Save the date – EPF Annual General Meeting – Santiago de Compostela, Spain – 21-23 June 2023

EPF is delighted to announce that its Annual General Meeting will be held from 21 June to 23 June 2023 in Santiago de Compostela, Spain hosted by ANFTA. The AGM will follow the traditional schedule with a Managing Board meeting on 21 June, member meetings on 22 June including the General Assembly followed by the Gala Dinner, and an Open Part conference on Friday 23 June. Attendance is by invitation only. These will be sent in due course.

We look forward to seeing many of you in Spain for this important gathering of the European wood-based panels industry.

EPF Press Conference @ Interzum – 9 May 2023

 

EPF is pleased to announce an upcoming event.

In the framework of the Interzum Trade Fair 2023, EPF will hold a Press Conference.

Chairman Mr Martin Brettenthaler will present provisional highlights from the European wood-based panels industry’s 2022 results, the full presentation of which will be made to the press on 23 June 2023 in Santiago de Compostela, Spain.

EPF will also provide its members and journalists with updates on its 5 Strategic Directions, current advocacy, and latest news.

Press contacts, EPF members and interested parties will be formally invited nearer the time, but are welcomed to already mark this date and time in their calendars.

The EPF Press Conference will take place on 9 May at 1 pm at the

Congress-Centre North
2nd floor – Conference Room A
Rheinsaal Section 5

Messeplatz 1, Cologne, North Rhine-Westphalia 50679, Germany

For further information, please contact Isabelle Henin on info@europanels.org

12th European Wood-based Panel Symposium

Hamburg, 14 October – “Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear, not absence of fear”. Mark Twain’s words of encouragement were quoted by EPF Chairman and SWISS KRONO Group CEO Mr Martin Brettenthaler in the opening speech at the 12th European Wood-Based Panel Symposium (EWPBS), held on 13-14 October in Hamburg. Mr Brettenthaler recognised the difficulties that the industry currently faces but urged the attendees to continue the sector’s exemplary work in terms especially of sustainability and decarbonisation. 

In the opening sessions, Mr Brettenthaler was joined by Mr Edi Snaidero, Chairman of the European Furniture Industries Confederation (EFIC) and by Mr Jori Ringman, Managing Director of the Confederation of European Paper Industries (CEPI). With words such as “cascade”, “resource efficiency”, and “wood availability” recurring in all three tasks, it was noted with pleasure by the audience how aligned the sectors are as the wood-based panels industry seeks to establish itself as a role model industry within the European Green Deal. 

Mr Snaidero underlined the importance of the wood-based panel industry to the furniture branch, looking forward to increasing areas of integration and collaboration across the supply chain; Mr Ringman highlighted that the forest-based industries today make a positive climate contribution equivalent to 20% of current EU fossil emissions, noting that by working together in terms of emission reduction and carbon storage, this figure might reasonably rise to 30%. To optimise this effect, the wood-based panels industry and related sectors should continue to work together as a single, resilient, integrated ecosystem. Mr Brettenthaler assured the attendees that these industry partnerships have been set as a key objective for EPF, together with the 5 Strategic Directions of role model industry, climate, wood availability, harmonisation and regulation. 

Hosted by Fraunhofer WKI, EPF and iVTH, and with HyWax as primary sponsor, 320 delegates from 28 countries enjoyed two days of market updates, technical presentations and networking for the first time since 2018. The 13th edition of the EWBPS is planned for 9-11 October 2024, in Hamburg. 

Wood4Bauhaus Bioeconomy side event

Report from the Wood4Bauhaus Alliance side event held Friday 7th October at the High-Level EU Bioeconomy Conference, ‘Bioeconomy – Enabling the European Green Deal in Challenging Times’ 6-7th October, Brussels

This side event was held at the request of the European Commission to highlight the potential climate benefits of using more nature-based materials, such as wood and other biomaterials, in the built environment within the context of the New European Bauhaus.

Long-life, low-carbon, circular products can drastically diminish the carbon emissions of Europe’s building stock. Nature-based solutions will thus be key to achieving a more resilient, self-sufficient European bioeconomy.

The event was hosted by the Wood Sector Alliance for the New European Bauhaus – wood4bauhaus an official partner of the New European Bauhaus, which drives change in the building sector, supports the co-creation of innovative solutions and helps to make the transition to sustainable living a widespread, powerful movement.

