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An 11% growth in 2016, and €5 billion of planned industry investment, on top of several hundreds of thousands of extra jobs, the majority of which in rural areas: few sectors can match the rise of Europe’s bio-based industries.
Yet, despite exceeding expectations, there is still a lot of potential to be tapped for Europe’s bio-based industries.
It is why the Bio-Based Industries Joint Undertaking (BBI JU) is gathering policy makers, researchers, industry leaders and SMEs as well as farmers and primary producers at their Stakeholder Forum, 7 December at the Square – Brussels Meeting Centre: to discuss what has been achieved so far and showcase the added value for the European Union, but also to look forward, identify the remaining challenges, and plan for the future.
The Bio-Based Industries Joint Undertaking (BBI JU) was created in 2014 within the EU’s Bioeconomy Strategy and Horizon 2020 framework as a 3.7 billion public-private partnership aimed at creating a competitive and sustainable bio-based industry sector in Europe, with €975 million coming from the EU and the remaining €2.7 billion coming from industry. In 2017, halfway through the programme, an independent evaluation by the European Commission confirms that the BBI JU is on the right track, not just fulfilling the predefined KPIs but achieving high levels of effectiveness, implementation and transparency, an impressive 36% SME participation rate and a 97% satisfaction rate from participating coordinators. This is corroborated by the latest figures produced by Europe’s bio-based industries: not only has the BBI JU target of 5 operational biorefineries by 2020 already been exceeded, on top of that the sector has seen an 11% growth in 2016, and the investment planned by Bio-based Industries Consortium members has risen from €2 billion in 2014 to € 5 billion in 2017.
“It is a remarkable evolution”, comments Philippe Mengal, Executive Director of the BBI JU, “further illustrated by the fact that we are currently noticing a growing interest from banks and private investors, even from outside the EU. Most of all, it is proof that, through the 65 projects we are funding in 30 countries, the BBI JU is creating unique opportunities for public and private organisations to cooperate, develop their knowledge and establish cross-sector connections to find new ways of valorising Europe’s biomass potential. Effectively, the figures show that BBI JU is successful in organising, structuring as well as shaping new value chains, de-risking private investment and reaching the critical mass needed to create value for Europe and its citizens.”
Looking at the future, the BBI JU aims at continuing its structuring and mobilising efforts, creating new markets for bio-based products and enabling the development of a circular and sustainable bio-based European economy, without challenging food production and respecting biodiversity and land use. Challenges include maintaining continuity and stability, key to fully de-risking investment; a higher level of self-sufficiency in terms of biomass supply; and a longer-term commitment of industry, policy makers, thought leaders, brand owners and retailers, needed to fully embed the infrastructure a bio-based economy requires. It is a systemic change which will take time. But, for bio-based industries to make a real and tangible impact on people’s everyday lives, the biggest of challenge of all is perhaps a shift in conscience: to increase public awareness, and instil the idea of bio-based into the hearts and minds of consumers.
“The potential impact of bio-based is clear for everyone to see”, explains Philippe Mengal. “People just need to know about it. I always like to make the comparison with the Stone Age: The Stone Age did not end because there were no more stones, but because there was something better. With bio-based industries, it is exactly the same: we are building a bio-based industry that is better for Europe and its citizens, accelerating the shift towards the post-petroleum era.”
About BBI JU:
The BBI JU is a public-private partnership (PPP), part of the EU’s plan to move its economy to a post-petroleum era. It is expected to help make the EU’s economy more resource-efficient and sustainable, while supporting growth and employment. The BBI JU is dedicated to realising the European bioeconomy potential and contributing to a sustainable circular economy, by turning biological residues and wastes (from agro-food, forestry and municipal sources) into greener everyday products, through innovative technologies and biorefineries. €3.7 billion will be the total contribution to the BBI JU initiative between 2014 and 2024, with €975 million coming from the European Commission and €2.7 billion from its private partner, the Bio-based Industries Consortium (BIC).
For more information on the BBI JU inaugural Stakeholder Forum in Brussels on 7 December, please visit: https://bbi-europe.eu/events/bbi-ju-stakeholder-forum-brussels.
For more information about BBI JU’s mission & objectives, please visit: http://www.bbi-europe.eu/.
Further unilateral EU constraints and costs will threaten EU economy
The European Commission is discussing internally proposals by „Climate Action‟ Directorate to move the unilateral EU emission reduction target further down to -30%.
The Alliance of Energy Intensive Industries calls upon the Commission not to further develop a -30% unilateral policy, but to focus instead on international negotiations and the long term policy of meeting the 2050 targets while keeping a competitive industry in Europe.
Unfortunately COP15 in Copenhagen did not deliver a binding global agreement to tackle climate change. The EU offer in Copenhagen to move to -30% did not trigger readiness to accept similar binding commitments by other regions.
We recall that the EU had made the commitment to move to a -30% emission reduction by 2020 only "provided that other developed countries commit themselves to comparable emission reductions and that developing countries contribute adequately according to their responsibilities and respective capabilities."
