Hamburg, 14 October – “Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear, not absence of fear”. Mark Twain’s words of encouragement were quoted by EPF Chairman and SWISS KRONO Group CEO Mr Martin Brettenthaler in the opening speech at the 12th European Wood-Based Panel Symposium (EWPBS), held on 13-14 October in Hamburg. Mr Brettenthaler recognised the difficulties that the industry currently faces but urged the attendees to continue the sector’s exemplary work in terms especially of sustainability and decarbonisation.
In the opening sessions, Mr Brettenthaler was joined by Mr Edi Snaidero, Chairman of the European Furniture Industries Confederation (EFIC) and by Mr Jori Ringman, Managing Director of the Confederation of European Paper Industries (CEPI). With words such as “cascade”, “resource efficiency”, and “wood availability” recurring in all three tasks, it was noted with pleasure by the audience how aligned the sectors are as the wood-based panels industry seeks to establish itself as a role model industry within the European Green Deal.
Mr Snaidero underlined the importance of the wood-based panel industry to the furniture branch, looking forward to increasing areas of integration and collaboration across the supply chain; Mr Ringman highlighted that the forest-based industries today make a positive climate contribution equivalent to 20% of current EU fossil emissions, noting that by working together in terms of emission reduction and carbon storage, this figure might reasonably rise to 30%. To optimise this effect, the wood-based panels industry and related sectors should continue to work together as a single, resilient, integrated ecosystem. Mr Brettenthaler assured the attendees that these industry partnerships have been set as a key objective for EPF, together with the 5 Strategic Directions of role model industry, climate, wood availability, harmonisation and regulation.
Hosted by Fraunhofer WKI, EPF and iVTH, and with HyWax as primary sponsor, 320 delegates from 28 countries enjoyed two days of market updates, technical presentations and networking for the first time since 2018. The 13th edition of the EWBPS is planned for 9-11 October 2024, in Hamburg.