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Mondi’s Green Event in Vienna, Austria highlights key sustainability issues for paper and printing industry

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Mondi’s Green Event in Vienna, Austria highlights key sustainability issues for paper and printing industry

April 18, 2013 - 00:38
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VIENNA, Austria, April 18, 2013 (Press Release) -The thematic scope of the event included: the future for forest products and the environment; the necessity for forestry certification and the new EU Timber Regulation; climate change and carbon neutrality; and going green as a good business practice.

"Green business practices are a major concern for most businesses and organisations today. An environmental mindset requires not only a shift in the practices of companies but it also comes down to how we as individuals develop an environmental consciousness and adopt sustainable lifestyles. The Green Event hosted guests from 13 countries from within the forestry, paper and printing industries as well as global companies and organisations for which green decision making is an integral part of their business strategy. In line with our Green Range slogan, to make the eventas green as it getsthe Green Event was CO2neutral, including the participants' transportation to and from the event," said Peter Orisich CEO Mondi Uncoated Fine Paper, Europe and International.

Starting off the day, Helma Brandlmaier from WWF International presented the recent WWF Living Forests Report chapter and forests and wood products, underscoring the future role and value of forests for a rapidly growing global population. According to Brandlmaier, wood, as a renewable resource, could play a critical role in the production of diverse goods if responsibly managed and used. WWF advocates recycling, efficiency, responsible forestry and manufacturing for a sustainable future. Well managed plantations could also reduce pressure on natural forests. A panel discussion followed subsequent presentations by FSC® (Ulrich Malessa, Head of services, FSC Germany), PEFCTM(Thorsten Arndt, Head of Communications) and SGS UK (Charles Townsend, EUTR Consultant and Lead COC Auditor), which addressed the EU Timber Regulation, forest certification systems, chain of custody and the need to create greater awareness and mainstreaming of certifications that support responsible forestry.

The session on climate change and carbon neutrality began with an overview by Prof. Werner Sobotka covering the rules and criteria established by the Austrian Environmental label and the EU Ecolabel. Speaking more directly about carbon neutrality, Laurel Brunner, founder of Verdigris and Digital Dots Ltd. announced the ongoing development of ISO 16759, a new international standard that provides the framework for calculating the carbon footprint of print media. Her presentation also highlighted best cases for cost cutting measures that cut carbon through waste reduction, energy reduction, and greater efficiency across print media supply chains. Dr. Klaus Reisinger, CEO of ClimatePartner Austria stressed the global nature of climate change, recommending that companies and individuals calculate their carbon footprint, avoid and reduce emissions, and offset unavoidable CO2emissions by investing in verified climate protection projects.

The Green Event concluded with a session on going greenas a good business practice. Mondi's Natural Resource Manager, Peter Gardiner, emphasised the value of forests, conservation and bio diversity through the concept of natural capital and Mondi's policies that support these aims. Mr Gardiner provided examples such as the Mondi Wetlands Programme - a conservation project in co-operation with the WWF and WESSA (a South African environmental organisation) as well as Mondi's cooperation with the Russian NGO Silver Taiga and WWF Russia to secure the remaining pristine forests in Komi Russia. Mondi sustainably manages 2.1 million hectares of leased forest in the Komi Republic and 307,000 hectares of owned forest in South Africa, 25% of which are set aside for conservation. All Mondi managed forests are FCS certified and 65% of wood supplied to Mondi processing plants is FSC or PEFC-certified; no wood is procured from controversial sources. The final presentation of the day was a best case practice for green printing by Sergey Popov, the CEO of Idea Print ─ a digital print shop in Moscow. Idea Print operates according to the principles of recycling, reusing and responsible management to the extent that even waste paper is put to creative uses such as Ecopad notepads.

All presentations can be accessed online at www.mondigroup.com/greenevent. More information about the Mondi Green Range can be found at www.mondigroup.com/gogreen.