PAPER & BEYOND 2023
On November 28-29, 2023, a cyclical conference of the European paper industry was organized in Brussels at the initiative of Cepi (Confederation of European Paper Industry): “PAPER & BEYOND ’23,” which this year was held under the theme: “Circular Choices.” The event is a continuation of the long-standing tradition of organizing a November debate (formerly known as “European Paper Week”), whose participants include the most resilient operators of pulp and paper sector installations on our continent, representatives of the value and supply chain of the paper industry, representatives of industry structures operating in almost 20 EU countries affiliated with Cepi and FEFCO, institutional partners implementing cooperation within the Fibre Packaging Europe Alliance program platform. In the course of the two-day debate, our Association was represented by J. Turski (Director General of SPP). Special guests included representatives of the European Commission bodies and institutions responsible for shaping the directions of changes in strategic areas of EU legislation (EC-DG GROW, DG-CLIMA, EC-JRC).
Of great interest was the high-level-session debate, with the voice of panelists representing Cepi authorities and CEOs of European companies, ranked among the world leaders in pulp, paper and its products. The leading theme of this part of the program was an assessment of the opportunities and challenges for the paper industry to meet the EU’s ambitious climate-environment-raw materials policy targets, taking into account the need for a huge investment effort by the P&P sector in low-carbon technologies, reduction of the environmental footprint, resource-efficient management of raw materials, as well as for the promotion of eco-design and a steady increase in the recycling rate of paper and board waste.
This year’s edition of the conference featured the finals of the international competition:” The Blue Sky Young Researchers and Young Professional Awards’23” , and 5 representatives of the R&D sector competed in its ranks. Among the criteria for qualifying candidates for participation, the dominant significance was the output of works distinguished by their innovative qualities, as well as obtaining a recommendation by the jury, which conditioned the admission of participants to the premiere presentation in front of a wide audience.
The conference was an opportunity for Cepi to present the Energy Efficiency Checklist, an initiative in line with the concept of the EU’s policy framework for the adaptation of breakthrough industry technologies aimed at reducing climate and environmental impacts, improving security for citizens.
Much attention was paid to the need to adapt the policy of instruments to support the energy transition process in the EU, with a particular focus on the operating conditions of energy-intensive industries, so that their competitiveness can be maintained on a global scale. Discussions organized in 10 thematic blocks, with the participation of some 50 panelists, attempted to define the potential dimension of the paper industry’s contribution to the development of the EU’s closed-loop bioeconomy model. Members of our Association, more detailed information about the proceedings of this year’s conference can be obtained in direct communication with the SPP office.
Photos: J. Turski, SPP