SPA 105th Conference success

The UK Sheet Plant Association held its 105th Conference in Birmingham on Monday 27th February – an event that was sold out, attracting over 180 delegates to the main event and a Health and Safety Forum that preceded it.

Following the welcome from SPA Chairman, Tim Gray, proceedings kicked off with Dr Matt Winning, author, comedian and Environmental Scientist.  He shared with delegates a blend of shocking statistics and light-hearted commentary around the phenomenon of Global Warming and the UK’s bold Sustainability targets.

Tony Smurfit, CEO, Smurfit Kappa Group was then introduced to delegates and he eloquently shared SKG’s stance on Sustainability and the Environment.  Smurfit stressed the need for ‘adaptability’ and the importance of not just protecting customers’ products but protecting their reputation by being Environmentally responsible and having real sustainability as a core principle in business.

Then followed an afternoon of carefully selected and prepared presentations from invited presenters, retained specialists and the event sponsors KM Software ServicesTri-Wall UK and Metsa Board.

The highlight of the afternoon was a Panel Discussion, introduced by Steve Gabbell, Champion for Sustainability & The Environment for the SPA and moderated by Dan Brunton, investigating what real Sustainability looks like whilst calling out Greenwashing.  With careful questioning, Dan encouraged the panel of Maija Pohjakallio, Tony Smurfit, Donald McLaren and Neil Osment to offer advice to those attendees starting their sustainability journey.

Andy Barnetson from the Confederation of Paper Industries gave an update on Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) before inviting the CPI’s newly appointed Marketing Agency to explain to delegates the future focus of the “Beyond the Box” campaign.

The Sheet Plant Association was delighted to welcome 23 Conference first-timers and presented four new members with their SPA Membership Certificates. Please contact Nick Geary from Bobst who is the SPA’s Ambassador for Membership.

Tim Gray who has been Chairman of the SPA since 2010 commented, “We are delighted how the Event was delivered and received. Special thanks to Tony Smurfit for crowbarring us into his busy schedule – it’s great that the ‘great and good’ of our industry take time out to address members at such events. We have received great feedback from delegates all of which we use to ensure a high standard of professional support for members and assist the Committee in formulating future Conferences.”

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