25th Annual Global Forest & Paper Industry Conference

Delivering value, innovation and growth in a volatile world

25th Annual Forest & Paper Industry Conference
Date: May 10, 2012
Location: Vancouver, British Columbia


The 25th annual PwC Global Forest & Paper Industry Conference, with the theme of Delivering value, innovation and growth in a volatile world brought together 400 CEOs, senior executives, customers, suppliers, financial analysts, government representatives and other stakeholders in Vancouver, Canada on 10 May 2012. Through a series of interconnected presentations and discussions, conference speakers and panellists looked at the macro and micro influences affecting the forest and paper industry, providing insight on everything from geopolitical forces present in the world today, to discussions on sustainability practices and the influence of digitization on paper production.

A common theme throughout the day was the continued demand from customers that the forest and paper products industry embrace sustainable environmental practices and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). Another key theme was that the industry must work to secure a smart, youthful work force to keep pace with changes in technology and provide the innovation necessary to support the industry’s future growth.

Global geopolitical landscape
The conference opened with an engaging presentation by Eurasia Group’s Willis Sparks. Mr. Sparks’ wide ranging discussion focused on global political risk, but also touched on Venezuelan energy policy, recent political developments in the United States, the future of the European Union and rapidly increasing labour costs in China.
Financial performance
The conference financial performance panel was cautiously optimistic that the markets for forest and paper products are improving. Housing starts in the United States have shown incremental improvements over the past year, although are still well off historical average levels. Investors continue to demand growth and green energy could be the potential growth technology to attract new investment to the sector. In the near term, investors can expect continuing volatility in both earnings and growth.
The future of paper and communications in a digital world
Delegates were treated to a revealing in-depth discussion by three of Canada’s most prominent newspaper and media industry executives, who discussed demographics of readership and the ways that consumers access their media content. The media industry, despite the constant state of disruption caused by new digital technology, continues to maintain a healthy appetite for new and high quality paper products. The panel made a unanimous call to paper producers to work together with the print media industry to find ways to maintain a sustainable product delivery model that will be of benefit to both sides.
Market outlook
A clear message from a panel discussing market outlooks was that the forest and paper industry must look toward consolidation, sustainable business practices and supply chain management in order to see sustainable growth and profit in the near and long term. Accessing emerging markets was once again a focus of the discussion, with particular focus on China and the surrounding Asian markets. Building products markets are slowly recovering and should provide future opportunities. Pulp markets have come off the recent high points and are expected to recover more slowly with weak European paper demand forecasted.
Executive perspectives
Closing the 2012 conference was a panel of CEO’s that included John Williams, CEO of Domtar, Ken Shields, CEO of Conifex and John Cruickshank, Publisher of the Toronto Star. The CEO’s offered unique insight into the markets for their products and the business strategies they will employ to achieve long term sustainable growth.

The PwC Conference was part of the week-long Global Forest Products Leadership Summit 2012, a five day series of events and conferences focused on the global pulp, paper, wood products and fibre-based packaging industries. Organisations participating in Summit 2012 included The Pulp and Paper Products Council (PPPC) and International WOOD Markets Group.

Save the date for the 26th Annual PwC Global Forest & Paper Industry Conference taking place in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada on 9 May 2013 at the Sheraton Wall Centre Hotel and Conference Centre.

Scroll through to view images from the conference


To view presentations from the conference, please click on the individual speaker names below.
(Presentations not applicable for Bruce McIntyre, Willis Sparks, Jerry Brown, Douglas Knight, Fred Bouchard and Ian Murdoch)

7:00 AM Registration and continental breakfast
8:00 AM
Conference welcome
Bruce McIntyre Bruce McIntyre
Canadian Leader,
Forest, Paper & Packaging Practice, PwC
Vancouver, Canada
8:10 AM Global geopolitical landscape
Willis Sparks Willis Sparks
Analyst, Global Macro,
Eurasia Group
New York, USA
9:00 AM
Financial performance
Bill Hoffman Bill Hoffman
Managing Director,
High Yield Research, RBC Capital Markets, LLC
New York, USA
Jock A. Finlayson Jock A. Finlayson
Executive Vice President and Chief Policy Officer,
Business Council of British Columbia
Vancouver, Canada
Kevin Bromley Kevin Bromley
Forest, Paper & Packaging Practice, PwC
Vancouver, Canada
10:10 AM Coffee break
10:30 AM The future of paper and communications in a digital world
Kevin Bent Kevin Bent
PostMedia Executive Vice President, Western Canada
President & Publisher,
Pacific Newspaper Group Vancouver, Canada
John Cruickshank John Cruickshank
Toronto Star
Toronto, Canada
Douglas Knight Douglas Knight
St. Joseph Media
Toronto, Canada
Jerry Brown Jerry Brown
Toronto, Canada
12:00 PM Networking reception and buffet lunch
1:30 PM
Market outlook
Hans Sohlström Hans Sohlström
Executive Vice President,
UPM-Kymmene Corporation
Helsinki, Finland
Robert Flynn Robert Flynn
International Timber,
Washington, USA
Don G. Roberts Don G. Roberts
Vice Chairman and Managing Director,
CIBC World Markets Inc.
Ottawa, Canada
Adam Grant Adam Grant
Senior Associate,
World Resources Institute
Washington, USA
Fred Bouchard Fred Bouchard
Managing Director, Forest, Paper & Packaging Practice,
PricewaterhouseCoopers Corporate Finance Inc.
Montreal, Canada
3:25 PM Coffee break
3:45 PM Executive perspectives
John D. Williams John D. Williams
President & CEO,
Domtar Corporation
Montreal, Canada
Ken Shields Ken Shields
Chairman & CEO,
Conifex Timber Inc.
Vancouver, Canada
Bruce McIntyre Bruce McIntyre
Canadian Leader,
Forest, Paper & Packaging Practice, PwC
Vancouver, Canada
Clive Suckling Ian Murdoch
Director and Leader, Forest, Paper & Packaging Practice (Austria & Germany),
Vienna, Austria
5:10 PM Closing remarks
5:20 PM Delegate reception
7:00 PM Reception ends

Click here to view highlights from the 24th Annual Global Forest & Paper Industry Conference.

Sponsored in part by:

Bull Housser Pacific Carbon Trust Pacific Carbon Trust
National Resources Canada
Delivering value Video: Innovation and growth in a volatile world

Play video

Industry leaders talk about how companies can create strategies for sustainable success.