The European Woodworking Industries are ready to match the EU increased ambition towards the 2030 Climate targets

Please find here a joint Press Release of EPF, CEI-Bois, EOS and FEP on the State of the Union address that European Commission President von der Leyen presented yesterday in the European Parliament’s plenary session.

In her statement, she clearly said that: “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.

EPF is delighted to see wood, and therefore also wood-based panels, specifically highlighted at such a high political level as a core material for Europe’s recovery and future.  We are ready and committed to meet this ambition.

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

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.”

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

EPF Annual Report 2019-2020, Advocacy Activities and AGM 2021

In a meeting held today by videoconference with press contacts, associate members and collaborating institutes, EPF presented an economic review of the wood-based panels industry in 2019, drawn from the recently published EPF Annual Report 2019-2020. Advocacy activites were also discussed, and the dates and location for the AGM 2021 were announced.

Economic Review of the Wood-Based Panels industry in 2019

In 2019, the total production of European wood-based panels posted a dip of 1.8% after five consecutive years of growth, reaching a total of 59.2 million m³. Particleboard production increased by 0.5% to 32.1 million m³ thanks to capacity additions. MDF contracted by 3.7% to a total of 12.1 million m³ partly due to announced capacity closures. Oriented Strand Board (OSB), the third largest panel type by volume, declined by 0.8% to 6.8 million m³. Softboard is the next largest panel type. It decreased by 8.6% to reach 4.7 million m³ driven by announced capacity closures. Plywood production went down by 7.8% to 3 million m³. Hardboard is the smallest panel type with 491,000 m³ of production in 2019, which was down by 7.3% compared to 2018.

 

Production (million m³) Countries 2019 2018 2019 v 2018
Particleboard EU28 + EFTA 32.1 31.9 0.5%
MDF EU28 + EFTA 12.1 12.6 -3.7%
OSB EU28 + EFTA 6.8 6.8 -0.8%
Hardboard EU28 + EFTA 0.5 0.5 -7.3%
Softboard EU28 + EFTA 4.7 5.2 -8.6%
Plywood EU28 3.0 3.2 -7.8%
Total Wood-Based Panels 59.2 60.3 -1.8%

 

The special topics for the 2019-2020 issue of the Annual report are:

 Future Two Billion Homes and Horizon Net-Zero Carbon: A turning point for pan-global increase in timber construction by Professor Sean Smith, Director of the Institute for Sustainable Construction at Edinburgh Napier University

  • Wood Products and Wood-Based Panels (WBP) in Construction by Mr Frank Goecke, Director of AFRY Management Consulting
  • Russian end-use markets developments for wood-based panels
  • Plywood and Panel Industry in India – Current scenario by Dr. C.N. Pandey, Principal Technical Advisor of the Federation of Indian Plywood & Panel Industry
  • Thailand’s Wood-Based Panels Industry by Mr PingHsun Huang, Secretary General of the Thai Panel Product Industry Club
  • Malaysian Wood-Based Panels – A diversity of choice by Ms Agnes Seah, Regional Head of the Malaysian Timber Council Europe
  • The European Green deal – A once in a lifetime opportunity for wood-based panels?

Advocacy Update

EPF presented its key advocacy activies, highlighting its consistent messages towards legislators in technical advocacy to retain the integrity of the Single Market, to promote European harmonisation (and to resist Member State fragmentation), and to ensure a level playing field for the benefit of European citizens.

EPF drew attention to its European Green Deal Advocacy, and the recently published leaflet which highlights EPF’s four calls to the European Institutions to:

  • Secure the supply for wooden raw materials and guarantee a level playing field;
  • Increase 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 raw materials.

Comment was also made about the recently published substitution study which highlights that European forest-based industries ecosystem today makes a postive climate contribution that is the equivalent of 20% of all EU fossil emissions.

AGM 2021

In closing, EPF was delighted to announce that Berlin will be the location for the next EPF Annual General Meeting, from 9-11 June 2021. EPF will be hosted by German member organisation VHI, the German wood-based panels federation. The EPF AGM will be combined with VHI’s celebration of a century of existence. The combined event will emphasise the positive contribution that the industry makes today, and will emphasise the need for continued European harmonisation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

 

 

COVID-19: To fight the Corona pandemic, the European Woodworking and Furniture Industries propose measures to protect workers’ health, support economic activity and the sector’s recovery.

EPF, joining forces with our trade union social partner (EFBWW) as well as EFIC, EOS, CEI-Bois and UEA, is delighted to share a call for measures to protect workers’ health, to support economic activity and to help the sector’s recovery in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic. To read full document, click COVID-19 – joint recommendations for the Wood and Furniture

EPF, FEP and EOS join forces for a New Industrial Strategy for Europe

A New Industrial Strategy for Europe: call for including the Bioeconomy in the new European Industrial Strategy.

The European Panel Federation (EPF), the European Federation of the Parquet industry (FEP)
and EOS, the European Organisation of the Sawmill Industry (three sectors with a combined
yearly turnover of approximately 75 Billion EUR – representing 53% of the wood working value
chain), call the Council and the European Parliament for including the Bioeconomy in the
new European Industrial Strategy.

