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PRESS RELEASE: EPF launches a self-commitment on MDF and Plywood Recyclability

Brussels, 27 June 2024

EPF is proud of its members’ use of recovered and recycled wood. This is part of EPF’s sustainability approach, which sees cascade use and recycling as a key contribution to resource efficiency and circular economy. This is central to wood-based panels as a role model industry.

EPF members endorsed the launch of a self-commitment on the occasion of its Annual General Assembly in Riga on 19-21 June, 2024. This reaffirms EPF member companies’ willingness to accept MDF and plywood at their wood waste management centres or within their plants.

This demonstrates EPF members’ dedication to sustainable practices, environmental responsibility and underlines that MDF and plywood are recyclable.

For further information on any of the above, please contact EPF Administration and Communications Officer Mrs Isabelle Henin: (+32 2 556 25 89).

EPF AGM in Riga, Latvia, 19-21 June 2024

EPF was thrilled to hold its Annual General meeting in Riga this year.

On 19-21 June, we welcomed delegates from 100 companies and high-level guests from across Europe and beyond.

The AGM, hosted by Latvijas Finieris followed its traditional schedule:

🔷 19 June: Managing Board meeting
🔷 20 June: Member meetings and General Assembly, followed by a Gala Dinner
🔷 21 June: Open Part conference and networking event

The programme of the Open Part included:

  • A keynote speech by Mrs Katharina Knapton-Vierlich, Head of Unit H1, DG GROW, European Commission
  • Presentation of EPF 2023 Economic Results and 2024 Advocacy Updates
  • Topical speeches on Sustainable Forest Management, Polish Furniture Industry, Development of bio (wood) based binders, Materials from renewable resources

Presentation of the Speakers of the Open Part

Presentation of the Sponsors

EPF Open Part Presentation 

News on our hosts’ website, 6 June: Announcement of the EPF AGM

EPF Press Release, 25 June: EPF reports 2023 results in a Baltic State homeland of plywood, unanimously endorses the nomination of Ms Veronique Hoflack as new Vice-Chair and adds a new Board member


EPF reports 2023 results in a Baltic State homeland of plywood, unanimously endorses the nomination of Ms Veronique Hoflack as new Vice-Chair and adds a new Board member

Brussels, 25 June 2024

On 19-21 June, the European Wood-based Panels Federation held its Annual General Meeting, hosted by Latvijas Finieris in Riga. The choice of location and activity of the host were significant. Visiting a leading plywood producer in the Baltics, underlined that EPF represents all panel types (from particleboard to plywood, via MDF, OSB, hardboard and softboard) and across all of Europe (from north to south, from west to east).  This embodies the concept of One EPF.

With the sponsorship of Surfactor, Siempelkamp, Govi, Prefere Resins, AFRY and VIOBOND, EPF and Latvijas Finieris proudly welcomed about 180 professionals and high-level guests from across Europe and beyond. A keynote address was delivered to all participants by Mrs Katharina Knapton-Vierlich, Head of Unit Construction, DG GROW in the European Commission.

Final consolidated 2023 results

Central to the AGM was the presentation of EPF’s Annual Report and the results of the European wood-based panels sector from 2023.  A contraction of 6.3% overall was reported. Disappointing as this was, it exceeded the overall performances of the two main end-user sectors (furniture and construction) suggesting a gain of share in both segments for wood, even in a down year.

GA nominations and EPF Way of Working 2024-2029

A major highlight of the Riga meetings was the unanimous election of Ms Veronique Hoflack as the new Vice-Chair of EPF.  CEO of Unilin Panels and a Managing Board member since 2022, Ms Hoflack now emulates her predecessor Mr Bernard Thiers in assuming the role as Vice-Chair for the federation.  She is joined on the EPF Managing Board by Mr Georg Maeder (SWISS KRONO Group) whose nomination was also unanimously supported by the EPF General Assembly.

“We extend our deepest gratitude to our hosts, Latvijas Finieris, for their outstanding hospitality and efficiency. As we move forward under the new leadership of Vice-Chair Veronique Hoflack and myself, we are dedicated to building on the legacy of our predecessors, leveraging the collective expertise of our members, and embracing both our current challenges and emerging opportunities” commented EPF Chairman Pablo Figueroa López, of FINSA.

