Amsterdam, March 11, 2010 (RISI) -I am reporting from RISI's Pulp and Paper Outlook Conference in Amsterdam which is going down a storm with the attendees. The conference, RISI's biggest ever European event in terms of attendance, yesterday had high profile industry figures speaking, including Jouko Karvinen, CEO of Stora Enso who gave the keynote and Berry Wiersum, CEO of SAPPI Fine Paper Europe. The theme of the first day was: "From Green Energy to the Electronic Media - How Will the Paper Industry Triumph.
Attack from the floor
But perhaps what really electrified the room on day one was an attack on Asian giant APP by WWF by way of a press release from Friends of the Earth and others being distributed to the audience denouncing the company's ‘green claims' before the speaker, Aida Greenbury, APP's Director of Sustainability, had even given her presentation. Greenbury later told RISI: "APP's main reason for participating in the European conference was to present environmental challenges and social challenges being encountered in the pulp and paper industry in Asia." She also stated that APP's objective is to work closely with other stakeholders to push towards global sustainability. Commenting on the press release, Greenbury says: "WWF fail to see the full picture of our industry and the steps to achieve sustainability worldwide. It is a shared vision that paper is sustainable ."
Other speakers included Bradford Gibbs, managing director of Morgan Stanley's Investment Division, and Bob Latham, director of sustainability at PaperlinX, Europe. One of the common threads running through almost every presentation was the old dilemma of the paper industry being seemingly incapable of telling its good environmental story. However, the good news is that momentum is gathering in Europe with two campaigns recently launched, Two Sides and Print Power promoting pulp and paper's green and effective credentials.
Today RISI economists take the floor in what should also be another electrifying performance, especially due to the recent earthquake in Chile which is looking like having a major effect on pulp prices.