Author archives: Ms Veerle Cornand

Press Release: EPF speaks at the WoodCircus Conference presenting its White Paper 2040 with policy recommendations on 1 December 2021

Brussels, 7 December 2021

 To present its White Paper 2040, the Horizon 2020 WoodCircus consortium organised a Policy Conference on 1 December 2021 in Brussels where both EPF’s Managing Director, Mr Clive Pinnington and EPF’s Technical Director, Mr Kris Wijnendaele were panellists.

EPF is delighted to be part of the WoodCircus project which is funded by the European Commission under its Horizon 2020 programme to underpin the vital role of the forest-based sector in the circular bioeconomy. The White Paper 2040 presents the European woodworking industries as the green engine of sustainable growth and develops six Maxims with clear policy recommendations for decisionmakers. The Maxims call for targeted actions engaging all stakeholders to accelerate the transition of the woodworking industries and the entire European economy towards decarbonisation, inclusivity, and sustainable success.

As stated by Mr Clive Pinnington during the panel debate: “The wood-based panels industry is a role model industry for climate change mitigation and material efficiency through cascade use and circularity. For instance, particleboards can be made up to 100% from recovered wood and industrial by-products. We can actively promote such circular nature-based solutions more and more in wood-based panels to help turn the construction sector into a carbon sink through initiatives such as the New European Bauhaus. The technology is here, the skillset is here, the knowledge is here. The EU woodworking industries are global champions. We should embrace it.”

Mr Kris Wijnendaele concluded the event with call for action highlighting that “We should maximise biogenic carbon through storage in harvested wood products that not only store carbon but can also substitute energy intensive materials. We have climate positive materials that can help reach the net zero ambition.”

 

Language versions of the White Paper:

Italian / Polish / SwedishEnglishFrench / Spanish / Dutch / Baski

Cascade use and Circularity are central themes in WoodCircus White Paper

We are very pleased to share with you the WoodCircus White Paper: “European Woodworking Industries are the green engine of sustainable  growth”. The paper, with its 6 Maxims, highlights how the woodworking industries are pioneers of circularity and carbon neutrality.  We are delighted to point out that cascading is specifically mentioned in the second Maxim.

The White Paper will be central to the WoodCircus conference next week where EPF will speak and moderate.  This event will take place on 1 December 2021 starting at 4pm.  Registrations can still be made here, and are warmly welcomed.  WoodCircus is an EU funded project of which EPF is a partner.  The project underpins the vital role of the forest-based sector in the Circular Bioeconomy.

www.woodcircus.eu

Press Release: EPF announces -2.1% result for European wood-based panels in 2020. Compares favourably to GDP (-6.1%) due to market share gains.

Brussels, 16 June 2021

 At its Press Conference held on 15 June 2021 by videoconference, the European Wood-based Panels Federation (EPF) announced a decline in production of -2.1% during 2020. It was noted that this was a noticeably smaller drop than GDP (-6.1%) due to continued strong demand for wood-based panels especially in furniture and construction markets.  Despite the overall reduction, very positive results were recorded in both the OSB (+4.1%) and softboard segments (+5.7%). These two applications, and indeed all wood-based panels, currently benefit from increased consumer interest in climate friendly, nature-based solutions such as wood. In this, the public is supported by EU policy initiatives including the European Green Deal, the New European Bauhaus and the Renovation Wave Strategy which were also highlighted during the press conference related to EPF advocacy.

Full results are now available in the brand new EPF Annual Report 2020/2021 which is on sale to the trade and public on the following link.

About EPF – the European Panel Federation has members in more than 32 European countries and represents the manufacturers of particleboard, MDF, OSB, hardboard, softboard and plywood.  The EU 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.  Contact us at info@europanels.org.

 

 

Press release: Mr Martin Brettenthaler is confirmed as the new EPF Chairman. Dr Paolo Fantoni steps down after 6 years at the helm. Mr Bernard Thiers continues as Vice-Chairman.

Brussels, 11 June 2021

 At its General Assembly held on 10 June 2021 by videoconference, the European Wood-based Panels Federation (EPF) unanimously elected Mr Martin Brettenthaler, CEO of SWISS KRONO Group, as the new Chairman of EPF with immediate effect.  This follows the decision of Dr Paolo Fantoni, of FANTONI Spa, to step down from this role after 6 years as Chairman.  Mr Bernard Thiers, CEO of UNILIN Group was unanimously elected to a second term as Vice-Chairman of EPF.

        
Mr Martin Brettenthaler                                                      Mr Bernard Thiers
EPF Chairman                                                                       EPF Vice Chairman
  

The General Assembly warmly thanked Dr Fantoni for his service and wished Mr Brettenthaler and Mr Thiers every success in leading the federation in the coming years.

