Declining demand for printing paper in combination with a promising future for new climate-friendly products is driving the transformation of the paper industry. The second report in our series "Global Outlook" presents the most important trends and driving forces for future paper production.
"In 2030, modern bio-refineries will have become highly profitable and constitute the core of many company clusters. A well organised business structure has developed over time where companies selling bio-based energy, materials, chemicals, and consumer products, work together to drive bio-business. The 'bio-based economy' is finally a reality. These days, bio-based plastics, chemicals and textiles accounted for almost 50% of their respective market shares, and fibre-based materials are used for a wide range of applications. In addition, with the depletion of oil reserves, traditional suppliers of oil-based plastics, chemicals and energy are now turning to the forest for raw materials, and this has made competition for forests more intense than ever."
This future scenario is described in the Global Outlook Papermaking Towards the Future. The report is a critical analysis of the most important questions for the industry today and in the future. Based on an expert survey with 150 respondents from 21 different countries, interviews, workshops and teamwork, RISE has identified, together with the analysis company Kairos Future, the key drivers and trends that will be increasingly important as the industry moves towards year 2030.
According to the expert respondents, the greatest challenges for the industry will be a diminishing pool of skilled labour. Another challenge will be a reduced availability of fibre raw material due to increased competition with other bio-based products, which creates a greater demand for new, resource efficient production processes.
With a decline in demand for printing paper, the markets for packaging materials and tissue are consistently growing. According to the survey, the industry is well positioned for a reconstruction into bio-refinering which could produce a wide range of products for the bio-based economy. 42 percent of the respondents predicted biorefining to be the most profitable investment over the coming ten years.
"The reconstruction will bring totally new constellations, business models and market segments. As we could see in our study, the trends highlight a shift from scale to scope of products. A wide range of specialty products will be produced and sold in small quantities but with a high profit margin," says Paul Krochak, the project manager of Papermaking Towards the Future.
Order the report on email@example.com
Papermaking towards the future
Financed and conducted by RISE
9. Industry, innovation and infrastructure