulation to increasingly support mitigation actions such as accelerating investments in renewable energy technologies.

Such objective is however undermined by a significant divergence between the recently approved sustainability requirements within the recast of the Renewable Energy Directive (REDII) and those of the Technical Expert Group’s (TEG) draft report on Sustainable Finance.
This lack of coherence casts a shadow over the likelihood of achieving long-term EU climate and energy goals.

Bioenergy: a tool for decarbonisation

Bioenergy, representing a staggering 63% of the total renewable energy consumption, is the largest renewable source in the EU. Among other benefits, it greens industrial processes across sectors, covering more than 8% of EU industrial energy demand. Furthermore, the sector can grow sustainably in the next decades enabling the decarbonisation of EU economy.

EU-wide, long-term sustainability criteria for the bioenergy sector and risk assessment systems can provide market stability; the Renewable Energy Directive has put in place such systems and market operators are gearing up to ensure compliance. As highlighted in the Deforestation Communication from 2021 bioenergy will be the only sector for which mandatory sustainability requirements apply.

A regrettable divergence

Regrettably, the technical screening criteria proposed by the TEG are not in line with the recently agreed legislation. They are also unrealistic in the short term.

The forest and agriculture biomass sustainability requirements of REDII have been agreed in the context of a transparent and inclusive legislative process, their impact thoroughly assessed. They are based on a “Best Available Technology” principle, stakeholders have been consulted, and the Council of the EU and European Parliament as co-legislators have scrupulously worked together towards a sound output.

To keep investments flowing in the direction of sustainable bioenergy projects and achieve EU climate and energy targets, the bioenergy industry, together with agriculture and forest biomass producers recommend an approach based on a progressive transition. The sustainability technical criteria proposed in the Sustainable Finance Regulation should mirror the sustainability requirements agreed in REDII to maintain a sound investment environment. Only high ILUC risk biofuels must be excluded by the TEG and any further requirement should be supported by an adequate assessment and the expertise of sector representatives duly considered. 

Reaching a target is a matter of getting the trajectory right. The European climate and energy legislation already provides the tools to assess if results are on track and to fill gaps when needed. The sustainability requirements adopted by REDII should be implemented before opting for an untested, top-down designed new set of requirements.


 

 

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05 Sep.2019

TEG report’s draft technical screening criteria for forestry creates legal uncertainty and ignores the long-term characteristics of forests

In the context of the European Commission’s ongoing work on developing a classification system for sustainable investments1, the undersigned organisations would like to express their views on the inclusion of forestry into climate change mitigation activities drawn up by the Commission’s Technical Expert Group (TEG) on Sustainable Finance 2. Due to competence distribution in the EU and the subsidiarity principle applicable in the complex area of forests and forest management, the undersigned organisations highly recommend using the forest biomass sustainability approach of the recast of the Renewable Energy Directive (REDII)3, which relies on Member State legislation instead of developing an additional new system of screening criteria for forests and forestry.
 
Europe’s diverse forest resources, including growing stock and area, have been increasing significantly during the last decades mainly due to investments in sustainable forest management. Concurrently, forests have become increasingly influenced by dynamic changes due to large-scale calamities, pests and diseases. The undersigned organisations welcome the fact that the sustainable finance initiative recognizes the significant contributions provided by the forest sector to the overall objective of a carbon neutral Europe. To strengthen these contributions, investments are indeed needed in order to achieve not only the climate change mitigation and adaptation objectives, but also to maintain other forest functions and to respond to other growing expectations from society addressed to European forests.
 
The undersigned organisations welcome the fact that the proposed sustainable finance regulation builds on the definition of sustainable forest management (SFM), referred to in the 2013 EU Forest Strategy4, which European countries and the European Commission endorsed within the framework of the Ministerial Conference on the Protection of Forests in Europe5. Given the fact that the proposed taxonomy regulation also aims to define a set of criteria, and that SFM contributes in many ways to several UN Sustainable Development Goals as well as to the Paris Agreement goals, it is crucial to ensure that a holistic approach to SFM is applied while keeping in mind that forest policy is a competence of Member States.
 
