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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 Guidance on Cascading Use of Woody Biomass is available in the EU bookshop: https://publications.europa.eu/en/publication-detail/-/publication/9b823034-ebad-11e8-b690-01aa75ed71a1/language-en/format-PDF/source-80148793
The European Wood-Based Panels Federation (EPF) congratulates the European Commission on its new Guidance on Cascading Use of Biomass launched yesterday at Raw Materials Week in Brussels.
The guidance is part of the Circular Economy Plan, and includes actions that seek to “close the lifecycle loop of products and materials by keeping their value in the economy as long as possible…” EPF shares this vision that is embodied in wood-based panels.
In particular, EPF embraces the section that highlights the value of wood-based panels to cascading, and thus to the Circular Economy: “The manufacture of wood-based panels epitomises the cascade principles in that low-value wood and wood waste are converted into new materials and products, themselves reducing waste and adding value as they pass through downstream processors. Bringing panels into mainstream construction and furniture has transformed both how major building components are constructed and brought affordable furniture to the global mass market. These benefits have been delivered whilst reducing waste and reducing cost”.
In her opening address, Mrs Lowri Evans, Director General of DG Grow urged producers to increase efficiency whilst reducing emissions in order for Europe to remain competitive until 2050 and beyond. EPF’s members proudly submit Particleboard, MDF, OSB, Plywood, Hardboard and Softboard as active examples of this due to their natural carbon storage properties as well as their integral role in the cascading concept, and thus the Circular Economy.
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EPF – the European Panel Federation has members in 25 countries and represents the manufacturersnof 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.
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.
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.