Scenarios suggesting that the EU could now move to a more ambitious target (since the costs did not in theory substantially exceed those originally envisaged for the 20% target) do not take into account new economic realities: the economic downturn has in fact dramatically reduced the capacity of EU industry and society to cope with unilateral burdens. Even a desirable fast economic recovery will not automatically put the EU in a position ready to take on additional unilateral constraints - prohibiting unrealistic, macro-economic forecasting and extrapolations.
Global growth of manufacturing industry will continue with or without EU participation. However, the EU has the choice to participate while providing the technologies necessary to reduce GHG emissions, or to stimulate an exodus of EU industry without developing breakthrough technologies in Europe.
The global economic crisis has not relieved carbon leakage pressures on EU industries: according to the EC, the EU lost millions of jobs (10% in 4Q2009) and 20% of manufacturing output during 2009. Currently „low‟ market prices of carbon reflect the collapse in consumer demand, the slow-down of economic activity of manufacturing industries and the consequent reduction in emissions. However, EU industries’ exposure to competing economies without carbon constraints has by no means decreased and must not be further increased by additional, unilateral policies that have proven to be unsuccessful in international negotiations earlier on.
It is unacceptable to suggest manipulating carbon markets by withholding allowances from the market in order to reach environmental objectives in isolation from the rest of the world. This would further destabilise industrial operators‟ prospects under the EU emissions trading system: cancelling allowances in order to reach even more ambitious targets restricts EU companies‟ ability to purchase emission rights, and causes increases of direct costs and electricity prices, further endangering industries’ ability to operate in Europe. Such
policies run against the EU Lisbon Agenda and the EU 2020 Strategy. Moreover, industry still awaits the regulatory proposal for compensation for the CO2 costs in electricity prices; these indirect cost impacts must also be integrated when assessing the risk of carbon leakage.
EU industries are already operating under the most stringent climate change and environmental policies worldwide while at the same time exposed to international competition. European Energy Intensive Industries will play their part in meeting the EU ETS 2020 target of -21% which effectively is 30% to 35% compared to 1990 levels. This already constitutes a major challenge to industry.
Industry understands the need to draft new policies after Copenhagen in order to meet the two degree objective, comparable to a global -50% by 2050 and to do so cost-effectively. However, only an international agreement that will include equal commitments from all developed countries and an adequate contribution of other developing countries, whilst also providing equal treatment and thus a level playing field for globally traded goods, will be able to tackle the global issue of climate change.
Europe’s energy-intensive industries have an aggregated turnover of more than 1000 billion Euros per year and provide direct employment to over 3 million people. Manufacturing is closely interlinked with Europe’s entire economic fabric, downstream processing, R&D and innovation.
SCA Group headquarters will be relocated to the Waterfront Building, Stockholm's new landmark, by Central Station. The move was carried out at the beginning of March and represents a cost-efficient solution that reflects the SCA of today and tomorrow. The Waterfront Building conforms to a range of requirements governing environmentally friendly workplaces of the future.
SCA is vacating it premises at Stureplan, where the office has been spread out over a number of addresses. In efforts to identify new premises, needs-adapted and efficiently utilized premises combined with a distinct environmental profile have been the guiding principles.
"Our goal has been to create a cohesive and thus enhanced working environment, with simpler communication between various departments at head office. We have also assigned great importance to identifying an efficient environmental solution," says Gordana Landén.
Gordana Landén also points out the significance of effective communications, which, for a company like SCA, is highly significant for contacts with customers, suppliers and other parts of the company. Consequently, the proximity to the Central Station is positive from an environmental and communications perspective.
The Waterfront Building, a part of Stockholm Waterfront, is one of Sweden's greenest buildings. Energy consumption is reduced by, for example, using water from Klara sjö (Klara Lake) to cool the property. In addition, water/ice is used to store energy. The complex' double-glazed façade works as a solar collector and the Waterfront Building comfortably meets the requirements of the EU Green Building standard.
Stockholm, 8 March 2010
For further information, please contact
Pär Altan, Vice President Media Relations, SCA, +46 8-788 52 37
The Alliance for a Competitive European Industry (ACEI) has called for a new industrial partnership between the EU and its major industries. In its Manifesto, entitled "Shifting Gears for a New Industrial Policy", the ACEI stresses what needs to be done so that manufacturing industry can remain one of the engines of the economy. The presentation comes ahead the meeting of the Competitiveness Council on 1-2 March on industrial policy.
Europe needs a vibrant manufacturing industry to spark the economic recovery, innovation and growth required to meet the societal and environmental challenges which lie ahead. Manufacturing provides a fifth of EU GDP and provides three quarters of EU exports. Over 80% of the EU private sector research and development expenditures are provided by industry. Manufacturing firms are also key clients of many services activities. Many of the services jobs in the EU would be lost without a strong industrial base.
CEPI comments and input for the consultation on the future "EU 2020" strategy: a new strategy to make the EU a smarter, greenersocial market. The EU Commission launched a consultation on the future EU 2020 strategy - a new strategy to make EU a smarter, greener and social market - on 24 November 2009 and asked for responses from stakeholders. Through this paper, CEPI - the Confederation of European Paper Industries - wishes to contribute to the consultation, give comments on the proposed vision for 2020 and the 3 thematic objectives, with a special focus on the industrial policy.