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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
For general enquiries, please contact Jori Ringman, CEPI’s Deputy Director General, at email@example.com
Understanding materiality - significant impacts in the sector
CEPI has worked with Deloitte to identify the sector’s significant impacts: what is material in pulp and paper industry. The assessment of the sector on the European level produced detailed matrices and Key Performance Indicators for the identified five most material issues.
One size doesn’t fit all: It is understood that each individual organization will have its own ranking of material topics – depending on its core business, its key markets, countries of operation and other specifics of the organisation.
Ultimately, one of the objectives of this process is to support CEPI’s members can run their own materiality analysis, starting with the industry-wide view presented here – and customizing it further to their own organisation. This is supported by a separate document, the ‘How to’ toolkit.
Letter to the European Commission President Juncker and First Vice-President Timmermans: Concerns on the potential discontinuation of EU Ecolabel product groups
We, European paper manufacturers, retailers and wholesalers, consumer organisations and environmental NGOs, are writing to share our concerns about the possible removal of a number of EU Ecolabel product groups which we understand the Commission is considering. In our view, such a unilateral and unexpected consideration would be premature, given the ongoing Fitness Check of the EU Ecolabel Regulation, and we urge the Commission to reconsider the possible discontinuation of these product groups.
The Commission has recognised the EU Ecolabel as an “incentive scheme in favour of the market” which can benefit consumers and boost job creation. This voluntary, market-based instrument is also consistent with, and complementary to, other EU policies concerning the circular economy and sustainable development.
The Commission has suggested discontinuing some product groups that include two relatively successful EU Ecolabel paper-related products (tissue and newsprint). Such a discontinuation would have the following consequences:
1. Environmental benefits would be reduced: Narrowing the scope and the uptake of the scheme will reduce its positive effects as a sign-post for product sustainability in areas ranging from biodiversity to water and energy efficiency or chemicals and raw materials management.
2. A proliferation of labels could lead to additional confusion among consumers: The Ecolabel is designed to help EU citizens make sustainable purchases, with a range of almost 40,000 environmentally more friendly products and services, of which one quarter are paper-related. Consumers already face a wide variety of labels, and a credible EU Ecolabel allows them to buy with more confidence. Having no EU Ecolabel for paper may result in a further proliferation of private or national schemes. Such schemes are likely to use slightly differing criteria and contain protectionist national features, hampering the functioning of the EU single market.
3. Business would face significant costs: Both the tissue and newsprint EU Ecolabels have generated several billions of euros in sales every year. Companies have invested significantly to be able to use the EU Ecolabel on their products which has helped companies market these products across the EU and access green public procurement with fewer administrative burdens. Such market uptake takes time and perseverance. Dropping these labels would lead to extra costs for such companies, as for example existing packaging materials of EU Ecolabelled products would need to be modified, and would create market uncertainty.
The Commission’s suggestion to prematurely remove specific product groups in isolation raises questions not only over the evidence used, but also on the process, governance and stakeholder consultation as set under the EU Ecolabel Regulation. This also seems to us incompatible with the Commission’s Better Regulation guidelines issued last year.
We therefore urge the Commission to:
- Reconsider any suggested discontinuation of specific product groups at this point in time;
- Underpin with clear evidence, such as produced by the Fitness check, any decision on the fate of the ecolabels for specific product groups and the future of the scheme;
- Make the consultation process transparent, involving the EU Ecolabelling Board and stakeholders from manufacturing, retail and consumer organisations.
We remain at your disposal for any questions you might have and to further discuss any issues related to the future of the EU Ecolabel.
Sylvain Lhôte, Director General Confederation of European Paper Industries
Roberto Berardi, Chairman, European Tissue Symposium
Monique Goyens, Director General, The European Consumer Organisation
Jeremy Wates, Secretary General, European Environmental Bureau
Christian Verschueren, Director General, Eurocommerce
Note to editor:
For more information please contact:
CEPI: Jori Ringman, Sustainability Director by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at
ETS: Phil Mogel, Relation Manager, at email@example.com
BEUC & EEB: Blanca Morales, EU Ecolabel Coordinator at Blanca.Morales@beuc.eu
Eurocommerce: Lettemieke Mulder, Director Sustainability & Product Policy at firstname.lastname@example.org
2015 ICFPA Sustainability Progress Report
The International Council of Forest and Paper Associations (ICFPA) has launched its 2015 Sustainability Progress Report, showing improvements on a range of sustainability indicators and focusing on the industry’s contributions toward a green economy.
The full report is also available on the ICFPA website at http://www.icfpa.org/uploads/Modules/Publications/2015-icfpa-sustainability-progress-report.pdf.
Read the press release on the topic here.
The global sustainability performance of the forest product industry is improving, with all aggregate indicators for reporting associations showing progress:
• Greenhouse gas emissions intensity was reduced by 17% between 2005 and 2013.
• The share of bio-energy in the industry’s fuel mix increased by 8 percentage points, to 61%, since 2005.
• The number of hectares certified to a third-party sustainable forest management certification system increased by 41 percentage points, to 52% of wood supply, since 2000.
• The global paper recycling rate increased by 11 percentage points, to 58%, between 2001 and 2013.
• Onsite energy intensity was reduced by 4.3% between 2005 and 2013.
