Sustainability and competitiveness have to go hand in hand for industry to excel. The European paper industryis a leading example of this. Reducing raw materialconsumption makes both sustainable and economicsense. Using residues from papermaking to produce renewable energy is also a good example. Turning residues from recycling operations into useful products is part of the circular economy that the planet needs to achieve.
This leading role should not be taken for granted; it is the result of systematic and diligent work, based on the uniqueness of our industry, the drive towards continuous improvement and the collaboration with stakeholders.
There is room for improvement, and the industry will have to find ways to move forward in its sustainability approach in spite of the downturn economic situation.
Since the last report in 2011, the crisis has accelerated the structural changes in our industry. Our companieshave started looking in a systematic way at new businessmodels and new products. Unfortunately, in a number of cases they also had to close capacity.
Legislation also continues, introducing new rules, driving new processes, sometimes adding new burdens, sometimesdriving together sustainability and competitiveness.
Our industry is creating value “made in Europe”. At least 82% of our raw materials come from Europe and most ofour suppliers are European companies 23% of our products “made in Europe” are exported to the global market.
The European pulp, paper and board 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. With this, our industry has become a strategic sector in the EU economy, actively contributing to the re-industrialisation of Europe.
This path to bring together sustainability and competitiveness is well established in the CEPI 2050 Roadmap towards a low carbon economy. It was launched at the end of 2011, and outlines our industry vision bioeconomy.
In the last two years we have been rolling out the Roadmap. The establishment of the Bio-based Public Private partnership is one action in that direction. The Two Team Project is another. The Two Team Project was set up to deliver, in one year, breakthrough concepts for our sector to reach 80% CO2 reduction and 50% more value by 2050. The project has delivered very promising results.
Sustainability is precisely that, a vision towards a business development based on sustainable practices that address society’s key challenges, on a long lasting basis.
Sustainable solutions face many challenges ahead: resource scarcity and climate change are amongst the most critical ones. But so is an investment friendly environment that supports jobs and social benefits.
Our industry is addressing those challenges and in transformation for the future, creating new sustainable opportunities and advocating for Europe to defend its industry.
We cannot achieve all this alone and the constant contact with our stakeholders will strengthen the efforts of our industry towards continuous improvement.
We hope you find this CEPI 6th Sustainability Report inspiring and look forward to your comments.
Brussels, November 2013