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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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13 Nov.2017

European paper industry takes over environmental footprint method from EU

The Confederation of European Paper Industries (CEPI) informed the European Commission on 13 November of its intention to take over the PEFCR (Product Environmental Footprint Category Rules) prepared under a larger EU pilot on environmental footprints.


The PEFCR project promised to deliver a clear, simplified and workable method for environmental footprinting that our value chain could effectively use and rely upon. After more than four year’s work, the European Commission body in charge of the project is far from this objective. CEPI will now take the necessary measures to conclude the project and design a tool that is meaningful for business and workable for SMEs,” says Sylvain Lhôte, Director General at CEPI.


Initiated in 2013, the Intermediate Paper Pilot was meant to deliver a methodology for environmental footprinting of intermediate paper in a clear and workable format for all users. It was considered, at that time, that the workability of future PEF rules was imperative for the paper value chain, particularly SMEs. Led by the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre, however, the project has since been turned into an overly academic tool and the process continuously delayed.


The industry recognises the value of establishing a reference tool for communicating the environmental performance of paper products to customers and consumers. The industry has therefore decided to take back the lead from the European Commission and revise the PEFCR. In order to do so, CEPI has outlined a number of key steps in a letter sent to the Commission’s environment department here. The process would lead to developing free software for calculating the environmental footprint of intermediate paper, which could be extended by the printing and paper converting associations to a tool for final paper products. CEPI believes these steps are achievable over the 2018 – 2019 period.

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, pulp, cardboard, tissue 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.


For more information, please contact Jori Ringman, Deputy Director General at j.ringman@cepi.org or by phone at (+32) 478 25 50 70

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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09 Nov.2017

ETS reform restores regulatory certainty but gaps remain

Following today’s inter-institutional political agreement on the Emissions Trading System (ETS) the Confederation of European Paper Industries (CEPI) is broadly encouraged by improvements in the regulation for the 2021-2030 period.

The conclusion of the ETS negotiations now restores the regulatory predictability needed for advancing industrial transformation. Investments in low-carbon technologies are core to what we stand for as an industry. A more stable regime and tools such as the ETS Innovation Fund will be crucial in accelerating the industry's transition towards a low-carbon circular bioeconomy” says Sylvain Lhôte, Director General of CEPI.

The final compromise text improves significantly the scheme with a more robust stability in carbon leakage provisions and firmer predictability in reviewing the benchmark values. The Innovation Fund will also act as a crucial mechanism in advancing the breakthrough technologies that will spur the industry’s low-carbon transition.

Nonetheless, several aspects of the text are lacking and these would need to be resolved. For instance, the Market Stability Reserve (MSR) was significantly amended without any prior assessment of its impact on “industrial competitiveness and the risk of carbon leakage”, even though this was an explicit requirement when amending the MSR decision. Likewise, no solution was found to effectively ensure compensation for indirect costs for exposed energy intensive installations. Finally, while the risk of a shortfall in free credits has been mitigated it has not been structurally eradicated thereby causing unnecessary regulatory risks. The impact of all of the above-mentioned aspects will become more evident by 2021, when all implementing legislation will be finalised. It is therefore imperative to swiftly finalise the full regulatory landscape by adopting all the implementing acts well ahead of 2021.

Note to editor:

Ensuring that the ETS also functions as a pro-investment tool is a core component of the European paper industries ‘2050 Investment Roadmap’. Check out our ‘Alignment matrix’ here to see how the ETS can provide a platform for catalysing and enabling industry transformation in Europe.

For more information, please contact Nicola Rega, Climate Change and Energy Director at n.rega@cepi.org or by phone at (+32) 485 40 34 12

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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23 Oct.2017

ENVI vote embraces sustainable sourcing of biomass but misses the mark by encouraging mass conversion of coal power plants

The Environment (ENVI) committee has understood the importance of better aligning the text with Circular Economy principles, energy efficiency standards and sustainable forest management practices. It nonetheless seriously jeopardises Europe’s bioeconomy by encouraging the mass conversion to biomass by low-efficiency coal power plants.

