The European paper industry wants to lead the pack


Decarbonising and investing on the route to the low-carbon European bioeconomy of the future.

The Confederation of European Paper Industry (Cepi) envisions industry at the forefront of a European low-carbon economy where the use of renewable raw materials becomes the norm whilst keeping them «in the loop». This vision builds on paper’s intrinsic qualities – being the only mainstream material that is both of renewable origin and recyclable.

Building on an expert review of its first roadmap, Cepi’s «2050 Roadmap to a low-carbon bioeconomy» articulates the industry vision to create 50% more added-value whilst decarbonising by 80%. It also scopes for the first time the investment needed for industry transformation and how to make this happen in Europe.

Let’s create added value. Unleashing the benefits from the European bioeconomy.

We as the forest-fibre and paper industry have an ambition to create 50% added-value when compared to 2010 which could yield approximately 25 billion EUR more added value.

Such ambition implies that we will fully harness the growth potential of existing core markets – whether novel packaging systems, tissues and hygiene products or speciality papers. The integration of fast developing technologies, whether nano-, bio- or info-tech ones, with graphic paper will also bring new functionalities to our products.  The innovation and value-creation potential of our industry, through bringing together science and technology advances, is unprecedented.

Decarbonisation: getting to a low-carbon destination.

Working along the trajectory that the EU defined in its 2050 roadmap for a low carbon economy, it implies a reduction by no less than 80% of the emissions level we had in 1990. Our emissions would therefore be brought down by an enormous 12 million tonnes of CO2 by 2050 from 49 million tonnes in 2015 and 60 million tonnes in the early 90’s. We have identified six main policy areas which we believe can put industry on this decarbonisation track including energy efficiency, fuel switch, demand-side flexibility, emerging and breakthrough technologies, indirect emissions and transport.

Investing 40% more in Europe to make industry transformation happen.

The European forest-fibre and paper industry remains till this day one of the main manufacturing industries investing back into Europe. No less than €3.5 billion is invested in Europe on average per year since 2010.

Yet, this investment level will not be sufficient to accelerate the transition towards a truly European bioeconomy. We have estimated the additional investment needs at €24 billion by 2050 to decarbonise and €20 billion in the production of new bio-based products. This means growth by 40% of our average investment level over the next 35 years.

Indeed adding ‘rings of value’ to what we do will indeed require a set of interrelated and by no mean independent policy shifts.  And those policies are being shaped today for the next decade. Amongst the most prevalent policies to align with our needs are those regarding raw materials, energy and climate change and financing.

Our roadmap envisages a win-win scenario – a decarbonised society, greater added-value, targeted and productive investment in Europe, aligned research policies, smarter and more resource-efficient transport as well as an upskilled and mobile workforce. The innovation, value creation and decarbonisation race is now on for all industry sectors. Our ability to take the right track and accelerate our transformation will be critical for our long term success.

More detailed information on our Roadmap can be consulted on our Website here.


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    With regards,
    commercial meneger
    Merabi Aslanishvili

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