BRUSSELS, Oct. 13, 2021 (Press Release) -Cepi, the Confederation of European Paper Industries, appreciates the European Commission’s efforts to address the record-high energy prices in Europe. Access to affordable clean energy is a prerequisite for globally competitive European forest-based industries. Our “made in Europe” industry creates much-needed jobs and wealth!
The European pulp and paper industry fully supports the EU objective to reach climate neutrality by 2050. Our industry is up to the climate challenge. We provide an ever-increasing range of solutions for today’s and tomorrow’s needs of our customers, other industries, and society at large. Our renewable and recyclable wood-based fibre solutions are made from predominantly European sustainably growing forests and recycled in Europe. Building on our position as world champions in recycling, we are set to increase recycling even further to boost the circular economy.
Cepi appreciates the European Commission’s efforts to address the record-high energy prices in Europe. In the context of the “Fit for 55” package, access to affordable clean energy is a prerequisite for globally competitive European forest-based industries. We encourage also Member States to take swift action to address the challenging situation in the short-term.
“The pulp and paper sector is concerned with long-lasting impact of the currently rising energy, commodity and transport costs,” explained Jori Ringman, Cepi’s Director General. “By facilitating access to affordable clean energy and encouraging investments, Member States can safeguard the competitiveness of the forest-based sector which creates much-needed jobs and wealth in Europe.”
Our sector is investing at a rate of around €5 billion per annum, adjusting the level of our production capacities while simultaneously reducing our carbon footprint. In addition, our sector is strong in export markets, with an export rate of 23% of the paper and board production, generating vital export income to the EU economy. By remaining competitive in a global market, our sector can continue further investing in energy efficiency and renewable energy solutions.
“One investment cycle away from reaching the 2050 targets, we potentially risk stranding investments in industrial transformation already made or planned today,” added Ringman. “The European policymakers must promptly tackle non-technological hurdles to stimulate new investments in low-carbon solutions and technologies.”
European forest-based industries gather some 420.000 enterprises which provide employment for around 4 million workers. Our value chain has a total turnover of over 520 billion euros (around 18% of the bioeconomy) and creates 143 billion euros each year of added value to the EU economy.
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 to the environment, in good condition. We are the world champion in recycling at the rate of 72%. 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.