Newly-appointed CEPI Chairman, UPM CEO Jussi Pesonen, says competitive forest fiber industry critical for EU to reach carbon neutrality goals

BRUSSELS , December 12, 2011 (press release) – The Confederation of European Paper Industries (CEPI) is pleased to announce the appointment of Jussi Pesonen as next CEPI chairman. Mr Pesonen is the CEO of UPM-Kymmene Corporation and of Finnish nationality. 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.

Mr Pesonen joined UPM in 1987 as a production engineer, advancing rapidly into leading management posts in UPM’s various business units. He is member of the Board of publicly listed steel company Outokumpu Oyj, and Ilmarinen, a leading mutual pension insurance company.

Mr Pesonen (born 1960) has a Master of Science degree in engineering in process technology from the University of Oulu, Finland

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