He noted that EPF intends to maintain focus on its 5 Strategic Directions (Role Model Industry, Climate, Regulation, Harmonisation and Wood Availability) whilst further enhancing with priorities, focus, empowerment, ambidexterity and agility.

Save-the-date for the next AGM

The next EPF AGM will take place on 25-27 June 2025 in Berlin, Germany, hosted by EPF national member association, VHI, the Verband der deutschen Holzwerkstoffindustrie.

For further information on any of the above, please contact EPF Administration and Communications Officer Mrs Isabelle Henin: (+32 2 556 25 89).

PRESS RELEASE: EPF releases its Annual Report 2023-2024



EPF is proud to announce the publication of its Annual Report 2023-2024, the reference handbook for the European and global wood-based panels industry.

Printed copies of the EPF Annual Report 2023/2024 (hard copy) + USB-card (digital version) are now available for purchase at the price of 2450 EUR (excl. VAT). The full table of contents is available here. Please kindly find the order form here. EPF team wishes you excellent reading.

Thanks to external and internal contributions, the Annual Report contains 4 Special Topics:

This issue covers:

  • Facts and figures on the WBP industries in the EPF member countries and relevant data in other parts of the world
  • Maps showing the location of PB, MDF, OSB, fibreboard and plywood factories
  • Country by country reports for Europe and the rest of the World
  • User Industries with focus on construction, furniture and flooring materials
  • Trade issues with relevant tariffs and duties for wood-based panels
  • High-Level Advocacy including New European Bauhaus and Wood4Bauhaus Alliance, Circular Choices Coalition, Antwerp Declaration, Dialogue on Forest-based Bioeconomy
  • Environmental Topics such as RED III, EUDR, CPR and more
  • Organisation of the Federation including details of working groups and task forces

An additional booklet gathers PB, MDF, OSB, HB/SB and plywood producers affiliated to EPF, with their product specialisation and full contact details of the national EPF member associations, the associated EPF members and the institutes collaborating with EPF.

For further information, please contact EPF Administration and Communications Officer:

Mrs Isabelle Henin – – +32 2 556 25 89

PRESS RELEASE: Unilin Pilot Plant and innovative technology herald new level of recyclability for laminate flooring

EPF and Unilin are partners in the Horizon 2020 European project CISUFLO (CIrcular SUstainable FlOor coverings) that has as main goal the transition to ​a sustainable circular flooring sector and is supported by innovation funds from the European Union. The consortium consists of 19 partners: industrial partners, research centres and associations and the project covers laminate, textile and vinyl floor coverings.

Product circularity is key for the preservation of our planet if we want to prevent depletion of our finite resources. Therefore, solutions need to be developed to make current flooring materials circular by design and/or by developing recycling technologies that recycle these products into new similar flooring products.

Nowadays, laminate flooring in particular and all MDF/HDF containing products in general, are often considered as hardly recyclable and such products commonly end in landfills or incineration at the end-of-life. This is an outcome that everyone wishes to change.

In order to close the recycling loop, a revolutionising technology has been developed by Unilin based on steam explosion. This allows the extraction of valuable wood fibres from MDF/HDF containing products (in particular laminate flooring). These fibres are then prepared for reuse and used as a replacement of virgin fibres in an HDF production process. This allows to recycle the main part of a laminate flooring, being the core HDF.

Unilin has spearheaded this initiative by establishing a pilot line at its MDF mill in Bazeilles, France. Since 2021 this line has been refined to the process needs of the recycling process. The actual status is that this line is producing over 1 ton of recycled fibres per hour, and these fibres are immediately reused in the production of new MDF/HDF products on a continuous basis. This rather small recycling unit demonstrates already the huge potential of the developed technology: not only the fact that fibres can be extracted and reused, with no significant impact on quality, but the recycling can be done at economically interesting conditions. In fact, the way the process performs, it even saves electrical/thermal energy compared to the energy required for producing wood fibres based on virgin wood.

This success refutes the sometimes perceived image of MDF/HDF as a non-recyclable product and instead demonstrates its circularity, for which European wood-based panels are known.

