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Cepi, the Confederation of European paper industries and its members across Europe, strongly support the initiative of Pascal Canfin, Chair of the Environment Committee at the European Parliament, to launch a European alliance for a Green Recovery. Cepi joins 180 political decision-makers, business leaders, trade unions, NGOs, and think tanks who have come together to create the alliance.

In the face of the coronavirus crisis, the biggest challenge Europe has faced in peacetime, with devastating consequences and a shock to the economy tougher than the 2008 crisis, Ministers from 11 countries, 79 cross-party MEPs from 17 Member States, 37 CEOs, 28 business associations representing 10 different sectors, trade union confederation representing members from 90 national trade union organisations and 10 trade union federations, 7 NGOs and 6 think tanks, have committed to working together to create, support and implement solutions to prepare our economies for the world of tomorrow.

2020 02 21 105500This first pan-European call for mobilisation on post-crisis green investment packages will work to build the recovery and transformation plans which enshrine the fight against climate change and biodiversity as a key pillar of the economic strategy.

Sharing the belief that the economic recovery will only come with massive investments to protect and create jobs and to support all companies, regions and sectors that have suffered from the economy coming to a sudden halt, the alliance commits to contribute to the post-crisis investment decisions needed to reboot and reboost our economy.

Covid-19 will not make climate change and nature degradation go away. The fight against this crisis will not be won without a solid economic response. The alliance commits to participate in the fight and the victory of these two battles simultaneously, and by doing so, being stronger together.

About Cepi: Cepi is the European association representing the paper industry.

We offer a wide range of renewable and recyclable wood-based fibre solutions to EU citizens: from packaging to textile, hygiene and tissue products, printing and graphic papers as well as speciality papers, but also bio-chemicals for food and pharmaceuticals, bio-composites and bioenergy.

We are a responsible industry: 92% of our raw materials are sourced in Europe and certified as sustainable, 91% of the water we use is returned in good condition to the environment. We are the world champion in recycling at the rate of 71,6%. At the forefront of the decarbonisation and industrial transformation of our economy, we embrace digitalisation and bring 20 billion value addition to the European economy and €5.5 billion investments annually.

Through its 18 national associations, Cepi gathers 500 companies operating 895 mills across Europe and directly employing more than 180,000 people.

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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.

2020 02 21 105500“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 (Cepi has already provided guidance on separate collection for paper and board) 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.

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According to preliminary figures, the European paper and board production has decreased by 3.0% in 2019 (European Paper Industry countries covered by the data: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom), 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.

2020 02 21 105500The slowing down of the EU’s economy in 2019 - from 1.9% in 2018 to 1.1% in 2019 (Source: European Commission), 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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The use of paper for packaging purposes is growing every year, due to its excellent environmental performance but also to the increasing demand related to e-commerce and delivery services. There is a strong expectation from consumers, brands and retailers to have recyclable packaging material. A packaging recycling rate of 85% is already achieved today and the paper value chain continues to improve.

2018 10 18 102805In order to achieve even higher recycling targets while expanding the functionality of paper based packaging, it is important to start from the design-phase, considering both the intended purpose as well as the end-of-life. The recyclability guidelines - developed by Cepi, CITPA, ACE and FEFCO, – give concrete guidance for designers to make sure functionality goes hand in hand with recyclability.

“Retailers and brand-owners exploring new fibre based solutions want to see their packaging back in the loop after use. With these guidelines the paper and board value chain gives the answer what this means and requires in practice. In this spirit Cepi co-launched the new alliance 4evergreen, together with more than 30 companies on 20 November. 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” said Ulrich Leberle, Raw Materials Director at Cepi.

In this context, the new European guidelines intend to become the go-to document to learn more about the implications of certain converting steps on the recyclability of used paper-based packaging. The signatories of the document hope they act as a source of inspiration for innovation and the introduction of new techniques. They are convinced that a widespread awareness among the value chain (including retailers and brand owners) can truly improve the recyclability of products. They are also convinced the guidelines will help meet national protocols and requirements and further close the circularity of our industry.

You can download a copy of the guidelines here.

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Cepi, the European association representing the paper industry, has announced 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.

sappi logoThe 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.

The 4evergreen alliance is important because it was born from an initiative of consumer product industry leaders who recognize the huge potential of fibre-based packaging in a circular economy” said Susanne Oste, VP Innovation and Sustainability at Sappi.  “Their customers want sustainable packaging and fibre-based products provide the most climate-friendly solution available.