 

About EPF – the European Panel Federation has members in more than 32 European countries and represents the manufacturers of particleboard, MDF, OSB, hardboard, softboard and plywood.  The EU 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.  Contact us at info@europanels.org.

Press Release: Significant potential of the Renovation Wave to store carbon in the European building environment confirmed by Club du Bois organisers

Advancements in building at both height and scale in engineered timber has understandably drawn attention to the potential of new build in wood to store carbon is a significant necessity in the battle against climate change. Switching to wood on a wider scale can help bring emissions down as trees naturally sequester CO2 from the atmosphere and the carbon is then stored in the wood.

This potential lay behind Commission President von der Leyen observation in her speech to the European Parliament in September 2020 where she stated, We know that the construction sector can even be turned from a carbon source into a carbon sink, if organic building materials like wood are applied.

What has received less attention is the potential of the Renovation Wave to store carbon and likewise make a similar contribution to tackling climate change.

Organised by the European Confederation of Woodworking Industries (CEI-Bois), the European Organisation of the Sawmill Industry (EOS) and the European Panel Federation (EPF) the Club du Bois met online on 27th May to consider the potential of the Renovation Wave to store carbon.

During the meeting the European Woodworking Industries called upon policy makers to:

  1. Acknowledge the benefit of stored carbon at product level: such benefit should be quantified and incentivised by using the right tools such as Environmental Performance Declarations for construction products. EPDs should be established as the harmonised reference tool for assessing the environmental footprint of construction product within the revision of the Construction Products Regulation.
  2. Acknowledge the climate benefit of wood at a building level: there is a need to move beyond the energy performance metrics. The revision of the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD) offers the opportunity to introduce requirements to report and reduce the emissions of a building over the entire lifecycle, including manufacture, transport, construction, use and demolition.
  3. Develop appropriate digital tools for carbon accounting: there is a need to empower consumers and professionals to make the right sustainable choices in construction and renovation through digitalization. Incentivising Digital Design and Building Information Modelling (BIM) will make it possible to calculate the climate benefit and show architects and consumers the climate impact of longer life and designing for re-use and recycling.

Such measures would result in less CO2 being emitted AND a bigger carbon sink being created which taken together would result in much less CO2 in the atmosphere.

Addressing the meeting Simona Bonafè MEP chair of the Club du Bois noted: Wooden construction materials can provide renewable alternatives to fossil-based and carbon intensive materials while replanting and sustainable forest management ensures that forests resources are not depleted. In this way constructions in timber are a key building block of the European circular bioeconomy bringing sustainable jobs in both urban and rural areas and reducing the carbon footprint of the buildings.

At the same time, it has become increasingly clear that renovation in wood also has the potential to store carbon and today’s meeting explores these benefits. This is a good opportunity to discuss why the renovation wave should recognise the potential of the existing European housing stock to become a new carbon sink.

While Eero Heinaluoma MEP stated “Investments into wood-based products are needed as they promote sustainability and reduce emissions when replacing fossil-based products. The Commission needs to consider ways to account for wood products alongside forests as a means for increasing the forest sink”.

The meeting noted the important work of Professor Schellnhuber of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research in promoting the storage of carbon within the built environment work which has had a major influence on President von der Leyen’s thinking including on the development of her New European Bauhaus initiative, with its emphasis on sustainability, beauty and affordability, all criteria that wood can help deliver.

The meeting was of the view that 2 to 6 tonnes of CO2 equivalent could be stored in wood products in each dwelling being renovated, while also reducing the emissions over the lifecycle of the building.

In the Q&A session between MEPs and industrialists there was an acknowledgment of the clear ability of the built environment to deliver additional carbon storage and thus considerable interest in the potential for a European carbon credits system to promote and even incentivise the use of wood and wood-based products. It is understood that the European Commission’s DG CLIMA is working on such a proposal, and the outcome of this is eagerly awaited.

End.

The European Panel Federation (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 32 European countries. The EU wood panel industry creates over 100,000 jobs directly and counts more than 5,000 enterprises in Europe. www.europanels.org 
CEI-Bois is the European Confederation of the Woodworking Industries. It represents 22 European and National organisations from 16 countries and is the body backing the interests of the whole industrial European wood sector. www.cei-bois.org
The European Organisation of the Sawmill Industry (EOS) represents some 35,000 sawmills manufacturing sawn boards, timber frames, glulam, decking, flooring, joinery, fencing and several other wood products. EOS represents around 80% of the total European sawn wood output in a sector that has a turnover of around 35 billion EUR and employs about 250,000 people. www.eos-oes.eu

Wood4Bauhaus New European Bauhaus Prize Guide for applicants

There are still over ten days to submit your project to the New European Bauhaus Prize competition. EPF and the wood4bauhaus Alliance encourages you to showcase your innovative projects. You can find here attached a guide dedicated to applications. The deadline for applications is 31/05/2021.