Four speakers explained how the bioeconomy can be built with nature-based materials and solutions within the setting of the New European Bauhaus (NEB):

 Borut Cink, European Commission’s Joint Research Centre, explained that the NEB was keen to foster and co-create nature-based solutions and “that the President of the Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, sees the New European Bauhaus as the soul of the Green Deal.” Cink pointed out that they are undertaking regulatory analysis to identify obstacles to the NEB, including with regards the use of new materials, and the first report will be available in the autumn.

Olivier Vuylsteke, Chief Investment Officer at Nextensa, spoke about the paradigm shift that is now underway in the construction sector as it rediscovers wood as a building material. Using the example of his own company he explained how they were “working to decarbonise the buildings in their portfolio”, an approach “in line with the values of the New European Bauhaus.” He explained it had been necessary “to do some convincing to move away from the traditional build approach.” Vuylsteke highlighted their new build timber office block close to EU Parliament on Rue Montoyer, the first of its kind in Brussels, which had been erected quicker than a normal build and with considerably lower climate emissions Monteco (nextensa.eu)

Clive Pinnington, Managing Director of the European Panel Federation, highlighted the potential of wood insulation materials both within the Renovation Wave and the NEB. “With energy prices rocketing the number one recommendation is ‘insulate your loft’. Yet, only 1% of insulation materials are currently nature-based, the other 99% are all fossil fuel based.

This needs to change and, as European Commission Vice-President Frans Timmermans highlighted when addressing the Bioeconomy Conference earlier today, wood-fibre is the sustainable material that can do this and additionally it will safely store carbon.” 

Lauri Linkosalmi of StoraEnso spoke about building solutions with wood being a leading driver for the bioeconomy. “Wood is an existing solution. It is lightweight and can be fabricated and deployed quickly and has many applications. Everything that’s made from fossil-based materials today can be made from a tree tomorrow.” By way of example he referenced wooden wind turbine towers made with laminated veneer lumber (LVL), which proportionate to their weight are stronger than steel.

Uwe Kies, Secretary General of InnovaWood, chaired the event.

For further information and comment contact:
Paul Brannen +44 787 856 5406, or
Uwe Kies +32 472 62 60 43, or

per e-Mail info@wood4bauhaus.eu

Background information

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

The Wood4Bauhaus Alliance’s main objective is to shape a better and sustainable future with beautiful, healthy and inclusive living, working, and learning spaces as part of a sustainable, low carbon-built environment. Our platform shall foster an open, long-term dialogue with all interested stakeholders and help share good practices related to the Circular Economy and Green Buildings. Our goal is to inspire as many actors as possible to co-create and develop contributions to the New European Bauhaus from European to regional and local level, all in the common interest to advance and exploit as much as possible nature-based materials, innovative building systems and smart solutions to mitigate climate harm and benefit European citizens. The Alliance will therefore:

  • Encourage research and innovation for novel, innovative uses of wood in the built environment,
  • Foster new collaborations and co-creation between different stakeholders across disciplines, sectors, and society, and
  • Facilitate knowledge sharing and skills development towards future generations.

The Alliance confirming these policy recommendations comprises the following partners:

InnovaWood is the European network for wood science, research, innovation and education with 60+ member 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 in wood-based panel manufacturing and furniture in 32 countries. The European Organisation of the Sawmill Industry (EOS) represents 35,000 sawmills in 12 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. InnoRenew CoE is a new research centre in Slovenia focused on sustainable construction with renewable materials.

BASAJAUN project fosters sustainable wood construction chains from forest harvesting to final buildings and Circular Economy solutions in the sector. It has received funding from the EU Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement no. 862942. InnoRenew CoE was founded with support from H2020 Widespread-2-Teaming grant no. 739574.

© 2022 Wood Sector Alliance for the New European Bauhaus

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

Press Release: EPF reports strong 2021 results but is cautious for 2022, launches 5 Strategic Directions, announces Board changes, and rings in an era of sustainability at their AGM 2022 in Ghent

Brussels, 1 July 2022

EPF, the European Wood-based Panels Federation, proudly welcomed more than 150 participants to its AGM 2022 on 29 June -1 July in Ghent Belgium.  The gathering was wonderfully hosted by EPF National Association member Fedustria, the Belgian federation of the textile, wood and furniture industries and its member companies UNILIN and Norbord West Fraser Belgium.

Results


EPF was delighted to announce strong results from 2021, with an overall production increase of 9.8%.  All product types recorded increases from the previous year, and each exceeded pre-pandemic levels, showing the resilience of the sector and the growing interest of the public in nature-based materials such as panels.  However, it was noted that these results should be treated with caution in terms of how 2022 might develop.

