Papermakers support Paris Climate Change Conference

By Sarah Cosgrove, Friday 04 December 2015

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Two papermakers are taking part in a major public exhibition which opens today and runs alongside the UN Paris Climate Change conference, also known as COP21.

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Solutions COP21 is a free event open to all

APP and Arjowiggins are involved in Solutions COP21, a free privately funded public-facing event held at the historic Grand Palais, which features an exhibition, conferences and round-table discussions, looking at solutions to climate change.

Both companies will showcase their efforts to lower carbon emissions and outline challenges they face as high energy users, while gaining exposure for their brands. This involves a series of events at the free show, which runs until 10 December.

French papermaker Arjowiggins is also an official partner of COP21 for the first time and is demonstrating a real-life application of the circular economy while providing all of the 100% recycled paper being used at the Bourget and Grand Palais sites, as well as providing 4 million sheets of 100%-recycled A4 paper to be used by negotiators and attendees.

This means that if an agreement is forged between the 190-plus nations at the conference, it will be signed on Arjowiggins graphic paper.

Jean-Charles Monange, commercial and marketing director, Arjowiggins Graphic, said: “What’s unique about our campaign in Paris is that we’re able to provide an immediate demonstration of this approach at the COP21 event.

"La Poste will collect and sort the waste paper which will then be directly transported to our Greenfield mill, just 100km away, to be deinked and transformed into a high white paper pulp, which will be reproduced at Le Bourray mill into office paper reams. 

“Not only does this enable us to promote our papers to stakeholders, business, media and governments, it also allows us to showcase the principles of the circular economy in action.”

Arjowiggins is keen to encourage more use of recycled papers, which account for an estimated 12% of all graphic paper use in Europe and produce 38% less CO2 than non recycled papers.

It will host a round table at Solutions COP21 to discuss the circular economy, recycled paper and climate change, with WWF and Green Cross taking part.

The company is putting up €2,000  (£1,440) in prize money for a competition for the under 30s to propose new circular economy models, and participating in a linked round-table discussion.

APP is also organising an event, held today, on deforestation, at which Aida Greenbury, APP’s managing director of sustainability is due to speak.

The Jakarta, Indonesia-based papermaker has in the past been regarded as an environmental pariah because of its use of virgin rainforest. However, in February 2013 it committed to zero deforestation. It is attending COP21 to promote a commitment to eliminate deforestation from the world's commodity supply chains.

It used COP21 to launch an agroforestry programme yesterday that will run in 500 Indonesian villages to help protect the country’s forests.

The company promotes ‘free prior informed consent’, the practice of working with communities on economic development while keeping the forest intact.

Speaking from Paris, UK and European director, sustainability, Lee Henderson, said: “Loss of forestry contributes up to 30% of greenhouse gas emissions a year. One of the reasons we’re here is to show how you can protect forests. We wanted to air out the issues and get the message across.”

He described Solutions COP21 as “a think tank to discuss what the challenges are” and said that APP also wanted to show how it uses less energy by running modern paper machines. It does use fossil fuels but also uses 'black liquor', a by-product of the pulping process to power its plants.

“It’s companies like us doing things on the ground that makes a real difference,” he said. “They [politicians] will make the framework that we will work within. We can then deliver.”

APP said it was also the first private sector company to participate in the Bonn Challenge; a movement that aims to restore 150m ha of degraded and deforested land by 2020 and an additional 200m ha of forest by 2030.

Both companies have a stand at the Solutions COP21 exhibition. 

There has been a COP (Conference of Parties) every year since the Rio Earth Summit in 1992. This is the first for more than two decades that aims to achieve a legally binding agreement on climate and emissions. The target is global warming of no more than 2°C.

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