Despite significant technical improvements the ENVI committee vote misses the big picture and may cause an unsustainable dash for biomass” says Sylvain Lhôte, Director General of the Confederation of European Paper Industries (CEPI). “The European bioeconomy deserves much better than turning wood into megawatts. We remain however confident that the text can be rebalanced at plenary”.

CEPI strongly holds the view that forest biomass should be both sustainably sourced and efficiently used in order to effectively contribute to Europe´s renewable energy and climate change targets.

For general enquiries please contact Ulrich Leberle, Raw Materials Director at (+32) 2 627 4923

For press related enquiries please contact Ben Kennard, Press and Digital Communications Manager at (+32) 487 39 21 82
 

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18 Oct.2017

Winners of the European Paper Recycling Awards demonstrate why paper remains a recycling leader

Every two years the European Paper Recycling Council (EPRC) rewards the best, brightest and most innovative paper recycling projects from across the continent with the prestigious European Paper Recycling Award. This year’s award ceremony, which took place on October 18, is jointly hosted by MEP Ms. Simona Bonafè (Italy), rapporteur of the Circular Economy dossier and Ms. Inés Ayala Sender (Spain).

Favini, a leading global producer of packaging for the luxury and fashion industries, topped the Innovative Technologies and R&D category for its Remake project, a ground-breaking process of using recycled leather to produce paper. Aspapel, the Spanish pulp & paper association headed up the Information and Education category with its creative ‘Blue Birdies’ project targeted towards raising awareness on the separate collection of paper across municipalities in Spain.


“Today’s winners are the pioneers that are paving the way the European paper recycling value chain is advancing paper recycling to the next level” says Lisa Kretschmann, Chairperson of the EPRC


“Whether it be inventive companies or municipalities willing to ‘step outside the box’, their role is crucial in helping the value chain reach its 74% recycling rate by 2020.” says Ulrich Leberle, Secretary of the EPRC/Raw Materials Director at CEPI


These two projects stood out from the crowd in terms of their originality, innovativeness, measured achievement and ability to be reproduced across Europe. Other commended entries which also scored highly include:

Information and Education category:
IMPACTPapeRec, a Horizon 2020 funded project on boosting separate collection of paper
Comieco’s (Italy) online contest “#iorompolescatole” (in English: “I break boxes”) on raising awareness of recycling paper & board packaging from e-commerce
• SCA’s Circular Economy project entitled “Closing the loop for paper hand towels

Innovative Technologies and R&D category:
Lucart (Italy): separating cellulose from beverage cartons to be reused for tissue production
Paptic (Finland): a light & durable material based on renewable and recyclable wood fibres

Learn more on how the EPRC is improving best practices in paper recycling and helping Europe reach its 74% paper recycling rate on the dedicated website here. Full information on all entries can be consulted here.

For more information, please contact Ulrich Leberle, Secretary of the EPRC/Raw Materials Director at CEPI by email u.leberle@cepi.org or by phone on (+32) 262 7 49 23.

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

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15 Sep.2017

‘Sense the Future’ at European Paper Week 2017. Registrations now open

Registration is now open here for the 19th edition of European Paper Week 2017, November 28 -30 at the Radisson Blu Royal Hotel in Brussels, Belgium.

This year CEPI celebrates its 25th anniversary and to mark this occasion we will be holding a very special anniversary dinner at Brussels’ famous Royal Museum of Art and History. For the first time ever the Pulp and Paper International (PPI) Awards will also be held in conjunction with the anniversary dinner.


The theme this year ‘Sense the Future’ revolves around the five senses: sight, sound, smell, taste, and touch. Through various interactive exhibits you will be invited to discover new dimensions of what paper & the products beyond have to offer.


European Paper Week registrants will be treated to a unique ‘Sense the Future’ exhibition space where guests will be invited on a journey of discovery of several of the industry’s most innovative products.


For this year’s High-Level session CEPI will be joined by Gunther Pauli, a prolific TED speaker, serial entrepreneur and author of the renowned book ‘The Blue Economy’.
The full event programme can be consulted online here. This year’s agenda brings back a lot of the best that European Paper Week has to offer and plenty of new experiences including the first ever European edition of Blue Sky Young Researcher Awards and an ICFPA session focused on global industry challenges.