The winners in each of the ten categories will receive a monetary amount and great visibility opportunity for their projects:

  • EUR 30,000 for winners of the New European Bauhaus Awards, and
  • EUR 15,000 for winners of the New European Bauhaus Rising Stars.

 

To reflect the participatory dimension of the design phase of the New European Bauhaus, the selection process for the prizes will involve a public voting by the subscribers to the New European Bauhaus newsletter, as well as an evaluation by the New European Bauhaus official partners. We therefore invite you to subscribe to the newsletter.

For more information, please see Wood4Bauhaus New European Bauhaus Prize Guide for applicants

Club du Bois Event for MEPs on 27 May 2021

Dear MEP,

You are kindly invited to the next Club du Bois event which will take place online on 27 May 2021 starting at 12:00 CET.

Please find HERE the invitation that was sent by our Chair MEP Mrs Simona Bonafè to all Members of the European Parliament.

The event will focus on: “What is the potential of the Renovation Wave Strategy to store carbon via the use of sustainable wood products?” This session of the Club du Bois will present some initial research findings conducted by the organisers who seek to quantify the amount of carbon that 35 million renovated units (as called for in the Renovation Wave) have the potential to store.

We would like to remind you that the Club du Bois is a joint EPF/EOS/CEI-Bois initiative in the form of an informal gathering of MEPs and industry representatives to discuss issues of particular interest to our woodworking industries.

The Press Release on the Club du Bois event can be found HERE.

Joint EPF-EFBWW statement on International Workers Memorial Day

In the context of the International Workers Memorial Day on 28 April, the EFBWW, European Federation of Building and Woodworkers and EPF, European Panel Federation are delighted to have signed a joint statement on healthy and safe workplaces. The wood-based panels industry has a long and beneficial tradition of close collaboration between employee representatives and employers to ensure healthy and safe working conditions for all employees. We are committed to keeping up these efforts towards workplaces with zero fatalities and where risks of occupational disease and accidents are addressed. The two organisations support the recognition of healthy and safe workplaces as a fundamental right by the International Labour Organization (ILO).

Click here for Joint Declaration EPF – EFBWW

Press Release from the wood4bauhaus virtual conference: REFOREST OUR PLANET, RETIMBER OUR CITIES

PRESS RELEASE from the Wood4Bauhaus Virtual Conference

held Thursday 8 April 2021 – Over 1200 attend online event

“REFOREST OUR PLANET, RETIMBER OUR CITIES”

Professor Schellnhuber delivers strong message in support of a key role for wood in President Ursula von der Leyen’s New European Bauhaus

Professor Hans-Joachim Schellnhuber of the Potsdam-Institute for Climate Impact Research in Germany today delivered a powerful climate change message backing the use of more wood in the built environment.

Speaking to his theme – “Reforest the planet, retimber the cities” – Prof Schellnhuber stated: “We need to create an alternative carbon sink and wood construction is the perfect answer. We can turn the timber into construction material in the built environment, recycle most of the wood […] you have cascade utilisation and immediately replant the trees that you have taken away and even increase the forest area, then you have what I call the Forestry-Construction Pump”.

Prof Schellnhuber is acknowledged as being the mastermind behind the Commission President’s initiative for a New European Bauhaus.

Mrs Ruth Reichstein of the European Commission made it clear that:

The President of the European Commission has become a huge fan of building in wood and is delighted to see the New European Bauhaus conversation growing every day.  It is a project of hope, a project of recovery.  Within it, renovation can be as valuable and beautiful as new construction.  With this in mind, let us turn our cities into urban forests.”

Reichstein is the pivotal European Commission official in charge of developing the New European Bauhaus, including liaising between the cabinet of President von der Leyen and the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre.

Brussels, 8 April 2021

 

Background information

 

The virtual wood4bauhaus conference brought together over 1,000 participants, including business, designers and civil society representatives and it showcased the aesthetic beauty and sustainability of wood as a key driver in construction and living for a carbon neutral society. A video of the entire conference and the complete programme, including a full list of the speakers, can be found here: wood4bauhaus.eu

The virtual conference was organised by the newly constituted Wood Sector Alliance for the New European Bauhaus which was formed in part as a response to the President’s call for wood to play a key role in transforming the built environment into a carbon sink. The Alliance has been accepted by the Commission as an active Partner of New European Bauhaus

The European Commission’s New European Bauhaus calls for a creative, interdisciplinary, novel movement embedded in the society to imagine together a sustainable future and to engage on a transformative path towards affordable and beautiful living spaces in the urban and rural environment. A key step is the transformation of the building sector into a circular model that can also counteract the escalating climate crisis.

