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Conference Program

Monday, 5 March, 2018

Welcome Reception


Registration and Cocktail Reception

Tuesday, 6 March, 2018

Day One




Opening Remarks


Presentation of RISI's European CEO of the Year Award


Keynote Address


CEO/Executive Panel Discussion

Sponsored by: 


The last twelve months have been significant for the European Paper & Packaging industry in many ways. The demand environment has improved particularly for packaging which appears to be driven by both cyclical and structural factors, with the latter including factors such as e-commerce and the shift to more renewable sources of packaging. This has helped pricing across all grades of paper. Raw material costs, particularly recovered paper have been very volatile with Chinese demand playing a big part in this. Non-raw material cost inflation is also starting to become an issue particularly in areas like transport and labour. Four main themes that are emerging will be discussed:

  • Growth in the packaging sector – cyclical or structural?
  • European pricing dynamics have improved and look set to strengthen further in 2018
  • Recovered fibre availability and cost?
  • Capacity growth and the potential for further European consolidation


Networking Coffee and Tea Break

Sponsored by:

Global Economic Outlook – Return of Growth?

View to the current status of global economy, its trends and the prospects for the global economy over the next two years, focusing on the European outlook.


The European Economy: Things Look Good Just Now. Can This Last?

Growth has strengthened in Europe over the last year or so. Eastern Europe is booming and the Eurozone is doing well. Only the UK is somewhat held back by Brexit-related problems. What could interrupt this broad-based recovery ? A return of inflation and tighter monetary policy look unlikely. Trade wars, unleashed by Trump, are similarly improbable. Wall Street may well suffer a correction, but the effects of this on Europe should be limited. Shocks are always possible (the Middle East and oil, the dollar, political populism, etc.), but barring such events, growth should continue.


Networking Lunch


Global Pulp Outlook

Volatility will continue to characterize the global pulp market. China will generate most of the volatility on the demand side of the market, mainly through changing government environmental policies. On the supply side, capacity is increasing due to the startup of large, new pulp lines. However, risks remain high that more unplanned downtime will occur as mills operate at high rates.


Minimising Exposure to Volatile Pulp Markets

Managing volatile raw material costs is key to safeguarding margins and cash flows, thereby providing some level of certainty of performance to investors. Is this possible for an unintegrated paper and packaging manufacturer in volatile global pulp markets?


Networking Coffee and Tea Break

Sponsored by:


Recovered Paper Outlook and Implications of Recovered Paper Ban in China

Chinese environmental policies will affect the recovered paper market even more than the pulp market. The move to release import permits on a quarterly basis will create more uncertainty and cause increased volatility in pricing. Strong recovered paper demand in Europe and North America will add to bursts in Chinese demand as import permits are released and will maintain a floor under prices in periods of weaker Chinese demand.


Industry Technology & Innovation Panel Discussion

This panel discussion will focus on key issues faced by machine suppliers, chemical suppliers, fine paper and packaging producers. We will look at how innovations in the mill processes are improving and optimizing the products for the ultimate end-users, the consumers.


Close of Day One


Offsite Cocktail Reception


Come join us for a cocktail reception at an elegant mediterranean restaurant and bar. Food and beverages are included. Enjoy panoramic views of Barcelona on their terrace. Restaurante Abrassame is about a 5 minute walk from the Catalonia Barcelona Plaza Hotel. RISI Staff will be meeting in the hotel lobby and will walk over at 17:20. 

Restaurante Abrassame 

Time: 17:30 - 19:00 

Address: Gran Via de les Corts Catalanes, 373 - 385, 08015 Barcelona, Spain




Tuesday, 6 March, 2018

Internet of Things Track


Sponsored by:    


Tony Stark Needs Jarvis to Run Iron Man. What's the Future in AI for P&P Manufacturing Plants?

Applied AI started to support daily operations in P&P plants 10 years ago. Today, after a decade of successful application, what can we expect today? And what’s next before 2020? What are the real impact of bigdata, advanced analytics, real time costing, live prescription? How does it affect the way we run process lines? How can we define the perfect project for every plant? What criteria to maximize the ROI? Let’s have a full review of the current landscape and understand how we can leverage applied AI for achieving predictive optimized performance.


Digital Twins Supporting Humans

Humans are operating the pulp and paper production lines. Humans are prone to individual understanding on how complex systems work.

Digital twin development is one prominent approach with in the topic of Industrial Internet  to give advice to humans to do better decisions. Several real life cases show radical improvements on how mills are operated when digital twins are deployed to steer or help decisions making. Doing and deploying Digital Wins is easy. Advantages are clear, what are we waiting for?


Learn Fast and Deliver Successfully

Organizations are investing in digitalization and working on proof-of-concept and pilot project. Some projects deliver promising business results but the majority contribute mostly to organizational learning. To deliver maximum business value the organizations need to use the learning to improve digitalization development. At the same time the organizations need to ensure effective productization of the most promising projects. Only through effective implementation and deployment will the new digital capabilities create significant business value to the organization.