Sappi is proud to play a part in this industry alliance.  We have been investing heavily for more than 10 years in cutting edge research into real solutions for the problems that confront our customers.  A recent success is the launch of the only fully recyclable confectionary  wrapper on the market today.”

About Sappi

Sappi is a leading global provider of sustainable woodfibre products and solutions, in the fields of Dissolving wood pulp, Printing papers, Packaging and speciality papers, Casting and release papers, Biomaterials and Bio-energy. As a company that relies on renewable natural resources, sustainability is at our core. Sappi European mills hold chain of custody certifications under the Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC®) and/or the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification™ (PEFC™) systems. Our papers are produced in mills accredited with ISO 9001, ISO 14001, ISO 50 001 and OHSAS 18001 certification. We have EMAS registration at 8 of our 10 mills in Europe. 

Sappi Europe SA is a division of Sappi Limited (JSE), headquartered in Johannesburg, South Africa, with 12,500 employees and 18 production facilities on three continents in nine countries, 37 sales offices globally, and customers in over 150 countries around the world.

Learn more about Sappi at www.sappi.com/

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Climate change is a global crisis that demands urgent action and requires every actor in society to play his/her part in responding to the crisis. Industries have both a duty and an opportunity to become more sustainable, more efficient and more innovative.

“With the help of the new European Green Deal, we can reduce our impact on climate change while increasing production in Europe. Our industry has a strategic interest in being at the forefront of the decarbonisation efforts for 2050” said Ignazio Capuano, incoming Cepi Chairman and CEO of Burgo group taking over from Karl-Henrik Sundström, CEO of Stora Enso, during Cepi’s annual conference, Paper and Beyond, today in Brussels.

2018 10 18 102805In this spirit, the CEOs representing the European paper industry outlined their plans to reach a climate-neutral Europe by 2050 in a declaration which was officially handed over to Clara De La Torre, Deputy Director-General of DG CLIMA and Timo Pesonen, Director-General of DG GROW, present along with other European Commission representatives.

The way forward finds its foundations in the very solid basis of our existing achievements. We have guaranteed the sustainability of our raw materials, improved the performance of our processes and proven the climate friendliness of our products.

Sustainable raw materials: our raw material is wood pulp, which is intrinsically renewable if coming from properly managed forest sources; this is why we have helped create a number of programmes for the certified sustainability of forests across Europe such as PEFC (Programme for Endorsement of Forest Certification and FSC (Forest Stewardship Council). We have expanded sustainable forest management practices in Europe and globally.

Decarbonised processes: we have delivered a successful decarbonisation of our operations of 27% from 2005 to date. Our sector is investing at a rate of more than €5 billion per year to decarbonise, with a commitment to making our production processes more efficient and decreasing our overall carbon footprint thanks to new technologies and collaboration with our partners. A step change is ultimately needed and supported by breakthrough technologies and solutions. We are committed to searching for them.

Climate-friendly products: world champions in recycling, we have worked with local authorities to improve separate collection of paper and board to boost the use of recycled fibres in new products. We now plan to push our model even further in a final goal of providing innovative sustainable solutions for a range of new sectors, for example textile, through new bio-based products.

To turn this ambition into reality, we call upon European policymakers to support our efforts by setting an appropriate legislative framework, namely:

  • Improved market access for recyclable and bio-based products, through a coherent product policy and clear framework conditions for the new bioeconomy-related products
  • More support for the sustainable management of forests and recycling schemes: forest-based raw materials should be made more easily available and accessible.
  • A coherent, stable and predictable regulatory framework, with clear milestones for a cost-competitive energy transition, to promote and reward decarbonisation investments and guarantee access to clean energy.

Our final goal is to empower consumers, who will get a larger choice of climate-friendly products that are easily available and affordable.

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CEPI, the European association representing the forest fibre and paper industry, announces that Jori Ringman has unanimously been appointed by the CEPI Board as successor to Sylvain Lhôte at the helm of the Brussels-based organisation.

“I am honoured to be entrusted the role of leading a team of great professionals, representing a sector with fascinating potential. The growing demand for sustainable, recyclable products is increasing the importance of fibre-based products in a wide range of sectors. The European paper industry will enable the EU economy to transform itself and become a more sustainable and resilient society” said Jori Ringman, newly appointed Director General of CEPI.
He added “I am proud to take on this challenge and look forward to helping advance sustainability, innovation and opportunities for pulp and paper sector companies and workers across Europe.”
Kalle Sundström, CEPI Chairman and CEO of Stora Enso: “In this challenging time, with the sudden and unexpected death of Sylvain Lhôte, I am glad to be able to count on the experience and competence of Jori Ringman to efficiently deliver on what has been prepared by the CEPI team over the last months, and continue to shape the strategic presence of our industry at EU level.”

jrwpJori Ringman is an expert in sustainability, environment, circular economy and consumer protection. In 2016, he was appointed Deputy Director General of CEPI.

