The Opinion

Welcome to Paper Industry World!

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Once upon a time, Paper revealed itself as the perfect mean of transport for any sort of information; being institutional, social, glamour or commercial, the information become a real communication experience when blended with the right paper support, from coated jewels to great boxes made in corrugated board. Nothing in time can dissolve the indissoluble partnership of paper and communication!

Fact is that history is shaping its future at a rhythm of a different present, it is estimated that there will be an end to the habit of reading news on paper, it may vary from Country to Country, in relation to status of the global social development or just because the infrastructure are not fully ready; still, it is expected the last mass newspaper will be printed by around 2020 in United Kingdom, perhaps a bit later in Italy or earlier in United States. In any direction we look at the issue, it states that our traditions are changing.

Therefore, pragmatism and intelligence suggests that we better come to terms with the evolution, or shift, if you want, in the way the public gets up-to speed with the changing world. Communication is too important for our industry, because we have important challenges ahead and we cannot make it if we isolate ourselves, on the contrary, it is vital we open-up to the large public to make sure we channel our great message: paper is one of the most sustainable materials ever invented by human being, the one that will take our history far into a long future.

In general, the world of Paper looks promising for the future, with significant difference per sector and geography, but positive in global terms; year on year, for the years to come, paper demand is expected to grow up to 7% in China, around 5% in Eastern Europe and at more modest rate of 0.5% in North America and Western Europe. The growth in Eastern Europe is particularly significant, without forgetting that, for time being, it represents something like a third of the Western Europe consumption; nevertheless, all major sectors are expected to grow, from all Printed grades, to Cardboard and, particularly, Tissue and Containerboard. In Western Europe, despite the more modest overall growth, sectors like Tissue and Containerboard are expected to grow at the rate of 1% per annum, not a bad figure for a mature market.

The Containerboard sector is set to an important reality in the future, even the development of the commerce online will provide a significant boost to the opportunity to grow, because no matter how you purchase your goods, still, one needs to get it home, safe and well functioning!

As said, for our industry, communication will play a major role in the years to come; technology development and innovation will be key to stay ahead of the game, therefore skills of people will be our most valuable resources, to drive our industry to the necessary changes, ensuring that we will cope with the evolution. Informing in the most correct and professional way will be vital to pass on to the world out there our great messages: we are environmentally compliant and sustainable in all possible aspect!

Let’s work hard to profile our industry image, better than ever before, to attract young bright talents to work for us, because we are an industry with long history, great tradition and strong ambitions for the future.

That is why, I welcome and support warmly a publication online like «Paper Industry World»!

Stefano Rossi, Divisional CEO DS Smith

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