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26 Mar.2020

EPRC PRESS RELEASE: Collection and recycling of used paper more important than ever in times of health crisis

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The Covid-19 sanitary crisis is unprecedented. The industry associations supporting the European Paper Recycling Council (EPRC) are saddened to see that so many people have lost their lives due to the pandemic. The lockdown measures taken to slow down contamination are deeply impacting our lives as well as business operations. 

The paper value chain committed to keep its operations to deliver all essential paper products, such as hygiene products, packaging for food or pharmaceuticals while taking all necessary measures to protect workers, suppliers and customers.

The EPRC asks all authorities to enable crucial industries such as paper to continue production and to facilitate transport and cross border shipments for the supply of these goods. "In these critical times, it is more than ever important to keep the supply for our industry running, in order to secure packaging for essential products” said Angelika Christ, chairwoman of the EPRC.

The new circular economy action plan recently published by the European Commission recognizes separate collection as a prerequisite for the circular economy. With a recycling rate of 71,9% and even 84,6% in packaging, the paper and board value chain depends on paper for recycling.

Separate collection of paper for recycling from households and supermarkets, but also its sorting and transport to paper mills are an essential part of this supply chain.

Recently, individual cities in some Member States  have announced they might have to reduce separate collections or close sorting centers due to the current crisis.

People’s health must be the first priority along with supplying our society with essential goods for everyday life.

Cepi, the Confederation of European Paper Industries is hosting the EPRC secretariat.

For further information please contact Ulrich Leberle at u.leberle@cepi.org or +32 479 905 921.

Note to editor:

The European Paper Recycling Council (EPRC) was set up as an industry self-initiative in November 2000 to monitor progress towards meeting the paper recycling targets set out in the 2000 European Declaration on Paper Recycling. Since then the commitments in the Declaration are renewed every five years. In 2017 the EPRC committed itself to meeting and maintaining both a voluntary recycling rate target of 74% in the EU27 plus Switzerland and Norway by 2020 as well as qualitative targets in areas such as waste prevention, ecodesign and research and development. In 2017, Members of the ERPC are ACE, CEPI, CITPA, EMFA, ETS, FEPE, INGEDE and INTERGRAF. Supporters are Afera, EuPIA, FINAT, FEICA and RadTECH Europe. DG Environment and DG Grow of the European Commission are permanent observers to the EPRC.

 

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25 Mar.2020

Cepi Press Statement - European pulp and paper sector maintains essential operations to help EU citizens tackle the COVID-19 pandemic

Cepi, the European paper industry association, and its members across Europe are shocked and saddened by the COVID-19 pandemic dramatically impacting people globally and in Europe, with a growing number of lives lost. 

We have taken the situation very seriously and implemented all necessary measures to guarantee the safety of our people: employees, transport operators and customers.

Our main priority now is to ensure that EU citizens can access the products that they desperately need for hygiene, health and food purposes in the current lockdown context.

For that reason, we are relentlessly working with other industries in our value-chain to operate as much in a “business as usual” mode as possible and guarantee security of supply to our fellow Europeans.

Our tissue and hygiene products are of vital importance to citizens, particularly to implement the recommendations issued by national governments and the World Health Organization (WHO): frequent hand washing and proper hand drying is vital. Tissue offers the safest option.

Our fibre-based packaging is also essential to transport and deliver all types of food and pharmaceutical supplies such as medicines in protective packaging.  

We depend on the quick availability of fibres from recycled paper to manufacture our packaging. Therefore we call on local communities to help us serving them, by ensuring that the collection of paper and board continues smoothly during the crisis. Otherwise, it would create a shortage of raw material within weeks and force us to stop our production.

We also have the obligation to ensure the timely and safe delivery of essential goods to our communities.  Many of our companies are currently struggling due to extra border control checks and related delays within Europe due to lack of container capacity after the closure of China’s harbours. We need support to avoid delays in deliveries of these key supplies.

