Belgium-based Confederation of European Paper Industries (CEPI) has unveiled the industry’s new investment agenda in line with its goal of achieving a low-carbon, resource efficient bio-economy by 2050.

Adopted in 2011, CEPI’s bio-economy goal includes reducing the industry’s carbon footprint by 80%.

The European paper industry currently invests €3 to €3.5bn annually throughout the continent.

Around €44bn of additional investment is estimated to be required by the industry to employ decarbonisation technologies in Europe and produce new bio-based products by 2050.

"Investment will be the cornerstone of making this industry transformation happen in Europe."

The estimate represents a 40% higher investment than current investment volumes.

Confederation of European Paper Industries director general Slyvain Lhôte said: “Investment will be the cornerstone of making this industry transformation happen in Europe.

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“We project the need for 40% more investment to transform our industry base and seize new market opportunities. This can happen in Europe if we align European policies, our research efforts and financing conditions.

“Our agenda goes against the gloom prevailing in so many industries. For CEPI, getting the conditions right to invest more in Europe will be the priority.”

This year, the organisation conducted a review of its bio-economy roadmap and sent this to stakeholders for further consultation.

Once completed, CEPI will frame a revised roadmap by early 2017.

CEPI currently represents around 505 pulp, paper and board producing companies and 920 paper mills across Europe.