Register here now before September 30 to avail of the early bird fee of € 510, after this the regular entrance fee of €590 applies. A fee of €100 is in place for attendees to the special 25th anniversary dinner and PPI awards. Press, EU officials and a limited number of students may register free of charge.


For more information please visit our website here, follow the dedicated event hashtag #CEPI25 or get in touch at epw@cepi.org


StepChange continues to be the platinum sponsor of European Paper Week re-enforcing its commitment to the industry. As a management consultancy solely specialised on pulp, paper and packaging StepChange takes a pragmatic approach, turning strategy into measurable business results and increased shareholder value.
 

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13 Sep.2017

European Parliament votes in favour of a LULUCF regulation better fit for purpose

The European organisations representing forestry and agriculture sectors as well as woodworking and paper industries see the reaction of the European Parliament within the Land Use, Land Use Change and Forestry (LULUCF) regulation as a positive step. The Parliament voted today in favour of a more dynamic forest reference levels to account for emissions and removals from sustainably managed forests.

EUSTAFOR, CEPF, Copa and Cogeca, CEPI and CEI-Bois recognise that the Parliament calls for flexible and forward-looking rules when establishing forest reference levels. However, further work is needed to ensure that the full potential of sustainably managed forests and wood-based products in mitigating climate change is fully accounted for as the final formulation of the regulation will be agreed in trilogues.
It is crucial for the European Union to keep promoting the use of domestic forest resources and the development of the entire forest-based value chain.
“This vote has put investment in Europe’s forests back at the forefront of the LULUCF regulation. This is a win-win for Europe’s climate strategy and the 1.8 million people working in the forest-based bioeconomy chain,” says Sylvain Lhôte, Director General at CEPI.
“The voting result encourages Member States to continue using their growing forest resources sustainably in order to decarbonize the European economy. However, there still remains quite some room to further improve the LULUCF regulation,” says Piotr Borkowski, Executive Director of EUSTAFOR. “Actively and sustainably managed European forests are essential to allow the European Union to play a leading role in combining environmental integrity with societal needs and economic development.”

“This is a step in the right direction for a policy that puts the EU on track to meet the Paris Agreement goals. It enables continued investments into the forest sector and sustainable forest management – the best long term strategy to maintain the carbon sink and ensure multiple benefits from our forests”, says Emma Berglund, Secretary General of CEPF.
Copa and Cogeca Secretary-General Pekka Pesonen said: “Today’s vote upheld sustainable forest management practices and recognised the billions of investments made in rural areas. Sustainable harvest practices go hand in hand with the multifunctional role of forests. This brings excellent results for the climate, society and the economy. It makes no sense to outsource the provision of sustainable raw materials for our bioeconomy in non-EU countries. Diseases and forest fires are equally disastrous and Member States should be given the opportunity to manage the forests in a way that addresses also these important challenges. Future discussions with the Council must ensure that every country, no matter how big or small, has the opportunity to continue managing their forests in a transparent and science-based manner with a long-term strategy, without fear of being penalised or infringing private owners rights”.

For further information, please contact:

European State Forest Association (EUSTAFOR):
Executive Director Piotr Borkowski - piotr.borkowski@eustafor.eu
Policy Advisor Salvatore Martire - salvatore.martire@eustafor.eu

Confederation of European Forest Owners (CEPF):
Secretary General Emma Berglund - emma.berglund@cepf-eu.org
Policy Advisor Meri Siljama - meri.siljama@cepf-eu.org

European Farmers and European Agri-Cooperatives (Copa and Cogeca):
Senior Policy Advisor Evangelos Koumentakos - Evangelos.Koumentakos@copa-cogeca.eu
Press Officer Amanda Cheesley - Amanda.cheesley@copa-cogeca.eu

Confederation of European Paper Industries (CEPI):
Raw Materials Director, Ulrich Leberle – u.leberle@cepi.org
Press & Digital Communications Manager Ben Alexander Kennard - b.kennard@cepi.org

European Confederation of Woodworking Industries (CEI-Bois):
Secretary General Patrizio Antonicoli - patrizio.antonicoli@cei-bois.org
Sustainability and Economic Affairs Manager Isabelle Brose - isabelle.brose@cei-bois.org

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05 Sep.2017

European paper industry shows the way in innovative solutions for energy efficiency and renewables

In a first of its kind project the Confederation of European Paper Industries (CEPI) has called upon its member companies to voluntarily exhibit innovative, emissions-reducing projects that centre on increasing energy efficiency and promoting the use of renewable energy sources.

