CPI’s third Economic Value Report highlights opportunities for the UK Paper-based Industries

2 September 2021

The Confederation of Paper Industries (CPI) has published its third ‘Economic Value Report’ (EVR3). This detailed report paints a picture of the status of the UK’s Paper-based Industries and sets out the challenges and opportunities which lie ahead. 

This report has been published at a time when COVID restrictions have largely been eased and the nation has begun to work towards economic recovery. EVR3 reflects on the fundamental role the industry played during the pandemic – when it was defined by government as an ‘essential industry’, manufacturing food packaging and PPE for the NHS. 

Looking to the future, the report stresses that as the nation works to recover, the industry can work to unleash opportunities for UK growth.  In shaping the future role of the Industry in the UK economy, which aspires to become more circular, it is vital to emphasise the unique environmental credentials of paper as a material, which is both recyclable and renewable.  

EVR3 highlights the economic significance of the UK’s Paper-based Industries, with a turnover of more than £12 billion and investing £1.2 billion into the UK economy annually. Whilst the industry provides 56,000 direct jobs and a further 93,000 indirect jobs from 1,400 companies. Most of the sector’s jobs are distributed outside of London and the South East. Retaining these jobs and ensuring their long-term sustainability is vital to the levelling up agenda in a post-COVID economy.  These manufacturing jobs play a vital role in supporting communities and the local economy.

EVR3 also provides an opportunity to reflect on the challenges for UK Industry – the most significant being decarbonisation.  Whilst the UK Paper Industry supports the objective of reducing UK Carbon Emissions and reaching net zero by 2050, and has already reduced emissions by 72%, there are several major hurdles for industry. One of the primary barriers is energy costs. The report indicates that costs need to come down to help stimulate investment in the UK.   

This report also stresses that it is vital that the UK does not decarbonise by deindustrialising – and offshoring production, and subsequently emissions, overseas, at the expense of UK Industries.  To achieve this Industry needs to work in partnership with government and private enterprise, inspiring innovation and looking at transitional energy sources, as well as further support. 

Director General of the Confederation of Paper Industries, Andrew Large said, “This is a comprehensive report which paints a picture of the industry today and the opportunities which it can seize in the coming years, as well as highlighting some of the challenges.  As we work towards post-COVID recovery, the UK’s Paper-based Industries, working with the government and the private sector, have a major role to play in a Green Industrial Revolution, providing sustainable manufacturing jobs for the next generation.”


Contacts for further information

Holly Whitbread |[email protected] | 01793 889612
Emma Punchard | [email protected] | 01793 889609

Notes to Editors
An online version of Economic Value Report 3 is available here.

CPI is the leading trade association representing the UK’s Paper-based Industries, comprising paper and board manufacturers and converters, corrugated packaging producers, makers of soft tissue papers, and collectors of paper for recycling.

CPI represents an industry with an aggregate annual turnover of £12 billion, with 56,000 direct and a further 93,000 indirect employees.

In this section