For all these reasons, we have been calling for our sector (NACE code 17) to be recognised as an essential supplier in several critical European value chains and to be eligible for state aids to ensure continuity of vital supplies to the society during the health crisis and facilitate a sustainable recovery of the European economy after we overcome the health crisis.

We expect the Corona virus to prompt many changes in the way businesses are operated and society is organised.  We call the European Commission to review the recently adopted Industrial Strategy in the light of the changes to ensure it remains valid and a strong policy for the new industrial realities. 

Solidarity has to come first; we will strongly support the work of the EU institutions and national governments with our reiterated commitment to invest in Europe and for maintaining European jobs in the next 5 years.

Jori Ringman

Director General

Cepi, Confederation of European Paper Industries

 

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11 Mar.2020

PRESS RELEASE: Circularity is a “no regret option” for the European industrial transition: it is now time to recognise circular low carbon forest-based industries as a strategic value chain!

The Green Deal has to be translated into a business case, strengthening sustainable and circular industrial value chains in Europe, and ensuring that they are considered of strategic importance.

For that reason, Cepi, on behalf of the European Paper Industry, applauds the increased support to low carbon value chains in the “New approach to industrial policy” released by the European Commission on 10 March.

“With the proper regulatory framework, the European paper industry together with the forest-based industrial value-chain can become one of the main forces driving the transition to a competitive, low-carbon and circular economy” said Jori Ringman, Cepi Director General.

The European paper industry is already working together with the Forest-based value-chain, to deliver products made from sustainable, circular and regenerative raw materials to European consumers and export markets.

We also recognize the importance of the new governance method of building inclusive partnerships, making sure that national authorities and industry work closely together. Member States and the EU have to accompany the industrial transition to climate neutrality by securing clean and affordable energy for all industrial sectors with the adequate infrastructure – it is a prerequisite for deep emission reductions.

As an industry deeply committed to recycling, Cepi also recognizes that the Circular Economy Action Plan published today 11 March goes in the right direction by identifying key areas to enhance recognition of sustainable products and by incentivising waste policies that will close existing gaps in the recycling loops.

We support a reinforced waste policy in support of circularity and agree with the identification of packaging as a priority sector for the Circular Economy Action Plan.

Design for recycling is a pre-requisite for the circularity of fibre-based products. We are fully engaged in improving the future recyclability of paper products with recommendations such as the European “Paper-based Packaging Recyclability Guidelines”. Applying these guidelines will allow the entire value chain to innovate on packaging functionality while keeping the recyclability of paper packaging in mind, as a core preoccupation. 

It the same spirit, we launched the new fibre-based value chain alliance 4evergreen, a forum to engage and connect industry members from across the fibre-based packaging and food service value chain, from paper and board producers to packaging converters, brand-owners and retailers, technology and material suppliers, waste sorters and collectors, and more. The common objective of 4evergreen members is to deliver a holistic approach to optimise the sustainability and circularity of the fibre-based packaging’s life cycle.

In the context of recent waste import restrictions by China, the European paper industry is set to recycle even more in Europe, as it makes additional investments in paper recycling capacities. The paper industry is already recycling 49 million tonnes of paper in Europe (2018 data) and the amount has been growing since 2000. For the investments to happen, the European paper industry material must be separately collected[1] and reach the mills with the right level of quality.

Therefore, the Circular Economy Action Plan correctly identifies the facilitation of EU internal shipments of waste and secondary raw materials as well as the convergence of waste collection systems as priorities.

We look forward to taking full advantage of the new industrial strategy and circular economy action plan. Concretely, this means manufacturing sustainable forest-based solutions made from renewable raw materials, making our production processes even more efficient and our value chains perfectly fit for a climate-neutral Europe.



[1] Cepi has already provided guidance on separate collection for paper and board.

 

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04 Mar.2020

PRESS RELEASE: Combined positive impact of European forests and the EU forestbased sectors for climate neutrality: the CO2 mitigation effect corresponds to about 20% of the EU’s annual emissions

Cepi, the Confederation of European Paper Industries, welcomes the new European Climate Law launched today by the European Commission as a key step forward in our common efforts to respond to global warming.

