By Jake Handelsman
Senior Director, International Trade
Fifteen years ago, AF&PA joined other national and regional forest and paper industry associations around the world to create the International Council of Forest and Paper Associations (ICFPA). At recent ICFPA meetings in Berlin, Germany, we welcomed the opportunity to continue our support for the organization’s core mission of promoting cooperation in areas of common interest, providing a global platform to align positions and serving as the industry’s international-level advocate.
With 18 pulp, paper, wood and fiber-based associations in 28 countries, including many of the top pulp, paper and wood producers around the world, ICFPA has represented the global industry in dozens of events. In multiple policy statements on issues of industry importance, ICFPA has honed and amplified the industry’s international voice.
AF&PA looks forward to continuing to work with the ICFPA and advocate for our industry at home and abroad. Here are some highlights from the Berlin meeting:
- Members approved a new purpose statement to guide the council’s future:
“To benefit global society through collaboration with industry, governments and non-governmental organizations on public policies that facilitate the manufacture of sustainable products from virgin and recycled forest-based resources that meet human needs for information, packaging, housing, hygiene, energy and other innovative products.”
- WestRock CEO Steve Voorhees, Glatfelter Chairman and CEO Dante Parrini, and AF&PA President and CEO Donna Harman were among the more than 25 forest-based industry CEOs and association leaders representing 12 countries at the 8th International CEO Roundtable – a biennial ICFPA-organized event. The CEOs discussed economic and political trends affecting the industry at local and international levels, sustainability advancements and industry innovation.
- CEOs recognized presentations of innovative new projects by the finalists of the Blue Sky Young Researchers and Innovation Award:
- Koh Sakai, Cellulose Nanofibers Prepared by Phosphorylation
- Shuji Fujisawa, Biocompatible Nanocellulose/Polymer Composite Microparticles Formed by Emulsion-templated Synthesis
- Esthevan Gasparoto, Cutting-edge Technologies for Forest Monitoring and Measurement
The ICFPA launched the Blue Sky award in 2016 to encourage competition and recognition of potential game changing technologies for the future of the forest, paper and wood-based products industry.