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The RISI Top 50 Power List 2011: 31 - 40

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The RISI Top 50 Power List 2011: 31 - 40

July 07, 2011 - 20:00

BRUSSELS, July 8, 2011 (RISI) -The RISI Top 50 Power List 2011: 31 - 40

31. Raymond Lee,Lee & Man

As CEO of one of the leading containerboard producers in China, Raymond Lee and the company's management have been focusing strongly on expanding in the home market of China. In fact as we were putting together the 2011 Power List the company was set to commission a brand new Metso 500,000 tonne/yr containerboard machine at its Hongmei mill in Dongguan city, Guangdong province. The machine will be the second largest in China.

But the expansion doesn't end there; the company is also moving ahead with plans to bring four more paper units online over the next two years which will have a further capacity 1.9 million tonnes/yr. The expansion includes a greenfield site in Jiujiang city which will house two new containerboard machines, as well as the installation of cartonboard machine which represents the company's first move into cartonboard production.

Lee & Man's strategic thinking also extends beyond China to new growth areas and markets. The aim is to build a mill in Vietnam which has currently been delayed, but is proposed to be up and running by 2013. Lee also says that the company plans to export to Southeast Asia as well as other markets. In mid 2010 the company announced a deal in which Japan's Nippon Paper purchased a 12.5% share in Lee & Man, and the two firms agreed to work together on procurement, research, and the development of a "more diverse product line" for meeting demands in China.

32. Elizabeth de Carvalhaes,Bracelpa

Elizabeth de Carvalhaes is a woman on a mission - and that mission is to represent the Brazilian pulp and paper industry both at home and abroad. Elizabeth can often be found on the podium at industry events worldwide, spreading the message about the pulp and paper sector in her country and in particular, the industry's sustainability credentials. Bracelpa recently voted in a new council for 2011-2013 with Fibria's José Luciano Penido as chairman of the board.

Some of the things that Bracelpa will be working on include: the inclusion of forest carbon credits in the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), a debate on the impact of restricting land acquisition by foreigners, the Brazilian Forestry Code and tax reforms. With all the international travel and this new agenda, Elizabeth is going to have her hands full.

33. Martyn Eustace,Two Sides

Martyn Eustace has made the RISI Power List once again due to the continued and growing success of the Two Sides association. Eustace, who is often seen around Europe at conferences and important debates on sustainability in the paper industry, developed the Two Sides initiative in 2008. The associations' mission is to change public attitudes to print and paper by challenging false myths and beliefs among business and the general public.

Although initially UK based initiative, Two Sides is now allied with the European Print Power organization, which has been designed to highlight print as still the most successful way to communicate. Two Sides marketing material is now being translated and adapted to create a pan-European sustainability campaign. The association has also very recently launched in the US, and Eustace says that there has also been a lot of interest in the initiative from other continents, including Asia. Eustace is a seasoned paper industry professional with 30 years service in merchanting.

34. Mike Jackson,Verso Paper

Less than two years after Apollo Management acquired IP's coated paper operations, Jackson took the newly created Verso Paper public in 2008. Through a breathtaking ride amidst the recession, Jackson rethought Verso's business strategy and retooled its product lines, creating a leaner company focused on the whole as stronger than the parts. The result was a positive operating income of $14.1 million in the fi rst quarter of 2011 and a strong inventory pipeline, supported a recently announced $40 price increase.

The success earned Jackson the TAPPI/PIMA 2011 Executive of the Year award. Serving 29 years with Weyerhaeuser, "Jackson has continually exemplifi ed the strong leadership skills and vision required in a globally competitive business," said the award committee. A market leader in coated paper, Verso is also implementing several renewable energy initiatives that will reduce energy consumption and increase production from biomass sources, part of the company's long-term strategy to sell energy back to the grid, further improving its bottom line. Realistic about the industry, Jackson believes that "consolidation needs to continue," but also sees 2012 as a promising year for Verso and the industry.

35. Sergio Almeida, Eldorado Brasil

Having come from one pulp giant, Fibria, Almeida has more than 20 years experience in the pulp industry. Named CEO in 2010, he had previously worked with Votorantim Celulose e Papel (VCP), which together with Aracruz, merged to form Fibria. Although Fibria is the world's largest pulp producer, Almeida leads a company with great ambition. Construction of the 1.5-million tonne/yr bleached eucalyptus kraft (BEK) pulp mill in Tres Lagoas, Brazil, is underway. And, it has plans to build two more pulp lines with similar capacity. It's also looking at the possibility of integrating a tissue line at the Tres Lagoas site.

Money should be no problem. It has just received a $1.7 billion loan from the Brazilian National Social and Development Bank (BNDES). Its parent company, JBS-Friboi, is the world's largest meat processor and its CEO, Joesley Batista, is considered one of the world's richest men.