Our industry is committed to doing its part: we have already achieved a 27% reduction of carbon emission from 2005 to date, a leading performance amongst the ETS sectors. With a supportive and stable regulatory framework, we plan to continue and improve progress, as stated in Cepi CEO initiative. We aim to be the most competitive and sustainable provider of solutions for a climate-neutral Europe in 2050” said Jori Ringman, Director General at Cepi, the Confederation of European Paper Industries.

The transition towards a carbon-neutral economy will have to build on strong European industrial value-chains. The European paper industry has already identified a joint vision for the Forest-based industrial value-chain, published in November, and is working to make the vision a reality.

According to our soon to be published study, the combined positive climate impact of European forest (forest sink) and forest-based sector’s net substitution effect (forest industry and forest products) reaches a total of more than -806  million tonnes of CO2e every year, which corresponds to about 20% of the EU’s annual emissions.

One of the main contributions of forest-based industries is to valorise and ensure healthy forests by fostering their ability to absorb CO2 from the atmosphere and enhance carbon storage. Likewise, almost as big as the forest sink in Europe, the contribution of the sectors’ low-carbon products is significant.

“Our study shows that informed consumer choices, moving from high-carbon products to low-carbon products, have an immediate and important impact on Europe’s goal to become carbon neutral”, Ringman says.

Cepi calls for an improved market access for recyclable and bio-based products, through a coherent product policy framework that allows for sustainable consumer choices.

This should go hand-in-hand with a policy framework that enables availability and access to responsibly sourced bio-based raw materials, through more support to sustainable forest management and high quality recycling in the paper industry.

Furthermore, reaching completely fossil-free value chains would require a plan for innovative solutions, with clear milestones for a timely and cost-efficient decarbonisation of the European energy system. “Advancing promptly in affordable supply of clean energy, in particular for gas, is an obvious prerequisite for achieving the new ambitious target set for 2030. We need the EU to plan energy transition with milestones matching today’s targets”, says Ringman.

These elements should be an integral part of European and national measures aimed at making the European Climate Law a reality.

 

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21 Feb.2020

PRESS RELEASE: European paper and board production follows the EU economy downward trend in 2019, in contrast with market pulp production dynamism

According to preliminary figures, the European paper and board production has decreased by 3.0% in 2019, compared to the previous year.

2019 saw new capacities coming on stream, and upgrades of existing ones, but closures and lower production operating rates dragged down paper and board production. This downward trend was observed in all the top paper and board producing countries.

The slowing down of the EU’s economy in 2019 - from 1.9% in 2018 to 1.1% in 2019, combined with global instability and trade tensions, impacted the European paper and board consumption, which recorded a 4% decline.

Domestic paper and board deliveries in Europe went down by 2.6% compared to 2018, while imports declined by 3.9% according to preliminary figures. Paper and board exports grew by close to 0.9%.

Contrary to previous years, packaging paper and board production remain relatively stable in 2019, unable to offset the on-going decline of graphic grades.

The overall production of graphic grades – newsprint and printing & writing papers - fell by more than 8.0% in 2019.

The production of sanitary and household papers registered a limited growth, +1.0%.

Total pulp production (integrated pulp, plus market pulp) increased by 0.8%. It was overperformed by market pulp production which jumped by 6.1%, as a result of recent massive investments in new capacities. This growth in production is driven by the export market demand. Similarly, exports of market pulp jumped by close to 40% in 2019 according to Eurostat.

To respond to this higher demand, the European paper industry has invested significantly to increase the production of market pulp and further implement the bio-refinery concept. These investments combine higher efficiency in raw material use and the production of highly innovative bio-based products, besides market pulp.

