Author archives: Ms Veerle Cornand

Press Release on the Train-the-Trainer Seminar on enhancing worker protection held on 19 November 2020

Brussels, 19 November 2020 – The European Federation of Building and Woodworkers (EFBWW) and the European Wood-Based Panels Federation (EPF) jointly organised an online “Train-the-Trainer Seminar” on enhancing worker protection, attracting more than 200 registered participants from more than 25 countries.

This seminar is the first event in the EC financed project to stimulate the adoption and implementation of the EFBWW/EPF joint voluntary agreement, entitled “Action Guide on Formaldehyde”, at national and company level. It follows the co-signature of this voluntary agreement on 30 November 2018 on improving workers’ protection in the panel industry from potential exposure to formaldehyde.

The Seminar was an immense success with over 200 registered participants from all over Europe and beyond, mostly health and safety experts of companies, social partners from sectorial organisations and company level, and institutes for OEL measurements, plus those involved in related activities at national and company level. All major wood-based panels’ manufacturers in Europe attended.

Focus was put on the objectives of the Action Guide and on the importance of prevention. Furthermore, Mrs Gundula Wagner, Head of Central Analytic department at PFLEIDERER offered detailed explanations and training on the Action Guide in 3 specific sessions. All participants welcomed and appreciated the pragmatic nature of the Action Guide as a management system, focusing primarily on prevention and on limiting potential exposure through creating awareness, motivation and responsibility of workers, supervisors and management.

Mr Rolf Gehring, EFBWW H&S Policy Adviser, expressed his satisfaction with the huge turnout and the excellent quality of the seminar and in particular the very clear training by Mrs Wagner: “This was one of the largest seminars that EFBWW has ever organised and we never expected to have such a huge turnout for this online event. We look forward to the continued co-operation with EPF on this project and the joint implementation of our formaldehyde agreement.” Mr Gehring also thanked Mr Danny Scheerlinck of DG EMPL of the European Commission for his attendance and short address to the participants.

EPF’s Technical Director, Mr Kris Wijnendaele, welcomed the excellent co-operation and superb technical organisation with EFBWW staff and members. “We are proud at EPF to enhance our focus on protection and well-being of all workers in our industry in order to help our companies prosper and contribute to the ambitions of the European Green Deal, the Circular Economy Action Plan and combating climate change. It is impressive that more than 200 hundred participants invest their time and effort in attending this seminar especially during this troublesome pandemic”.

About EPF

EPF – the European Panel Federation has members in more than 25 countries and represents the manufacturers of particleboard, MDF, OSB, hardboard, softboard and plywood.  The EU wood panel industry has an annual turnover of about 22 billion Euros, creates over 100,000 jobs directly and counts more than 5,000 enterprises in Europe.  Contact us at info@europanels.org.

About EFBWW

EFBWW – the European Federation of Building and Woodworkers is the European Workers’ Industry Federation for the following sectors: building, woodworking, forestry and allied industries and trades. The EFBWW has 76 affiliated unions in 34 countries and represents 2,000,000 members. Contact us at info@efbww.eu.

Joint Position Paper on the Renovation Wave Strategy

In strong coalition with EFBWW (the European Federation of Building and Woodworkers), CEI-Bois (the European Confederation of Woodworking Industries), FEP (the European Federation of the Parquet Industry) and EOS (the European Organisation of the Sawmill Industry), EPF warmly welcomes the publication on 14 October 2020 of the  Renovation Wave Strategy: “A Renovation Wave for Europe – greening our buildings, creating jobs, improving lives” .

The Woodworking Industries believe that a refurbished and energy efficient EU building stock has a key role to play in the post covid-19 recovery and “new normal” by creating green jobs, revitalising regenerative growth and paving the way for the decarbonisation of one of the largest energy consumer sectors in Europe responsible for more than one third of the EU’s greenhouse gas emissions. Wood-based solutions offer a green construction material that is renewable, recyclable and has a low fossil carbon footprint and benefits from better environmental performances in life cycle assessments than other conventional materials. Wood prefabricated solutions also offer modular possibilities to redesign and modernise buildings in a non-invasive way, for example through additional storeys or roof extensions.

“Wood-based panels are the ideal material for the New European Bauhaus, as they are climate friendly, sustainable, natural building materials”, so commented Kris Wijnendaele, EPF Technical Director.

The renovation principles set up in the Strategy should now be implemented through the National Energy & Climate Plans and Long-Term Renovation Strategies to take an important leap forward in the achievement of the objectives of the European Green Deal.

 

Full position paper can be found here

“Train the Trainer Seminar” on the Action Guide on Formaldehyde on Thursday 19 November 2020

Press release on the seminar.

Press release in the Holz-Zentralblatt on the Train the Trainer seminar (in German)

The European Federation of Building and Woodworkers (EFBWW) and the European Wood-Based Panels Federation (EPF) jointly organised an online “Train-the-Trainer Seminar” on enhancing worker protection, attracting more than 200 registered participants from more than 25 countries.