36. Frank Leerkotte,CEPIFINE

CEPIFINE, the Confederation of European Fine Paper Industries and its members caused a major stir recently when they called for an EU investigation into alleged subsidies and dumping activities by Chinese manufacturers of fine paper. The actions culminated in the imposing of duties on Chinese imports into Europe to the tune of between 8-35% on anti-dumping and between 4-12% on anti-subsidy. This represents the very first action against Chinese imports by any industry in Europe, and it could open the floodgates to other investigations.

Frank Leerkotte, managing director of CEPIFINE, went on record stating that the action was taken as "it is economically imperative to the sustainability of the (European) industry and also as a matter of principle". Meanwhile, the Chinese producers are obviously extremely discontent with the decision, as are European printers who state that they have lost the chance to buy fine paper at more competitive rates, which, they say, could drive their customers to buy print from the Far East anyway. Leerkotte is also the managing director of Print Power, the European organization that promotes the medium of print to major media advertising buyers.

37. Donna Harman,AF&PA

The well-known public face of the American Forest & Paper Association, Harman has been relentless in leading industry stands on taxation and potentially disruptive regulations, such as the Boiler MACT rules. In no small part, AF&PA efforts as the trade association of the forest products industry has brought public scrutiny to legislation that many believed would hamper the industry when it could least afford it.

Through various campaigns and testimony to Congress and the US EPA, Harman has consistently won concessions for the industry, earning her accolades for drawing support from both political parties. AF&PA has recently announced an ambitious sustainability program for the industry. The "Better Practices, Better Planet 2020" initiative wants the industry to increase the paper recovery for recycling rate to more than 70%, reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 15%, and take a stronger stand on forest certification and against deforestation.

Friendly and affable with a no-nonsense approach, Harman understands implicitly that corporate strategy must take public perception into account to be successful with consumers who are becoming more active in the forest footprint.

38. Joseph Kruger,Kruger

The third generation to direct Kruger, Joe Kruger has guided the company for the past 20 years as both owner and CEO/ COO. Diversifying into forest products, including newsprint, publication paper, and tissue, as well as recycling and energy, Kruger has shown a knack for making longterm investments in technology that have helped strengthen the company's presence throughout North America.

Through modernization and expansion, Kruger is the leading tissue manufacturer in Canada, with analysts saying the tissue sector is now the company's most profitable segment. With plans to grow the tissue market, Kruger has recently been looking at expanding one of its North American mills.

Known for the green "K" which serves as the company logo, Kruger recently achieved FSC Chain of Custody certification for consumer and commercial tissue products, a first for a Canadian tissue company. Described as "the solid oak of Canada's pulp and paper industry," observers say Kruger is well-respected for his social and environmental concerns in the communities where the company's operations are located.

39. Leif Brodén,Södra

The Swedish company is a leading innovator in what you can do with pulp. Europe's largest market pulp producer will convert part of its Värö mill's pulp making capacity to the production of DuraPulp, the strong and durable material that has been used to make lamps and chairs. Fully biodegradable and made of 100% renewable fibers, the composite is proof that oil-based plastics could be replaced by cellulose. But CEO Brodén has no intentions to stop there.

Cars made of wood may sound quirky, but Brodén makes a convincing argument that biomaterials are the perfect direction for the automotive industry. The key, says Brodén, is not to plant trees merely for the sake of it, but to optimize the use of the forest to find alternatives to replace products from fossil fuels. Sodra is also part of the move to take advantage of the burgeoning dissolving pulp market and its Monsteras mill will soon be able to produce DP.

Brodén is also one of the leading critics of the EU 2020 plan to incorporate renewable energy resources, claiming it is pushing the goal too soon. Incentivizing companies to burn wood for fuel could backfire and destroy Europe's forests, argues Brodén. The right approach is to revamp the business model to include renewable products and recyclability. It's an approach that is gaining traction and could be part of a sound business strategy for Södra.

40. Avrim Lazar,FPAC

Joining the Forest Products Association of Canada as president and CEO in 2002, Avrim Lazar has helped push, pull and drag what had been a moribund Canadian industry into the 21st Century. Under his stewardship, the landmark Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement was signed in 2010 bringing together 21 FPAC member companies and nine environmental organizations. It has just celebrated its first anniversary. The agreement also intensified outreach efforts to Canada's First Nations people, who, despite living mostly in Canada's forestlands, have never played a large role in the industry.

Lazar also brought the industry to the attention of the federal government, something long lacking, and the efforts have paid off with new programs designed to help the industry's efforts to get off its back. FPAC is also a strong supporter of the new directions the industry has taken, particularly in the various bio fields. For his efforts, earlier this year, the United Nations Association in Canada honored Lazar for his "visionary leadership, commitment and remarkable achievements in both the environment and in industry."

The RISI Top 50 Power List: Introduction

The RISI Top 50 Power List: 1 - 10

The RISI Top 50 Power List: 11 - 20

The RISI Top 50 Power List: 21 - 30

The RISI Top 50 Power List: 41 - 50