We are delighted to be holding PRIMA in Vienna this year. As President of Austropapier can you give us a snapshot of the Austrian paper industry – challenges and opportunities?
- The Austrian paper and pulp industry is a highly innovative sector. We define ourselves as bioeconomy and have achieved a paper collection rate of close to 80% and non-fossil energy consumption of 67%. Due to high HR costs we focus on productivity and product differentiation; due to high energy costs, efficiency and green energy are real drivers.
- The Austrian government is a coalition of so-called conservative and green parties which was designed to build a model case for a green economy. In reality this vision has lost momentum and Austria has built less favorable economic framework conditions compared to other EU-member states.
- Education levels, skills and mindset of the Austrian people are however outstanding and one of the real assets for doing business here. Our industry is regarded as a very attractive and fair employer and great educator, with continuous learning, training and individual development being of prime importance for all of Austropapier’s member companies.
You will be joining the keynote panel with other CEOs – what themes are you looking forward to discussing with them?
- Global economic development always stays top of mind – in particular the China / US balance of power and the role Europe will play on the global stage.
- The future of leadership in Europe, with a particular focus on the EU commission. Vision alone will not be enough; building competency at meaningful levels in regulation and the execution of policies will be key.
- Energy sourcing - Europe has priced itself out of the market for the next 6 years, what does this mean regarding Asia and America? Can and will Europe take the lead in electrification?
- Company leadership – coping with the regulatory tsunami; communicating to gain public and regulator’s confidence
- Does the EU still support the De Loir single market concept? In what direction is industrial policy going?
You are also speaking alongside CEPI on the ‘regulatory deluge’ session - which regulatory instruments are taking up most of your time this year?
- Green Deal
- RED III and certification
- One Level playing field within EU