Prior to joining CEPI as Recycling Director in February 2005, he was a civil servant in the European Commission. He has also worked in the European Parliament Environment Committee as a political advisor (1999 – 2004), as a journalist and editor in Finland, and as Secretary General of a parliamentary group in the Finnish National Parliament in Helsinki.

Mr. Ringman has a background in Economics, Econometrics and Business Management and broad experience in communications, public administration and politics. He also holds an MSc in Environmental Decision-making.
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The paper and board manufacturing industry, as well as converting sectors including the tissue industry publish today the completely rewritten voluntary ‘Food Contact Guidelines for the Compliance of Paper and Board Materials and Articles’.

Formally called “Industry Guideline”, the revised guidelines are intended to enhance the trust of public authorities, business operators and consumers in the safety of paper and board materials for food contact applications.

2018 10 18 102805This technical document, first published in 2010 and updated in 2012, outlines how to meet the highest safety standards for paper and board products used in food contact applications. The processing chain for paper and board food contact articles is diverse; it has to deal with many challenges in demonstrating the safety of materials:

"Our sectors’ key priority is to safeguard - at all times - the safety both of the packaging system and food that we deliver. With the Food Contact Guidelines, we wish to provide an effective compliance tool in line with the EU Framework Regulation on Food Contact Materials by ensuring an efficient exchange of information along the supply chain” explained Jori Ringman, Deputy Director General at CEPI and expert in product safety. 

The guidelines take into account the increasing need for a compliance monitoring tool that covers risk management, product design, material selection, Good Manufacturing Practice as well as process monitoring and control.
In the absence of specific EU legislation covering paper and board products in the field of food safety, the industry took the initiative to fill the gap by developing this guidance which serves both industry and consumers, also from an environmental point of view:
“The lack of a specific EU wide measure for paper and board, including tissue, has created a disadvantage in the market because compliance for these materials is perceived to be less clear than for plastics in contact with food. Whenever the European Commission decides to choose paper and board as its next priority for regulation, the guidelines could be used as a starting point” concluded Angelika Christ, Secretary General of FEFCO.
From a practical point of view, the guidelines help producers fulfill obligations deriving from EU legislation and support suppliers to adequately perform their own compliance work by giving them the required and necessary information.

Since their launch in 2010, the guidelines have gained much support among users and well proved their value: watch our explanatory video to learn more!

The paper and board industry will continue to focus on ensuring compliance with existing EU provisions and supporting the demand of the market and customers for unquestionable product safety. 

ACE - The Alliance for Beverage Cartons and the Environment provides a European platform for beverage carton manufacturers Tetra Pak, SIG Combibloc and Elopak and their paperboard suppliers in Europem, Stora Enso and BillerudKorsnäs, to benchmark and profile cartons as renewable, recyclable and low carbon packaging solutions. Engaging with stakeholders and partners seeking high environmental stewardship, it contributes expertise to EU policy, legislation and standard‐setting.
CCB - CEPI Container Board is a European industry association of producers of corrugated case materials, also called containerboard. Activities are focused on primary-fibre materials (kraftliner, semi-chemical fluting) and recycled-fibre containerboard (e.g. testliner). Members thus represent a total European production capacity of more than 28 million tons of corrugated case materials. CCB is also responsible for the management of a global containerboard industry organisation, the World Containerboard Organisation, has an office in Brussels, Belgium, and a membership of leading producers in North and South America, South Africa, Oceania and Japan.
CITPA - Confederation of International Converters of Paper and Board in Europe, established in 1961, represents the interests of the European Paper and Board Converting Industry which covers a wide variety of converted paper products including packaging, beverages cartons, corrugated board, speciality papers and many more. CITPA membership comprises European level associations such as ACE, EUROSAC, FEFCO, Euro Wax Pack, FINAT, ECTA and ECMA as well as national federations such as Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy and Portugal and associate members, ProCarton, PaperImpact and CepiEurokraft.
ECMA – European Carton Makers Association, is the official organisation for carton businesses, national carton associations and suppliers to the carton industry. ECMA provides the European folding carton industry with a dynamic business network. With its seat in The Hague, The Netherlands, and an office in Brussels, ECMA represents around 500 carton producers in nearly all countries in the European Economic Area. ECMA members account for around 70% of the total carton market volume in Europe, and a current workforce of about 50.000 people.
ETS - European Tissue Paper Industry Association’s members represent the majority of tissue paper producers throughout Europe and around 90% of the total European tissue production. ETS was founded in 1971 and is based in Brussels.
FEFCO - European Federation of Corrugated Board Manufacturers represents the interests of the European Corrugated Board Manufacturers. Headquartered in Brussels, FEFCO has 17 association members, all European national corrugated packaging organisations. The role of the Federation is to investigate economic, financial, technical and marketing issues of interest to the corrugated packaging industry, analyse all factors which may influence the industry, and promote and develop its image.
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Monday, 08 April 2019 19:57