For more information:

Geert Coudenys (Unilin):

Isabelle Henin (EPF):

PRESS RELEASE: 2024 European Wood-based Panel Symposium releases its Programme

The 13th European Wood-based Panel Symposium (EWBPS) is set to take place on 9-11 October 2024 in the Grand Elysée Hotel in Hamburg. This high-level event attracts participants from around the world (328 delegates from 28 countries attended the last edition in 2022) and aims to foster dialogues, joint efforts, innovation, and growth within the sector through a range of educational sessions, market updates, networking opportunities, technical presentations, and exhibitions. This upcoming edition promises to be an inspiring gathering for professionals involved in the WBP industry.

The Symposium’s comprehensive programme, which is officially released today, sheds light on multidimensional sessions and activities designed to address the latest trends, challenges, and advancements within the industry. Serving as a forum for attendees from Europe and beyond, engaging presentations, insightful panel discussions, and exchange opportunities with peers and industry stakeholders are to be expected.

The 2024 EWBPS will focus on 6 main thematic sessions critical to the WBP industry:

  1. Market
  2. Resources
  3. Artificial Intelligence
  4. Recycling
  5. Resins
  6. Developments

This major event will be opened by Professor Kasal (Fraunhofer WKI) and EPF Technical Director Kris Wijnendaele. EPF Managing Board Member Mr Philipp Sprockhoff will deliver a keynote speech on the overview of the situation of the WBP industry. A total of 17 technical presentations are scheduled during the subsequent technical sessions. Online registration is open via the Symposium website. Early bird registrations are possible by 2 August. Final deadline to register is set on 27 September 2024.

In case of questions, please kindly contact

For further information, please contact EPF Secretariat at

PRESS RELEASE: Pablo Figueroa López Succeeds Martin Brettenthaler as Chairman of the European Panel Federation

Brussels, Thursday 21 March 2024

The European Panel Federation (EPF) announces the appointment of Pablo Figueroa López as its new Chairman, succeeding Martin Brettenthaler. On Wednesday 20 March, Mr Brettenthaler has officially concluded his tenure as Chairman, intertwined with his previous role as SWISS KRONO Group CEO, leaving behind a legacy of transformative leadership and dedication to the industry.

Throughout his mandate, Martin Brettenthaler played a central role in steering EPF towards strategic development and impactful advocacy. Under his leadership, EPF expanded its strategic priorities, fostered inclusivity within the Managing Board, and above all actively engaged with policymakers and industry stakeholders to champion the collective interests of its members.

Reflecting on his departure, Mr Brettenthaler stated: “I am heartened by the progress we have made together in positioning our wood-based panel sector as a role model industry that will play a pivotal role in fighting climate change in European building. I wish my successor Pablo Figueroa wisdom and success in leading this important European trade organisation”.

Pablo Figueroa López will bring a wealth of experience and expertise to his new role as Chairman of EPF. With an academic background in Economics (University of Santiago de Compostela, London Business School (LBS)) and leadership roles related to Exports, Markets and Sales at FINSA, and as a respected leader with the wood-based panel industry, Mr Figueroa López is eager to build upon EPF’s achievements and lead the federation towards a strong future.

In his inaugural statement, the new EPF Chairman expressed his commitment to advancing EPF’s strategic directions and strengthening its position as a key advocate for the industry: “I am honoured to assume this new role and look forward to further working closely with the Board and connecting with relevant stakeholders to drive sustainable growth, modernity, and innovation within the wood-based panel sector”.

For further information, please contact EPF Administration and Communications Officer:

Mrs Isabelle Henin


EPF Managing Board Member Rui Correia meets Green Deal chief Maroš Šefčovič

In conjunction with the Bioeconomy Changemakers Festival, the 6th clean transition dialogue, chaired by European Commissions’ Executive Vice-President Maroš Šefčovič, brought together stakeholders from forest industry associations, academia, NGOs, financial institutions and Commission representatives. The aim of this Dialogue held on 14 March was to address pressing challenges and explore opportunities to unlock the potential of the forest-based bioeconomy. The Commission will provide an update on all the dialogues in a communication scheduled for April.