The ‘To Our Roots and Beyond’ project puts the focus back on the industry’s leading role in contributing to a sustainable, low-carbon society. The project demonstates how industry is taking responsibilty in reducing its carbon emissions, as well as taking a leading role in providing bio-based solutions to decarbonise society at large.

In total, the project gathers 14 innovative case studies from 10 EU countries, involving 12 companies representing a diverse array of projects. The innovative projects which focus on energy efficiency and/or renewables are indicative of the diverse means the paper industry has at its disposal to reduce emissions whilst building upon its unique strength as an entirely renewable material.

“Our industry has set a vision to unleash the full potential of the bioeconomy by 2050, driving both value creation and deep decarbonisation. This project demonstrates how we put words into action and what it takes, on the ground, to turn ¬vision into reality through smart industrial integration, innovation in energy efficiency or advanced use of renewables” says Sylvain Lhôte, Director General at CEPI

As part of its commitment to reducing emissions this project will be renewed on a bi-annual basis. This project will remain a permanent feature of the industry’s commitment to put into practice its vision outlined in its ‘2050 Investment Roadmap’. The project website, including a link to the brochure, can be found here.

About: CEPI 2050 Investment Roadmap

In February 2011 CEPI relaunched its Roadmap putting into action its vision to reduce emissions by 80% while creating 50% more added value. The Roadmap envisions the need for €44 billion additional investment - a 40% increase on current levels – to lead the transition towards a low-carbon bioeconomy by 2050.
 

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11 Jul.2017

LULUCF: Forestry, paper and agri-sectors team up in favor of a dynamic forest reference level

The Environment Committee (ENVI) of the European Parliament today adopted the draft report of the Committee’s Rapporteur, MEP Norbert Lins, on the regulation of Land Use, Land Use Change and Forestry (LULUCF). The policy is of utmost importance for the forest and agricultural sectors as it defines the climate benefits of forest management and the use of wood.

A key element of the regulation is how to account for emissions and removals from forests. As a part of the 2030 Climate and Energy Framework, the European Commission proposed new EU LULUCF accounting rules for forests using a “Forest Reference Level” based on past (1990-2009) management practices and intensity.

Today, the ENVI Committee decided to continue this approach by voting in favor of a compromise to compare forest management intensity in 2020-2030 to the historical period of 2000-2012.

The approach of comparing future forest use to historical management intensity has been heavily criticized by the forest and agricultural sectors. The latter point to the fact that, in order to take advantage of the full potential of long-term benefits from sustainably managed forests and harvested wood products as regards climate change mitigation and adaptation, Forest Reference Levels must take into consideration the most recent data on forest resources and relevant policies. While the efforts made by the EP Committee are to be acknowledged, substantial work is still needed to improve the proposal.

We should not penalize countries that did not use the full sustainable potential of their forests in the past. Member States should be able to use their growing forests for developing a fossil-free bioeconomy and forest owners should be enabled to continue investing in sustainable forest management – the best long-term strategy to maintain the carbon sink and ensure the climate benefits of forests,” says Emma Berglund, Secretary General of CEPF.

Forest resources are growing in Europe and we should promote the use of sustainably-sourced wood from European forests to reach the climate and energy targets and to develop a sustainable bioeconomy. In fact, the EU Forest Strategy calls for management, growth and the use of forests, and this goes far beyond just considering them as a carbon stock,” says Piotr Borkowski, Executive Director of EUSTAFOR.

A dynamic Forest Reference Level is essential for ensuring investments are made where it matters most: in sustainable forest management. Let’s keep Europe’s forests on a pro-growth trajectory that both maintains Europe’s forest carbon sink and unleashes the true potential of its bioeconomy,” says Sylvain Lhôte, Director General at CEPI.

"Use of wood from sustainably managed forests is THE key to concretely tackle climate change. European regulators must have the ambition to set a coherent and lively Forest Reference Level to maintain the forests carbon sink and ensure proper material availability that will allow the society to fully benefit from the carbon storage offered by Harvested Wood Products," says Patrizio Antonicoli, Secretary General of CEI-Bois.

