Council Meeting Report

On 15 May, CPI Council met and discussed the strategic issues facing the UK’s Paper-based Industries.

Council heard a presentation from David Laws, the former Liberal Democrat Cabinet Minister, on the current UK political situation. Laws pointed to the increasing polarisation of the UK political landscape and the continuation of political risk for UK business. In his view, the Brexit debate had become toxic and No Deal was a likely outcome of the process. Laws also focused Council’s attention on the implications of a Corbyn led Labour Government. In his view, a Corbyn Government was very possible before the end of 2019, and its policies risked damaging business. Laws advised CPI to build its relations with the trade union movement on the common ground of supporting manufacturing jobs in the UK regions as a means of managing that risk.

CPI has retained its subscriptions at the 2016 level for 2019. In reviewing the 2018 Accounts, Council noted that turnover remained healthy and that the retained surplus was satisfactory to ensure the sustainability of the Confederation into the future. Council further approved the investment of a proportion of that surplus into projects for the direct benefit of Members.

There are four key projects that CPI has underway that are focused on maximising the benefit to Members of the Confederation and its work.

The major project is the enhancement of CPI’s ability to influence key policy stakeholders about our Members’ policy priorities. We have engaged GK Strategy and are working with them to sharpen our messages and build on our considerable contacts amongst politicians and journalists alike. We are also expanding our visit programme and we expect a significant number of member visits from politicians in the months to come. Our goal is to grow the influence and reputation of the UK’s Paper-based Industries and we will report on progress at each Council meeting.

CPI is continuing to work with BSI to develop a landscaping and monitoring tool to ensure visibility of all key standards developments at UK, EU and global level. This tool will be finalised in the early summer of this year and will enable CPI to work with its European counterparts to ensure that member interests are represented in the standards setting process.

Simon Weston reports in this edition of CPI News on the development of the CPI’s recyclability guidelines. The initial publication has gone well, and work is underway on the planned first revision of the guidelines to consider emerging information on recyclability and the policy reactions of key stakeholders.

CPI has also completed work on a new membership database that greatly enhances our ability to track and manage our communications with Members and external stakeholders.

Looking into the future, and with much of the current policy environment having long term targets, CPI Council discussed the development of a Scenario Plan to 2050 to tease out the megatrends that will influence the competitiveness of the UK’s Paper-based Industries.

Finally, CPI Council also discussed the industry’s position on diversity, in the light of evidence that external stakeholders are increasingly unwilling to engage with monocultural organisations. Council approved the implementation of the recommendations of an internal CPI report that seeks to engage a broader cross section of member employees in the work and decision making of CPI.

CPI Council next meets on 16 October 2019.

For more information contact Andrew Large on 01793 889601 or email