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Mr Justin Daerden, Director ACV, and Mr Kris Wijnendaele, Technical Director EPF, sign the Action Guide on behalf of EFBWW and EPF respectively.
EPF, the European Wood-based Panels Federation and EFBWW, the European Federation of Building and Woodworkers, have signed a landmark agreement on enhanced worker protection known as the European Action Guide. The two partners signed the accord within the context of the European Commission’s “Perspectives and Challenges of the Woodworking Industries in Europe” social dialogue project, on 29 November 2018. The industry trade association and the industry trade union both welcomed this voluntary commitment that ushers in a new level of safety in the workplace, estimated to be introduced up to five years ahead of any possible legislative requirement.
The Action Guide commits the European panel manufacturers to a measurement, control and continuous improvement process that is designed to ensure that worker exposure to formaldehyde is never threatening. Based on the Operation Exposure Limit value that the EU Scientific Committee has recommended (0.3ppm TWA, 0.6ppm STEL) the initiative improves protection via a colour coded zoning system. It was approved by EFBWW in mid-November and by EPF members last week ahead of the joint signing in Lisbon.
The European Panel Federation (EPF), the European Organisation of the Sawmill Industry (EOS) and the European Confederation of Woodworking Industries (CEI-Bois), organised the 7th Club du Bois meeting under the chairwomanship of Mrs Maria Noichl, MEP, on 17th October at the European Parliament in Brussels.
This edition focussed on the European woodworking industry and its threats & opportunities.
During the high-level stakeholder conference ‘EU Vision for a Modern, Clean & Competitive Economy’ to help prepare the EU Strategy for long-term emissions reductions, EPF Chairman Dott. Paolo Fantoni urged Europe to embrace three concepts that could contribute greatly to the prevention of climate change: broadening the cascade use of wood, implementing the waste hierarchy and developing extended producer responsibility. These practices are increasingly at the core of the wood-based panels industry, which is recognised as a leading example of the Circular Economy and a key driver towards achieving the goals of the Paris Agreement.
Dott. Fantoni shared the podium with former French Prime Minister Fabius, President of COP21 and architect of the Paris Agreement, EU Commissioners Cañete, Bieńkowska, Katainen and Šefčovič, as well as European Commission Director-Generals Ristori and Petriccione and other stakeholders.
EPF celebrated its 2018 Annual General Meeting in Lucerne Switzerland, kindly hosted by the Swiss Krono Group. Over two days EPF held its General Assembly, Economic Working Group meeting and dedicated Product Group meetings. These sessions were open only to Regular members, whereas the final event was opened also to Associate members and Press contacts. It was in this final meeting that EPF publicly announced the key figure from its Annual Report 2017/2018, being a growth in volume of 3% during 2017 across all panel types.
EPF members will meet again for their next General Assembly in November 2018, and the 2019 AGM is provisionally scheduled for 26-28 June 2019, with the location still to be announced.
For further information, please go to the Members’ Section, or contact the EPF Secretariat.
As part of our regular engagement with policymakers, EPF met Dominique Ristori, Director General of DG Energy in the European Commission. The focus of the meeting was to present the industry position on RED II, Cascade, Waste Wood, Recycling and Regional Wood Diversity. Following the meeting, we have agreed an ongoing dialogue with Mr Ristori and his team in DG Energy, and will continue to contribute to the policymaking process where appropriate.