Sustainable and active forest management plays an important role in meeting EU climate, environmental and energy policy objectives, e.g. tackling climate change, preserving biodiversity, improving energy security and contributing to the development of the circular bioeconomy in Europe. It provides three main climate benefits: CO2 sequestration in resilient, growing forests; carbon storage in wood and wood products; and a renewable and climate-friendly raw material that substitutes for fossil-based materials and fuels.
 
To further ensure these roles and even strengthen them in the future, it is of utmost importance that the future taxonomy regulation does not undermine the objectives of the 2030 Climate and Energy Framework nor the EU 2050 Climate Strategy6 through the adoption of an inconsistent system of criteria for forest management. Even though the proposed initiative aims at steering private funding to more sustainable investments, it is likely that the policy will also have an impact on public investments.
 
As regards the GHG balance, the forestry sector’s positive contribution to the Union’s climate and energy goals must be considered in the context of the entire life cycle phases of any given forest and the multifunctionality of forest management. In this context, the recently adopted LULUCF Regulation aims to ensure a balance between emissions and removals from the land use, land use change and forestry (LULUCF) sector by 2030 at country level. Unfortunately, the set of climate mitigation activities envisaged in the TEG report disregards the holistic concepts of sustainable forestry and multifunctional forests as well as their related carbon cycles by not specifying in the criteria that the requirements should apply at country level and fit with the long-term cycles of forests.
 
The undersigned organisations also reiterate that the best practical way to include forests and forest management into the upcoming sustainable finance framework would be to use the risk-based approach for forest biomass as applied in the Renewable Energy Directive (recast) which properly covers sustainability concerns in forestry and which was adopted by all respective EU institutions and Member States. This would avoid confusion, legal uncertainty and subsequent restrictions to investments in the forestry sector. Unfortunately, the sustainable forest management requirements proposed by the TEG suggests another sustainability set for forestry.
 
If, in the longer run, a more comprehensive and robust system is needed, the EU Forest Strategy already provides an appropriate framework to accomplish this. Even though forest policy is a competence of the Member States, other EU policy fields indirectly address forests and their use given the fact that forests have the potential to provide multiple solutions to global challenges. Due to an increasingly scattered and fragmented EU policy framework, the implementation plan7 of the EU Forest Strategy called for an identification of a comprehensive set of sustainability criteria and indicators regardless of end use. The corresponding SFM criteria and indicators should be applicable for the purpose of different EU policies where relevant and when there is a need to refer to SFM and its means of evidence in a way linkable to subsequent life-cycle phases. Any specific additional sectorial policy driven criteria to determine sustainability aspects in the forest sector is not desirable.
 
Therefore, in the future work on the taxonomy, we strongly recommend that the TEG and the Sustainable Finance Platform rely more on expertise from the forest sector – especially concerning the critical role of forestry in the carbon cycle and climate change mitigation – and on established and commonly agreed instruments. This would minimise the risk of shortcomings and misconceptions in the proposed structure and content of the taxonomy system related to forests and forestry.
 
SFM requirements should always use provisions of Member State legislation based on the Forest Europe process as a baseline. Market-based solutions, such as forest certification and the forestry criteria of the Climate Bonds Initiative could be carefully used considering their voluntary nature and that they are only one of many means of proof. Therefore, in EU legislation, it should be clearly acknowledged and made possible to prove sustainable practices based on well-developed forest governance systems including monitoring and enforcement systems in place at national level. Furthermore, any requirement of forest management plans for forest holdings should strictly follow the respective legislation of Member States, especially regarding provisions for their content, disclosure of information, auditing and reporting intervals. In addition, the provisions on forest management plans should be consistent and in line with the Rural Development Policy 2014-20208 that acknowledges the small-scaled nature of private forest ownership in the EU.
 