EPF is proud that Rui Correia (CEO, SONAE ARAUCO), member of our Managing Board, was invited to this meeting, bringing essential messages directly to top echelons of Brussels politics.

On that occasion, we also thank the participants actively engaged in the wood and pulp & paper industries: Ilkka Hämälä (CEO Metsä Group), Hans Sohlström (CEO Stora Enso), Marco Eikelenboom (CEO Sappi Europe) and Juergen Bergner (CEO HS Timber Group).

More information from SONAE ARAUCO is available in this web article

EPF Key messages

  • Cascade Use of Biomass – implementing the RED III legislation as the most resource efficient use of our raw material.
  • Market Mechanisms – Eliminate market distorting subsidies and ensure that woody biomass is used according to its highest economic and environmental added value.
  • Green Industrial Deal – Rebalance the Green Deal so that industry is a European driver and not leakage with production moving overseas.


PRESS RELEASE: EU funded EcoReFibre project releases its first Video on increasing MDF and fibreboard recycling at industrial scale

Brussels, Tuesday 27 February 2024

EPF is delighted to share with you the release of the first video presenting the essence of the EcoReFibre project, showcasing the benefits and versatility of wood-based panels and innovative advancements in the recycling of fibreboards.

Funded by Horizon Europe (14.8 million € for the period May 2022 – April 2026), the project undertaken by a consortium of 20 partners, underscores the importance of collaborative research and development in driving positive change within the wood-based panels sector.

EcoReFibre aims to increase available wood resources in Europe through more recycling at industrial scale. Its ambition is to enhance circularity by pushing wood recycling to the next level and improve waste sorting technologies. Substitution up to 25% of the virgin fibres currently used in the European fibreboard market is one of the project’s targets.

Highly promising industry-led pilot demonstrations, involving leading panel manufacturers, are being developed through industrial trials into solid business opportunities creating and increasing economic value, circularity and environmental benefits.

EPF is proud to be part of this consortium and looks forward to further joint efforts towards sustainable solutions and increased circularity in the wood-based panels sector.

For further information, please contact EPF Administration and Communications Officer: Mrs Isabelle Henin (

PRESS RELEASE: European Panel Federation signs the Antwerp Declaration for a European Industrial Deal

Brussels, Friday 23 February 2024

The European Panel Federation (EPF) has signed the Antwerp Declaration for a European Industrial Deal. EPF joins 72 leading companies and 34 industry associations representing more than 7.8 million jobs in calling for the Industrial Deal to be put the core of the new European Strategic Agenda for 2024-2029.

A fulfillment of the Antwerp Declaration would allow industry to take its position as a key driver towards a resilient, competitive, and sustainable Europe, that works for all.

A key highlight of this Declaration is its ambition to reindustrialise Europe, positioning Europe as a global leader in sustainable and innovative industry. This message sheds light on the vital role of industry as a driving force for economic growth and job creation, and echoes EPF’s commitments and ambitions as a Role Model Industry. With an annual turnover of about €25 billion and the creation of over 100,000 jobs directly in Europe, our industry is an integral and innovative part of the EU’s bio and circular economies.

The Antwerp Declaration outlines 10 actionable measures, including a streamlining of legislation, and calls for initiatives to position Europe as a global leader in boosting demand for net zero, low carbon and circular products, fostering raw material self-sufficiency, and making the innovation framework smarter.

Signatories represent a broad spectrum of industries from sectors such as chemicals, pharmaceuticals, paper, steel, mining, aluminium, glass, zinc, metals, textiles, ceramics, biotech and now wood too. The Declaration was presented to European Commission President, Ursula von der Leyen and to Belgian Prime Minister, Alexander De Croo at the European Industry Summit held in Antwerp on 20 February.

As EPF Chairman Martin Brettenthaler stresses: ‘Embracing the Antwerp Declaration, we advocate for placing the European Industrial Deal at the forefront of Europe’s agenda, aligning with EPF’s objectives and strategic directions. By prioritising reindustrialisation, especially with natural, innovative sustainable products such as wood-based panels, we can play a vital role in delivering the European Green Deal’.

For further information, please contact EPF Administration and Communications Officer:

Mrs Isabelle Henin


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