Mr Martin Brettenthaler, EPF Chairman, commented: “Like the city of Ghent, our sector has always been innovative, dynamic and sustainable.  I am confident that this will help us to find opportunity in today’s turmoil, but this is no longer business as usual.  That is why we need our politicians to help secure the energy we need, and the wood we require, but not by burning the latter to supply the former.  That is not the solution either in the long, medium or short-term”.

5 Strategic Directions

Mr Martin Brettenthaler, Chairman, launched EPF’s 5 new Strategic Directions: Role Model Industry, Climate, Wood Availability, Harmonisation and Regulation.  These were accompanied by a short video and a fact sheet and may now be found on EPF’s website: www.europanels.org.  The 5 Strategic Directions are the focus areas of EPF’s work in the coming years.

 

Elections

EPF’s General Assembly accepted the resignation of Mr Bernard Thiers, CEO of UNILIN as Vice-Chairman and Managing Board Member, thanking him warmly for his many valuable years of service and support.  Replacing Mr Thiers, Mr Pablo Figueroa López, Executive Committee member of FINSA, was chosen as the new Vice-Chairman and Mrs Veronique Hoflack, President of UNILIN Panels, was elected to the Managing Board.

Era of sustainability

Despite the turbulent times bringing a multitude of challenges, EPF looks forward to playing its role as a role model industry in the economy, in the environment and in society during the coming years.  This was symbolised by the ringing of the wood-based panels bell by Mr Brettenthaler and Mrs Hoflack.  With this, EPF hopes to usher in a new era of sustainability in construction, furniture, packaging and other markets served by innovative, climate-smart wood-based panels.


© Hilde De Kelver

Press Release: AGM 2022 – 29 June – 1 July – Ghent

Brussels, 1 July 2022

EPF, the European Wood-based Panels Federation, proudly welcomed more than 150 participants to its AGM 2022 on 29 June -1 July in Ghent Belgium.  The gathering was wonderfully hosted by EPF National Association member Fedustria, the Belgian federation of the textile, wood and furniture industries and its member companies UNILIN and Norbord West Fraser Belgium.

EPF was delighted to announce strong results from 2021, with an overall production increase of 9.8%.  All product types recorded increases from the previous year, and each exceeded pre-pandemic levels, showing the resilience of the sector and the growing interest of the public in nature-based materials such as panels.  However, it was noted that these results should be treated with caution in terms of how 2022 might develop.

Mr Martin Brettenthaler, EPF Chairman, commented: “Like the city of Ghent, our sector has always been innovative, dynamic and sustainable.  I am confident that this will help us to find opportunity in today’s turmoil, but this is no longer business as usual.  That is why we need our politicians to help secure the energy we need, and the wood we require, but not by burning the latter to supply the former.  That is not the solution either in the long, medium or short-term”.

5 Strategic Directions

Mr Martin Brettenthaler, Chairman, launched EPF’s 5 new Strategic Directions: Role Model Industry, Climate, Wood Availability, Harmonisation and Regulation.  These were accompanied by a short video and a fact sheet and may now be found on EPF’s website: www.europanels.org.

The 5 Strategic Directions are the focus areas of EPF’s work in the coming years.

 

Elections

EPF’s General Assembly accepted the resignation of Mr Bernard Thiers, CEO of UNILIN as Vice-Chairman and Managing Board Member, thanking him warmly for his many valuable years of service and support.  Replacing Mr Thiers, Mr Pablo Figueroa López, Executive Committee member of FINSA, was chosen as the new Vice-Chairman and Mrs Veronique Hoflack, President of UNILIN Panels, was elected to the Managing Board.

Era of sustainability

Despite the turbulent times bringing a multitude of challenges, EPF looks forward to playing its role as a role model industry in the economy, in the environment and in society during the coming years.  This was symbolised by the ringing of the wood-based panels bell by Mr Brettenthaler and Mrs Hoflack.  With this, EPF hopes to usher in a new era of sustainability in construction, furniture, packaging and other markets served by innovative, climate-smart wood-based panels.

 

 

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

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.

Programme of the 12th European Wood-based Panel Symposium, 30 September – 2 October 2020 in Hamburg, Germany

European Wood-base Panels Symposium 2020 Programme

The bi-annual Symposium will take place from 30 September to 2 October 2020 in Hamburg. 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.

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)
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