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18 May.2018

CEPI position on the update of a Circular Bioeconomy Strategy


The European pulp and paper sector has a long expertise in bioeconomy and has a significant role in providing solutions to many global challenges such as climate change, urbanization and ageing with using sustainable renewable materials. The European pulp and paper sector also offers easily recyclable solutions and answers to EU Circular Economy, Strategy on plastics in the circular economy and the UN Paris Agreement. Our sector operates in a circular way and resource efficiency is at the core of our operations. The growth volume of forests in Europe exceeds their use. Ensuring the growth of forests and their sustainable use is an important part of sustainable bioeconomy.


In its “2050 Roadmap to a low-carbon bioeconomy”, CEPI foresees that a growing part of the value added generated by the pulp and paper industry in Europe will come from breakthrough technologies and from the provision of a wider range of bio-based products, beyond pulp and paper. These products will contribute simultaneously to:

• a massive reduction of greenhouse gas emissions,
• substituting fossil-based materials,
• a transformation from a fossil-dependant economy to a renewable economy,
• fulfilling a number of sustainability challenges (as identified by the United Nations with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG)).

 

To achieve a competitive circular bioeconomy, stable and enabling policy conditions in various fields (including environment, infrastructure, transport, energy, agriculture, etc.) must be in place. The review of the 2012 European Bioeconomy Strategy provides the opportunity to set up such conditions. CEPI welcomes it and wants to be an active partner in preparing a new Circular bioeconomy strategy for Europe.

 

The assets of our industry in the bioeconomy



1. What did the existing strategy deliver that the paper industry welcomes?
As confirmed in the review of the 2012 Strategy that has been publicised in November 2017 , the strategy has deliverd several positive results that the European paper industry welcomes.
Its mere existence has raised awareness on the likely benefits that the bioeconomy can bring to Europe’s economy and environment and therefore placed it on the policy radar screens. It has enabled the setup of an Institutional Public-Private Partnership, the Bio-based Industries Joint Undertaking (BBI-JU), endowed with a EUR 3.7 billion budget over 7 years to support research, innovation, demonstration and flagship installations, and which has proved to be a success.
It has also triggered the development of several national and regional bioeconomy strategies that further amplify and tailor the benefits of the bioeconomy to the local circumstances.

2. The bioeconomy potential to address grand societal challenges
The smart development of a circular bioeconomy in Europe will contribute to remedy a number of critical environmental, economic and social challenges. Renewable and recyclable bio-based products:
• must be part of the climate change mitigation policies, thanks to their ability to store carbon, but also to avoid emissions of greenhouse gases from fossil-based or GHG intensive products that they are replacing
• help take environmental responsibility and achieve economic benefits through self-sufficiency (use of mainly locally sourced renewable resources and recycled resources).
• help limit the extraction and depletion of non-renewable resources.
• can reduce the amount of waste landfilled or spread in the environment (land and sea) thanks to their recyclability, but also their biodegradability and compostability.
• contribute to rural development and livelihood, as they depend on natural renewable resources growing on land and in the marine environment.

3. Towards a successful circular bioeconomy strategy
What makes the paper industry unique is both the renewable biomass and recyclable feedstocks , grown , renewed and recycled in Europe. This contributes to a genuinely circular bioeconomy. In order to enhance the contribution and benefits of the circular bioeconomy to Europe’s economy and environment, CEPI calls on the EU to put further emphasis in the updated strategy on:
• Increasing the availability and mobilisation of biomass (including its transport): this requires notably the promotion of active forest management, the redress of policies that distort biomass supply chains and the adjustment of waste legislation to promote the recycling and recovery of waste and notably of the biomass in the waste.
• Boosting investors’ confidence, notably by de-risking investments made in Europe, and directing EU money (ESIF, EFSI, Research and Innovation) to sustainable sectors in a predictable and stable manner.
• Easing access to markets for a wide range of bio-based products by lifting obstacles to their circulation within the single market and by indicating clear preference for sustainable, circular and bio-based products.

