Mondi Group CEO calls on packaging and paper industry to embrace the challenge.
Prague, Czech Republic: Andrew King, Group CEO of Mondi, a global leader in sustainable packaging and paper, has called on the industry to play its part in creating a better future for the planet.
In a keynote speech at the 25th Fastmarkets Forest Products Europe Conference in Prague on 8 March, Andrew King addressed opportunities for the packaging and paper industry to contribute to building a more sustainable future through partnership and innovation. He cited some of the world’s biggest sustainability challenges, including food loss, plastic pollution, biodiversity loss and climate change as key areas where the packaging value chain can accelerate change.
Encouraging delegates to think about what he called "the big question – for all of us".
It’s a question my children ask me and I’m sure your families and friends are asking you. It’s one we are rightly asked by any talented people thinking about joining our industry, and of course the communities we work with. It’s a question for all of us here – and for our industry more broadly: How can we play our part in creating a better future for our planet?
To drive the change the planet needs and move forward as an industry, he highlighted that connection across the value chain has never been more important – “to develop ideas, technologies and solutions at scale”.
Two other areas Andrew King considers vital to making progress are engaging with complexity and changing people’s perceptions of the paper and packaging industry. “There are no simple answers. We need to manage a variety of trade-offs like material efficiency and durability in terms of reuse and recyclability…and use a variety of solutions involving different materials if we want to make progress.”
On perceptions, he said the industry needs to tell its story better: “We’re an industry focused on doing the right thing, full of incredible innovation, with real commitment to tackling our planet’s biggest sustainability challenges. We should be an industry of choice for anyone passionate about sustainability, technology, innovation and partnership working on a global scale.”
As part of the conference, attendees had the opportunity to tour Mondi’s flagship Štětí kraft paper mill. The tour follows news of a €400 million investment in a new 210,000 tonnes per year kraft paper machine at the Štětí mill, announced in October 2022. The decision forms part of Mondi’s capital investment programme of over €1 billion to accelerate growth and meet the growing demand for sustainable paper-based packaging solutions.
In recognition of Mondi’s commitment to industry leadership and innovative packaging, Viv McMenamin, CEO Mondi South Africa, and packaging solution Hug&Hold, a sustainable alternative to plastic shrink wrap, were recognised at the PPI Awards in the categories of Industry Woman of the Year and Product Innovation. The Fastmarkets Forest Products PPI Awards are the only global awards dedicated to recognising the achievements of companies, mills and individuals in the pulp and paper sector.
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Mondi is a global leader in packaging and paper, contributing to a better world by making innovative solutions that are sustainable by design. Our business is integrated across the value chain – from managing forests and producing pulp, paper and films, to developing and manufacturing sustainable consumer and industrial packaging solutions using paper where possible, plastic when useful. Sustainability is at the centre of our strategy, with our ambitious commitments to 2030 focused on circular driven solutions, created by empowered people, taking action on climate.
In 2022, Mondi had revenues of €8.9 billion and underlying EBITDA of €1.8 billion from continuing operations, and employed 22,000 people worldwide. Mondi has a premium listing on the London Stock Exchange (MNDI), where the Group is a FTSE100 constituent, and also has a secondary listing on the JSE Limited (MNP).