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Quarterly meetings of March CANCELLED

After intensive consideration, and based on feedback from several members, EPF and the EPF Chairman have decided that due to the current corona virus situation the Quarterly Meetings planned for 24-26 March will no longer take place

We apologise for any inconvenience that this change causes you, but we do hope that you agree with us that this was the appropriate and correct decision to make given the unique circumstances.

EPF, EP and EOS join forces for a New Industrial Strategy for Europe

A New Industrial Strategy for Europe: call for including the Bioeconomy in the new European Industrial Strategy.

The European Panel Federation (EPF), the European Federation of the Parquet industry (FEP)
and EOS, the European Organisation of the Sawmill Industry (three sectors with a combined
yearly turnover of approximately 75 Billion EUR – representing 53% of the wood working value
chain), call the Council and the European Parliament for including the Bioeconomy in the
new European Industrial Strategy.

Please click here to read more.

EPF and ZWE proposal for a comprehensive EU strategy for wood under The New Circular Economy Action Plan

The European Panel Federation (EPF) and Zero Waste Europe warmly welcome the New
Circular Economy Action Plan to stimulate lead markets for climate neutral and circular
products. Material efficiency is of the utmost importance to help reduce greenhouse gas
emissions and, in this respect, sustainable product initiative will play a major role in reducing
products externalities.

Please click here to read more.

EPF launches its Position Paper on the European Green Deal

Following the European Parliament’s recent declaration of a climate emergency, European Commission President von der Leyen unveiled in December 2019 the European Commission’s plans to achieve climate neutrality in the EU by 2050: the European Green Deal. The Commission President committed herself to deliver the first detailed proposals within the first 100 days in office. In January 2020, the Parliament voted on its Resolution on the Green Deal with a large majority calling for the decarbonisation ambitions to be set to at least 55% reduction of greenhouse gases emissions for 2030. Ahead of the March Plenary session in Strasbourg where the first set of statements will be presented by the European Commission on the Climate Law, the New Circular Economy Action Plan and the EU Industrial Strategy, EPF publishes today its Position Paper on the European Green Deal.

The Position Paper presents the priorities and demands of the wood-based panels industry with concrete proposals to stimulate the sector in line with the objectives of a circular and innovative economy as set by the guidelines of the European Green Deal. More specifically, the Paper presents a set of four concrete proposals to help the wood-based panels industry to contribute to the goals of the Green Deal:

  • the guarantee of a level playing field and secure supply for wooden raw materials;
  • the use of sustainable bio-based products to fight climate change;
  • the cascade use of harvested wood products;
  • the promotion of climate-friendly products.

Wood-based panels are innovative circular products that store carbon throughout their whole life cycle. They are mainly used for furniture, construction, packaging and other everyday applications.  Panels can help substitute energy-intensive fossil-based materials in construction and renovation of the built environment. Wood-based panels are time, cost and energy efficient and offer enormous potential towards delivering the societal change targeted by the European Green Deal.

Click for the full EPF Position Paper on the European Green Deal

EPF and Industry4Europe offer European Institutions a vision of a strong and successful Europe, powered by a transformational industry

“A long-term strategy for Europe’s industrial future: from words to action” was presented on 21 January to high-level representatives of the EU institutions at an event hosted by the Croatian Presidency of the European Council and by Industry4Europe, a coalition of 153 industrial sectors.  EPF was a co-sponsor of the event and a co-signatory of the Joint Paper.  “From Words to Action” (https://www.industry4europe.eu/assets/Uploads/Publications/Industry4Europe_Joint-Paper_November-2019.pdf) makes the case for Industry in Europe on behalf of the 52 million citizens and their families, who benefit directly or indirectly from employment in the European industrial sector.

 

 

EPF welcomes the conclusions of the Joint Paper and the discussions held in Brussels, in particular:

Recognising the value of Circular Economy. Europe needs to adopt policies and regulatory frameworks that reduce barriers to reuse, repair and recycling, and which encourage circularity.

Sustainability is a global opportunity for Europe.  Industrial strategy on sustainability must translate science into business opportunities.  These must ensure sustainability for long time viability and decarbonisation to protect our climate.  Innovation in industry can deliver this.

Level playing field in the EU market and globally. The alignment of sustainability with a competitive industry must be enabled through a level playing field across diverse economies.  Harmonisation, not regionalism, should also be strongly encouraged allowing global champions to emerge.

  

EPF, an active participant in the Industry4Europe coalition, welcomes EU Commission President von der Leyen’s Green Deal growth strategy that recognises the need for a new European industrial policy based on the circular economy.  EPF acknowledges the recommendation of high-level panellists at the Brussels event to communicate “From Words to Action” and the possibilities that industry offers as broadly as possible in order to help drive this change.  With European wood-based panels being increasingly driven by innovation (already today ca. 50% of the wood resource comes from recovered wood or industrial by-products, effectively turning waste into product), EPF looks forward to playing a key role in the societal, environmental and economic transformation that is envisaged for Europe by the Green Deal.EPF, the European Panel Federation, has members in 25 EU countries and represents the manufacturers of particleboard, MDF, OSB, hardboard, softboard and plywood. The European wood-based panels industry has an annual turnover of about 22 billion euro, creates over 100,000 jobs directly and counts more than 5,000 enterprises in Europe.