4. Implementing concrete, measurable and time-bound actions
Next to updating the strategy, the related Action Plan must focus on a limited number of actionable and realistic actions that should be implemented in the short term.
• Capitalising on its current success (investments triggered, SME participation, leapfrogging innovations, …), the Bio-based Industries Joint Undertaking must be reconducted with at least the same budget.
• Research and innovation must remain a priority of the EU. The next Framework Programme for Research must factor in a “mission” that targets the climate challenge thanks to sustainable renewable resources.
• The development of a sustainable and circular bioeconomy must be a shared ambition across the European Institutions. Synergies and leverages within complementary policy initiatives
must be seeked and enhanced, especially when it comes to the Circular Economy Package and the Climate and Energy policies.
• There must be mechanisms established – e.g. under rural development policy of the CAP –to boost the sustainable production of biomass, allowing for sharing the benefits of the bioeconomy between biomass producers and bio-based industries, while taking care of land, soil, water and biodiversity.
• Separate collection and sorting of biodegradable waste streams (incl. paper and board products) must become the standard and waste lanfilling must be effectively drastically restricted or banned in order to increase both the quality and quantity of waste feedstocks that can be recycled into high value bio-based products.
• Specific funding programmes (including venture capital) should be established to support technology transfer and entrepreneurial iniatives.
• While there exist already provisions for greening public procurement, such policy must also prescribe a preference for bio-based products (inspired by the US Bio-preferred programme). As public buyers, the EU Institutions themselves can already play an exemplary role.
• It is also of utmost importance to overcome misconceptions and misunderstandings concerning the bioeconomy. Ensuring the rapid availability of undisputable data and facts on the expected environmental, climate, social and economic benefits of the bioeconomy and bio-based products, is a must in order to raise awareness and promote the bioeconomy across Europe’s society at large.



1Review of the 2012 European Bioeconomy Strategy, European Commission, Directorate General For Research and Innovation, November 2017, https://publications.europa.eu/en/publication-detail/-/publication/a81308e3-cf37-11e7-a7df-01aa75ed71a1/language-en

 

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08 May.2018 ,

Paper & Beyond, 2018 - programme

Paper & Beyond, 2018
Where the bioeconomy and circularity meet

Visit www.paperandbeyond.com


Paper & Beyond is the successor event to what has been known as European Paper Week and will take place in the heart of the European district, in Brussels' Solvay Library, from 16 to 17 October.

It is the premier industry networking event, bringing together representatives of Europe's major pulp and paper producers, manufacturers, customers, suppliers and press.

The first programme of the event is now available online. All timings subject to change and final confirmation. Registrations will open in June.

For more information, please contact Katarzyna Dylag, CEPI Events & Digital Communications Officer at k.dylag@cepi.org or +32 2 627 49 41.
 

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05 Apr.2018

Become a sponsor at Paper & Beyond, 2018!

Paper & Beyond, 2018
Where the bioeconomy and circularity meet

Visit www.paperandbeyond.com

Paper & Beyond is the successor event to what has been known as European Paper Week and will take place in the heart of the European district in Brussels from 16-17 October.

It is the premier industry networking event, bringing together representatives of Europe's major pulp and paper producers, manufacturers, customers, suppliers and press.

CEPI is now offering 2 sponsorship packages: a Platinum option, as well as Gold ones, used for specific sessions.

Become a sponsor and receive major exposure during the top event in the field!
For more information and reservations, please contact Katarzyna Dylag, CEPI Events & Digital Communications Officer at k.dylag@cepi.org or +32 2 627 49 41.

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29 Mar.2018 ,

European paper industry stands ready to defend Circular Economy in the context of Chinese waste import ban

CEPI, the European association representing the paper industy has been closely monitoring market developments in reaction to the material waste import ban by the Chinese authorities including paper for recycling.

The import restrictions have caused disruption to the European markets and the countries where paper collection is comingled have been the first to be hit. This comingling practice raises the risk of contamination from other materials which can reduce the quality of paper for recycling and technically impede the recycling process.

