Paper and Wood pulp

The Austrian paper and pulp production stands out due to a great value creation, highest environmental standards, and the use of renewable resources. This industry has doubled over the past ten years.

„Mit Gunst von wegen's Handwerk“ (In favor of craftsmanship) – this quote of the papermakers has been conveyed from generation to generation for quite a long time and is very indicative of the old tradition that comes along with the Austrian paper manufacturing.

The paper and pulp industry is one of the country´s most important and renowned sectors and can, thanks to the rich water and timber resources, look back on a well-established tradition. Back in the 14th century, people founded the first paper mill factory in the Lower Austrian Leesdorf near Baden and in the 16th century, the paper manufacturing became established all across Austria. Making up an essential part of the “value-added chain timber” (see timber and timber industry) the Austrian paper and pulp industry isn´t only considered as booster of the rural area but also as an indispensable supplier of numerous useful products for our daily lives. The source material paper enables the manufacturing of vital goods and the supply of products considered indispensable in the fields of communications, culture, hygiene, cleaning, and packaging. An established collection and recycling system combined with the Austrians´ high commitment in wastepaper separation enables the Austrian paper industry to live up to the principle of sustainability which, in turn, makes for a great contribution to the foreign trade balance.

Austria: Figures, data, facts
The manufacturing of paper and cardboard constitutes an indispensable part of the Austria´s industrial structure and has doubled over the past ten years. According to statistical surveys (Statistik Austria) and measured by the production value, the manufacturing of paper and cardboard including the goods made out of these form one of the largest sectors in the field of material goods. Besides newspaper printing paper, printing-, writing-, and speciality paper, the manufacturing of folding boxboards, millboard and special cardboard make up another segment of the paper and pulp industry.

The quantity of paper manufactured in Europe amounts to a good 100 million tons with the Alpine Republic accounting for more than five million tons of the European production volume. The employment share of over 8,000 people in more than 30 paper and pulp factories constitutes a strong point of the domestic economy and social system. The regional top layer is dominated by the federal states Styria and Upper Austria. In 2010 the paper production grew by 8.8 percent compared to the previous year, so that the annual revenues of the sector climbed up to a surplus of 17 percent (cf. Austropapier, annual report/sustainability report 2010). The figures underpin the role of the paper industry as one of the most important employers and drive for innovation in Austria, and besides, they show that the Austrian paper and pulp industry holds the strength of asserting its position – partly even as a global player - on the world market.

Ranking among the world´s top performers
Ideal basic conditions – natural water resources, rich forestry, and excellently trained staff - as well as the use of the latest and most innovative technology and a sustainable economic management give Austria a strong competitive advantage and enabled them to establish itself as one of the key players in the global market. Continuous optimization of production processes and ongoing scientific research activities in the field of product development allow the country to provide a wide product range that complies with the highest quality standard worldwide.

Measured by the revenues the Austrian paper industry is comparable with the steel or iron industry and ranks among the most important assets of the Austrian foreign trade. With a remarkable 90 percent which corresponds to more than EUR 3 billion, the export share makes up another significant contribution to the domestic foreign trade. In international rankings, Austria takes up on the leading positions among the paper and pulp exporters and the demand for Austrian products is still on the rise. The Federal Republic of Germany is by far the largest sales market, followed by Italy, Poland, and France (cf. CEPI, Annual Report). With high-quality products and competitive prices the Austrian paper and pulp sector will surely keep on being successful in the European market – and beyond its borders.

The paper and pulp production of the domestic companies stands out due to a high value creation, highest environmental standards, and the use of renewable resources. The example of sustainable economic management as is practiced in the Austrian paper industry constitutes a vital contribution to the sustainability worldwide!

Editorial department: Mag. Sandra Hollersbacher