The aforementioned recommendations will allow the European Union to send out a clear message to investors on how to promote the development and sustainable use of forest resources and the entire forest-based value chain with a view to positively contribute towards achieving the Paris Agreement climate objectives.
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11 Oct.2018 ,

EU’s new circular bioeconomy strategy - European forest fibre and paper industry ready to lead

CEPI, the European association representing the forest fibre and paper industry, applauded today’s release of a more tangible Bioeconomy Strategy laying the conditions for creating a truly circular, low-carbon bioeconomy in Europe.

The EU’s new Bioeconomy Strategy rightly puts the emphasis on bridging the bioeconomy, sustainability and circularity. It also goes beyond research to deploy bioeconomy innovation and investments in Europe,” says Sylvain Lhôte, Director General of CEPI, the European forest fibre and paper industry “being a mainstream renewable and recyclable material industry, we have the means to put this strategy into action.”

The industry has set out a transformational strategy in a first of its kind low-carbon bioeconomy Roadmap, which aims at advancing industry’s full potential of the bioeconomy, circularity and innovation. This vision for the industry triggered around 5.5 billion EUR of investment in Europe in 2017. The industry is committed to leveraging the new EU Bioeconomy Strategy to accelerate the pace of transformation and investment in Europe.

What works in the Strategy?

The new EU Strategy also has a clear focus on reducing Europe’s dependence on fossil resources and promoting sustainably sourced bio-based products. The 10bn euro earmarked for a new food and natural resources cluster in the Horizon Europe R&D programme will encourage industry’s bioeconomy research and investments. The new “circular bioeconomy investment platform” to de-risk funding for private investments will also be key in boosting investments and deploying novel biorefineries in our industry.

Note to editor:

CEPI is the European association representing the forest fibre and paper industry and supports more than 1.5 million jobs in the forest-fibre and paper value chain (almost 10% of the bioeconomy-related jobs in the EU). Building on its renewable and recyclable roots, the industry sources more than 92% of the pulp it uses from the EU, while more than 72% of the paper it produces is recycled.

Discussing how to better bridge the bioeconomy and circularity will be at the forefront of the debate taking place next week, 16-17 October at Paper & Beyond, a new event concept that unites bioeconomy and circularity leaders from across the globe in Brussels. Learn more on how the European forest fibre and paper industry is leading the debate on a low-carbon circular bioeconomy in Europe at www.paperandbeyond.com.

 

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28 Sep.2018

Sustainability goes ‘live’ as CEPI unveils new sustainability platform

 CEPI, the European association representing the pulp and paper industry, today unveils a dynamic ‘live’ sustainability platform which demonstrates, amongst other things, industry’s sustainability achievements.

“We are delighted to offer our members and the European industry at large a one-stop shop for all industry sustainability data and achievements” says Jori Ringman, Deputy Director General of CEPI. “The platform will be systematically updated once the new data becomes available; meaning our sustainability platform is always ‘live’ and up to date when you need it”.

The concept behind the platform

The new platform departs from the past practice of producing a new, ‘static’ sustainability report biannually. Building on CEPI’s more than twenty year history of being the focal point for third-party verified, industry data, all information on the site will be updated systematically multiple times per year. Users will be able to download the entire website as a PDF or pick and choose per policy section.

Pulp and paper company good practices, all in one place

The new platform also offers the possibility for companies across CEPI’s membership to display their good practices in the fields of bioeconomy, circular economy/recycling, environment, energy and climate change and forestry. The dedicated Good Practices section will be the focal point for researchers, journalists, policymakers and more seeking best examples from the sustainability leaders in our industry.

Key data for 2017 revealed

Following on from the publication of CEPI’s ‘Key Statistics’ in July, the new platform also reveals a wealth of data on industry’s sustainability achievements. Notably, new certification figures were made public showing that 83.2% of the pulp purchased by the industry is certified and that 70.7% of wood, woodchips or residues from saw mills purchased by the industry comes from certified forests.
Note to editor:

For press-related enquiries, please contact Ben Alexander Kennard, CEPI’s Communications Manager, at b.kennard@cepi.org
For general enquiries, please contact Jori Ringman, CEPI’s Deputy Director General, at j.ringman@cepi.org

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