The European paper industry is making investments and will continue to do so over the coming years in new paper recycling capacities which ensure that high quality paper for recycling remains in Europe. A core component to achieving more recycling in Europe will be to upscale our efforts on implementing European standards on the quality of paper for recycling (EN 643) and the collection of paper seperately from other recyclables.

It is estimated that less than 5% of paper collected in Europe has been directly impacted by the Chinese import waste ban. It nonetheless provides the industry with the impetus to drive forward quality paper for recycling which is effectively recycled in Europe. It is equally an indication that comingled collection systems are no longer sustainable both from an environmental and market perspective in the future.

Note to editor:

CEPI is the European association representing the paper industry at EU level. European paper recycling paper has been a success story with 72.5% of all paper in Europe collected for recycling while 83% (50 milion tonnes) of this recycling is made in European paper mills. Together with 14 other European associations in the paper recycling value chain we are committed to reaching a 74% recycling rate by 2020. Through our participation in the EU-funded project ImpactPapeRec and other means we are proactively seeking means to improve best practices on separate collection across Europe.

Our full statement can be consulted here.

For general enquiries, please contact Ulrich Leberle, CEPI Raw Materials Director at u.leberle@cepi.org or by phone at (+32) 2 627 49 23

For press-related enquiries please contact Ben Kennard, CEPI Communications and Media Manaager at b.kennard@cepi.org or by phone at (+32) 487 39 21 82

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21 Mar.2018 ,

International Day of Forests 2018: European forests can deliver even more benefits to society

 

On the occasion of the United Nations International Day of Forests and dedicated to “Forests for Sustainable Cities”, representatives of European forest owners, managers and forest-based industries call for more awareness and support to further use the potential of European forests to contribute to a sustainable future.

Forests play a crucial role in providing multiple benefits for citizens. They deliver forest products and many other ecosystem services (recreation, clean air and water, biodiversity, scenic and cultural values…). Wood is a renewable raw material used in construction, furniture, pulp and paper, as well as for energy. It also serves as a substitute for non-renewable raw materials and energy. Moreover, forests contribute to job creation and economic growth.

In this context, EU forests have the potential to keep– and possibly increase – their contribution to these needs in the coming years. On average, 60% of the annual growth of EU forests is harvested, leading to a regular and significant increase in wood resources.

In the current discussion at EU level, several policies (research and innovation, rural development, climate and energy) and strategies (Forest Strategy, Bioeconomy Strategy) provide opportunities to enhance sustainable and multifunctional forest management while supporting the development of innovative bio-based value chains.

Piotr Borkowski, Executive Director of EUSTAFOR, and Fanny-Pomme Langue, Secretary General of CEPF, highlight that “There is still an important unexploited potential in terms of the wood and non-wood products and services provided by European forests. EU policies should contribute to unlock this potential so as to better meet existing and future demands. However, it should be stressed that sound economic prospects are essential in order for European forests to meet the growing social and environmental demands which are also being made on them”.

According to Sylvain Lhôte, Director General of CEPI, the European association representing the pulp and paper industry, “The EU should balance its target setting and demand-side approach with measures to increase supply. These measures should secure and improve forest growth and mobilise more wood from European forests for all kinds of uses“.

Patrizio Antonicoli, Secretary General of CEI-Bois highlights: “Forests and wood-based products play a central role in climate-change mitigation. This year’s theme of the UN International Day of Forests furthermore offers the opportunity to highlight the high potential contribution of timber building systems and wood construction materials.”

The undersigned organisations highlight the importance to better acknowledge and coordinate existing EU and national forest-related legislation which are already in place, which safeguard sustainable and multifunctional forestry and which are additionally supported by voluntary systems certification schemes. This is essential in ensuring the long-term competitiveness of the sector.

The International Day of Forests 2018 is taking place at a moment when EU policies have an opportunity to demonstrate how to enhance the potential of European forests and better mobilise their resources to further benefit society. This is an opportunity worth seizing.
 

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