3 questions to Jean-Luc Petithuguenin

Published on 29 May 2018

Jean-Luc Petithuguenin, a graduate of ESSEC in 1979, founded the PAPREC Group in 1994 when he took over a small company of 45 people specialized in waste paper recycling in La Courneuve.
Convinced that waste recycling is an industry of the future and the waste management mode of the 21st century, it has become in 24 years the French leader in recycling.
The PAPREC Group currently employs 8,500 people and processes 11 million tonnes of waste per year.


As a recycler, does PAPREC automatically fit into a circular economy approach?

As a French leader in the recycling industry, PAPREC is directly confronted with the challenges of Circular Economy due to its activity. But the circular economy is not limited to the recycling loop alone. We must consider all the loops: economic, social, cultural … to share as much as possible the positive externalities created. It is about supporting projects, developing the dynamics of territories, creating local jobs … Hence PAPREC’s desire to find economic models to work for a greener planet and a more fraternal society.

Are you looking to reduce the climate footprint of your business?

PAPREC seeks to reduce its carbon footprint on a daily basis by acting on its largest emissions station: transportation. The group only buys new trucks that respect the latest environmental standards in force, and our drivers are also trained in eco-driving, for example. We are also investing considerably in our industrial tool to increase our recycling rates, and thus increase the emissions avoided as a result of our activity. One of our difficulties is to measure the indirect impacts resulting from the biogenic carbon cycle.

What do you expect from the research work of the Climate Economics Chair?

I expect from the Chair of independent works that allow to propose models and concrete solutions. The Chair must strive for academic excellence to be a source of proposals to public authorities and companies. We are interested in its work on environmental taxation and hope that it delivers relevant work on the treatment of biogenic carbon which remains for us a question mark.