 

Club du Bois, European Parliament, 8 January 2020

 

 

 

The Club du Bois event that was held on 8 January 2020 at the European Parliament was a huge success!

For more info, check out our Press release.

Please find the full Report of Club du Bois event here.

 

DRAFT AGENDA
Club du Bois
Brussels, 8 January 2020

  1. Opening (6.30 pm) and welcome by MEP Mrs Maria Noichl, Chairwoman of Club du Bois.
  2. Presentation by EPF Chairman, Dr Paolo Fantoni on “Wood-based Panels: A innovative industry turns a traditional material into a model of the circular economy, and a climate champion”, with special focus on Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) and developing work with wood education with universities.
  3. Presentation by EOS Chairman, Mr Sampsa Auvinen on “Overview of the economic and politic dynamics that characterise the European sawmill industries including considerations on raw material supply and forest diseases”.
  4. Presentation by a CEI-Bois senior member of the European Woodworking Industry on the priorities for the new EU term 2019-2024.
  5. Audience discussion and handover of the Chair to MEP Mrs Simona Bonafè, by Mrs Maria Noichl.
  6. Networking cocktail and close (8pm)

EPF welcomes its new Climate and Environment Advisor

We are delighted to announce Mr Alexis Kuhl as EPF’s new Climate & Environment adviser.

Alexis, a Belgian, began his professional career as an EU Policy Officer helping members of the Hungarian parliament with their accession to the EU in 2004.  Since then he has worked as a Parliamentary Assistant for an MEP, as an Energy Performance Certifier for buildings, and has also run his own business for ten years.  Most recently he completed a Masters in Environmental Sciences and Management at the Université Libre de Bruxelles, specialised in environmental and energy policy, as well as environmental law, economy and management.  We believe that Alexis’ skill set, qualifications and personality make him ideally suited to helping EPF to put wood-based panels at the centre of the new European Green Deal.

 

 

CALL FOR PAPERS 12th European Wood-based Panel Symposium, 30 September – 2 October 2020 in Hamburg, Germany

The Call for Papers for the 12th European Wood-based Panel Symposium is now open. The bi-annual Symposium will take place from 30 September to 2 October 2020 in Hamburg. We invite you to submit your presentation proposals and abstracts at your earliest convenience. The deadline for submissions is 1 February 2020.

Registration for the conference can already be carried out with immediate effect via the dedicated Symposium website www.european-wood-based-panel-symposium.org.

The Symposium is again organised by the Fraunhofer Institute for Wood Research, Wilhelm-Klauditz-Institut, WKI and the European Panel Federation EPF in co-operation with the International Association for Technical Issues related to Wood iVTH e.V. and the company SasolWax.

For over 2 decades, this Symposium is the meeting point for the technical and environmental experts in the wood-based panels and related industries and its suppliers as well as research and education institutes and specialised consultants. During the next edition, the presentations will be focused on the categories Raw Materials, Process technology, Furniture application, Insulation application and User requirements.

A special programme committee comprised of academic and industry experts will examine the proposals and select the best presentations for the conference. All the necessary information concerning the submission of an abstract can be found on the Symposium website.

Should you be interested in the sponsoring opportunities related to this symposium, please kindly contact the symposium secretariat at WKI.

EPF supports the Single Market and calls for a suspension of new VOC requirements for panels in Germany

The Single Market is widely acknowledged as one of the greatest achievements of the European Union. It unites 28 countries and 500 million citizens, allowing goods to flow seamlessly within the territory. Common rules have allowed consumers to benefit greatly from scale, especially in the field of construction products. It is therefore with great concern that the European Wood-based Panel Federation (EPF) raises the alarm against the current threat to European harmonisation and progress posed by countries seeking to add new national rules on top of existing European regulations.

In May 2019, EPF called on regulators to support common standards for wood-based panels. EPF retains this level playing field position as a core principle of its members. Today, it resubmits this view, specifically regarding new VOC (Volatile Organic Compound) requirements being introduced in Germany. These are about to be imposed by certain Federal States as of 1 October 2019, in conflict with the harmonised rules of the European Construction Products Regulation (CPR), of CE marking, and in spite of the fact that the European notification is still ongoing (standstill date 27 December 2019).

Germany’s proposed Model Administrative Rules on Technical Building Regulations (MVVTB) version 2019/1 seeks to require manufacturers and sellers of panels to meet new national requirements. A Member State adding new demands, on top of those currently allowed, infringes CPR. This argument was upheld by the European Court of Justice in April. In addition, multiple new court cases are now underway against MVVTB in Germany, and one Federal State, Baden-Württemberg has already ruled the new VOC requirements to be illegal, as there is no proven need for them.

In the light of MMVTB 2019/1 being both potentially illegal and certainly detrimental to the Single Market, EPF urges:

  • Germany’s Federal States to immediately suspend any action to introduce the VOC requirements for panels expressed in MVVTB 2019/1 into their own state building codes;
  • The European Commission to accelerate the finalisation of a Delegated Act (already in process in DG GROW), to harmonise the classification of VOC performance in construction products.

Europe’s panel producers stand resolutely behind a harmonised set of European rules, and firmly against the fragmentation of Europe’s Single Market driven by solo actions of Member States, such as the current one. EPF calls for these urgent actions for the welfare of Europe’s half a billion citizens.