• Sulfur dioxide (SO2) emissions decreased by 40% between 2005 and 2013.
• Employees’ recordable incident rate decreased by 9% between 2007 and 2013.
In addition to reporting on performance, the Sustainability Progress Report illustrates how the forest and paper industry is supporting a green economy through resource efficiency, carbon sequestration, innovative technologies, bio-based products, and benefiting communities. Contributing to the 2015 report are forest and paper industry associations from Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Europe, Japan, New Zealand, South Africa, and the United States.
For more information about the sustainability of the global forest and paper industry, visit icfpa.org.
Sustainability summary (infographic)
Sustainability and competitiveness have to go hand in hand for industry to excel. The European paper industry is a leading example of this. It is at the core of the bioeconomy. Below is an infographic with the main figures from our latest Sustainability Report verifying the exceptional concurrence of sustainability and competitiveness in our industry. The full report is available at www.cepi-sustainability.eu
Sustainable paper industry leads bioeconomy efforts in Europe
CEPI releases 6th biennial sustainability report
The Confederation of European Paper Industries (CEPI) launched their latest sustainability report at the European Paper Week in Brussels. The report results verify the exceptional concurrence of sustainability and competitiveness in the European pulp and paper industry. The industry is exemplary in creating value “made in Europe”, focusing on innovation and resource efficiency, while advancing the bioeconomy.
Being resource efficient and reducing raw material consumption makes both sustainable and economic sense. A good example in the European pulp and paper industry is the use of residues from papermaking to produce renewable energy. The industry reduced their CO2 emissions per tonne of product by 43%. Additionally, turning residues from recycling operations into useful products is an interesting illustration of the circular economy. On top of that the European paper recycling rate is at a world record level of 71.7%.
Teresa Presas, CEPI Director General, emphasised the importance of the paper industry in Europe: “Our industry is creating value “made in Europe”. As the sustainability report shows more than 82% of our raw materials come from Europe and most of our suppliers are European companies. 23% of our products “made in Europe” are exported to the global market. This unique case should not be taken for granted and we aim at continuous improvement in adverse conditions. “
The European pulp and paper industry is at the core of the bioeconomy, producing not only the original bio-based product that paper is, but also products that replace fossil fuel-based products. In this way, the industry has become a strategic sector in the EU economy, actively. As the crisis has accelerated structural changes in the industry since the last report in 2011, pulp and paper companies have started looking in a systematic way at new business models and new products.
Sustainability is a vision towards a business development based on sustainable practices that address society’s key challenges on a long lasting basis and the paper industry is facing a few challenges ahead. Resource scarcity and climate change are amongst the most critical challenges, in addition to a missing investment friendly environment in Europe that supports jobs and social benefits.
For more information, please contact Daniela Haiduc at email@example.com, mobile: +32(0)473 562 936
Note to the Editor
Download CEPI’s 6th Sustainability report: http://www.cepi-sustainability.eu/
Video interviews of CEPI Directors on sustainability: http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL53E43E5E81A581E8&feature=edit_ok
Sustainability messages summarised (video): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tDSifOUXhX0&feature=c4-overview&list=UU52Y4zM-iRSb22hrUBgvGgQ
New CEPI Sustainability report
CEPI launched their latest sustainability report at the European Paper Week in Brussels. The report results verify the exceptional concurrence of sustainability and competitiveness in the European pulp and paper industry. The industry is exemplary in creating value “made in Europe”, focusing on innovation and resource efficiency, while advancing the bioeconomy.
Read the press release for more details.
Find all the graphs and charts of the report here.
Download a powerpoint presentation of the report here.
CEPI Directors and Managers talk about Sustainability in the Paper Industry.
Intensive discussions and positive input from CEPI’s Sustainability Stakeholders
On 1st March CEPI organised for the second time a Sustainability Stakeholder meeting, inviting representatives from several stakeholder groups to discuss and give feedback on the 2011 Sustainability Report of the European paper industry.
In the spirit of the World Café Format the event involved four tables moderated by CEPI directors and managers. Each table focused on one topic and through rotation every participant was able to give feedback on all themes: Resource Efficiency, Economy, Environment and Social Affairs.
Discussions evolved around forestry and the role of sustainable forest management as well as social affairs and the need to attract more young people to the sector. The benefits of our sector on rural areas has to be described more clearly in the next report. Resource Efficiency, Innovation and our ‘Made in Europe’ slogan are thought to appear as part of each of the sustainability pillars (economy, environment and social affairs) throughout the report rather than as separate chapters. Participants also would appreciate a list of challenges for the industry as part of the content of the next report.
Representatives from WWF, IndustriAll, Sappi, ACE, PaperImpact, FSC, PEFC, CEPF, Omya, Buckman, EcoSynthetix, FEPE, Intergraf and Emma participated in the stakeholder meeting.
The content of the discussions will feed directly into the next sustainability report due to be launched in November this year.
For more information, please contact Daniela Haiduc, CEPI Communications and Public Affairs Manager firstname.lastname@example.org
CEPI Sustainability newsletter Issue #5
Sustainability is central to all European paper industry activities and a large proportion of our resources are devoted to ensuring the industry remains competitive while minimising its environmental impacts across the EU.
This newsletter provides a short overview of best sustainability practices throughout the EU in the pulp and paper industry.