Please click here to read more.

EPF and ZWE proposal for a comprehensive EU strategy for wood under The New Circular Economy Action Plan

The European Panel Federation (EPF) and Zero Waste Europe warmly welcome the New
Circular Economy Action Plan to stimulate lead markets for climate neutral and circular
products. Material efficiency is of the utmost importance to help reduce greenhouse gas
emissions and, in this respect, sustainable product initiative will play a major role in reducing
products externalities.

Please click here to read more.

EPF launches its Position Paper on the European Green Deal

Following the European Parliament’s recent declaration of a climate emergency, European Commission President von der Leyen unveiled in December 2019 the European Commission’s plans to achieve climate neutrality in the EU by 2050: the European Green Deal. The Commission President committed herself to deliver the first detailed proposals within the first 100 days in office. In January 2020, the Parliament voted on its Resolution on the Green Deal with a large majority calling for the decarbonisation ambitions to be set to at least 55% reduction of greenhouse gases emissions for 2030. Ahead of the March Plenary session in Strasbourg where the first set of statements will be presented by the European Commission on the Climate Law, the New Circular Economy Action Plan and the EU Industrial Strategy, EPF publishes today its Position Paper on the European Green Deal.

The Position Paper presents the priorities and demands of the wood-based panels industry with concrete proposals to stimulate the sector in line with the objectives of a circular and innovative economy as set by the guidelines of the European Green Deal. More specifically, the Paper presents a set of four concrete proposals to help the wood-based panels industry to contribute to the goals of the Green Deal:

  • the guarantee of a level playing field and secure supply for wooden raw materials;
  • the use of sustainable bio-based products to fight climate change;
  • the cascade use of harvested wood products;
  • the promotion of climate-friendly products.

Wood-based panels are innovative circular products that store carbon throughout their whole life cycle. They are mainly used for furniture, construction, packaging and other everyday applications.  Panels can help substitute energy-intensive fossil-based materials in construction and renovation of the built environment. Wood-based panels are time, cost and energy efficient and offer enormous potential towards delivering the societal change targeted by the European Green Deal.

Click for the full EPF Position Paper on the European Green Deal

EPF and Industry4Europe offer European Institutions a vision of a strong and successful Europe, powered by a transformational industry

“A long-term strategy for Europe’s industrial future: from words to action” was presented on 21 January to high-level representatives of the EU institutions at an event hosted by the Croatian Presidency of the European Council and by Industry4Europe, a coalition of 153 industrial sectors.  EPF was a co-sponsor of the event and a co-signatory of the Joint Paper.  “From Words to Action” (https://www.industry4europe.eu/assets/Uploads/Publications/Industry4Europe_Joint-Paper_November-2019.pdf) makes the case for Industry in Europe on behalf of the 52 million citizens and their families, who benefit directly or indirectly from employment in the European industrial sector.

 

 

EPF welcomes the conclusions of the Joint Paper and the discussions held in Brussels, in particular:

Recognising the value of Circular Economy. Europe needs to adopt policies and regulatory frameworks that reduce barriers to reuse, repair and recycling, and which encourage circularity.

Sustainability is a global opportunity for Europe.  Industrial strategy on sustainability must translate science into business opportunities.  These must ensure sustainability for long time viability and decarbonisation to protect our climate.  Innovation in industry can deliver this.

Level playing field in the EU market and globally. The alignment of sustainability with a competitive industry must be enabled through a level playing field across diverse economies.  Harmonisation, not regionalism, should also be strongly encouraged allowing global champions to emerge.

  

EPF, an active participant in the Industry4Europe coalition, welcomes EU Commission President von der Leyen’s Green Deal growth strategy that recognises the need for a new European industrial policy based on the circular economy.  EPF acknowledges the recommendation of high-level panellists at the Brussels event to communicate “From Words to Action” and the possibilities that industry offers as broadly as possible in order to help drive this change.  With European wood-based panels being increasingly driven by innovation (already today ca. 50% of the wood resource comes from recovered wood or industrial by-products, effectively turning waste into product), EPF looks forward to playing a key role in the societal, environmental and economic transformation that is envisaged for Europe by the Green Deal.EPF, the European Panel Federation, has members in 25 EU countries and represents the manufacturers of particleboard, MDF, OSB, hardboard, softboard and plywood. The European 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.

 

EPF welcomes its new Climate and Environment Advisor

We are delighted to announce Mr Alexis Kuhl as EPF’s new Climate & Environment adviser.

Alexis, a Belgian, began his professional career as an EU Policy Officer helping members of the Hungarian parliament with their accession to the EU in 2004.  Since then he has worked as a Parliamentary Assistant for an MEP, as an Energy Performance Certifier for buildings, and has also run his own business for ten years.  Most recently he completed a Masters in Environmental Sciences and Management at the Université Libre de Bruxelles, specialised in environmental and energy policy, as well as environmental law, economy and management.  We believe that Alexis’ skill set, qualifications and personality make him ideally suited to helping EPF to put wood-based panels at the centre of the new European Green Deal.