Pulp produced in Europe comes from sustainably managed forests, for example through programs like PEFC (Programme for Endorsement of Forest Certification) and FSC (Forest Stewardship Council), and is increasingly used in various value chains. The level of certified wood, chips and sawmilling by-products was 74% in 2018.

 

 

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07 Feb.2020

Jori Ringman: "Cepi will play a key role in reaching carbon neutrality in Europe by 2050"

Interview to Jori Ringman in the French Magazine la papeterie by ENP Publishing.

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07 Feb.2020

Europe Paper Industries

Interview to Ulrich Leberle, Raw materials Director at Cepi. Published by The Forest Time. Link 

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05 Feb.2020

PRESS RELEASE: Rewarding Sustainable Forest Management practices will enhance biodiversity and climate resilience of EU forests

This week, the European Commission is hosting the “International Conference on Forests for Biodiversity and Climate” in Brussels to discuss pressures on EU forest ecosystems due to, among others, climate change as well as how to best protect forests and their biodiversity for a climate neutral and climate resilient land. 

The European paper industry has a strategic interest in keeping healthy and growing forests in Europe. We offer a wide range of renewable and recyclable wood fibre-based solutions to EU citizens, from packaging to textile, including hygiene and tissue products, and our raw material comes mainly from European sustainably-managed forests.

As an important milestone will be marked this year with the UN climate negotiations at COP26 in Glasgow and at the biodiversity conference in October in Kunming (China), as they include climate and biodiversity protection as strong components of political debates in reaching the UN SDGs, our industry recalls that biodiversity protection is an integral component of sustainable forest management (SFM).

Today, Carina H?kansson, CEO of the Swedish Forests Industries Federation (SFIF), speaking on behalf of the Confederation of European Paper Industries (Cepi) welcomed the launch of the Forest Information System for Europe (FISE): “Forest-related information has to be science-based and undisputed to provide the basis for future policies supporting forests and the forest sector deliver their contribution to the Green Deal”.

The protection of biodiversity is not only extremely important in itself, but also a part of our efforts to reach the EU 2050 carbon neutrality goal.

In light of the current debate on the best way to protect the biodiversity in forests, the European paper industry believes that the evaluation of the implementation of the current Biodiversity Strategy should be known before setting goals for a 2030 biodiversity strategy. In this way all relevant actors can contribute to the discussion and highlight what solutions are currently working in the best way.

 

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29 Jan.2020

PRESS RELEASE: Ignazio Capuano started as the new Chairman of Cepi

As of January 2020, the new Cepi Chairman is Mr Ignazio Capuano, CEO of the Italian firm Burgo Group Spa and Vice President of the Italian paper manufacturers’ association Assocarta.

Mr Capuano, who holds an Engineering degree and a Master's degree in Economy from the University of New York, has been working for the paper industry since 1991 as general manager of Saffa, CEO of Reno de Medici and presently, since 2016, as CEO of Burgo Group.

He has worked in the utility sector as CEO of RWE Italy, in the banking industry with Manufacturers Hanover Trust of New York (now JP Morgan Chase) and in the strategic consulting sector with KPMG.

 “I am proud to take over the presidency of the European paper industry confederation with the recent announcement of the Green New Deal. A great challenge that the paper industry has already welcomed by paving the way for an even more competitive and sustainable production, indicating solutions based on innovation and circularity for a carbon neutral Europe by 2050”, stated Mr Capuano in relation to his election as Chairman of Cepi

 “As Cepi Chairman it will be my job to continue the work already started towards the 2050 climate objectives, starting from the environmental results already obtained by the sector, always paying attention to the efficient use of our natural capital. The paper industry has a great environmental history to tell as an example of circular economy and commitment to sustainable development for future generations”, he continued.

Mr Capuano’s mandate will last two years, from 2020 to the end of 2021.

We wish Ignazio Capuano every success for his time as Chairman and we look forward to working under his leadership to help the European paper industry continue its growth path while staying sustainable and providing solutions for the climate neutral society of 2050”, says Jori Ringman, Director General of Cepi.

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