The European forest fibre and paper industry is at the forefront of a low-carbon bioeconomy in which renewable raw materials replace fossil resources, improving the environment, as well as the quality of everyday life.
Our Investment Roadmap™ follows the 2011 vision to decarbonise by 80%, while creating 50% more added value, by 2050. This vision is based on product innovation, market developments, enhanced productivity and process efficiency.
2050 is not as far away as one may think. Due to constant economic changes the time span for action is short. There are two investment cycles for our capital intensive industry in that timespan; in other words, 2050 is two paper machines away. With this in mind, policymakers and industry have fewer opportunities to make the right choices.
We stand by our ambition to make the low-carbon circular bioeconomy a reality in Europe and we can achieve this with the right pro-investment policies and financing conditions in place.
In 2020, Cepi released its 2030 Industry Manifesto, that takes into account the new adopted targets in the framework of the EU Green Deal. 2030 is a pivotal year for the decarbonisation of Europe. It is the year by which the European Union must have significantly reduced its emissions, by 40% as a minimum, and even up to 55% if the more ambitious target proposed is to be adopted.
Our manifesto identifies the three main catalysts for our decarbonisation effort:
Product substitution: Our industry can provide climate-friendly substitutes to fossil-based, carbon-intensive products currently on the market, potentially creating a multiplier effect through our expertise in the circular economy.
The European Union should help create new markets for renewable bio-based products and ensure there is a steady supply of recyclable raw materials, like high quality virgin fibre. Furthermore, recycling could be further enhanced through improvement and harmonisation of the European waste collection systems.
Sustainable forest management: Forests are essential in our fight against climate change. They support biodiversity and act as a carbon sink. Our industry, together with our forest-based industrial partners, contributes to their active and timely management, leading to effective reforestation, regeneration of harvested areas and safeguarding biodiversity. A strategic EU-wide framework for forest management would significantly boost and support our work. The framework would need to look at data-based socio-economic indicators for biodiversity to determine the availability of forests, help support their regeneration and ensure the application of our industry standards in other sectors and regions of the world.
Emission reduction in production processes: We have already achieved significant results in our decarbonisation efforts. The emissions still present are almost entirely due to energy consumption. While increasing energy costs would simply make the European industry less competitive, we do believe more can be achieved through a renewed European industrial strategy aimed at promoting carbon-neutral production in Europe.
Source: Eurostat/ICF/RISI/CEPI 2016