The provisional programme was as follows:

  • Welcome by the project partners EFBWW and EPF as well as by the EC representative
  • Relevant health aspects linked to occupational exposure to formaldehyde by an invited expert
  • Objectives of the action guide with focus on the importance of prevention
  • Detailed explanation and training on the Action Guide on Formaldehyde in 3 specific sessions given by Mrs Gundula Wagner, Head of Central Analytic Department at PFLEIDERER
  • Open discussion and exchange of views and experiences by the participants
  • Participation and next steps by the project partners EFBWW and EPF

The target group of this seminar consisted of health and safety experts of the companies, social partners from sectorial organisations and company level, and institutes for OEL measurements and  will be involved in related activities at national and company level in a later phase.

Attendance was free of charge and there were no restrictions on the number of participants from affiliated members of EFBWW and EPF. Whilst the seminar was conducted in English, simultaneous translation was offered in English, French, German, Italian, Polish and Spanish upon registration.

For full programme, please click Here 

Please contact info@europanels.org for further information.

Press release on the Renovation Wave Strategy: the opportunity to turn the built environment into a carbon sink

Brussels, 15 October 2020

The European Panel Federation (EPF) warmly welcomes the publication of the European Commission communication on the Renovation Wave Strategy: “A Renovation Wave for Europe – greening our buildings, creating jobs, improving lives”. This Strategy aims at a refurbished and energy efficient building stock in the EU that will help pave the way for the decarbonisation of one of the largest energy consumer sectors in Europe, responsible for more than one third of the EU’s emissions.

The Renovation Wave is also a unique opportunity to create up to 160.000 sustainable green jobs and to boost growth within the framework of the post covid-19 recovery while reducing drastically greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and ensuring a better living environment for European citizens. More than merely reducing GHG emissions this Renovation Wave Strategy is the unique chance for the EU building ecosystem to become a carbon sink improving the pool of carbon removals “through the promotion of green infrastructure and the use of organic building materials that can store carbon, such as sustainably-sourced wood”.

“By minimising the footprints of buildings and optimising carbon storage in natural, renewable building products and solutions, such as wood-based panels, we are taking an important leap towards the achievement of the objectives of the European Green Deal”, said Mr Clive Pinnington, EPF’s Managing Director.

Mr Alexis Kuhl, EPF’s Climate and Environment Advisor added: “Ensuring that the construction ecosystem is fit to deliver sustainable energy efficient renovation, based on circular, sustainable and climate-friendly solutions is the way forward. EPF strongly supports the EU’s aim to have building renovation as a priority for national recovery plans under the European Flagship ‘Renovate’”.

About EPF

EPF – the European Panel Federation has members in 25 countries and represents the manufacturers of particleboard, MDF, OSB, hardboard, softboard and plywood.  The EU wood panel industry has an annual turnover of about 22 billion Euros, creates over 100,000 jobs directly and counts more than 5,000 enterprises in Europe.  Contact us at info@europanels.org.

EPF gives feedback to DG ENERG on the IIAs on the review of EED & the revision of RED II

The European Panel Federation (EPF), welcomes the Inception Impact Assessment on the review of the Directive 2012/27/EU on energy efficiency and the related more ambitious targets for the reduction of the EU’s greenhouse gas emissions by at least 50% to 55% by 2030. Enhanced energy efficiency is indeed a key objective of the Green Deal in the framework of the incoming Renovation Wave Initiative in mid-October and in our recovery from the COVID-19 crisis. The wood-based panels industry believes that it is especially essential to foster energy efficiency of the EU building stock.

Read more on EPF Feedback on the Inception Impact Assessment on EU energy efficiency directive (EED) evaluation and review

The European Panel Federation (EPF), welcomes the Inception Impact Assessment on the revision of the Directive (EU) 2018/2001 on the promotion of the use of energy from renewable sources (RED II). The wood-based panels industry believes that the promotion of the use of renewables and the transition towards a decarbonised European society are key to achieving the objectives of the Green Deal and ought to play a fundamental role in the post COVID-19 recovery.

Read more on EPF Feedback on the Inception Impact Assessment on the revision of the Directive on the promotion of the use of energy from renewable sources

Statement made today by EC President Mrs Ursula von der Leyen in her State of the Union to the EP

Today, EC President Mrs Ursula von der Leyen made an important statement in her State of the Union address to the European Parliament: “Our buildings generate 40% of our emissions. They need to become less wasteful, less expensive and more sustainable. And we know that the construction sector can even be turned from a carbon source into a carbon sink, if organic building materials like wood and smart technologies like AI are applied. I want NextGenerationEU to kickstart a European renovation wave and make our Union a leader in the circular economy.” Click here to see how she said it!

The full speech of Mrs von der Leyen’s is available on video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jBakPRQUq-I

EPF Advocacy Leaflet including key data and Green Deal objectives for wood-based panels

EPF published its Advocacy Leaflet, prepared in the framework of our high-level advocacy strategy. We believe that this document, which is a folded and double-sided 4 pager (A5 size), will bring greater visibility for the wood-based panels industry towards key decision-makers and other stakeholders. We will use it in our Green Deal discussions in Brussels, and also welcome you to employ it in your national discussions.

The Leaflet presents our industry through some key factual data and visual supports while promoting some of our industry achievements. It also presents our concrete policy proposals as elaborated in our Position Paper on the European Green Deal, namely:

– Secure the supply for wooden raw materials and guarantee a level playing field;
– Increase the use of sustainable bio-based products and systems to fight climate change;
– Stimulate the cascading use of harvested wood products;
– Enable users to choose climate friendly materials.