We seriously regret the vote in the Environment Committee,” underlines the Chair of the Copa & Cogeca Environment Working Party, Liisa Pietola. “It is a loss for the rural community’s growth and jobs and the climate. Countries are suffering more and more from extreme weather events and forest fires, and this will penalise them further. We are the only sectors that remove emissions from the atmosphere. The opinion of the Agriculture Committee was completely ignored.”

The umbrella organizations of the forest, paper and agricultural sectors in Brussels urge all MEPs to look at the big picture concerning the climate change mitigation and adaptation of forestry. In the transition period from a fossil-based society, all outlets of forestry are needed and benefits should be examined in the long term.

EUSTAFOR, Copa and Cogeca, CEPF, CEPI and CEI-Bois remain confident that the upcoming discussions in the European Parliament and Council will have a positive impact on the further development of the proposal.


For further information, please contact:

Confederation of European Forest Owners (CEPF):
Secretary General, Emma Berglund - emma.berglund@cepf-eu.org

European State Forest Association (EUSTAFOR):
Policy Advisor, Salvatore Martire: salvatore.martire@eustafor.eu
Communications Director, Juha Makinen: juha.makinen@eustafor.eu

European Farmers and European Agri-Cooperatives (Copa and Cogeca):
Senior Policy Advisor, Evangelos Koumentakos - Evangelos.Koumentakos@copa-cogeca.eu
Press Officer, Amanda Cheesley - Amanda.cheesley@copa-cogeca.eu

Confederation of European Paper Industries (CEPI):
Director General, Sylvain Lhôte - s.lhote@cepi.org
Press Officer, Ben Kennard – b.kennard@cepi.org

European Confederation of Woodworking Industries (CEI-Bois):
Secretary General, Patrizio Antonicoli - patrizio.antonicoli@cei-bois.org
 

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07 Jul.2017

EU launches trade investigation against Turkey following complaint by the European paper industry

Today the EU decided to launch investigations against Turkey for breach of EU-Turkey Customs Union and WTO rules confirming the validity of a complaint lodged by the European paper industry.

CEPI, the independent voice of the paper industry in Europe, presented a trade complaint (Trade Barrier Regulation (“TBR”)) to the European Commission on the 24 April 2017. The complaint concerned the unfair non-automatic import licensing system established by Turkey concerning, inter alia, EU exports of certain varieties of paper including office paper, books, envelopes and paper used for direct mail marketing (otherwise known as uncoated wood free (“UWF”) paper). This is both the first time a TBR complaint has been launched in almost ten years and the first time CEPI as an industry association has lodged a trade complaint.

"Today’s launch of this investigation is an indictment of the Turkish authorities’ reluctance to maintain a level-playing field when it comes to free trade. Turkey should withdraw, in the spirit of the EU-Turkey Customs Union and its WTO commitments, any unfair trade barriers” say Sylvain Lhôte, Director General at CEPI.

The unfair non-automatic import licensing system puts at risk over €150 million worth of EU exports of these varieties of paper. At a time when global free trade is under increasing pressure the European paper industry urges the Turkish authorities to stand on the side of free trade. The paper industry already exports 22% of its entire produce outside the EU and will continue to remain an advocate for free trade and take a firm stance where this is put at risk.

What can be expected next? Within a five to seven month period the Commission will now engage in a detailed investigation of the concerns raised by CEPI resulting in a report which may warrant the launch of WTO proceedings.

Background to the trade complaint: Following an inconclusive safeguard investigation on UWF imports in 2014-2015, Turkey extended in 2016 an existing import licensing system which targeted €150 million of EU exports of UWF paper products. The Turkish non-automatic import licensing system with regard to UWF paper is based on an arbitrary price threshold and creates a significant and unfair obstacle to EU-Turkey trade. As such, the contested system poses a clear violation of WTO and EU-Turkey Customs Union Agreement.

Publication in the Official Journal of the European Union: the link to the publication can be consulted here.

For more information, please contact Bernard Lombard, Industrial Policy Director at b.lombard@cepi.org or by phone at (+32) 2 627 49 22

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

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