Internet of Things - Panel Discussion

Pulp, paper and board producers, working in conjunction with suppliers are pushing the boundaries of data management, achieving significant results. The effects are increased efficiency of operations, reduction of machine downtimes, and a ROI that excites investors. Yet, we are still at the beginning stages of what is ultimately possible. The panel will discuss what has already been achieved, what is just around the corner, and where we are headed with digital transformation.


Wednesday, 7 March, 2018

Day Two




Power of Digital and Analytics in a Traditional Industry

Advanced analytics has the power to transform traditional industry value chains from supply operations to the customer interface. Enabled by technology and increase in data processing power, analytics use cases show significant efficiency and  value creation opportunity ranging from demand/supply forecasting to network and logistics route optimization to commercial levers. Practical examples presented in the session prove how the power of analytics can already today be applied to your business in an effective and agile manner, without long and heavy IT investment.



Saving the World from Plastic - a Potential Game Changer

Modern technologies and rapid development of dispersion coating chemicals have made it possible to produce truly sustainable, fully recyclable and compostable Barrier Board products for packaging and food service end uses. Kotkamills, holding both the technology and unique know-how, changes the packaging industry with new generation of safe, sustainable and recyclable Barrier Boards. We dare to be a game changer, offering an environmentally sound and competitive alternative to traditionally used plastic coated boards.


E-commerce and the “Amazon Effect”

E-commerce has grown steadily over the past 2 decades and still has significant headroom to take share from brick & mortar retail. This continued growth will have dramatic implications on the packaging industry. The main purpose of a retail package is shifting from “attract consumers to buy” in the store towards “create a great experience” when receiving the goods. In this session we will discuss how Amazon and other e-commerce players will change the way how packaging providers should think about their packaging design, go-to-market strategies, and approach towards sustainability.


Networking Coffee and Tea Break

Sponsored by:


Global Graphic Papers Outlook

Global graphic markets have truly been in a roller-coaster ride for more than 20 years. The ups and downs are to be found not only in demand, but also in capacity, global trade, prices and margins for paper producers. So, what can we expect for the future? Is the roller-coaster ride to continue? Our forecast shows this is most likely the case, especially since the center of gravity of our industry seems to be moving eastward, towards the highly volatile markets of Asia (particularly China).


Panel Discussion - Assuring Food Safety and Quality Across the Value Chain

Food safety in packaging is of paramount importance for consumers. Maintaining food quality has been a primary concern for brands in their daily shipments of packaged products sent around the world. Many questions arise as to which functional barriers are most effective. And, with regards to regulations, continually changing guidelines have been introduced and vary on national versus European levels. In this panel discussion, we will explore the myriad of questions and requirements facing producers, converters and end users in assuring food safety and quality.


Networking Lunch


Global Boxboard Outlook

Global market conditions have changed rapidly during the past year. On one hand, the synchronized improvement in global economies have lifted demand of boxboard across the globe. However, other packaging material substitutes continue to pose a risk to our industry. On the other, significant changes in supply will result in the tightening of global markets. Unsurprisingly, China is playing a large role in the tightening of global market conditions. Not only is capacity growing much slower than before, but ongoing PfR bans are threatening production of paper and board in the coming years.  


Global Containerboard Outlook

Discussion on the global containerboard supply/demand balances, capacity additions and cost developments. How will capacity additions impact the market in Europe? Our views on effects of Chinese PfR policies on the containerboard market and on production cost developments going forward. 


Competitiveness of European Containerboard Market

European containerboard producers have seen varying competitive situations and had to employ different strategies to survive and succeed. In this timely presentation, Ville Henttonen will compare production characteristics, key cost driver trends and competitiveness. He will also discuss other hot topics like risk analysis and machine conversions from graphic papers to packaging grades.


Networking Coffee and Tea Break

Sponsored by: 


China's RCP Ban from a Russian Producer’s Perspective

The Recovered Paper Ban in China is affecting markets around the world significantly, albeit in different ways. The Vice-President of Strategy from Ilim Group offers his perspective on the ban and its implications on the overall fiber balance in China. He will discuss Ilim Group’s strategy in light of the current and evolving situation, the attractiveness of different products and where the Group is headed.


Global Tissue Market Outlook with Focus on Europe

The global tissue business continues to be in a very dynamic phase, with new players emerging and untraditional trade flows developing.  In 2016, global tissue consumption grew strongly at a rate of 3.8% and reached 36.4 million tonnes. Although no figure for 2017 is yet available, there are all indications that there was no major break in the global growth trend last year either. In Europe, the tissue business was lulling for years after the Great Recession, but has finally improved and is since 2015 on a sound track again. The only problem is that tissue has attracted many investors recently, coming from both the paper industry and totally different businesses, and announced investments exceed the organic market growth in practically every world region. Europe is not an exception, the Iberian Peninsula in particular will be very crowded with new investments in coming years. This means competition is extremely fierce, and the industry is suffering from overcapacity.


Close of Conference