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Paper industry leaders optimistic about sector’s future


June 11, 2013
By Pulp & Paper Canada

The sixth biennial international CEOs Roundtable organized by the International Council of Forest and Paper Associations (ICFPA) took place in São Paulo, Brazil in June. More than 50 CEOs and association leaders from around the world met…

The sixth biennial international CEOs Roundtable organized by the International Council of Forest and Paper Associations (ICFPA) took place in São Paulo, Brazil in June. More than 50 CEOs and association leaders from around the world met to address issues of common interest, including the consequences of economic pressures on forests from the demand for food, fuel and fiber; the impacts of government policies and programs on the forest products industry; and how to position the industry in its transition for the future. 

“We are optimistic about the future of the global forest products industry,” said David Scheible, president and CEO of Graphic Packaging International, Inc. “Our industry provides renewable and recyclable products that are important to the global economy and meet the needs of individuals, families, and communities around the globe.”

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The industry has a growing opportunity to both satisfy traditional markets for pulp, paper, paper-based packaging, and wood products and new markets for bio-energy, chemicals, pharmaceuticals and others, the group notes. Many companies are working on the development of next-generation materials from wood fiber that can meet the needs of a growing global population.

“In order to truly take advantage of the growing opportunities provided by the bio-economy, the industry will need an infusion of new workers and new skills and competencies to produce these new products,” said Chad Wasilenkoff, CEO, Fortress Paper, Ltd. “Working through our industry associations, with governments and educational institutions, we are committed to attract and train the best and the brightest to our green renewable industry.”

Key points of discussion by the CEOs included the demands for wood fiber and the challenges and opportunities for the industry in the areas of increased forest yields, improvements in recovered fiber quality and quantity, and new products in the bio-economy. They also discussed opportunities for industry collaboration on global government policies affecting the industry’s competiveness and opportunities for attracting new customers and new workers by improving perceptions of the industry.

“Our industry is advancing its value-added proposition with the potential of delivering sustainable, 21st-century products that can help lighten the global manufacturing sector’s environmental footprint,” said Marcelo Castelli, president and CEO of Fibria S/A. “The industry’s transformation towards the next-generation forest economy is being fueled by the rapidly growing bio-economy.”

The next ICFPA CEOs Roundtable is scheduled to take place in 2015.


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