UPM’s CEO and CEPI’s next chairman Jussi Pesonen: “EU needs a competitive forest fibre industry to reach carbon neutrality”

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He will start his chairmanship on 1 January 2012. Mr Barry Wiersum, current CEPI chairman, will take the post of Vice-chairman for the next two years to guarantee a smooth transition.

Pesonen states that EU needs a competitive forest fibre industry in order to meet its carbon neutrality goals. “The forest fibre industry is the leading producer of bioenergy and renewable wood based bio-products in Europe. European consumers are most definitely interested in seeing positive progress in substituting oil-based products with renewable and recyclable bio-products. Therefore European policy makers should ensure a competitive operating environment for this industry”, says Mr Pesonen.

Pesonen mentions three examples of policy measures that directly affect competitiveness of the sector: “We need the continued carbon-leakage status for 2015-2020 to remain competitive. Also the EU Renewable Energy Policy, by subsidising biomass for energy use, threatens the supply of essential raw materials for our industry. At a regional level, the sulphur directive of marine fuels increases transport costs in Northern Europe to uncompetitive levels.”

Jussi Pesonen was named President and CEO of UPM in January 2004. Under his leadership, the company has taken strong and consistent measures to reposition itself as the Biofore Company. UPM is expanding its operations outside its traditional home market of Europe, and strengthening its position in self-adhesive labels, pulp and energy related businesses. UPM consists of three Business Groups: Energy and Pulp, Paper, and Engineered materials.