FEFCO takes on EPRC chaimanship

The European Paper Recycling Council is pleased to announce the appointment of Angelika Christ as the new chair for a two years period starting as of 4 April 2019, taking over from Lisa Kretschmann (FEPE). Angelika Christ has been the Secretary General of FEFCO since 2007 and the Secretary General of CITPA since 2014.

She has been involved in associations of corrugated board manufacturers for over 20 years, first in Germany and then at the European level. Prior to FEFCO, she was the Managing Director of the German Association of Corrugated Board Industries (VDW) from 1996 until 2007. Her first professional experience was with the German Chemical Industry Association (VCI), where she executed various positions from 1980-1996.

During her two years mandate as chair of the EPRC, Angelika Christ will pursue the following goal:

2019 04 08 215739“The EPRC has been very successful in bringing all parties together, develop recyclability guidelines for printed graphic paper and boosting recycling of all papers. We will continue this work and support the industry efforts to further improve the recyclability of paper packaging on the market.
Paper packaging is a recycling champion.
We need to intensify our communication and increase the public awareness about the great recyclability of paper packaging”.

For further information, please contact Ulrich Leberle, Secretary of the EPRC and CEPI Raw Materials Director at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or by phone at (+32) 2 627 49 23.

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 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 2018, Members of the EPRC are ACE, CEPI, CITPA, EMFA, ETS, FEPE, INGEDE and INTERGRAF. Supporters are Afera, EuPIA, FINAT, FEICA and RadTECH Europe.

The 2018 recycling rate was 72,3%. The environment (DG Environment) and industry (DG Grow) departments of the European Commission are permanent observers to the EPRC.

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Paper & Beyond, the new event concept where circular bioeconomy leaders meet, took place just a week following the release of the EU’s new Bioeconomy Strategy, which set out a clear path for better linking the bioeconomy and circularity. 

“The new European strategy comes at a defining moment for the bioeconomy” says Karl-Henrik Sundström, CEO of Stora Enso and Chairman of CEPI. “Industry’s transformation is gaining pace across the entire forest fibre and paper value chain. As the mainstream renewable and recyclable material industry, we are ready to take the lead on Europe’s circular bioeconomy”.  

2018 10 18 102805The first of its kind conference got off to an innovative start with a competition gathering some of Europe’s most promising young researchers. From the engineering of spider silk strong nanocellulose filaments to paper-based electrodes for fuel cells, researchers illustrated the innovativeness and European lead in forest fibre research. 

Building on this year’s theme, the “Europe & Beyond – Getting the best from the bioeconomy” session welcomed keynote speaker Peggy Liu, a world-renowned sustainability expert on China who brought a global perspective on the circular bioeconomy. She touched upon recent developments in China, including the country’s waste restrictions, its policy on single-use plastics and its recent investments in Europe under the Belt and Road initiative.

Following the positive trends in production (up 1.5%), exports (up 5.4%) and investment (up 7.5%) seen in the latest market data for 2017, RISI returned to provide insights into circular bioeconomy markets, with, for the first time, a business intelligence session on European nanocellulose markets.

Paper & Beyond also hosted the final conference of the EU-funded Provides project which has confirmed the Deep Eutectic Solvents (DES) technology. This breakthrough aims at achieving a 40% reduction in energy use and a 80% life cycle reduction in CO2 emissions, while also producing high-quality lignin from wood for biochemicals or biocomposite production. The consortium will continue research on a DES pulping pilot and demo, aiming at commercial deployment by 2030.

CEPI is the 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, cardboard, pulp and other bio-based products. CEPI represents 22% of world production, €82 billion of annual turnover to the European economy and directly employs more than 177,000 people.

From forest fibre technology to advance paper design, the industry currently invests almost 5.5 billion annually in Europe and is a recognised 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.

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