Brussels, 15 September 2022 – The European Panel Federation (EPF), representing the European manufacturers of particleboard, MDF, OSB, hardboard, softboard and plywood, welcomes the positive vote in the European Parliament Plenary on MEP Pieper’s Committee on Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE) report on the revision of the Renewable Energy Directive (RED III) as part of the ‘Fit for 55’ package.
This vote on the revised RED comes at a critical time for the energy sector especially if we are to achieve EU’s goal of net-zero emissions by 2050. EPF applauds that the Parliament resolution clearly recognises and underlines the need for alignment of bioenergy policies with the cascading principle of biomass in line with resource efficiency through the prioritisation of the highest environmental and material added value for the use of biomass and by requiring respect of the waste hierarchy.
EPF is delighted that this will enshrine the cascading principle into the Directive allowing for the maintenance of sustainable carbon cycles in products such as wood-based panels, while ending market distorting subsidies for the burning of primary woody biomass for energy and limiting the burning of all woody biomass through enhanced sustainability criteria.
Mr Clive Pinnington, EPF Managing Director commented that “wood-based panels are natural, sustainable carbon stores, that contribute daily to the mitigation of climate change in furniture, construction, packaging and other applications. We are delighted that RED III will now allow these products to thrive on an increasingly level playing field”.
EPF’s Technical Director Mr Kris Wijnendaele welcomed the “efforts by the European Parliament to safeguard the material use of wood to manufacture high quality versatile products like furniture and sustainable nature-based building materials that are needed to realise the ambitions of the New European Bauhaus of EC President Mrs von der Leyen to turn the built environment from a greenhouse gas emitter into a carbon sink”.
EPF appreciates that ‘no later than one year after the entry into force of this amending Directive, the Commission shall adopt an implementing act on how to apply the cascading principle for forest biomass’. EPF stands ready to support on this and in the overall achievement of Europe’s New Green Deal.
EPF represents the manufacturers of wood-based panels being particleboard, dry process fibreboard (MDF), oriented strand board (OSB), hardboard, softboard and plywood. EPF has members in 25 EU countries. The EU wood panel industry has a turnover of about 22 billion euro every year and creates directly over 100,000 jobs. The production of wood-based panels in the EU-27 (+EFTA) in 2021 was an estimated 63.7 million m³. www.europanels.org
 In line with the cascading principle, woody biomass should be used according to its highest economic and environmental added value in the following order of priorities: 1) wood-based products, 2) extending their service life, 3) re-use, 4) recycling, 5) bio-energy and 6) disposal.