Exclusive Interview with Imerys

60 seconds with Emmanuelle Henry Lanier, Sustainable Portfolio Management at Imerys.

Your presentation will discuss “Sustainability assessment of mineral pigments used in specialty paper and board application”, can you give us a sneak peak of what delegates will hear?

The presentation will focus on the sustainability aspects of mineral solutions used in specialty board and paper applications. It will illustrate with case studies the interest of using an assessment tool based on Life Cycle Methodology to measure both environmental and social impacts of mineral product manufacturing and balance the results with the potential benefits in the downstream value chain. Reducing the energy and carbon footprint of products, optimizing logistics and operations to maximize the “life of mine” of reserves and increase their circularity are some of actions led by Specialty Mineral Industry to better serve final markets.

 

Why is sustainability so important to this industry and its future?

 Sustainability is a long journey: it is not simply a question of compliance, obligations and risk management, it is now an effective way of value creation: sustainable development drives innovation and opens up new business opportunity.

  

What are some of the most interesting and/or innovative solutions that are currently influencing the specialty papers industry?

 One of the biggest drivers and opportunites in the Speciality paper and board market currently is actually to do with the sustainability of fibre based products.  The drive for replacing single use plastics in packaging by using barrier coated board is one case where we see a lot of interest.  Other innovations such as development for fibre based surfaces for printed electronics and printed bio sensors could also be potentially interesting areas for the future.

 

What does Imerys hope to achieve over the next 5 years with regards to sustainable solutions?

Imerys ambition is to use sustainability criteria to guide decisions in terms of innovation. Our goal is to achieve 50% of its new products portfolio scored as Sustainable Solutions according to Sustainable Portfolio Management (SPM methodology), a robust and fact-based tool developed by Solvay. Imerys want to develop innovative Sustainable Solutions which brings higher social and environmental contribution to downstream value chain and at the same time demonstrates a lower environmental impact in its production phase.

 

What are some of the biggest challenges that the specialty papers industry is currently facing? What are some of the biggest opportunities?

The biggest challenge in the speciality paper industry is most likely to be the decline in the graphic paper market.  This has a knock on effect of more players getting involved in the specialitty paper segment, and potential for over supply.  One of the biggest opportunities is in the area of sustainable packaging.

 

Why do you feel it’s important for companies to attend the Specialty Papers Europe conference?

 It’s the right place to open discussion on the topic of sustainability as well as the latest developments in the area of speciality paper and board with the key actors of the whole value chain, from supplier to manufacturer, consumer and end user.