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

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

EPF PRESS RELEASE on the Launch of the New European Bauhaus

 

PRESS RELEASE

Launch of the New European Bauhaus

 

The European Panel Federation (EPF) warmly welcomes the launch today of the of the New European Bauhaus as announced in the Renovation Wave Strategy. More specifically, EPF is thrilled that, as underlines in the Renovation Wave Strategy, that “nature-based materials such as wood can play a crucial role in the design of the New European Bauhaus as they can have a double benefit: stocking carbon emissions in buildings and avoiding emissions that would have been needed to produce conventional construction materials”.

As highlighted by Clive Pinnington, EPF Managing Director: “Wood-based panels natural, sustainable, climate positive, energy efficient construction and furniture materials and therefore a perfect fit for the objectives of the New European Bauhaus”.

Commissioner for Cohesion and Reforms, Elisa Ferreira used the metaphor of the tree to describe the launch of the design phase: “we need to plant the seed to grow roots and bear the fruits”. In this respect, EPF is looking forward becoming an active partner to this very promising initiative to plant the seeds for a new European aesthetic that combines sustainability, performance with inventiveness while building back better for an inclusive recovery.

More: A New EU Bauhaus Factsheet

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