The Wood4Bauhaus Alliance comprises the following founding partners:

InnovaWood is EU network for wood science, research, innovation and education of 60 organisations in 28 countries, including RTOs, universities, VET centres and cluster organisations.

The European Confederation of Woodworking Industries (CEI-Bois) is an umbrella organisation of 21 European and national organisations from 15 countries backing the interests of the whole wood sector.

The European Panel Federation (EPF) represents 100,000 direct jobs and counts more than 5,000 wood-based panel manufacturing and furniture companies in 25 countries.

The European Federation of Building and Woodworkers (EFBWW) is the European Trade Union Federation grouping 76 national free trade unions from 34 countries with members in the building, building materials, woodworking, forestry and allied industries and trades.

The European Organisation of the Sawmill Industry (EOS) represents 35,000 sawmills in 12 countries.

BASAJAUN and WoodCircus are R&D project consortia fostering sustainable wood supply chains from forest harvesting to final buildings and Circular Economy solutions in the sector. They have received funding from the EU Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreements no. 820892 and 862942.

© 2021 Wood Sector Alliance for the New European Bauhaus

Contact: info@wood4bauhaus.eu | Web: wood4bauhaus.eu

[1] State of the Union Address 2020, 16/09/2020

Press Release: Wood4Bauhaus Conference announcement

PRESS RELEASE

The New European Bauhaus: wood sector sets out its stall

wood4bauhaus Virtual Conference Thursday 8 April 2021

Keynote address to be given by top adviser to EU Commission President

“A mastermind of the Bauhaus”

In her call for a New European Bauhaus movement, EC President Ursula von der Leyen has proposed that wood can play a key role in transforming the built environment into a carbon sink[1]. Central to her thinking is Professor Hans-Joachim Schellnhuber of the Potsdam-Institute for Climate Impact Research in Germany, who has recently been named as an ambassador for the New European Bauhaus High-level Roundtable and who will deliver the keynote address of the first conference of the Wood4Bauhaus Alliance.

Welcoming the President’s inspirational new initiative, the European wood-based sector launched the Wood Sector Alliance for the New European Bauhaus (Wood4Bauhaus.eu) to establish an open platform of stakeholders. This newly established sectoral alliance is initiated by several umbrella organisations: the InnovaWood EU network for wood research, innovation and education, the European Wood-Based Panel Federation (EPF), the European Confederation of Woodworking Industries (CEI-Bois), the European Federation of Building and Woodworkers (EFBWW) and the European Organisation of the Sawmill Industry (EOS). It has also the support of the Horizon 2020 project consortia BASAJAUN and WoodCircus.

wood4bauhaus.eu intends to become an active Partner of the New European Bauhaus and, as a first initiative, will hold on 8 April 2021 a Virtual Conference on how the wood sector can contribute to the new Bauhaus.

Wood is an extremely versatile natural material and a circular material par excellence. Long-life products using wood can store carbon for decades or even centuries in buildings and living spaces. The conference aims to raise awareness of the transformative power of the Circular Economy, put a spotlight on the versatility of innovative wood-based products and building systems, and propose dedicated co-creation partnerships with the wood sector for the New European Bauhaus.

As highlighted by Mr Clive Pinnington, EPF Managing Director: “Wood and wood-based panel products are natural, sustainable and climate positive. They offer multiple benefits including energy efficient construction and innovative furniture materials and are therefore a perfect fit for the objectives of the New European Bauhaus”.

In the words of Mr Paul Brannen, Head of Public Affairs for CEI-Bois & EOS and a former MEP: “We are delighted that Professor Schellnhuber, one of the brains behind the new Bauhaus, has agreed to address our conference which will highlight the key role wood can play in tackling climate change, providing affordable housing and bringing beauty into our built environment”.

Dr Uwe Kies, Secretary-General of InnovaWood, underlines: “The New European Bauhaus is a great opportunity for companies, researchers and students in the wood sector to become part of this transformative movement. Joining our forces and knowledge we can co-create climate-friendly solutions and literally build a more sustainable future for our cities and rural areas. We welcome all who wish to take this first step with us”.

Mr Tom Deleu, General Secretary of the European Federation of Building and Woodworkers (EFBWW) pointed out: “The alliance will demonstrate that more building and renovation with wood will contribute to the EU’s ambition to turn the building sector into a carbon sink. It will also be demonstrated with plenty of examples that climate friendly and energy-efficient buildings can be attractive and comfortable and, the sector can also be a driver for quality jobs in rural areas.”

Speakers include architects, designers, industry representatives, researchers and policymakers. For more information, the complete programme of the conference and registration please visit the conference website: wood4bauhaus.eu

[1] State of the Union Address 2020, 16/09/2020

Brussels, 11 March 2021

© 2021 Wood Sector Alliance for the New European Bauhaus

Contact: info@wood4bauhaus.eu | Web: wood4bauhaus.eu