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News – European Panel Federation

Joint EPF-EFBWW statement on International Workers Memorial Day

In the context of the International Workers Memorial Day – 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

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

Mr Martin Brettenthaler and Mr Tobias Schindler elected to the EPF Managing Board. Mr Brettenthaler is the Chairman designate

Brussels, 29 March 2021

 At its General Assembly held on 24 March 2021 by videoconference, the European Wood-Based Panels Federation (EPF) unanimously elected Mr Martin Brettenthaler, CEO of SWISS KRONO Group and Mr Tobias Schindler, CSO of Steico SE, to its Managing Board with immediate effect. 

Mr Martin Brettenthaler was also named as Chairman designate of EPF, subject to approval by the General Assembly on 10 June 2021.  That is when the 3rd consecutive term of existing Chairman Dr Paolo Fantoni, of FANTONI Spa, will come to an end.  Dr Fantoni himself led the warm welcome to Mr Brettenthaler in his forthcoming role. Martin Brettenthaler (50) is a citizen of both Austria and Switzerland, economist by training, active in the wood-based panel industry for more than 20 years and lives in Basel with his wife and three children.

Mr Brettenthaler will represent EPF as early as 8 April 2021, when he will deliver a speech at the wood sector’s conference on the New European Bauhaus.  EPF is a founding member of the wood4bauhaus alliance and a co-organiser of the event www.wood4bauhaus.eu, for which more than 500 attendees have already registered.

The General Assembly also accepted, with thanks for their service and commitment, the related resignations from the EPF Managing Board of Mr Max von Tippelskirch, of SWISS KRONO group and Mr Boris Buchwald, of Steico SE.

About EPF

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 panel 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.

 

 

Wood4Bauhaus Virtual Conference Thursday 8 April 2021 at 10.00 am – Pivotal EC official and keynote speaker Professor Schellnhuber confirmed – Over 700 participants already registered

 PRESS RELEASE

Making the New European Bauhaus a great success:
Nature-based solutions for citizens, society and our climate

Wood4Bauhaus Virtual Conference Thursday 8 April 2021 at 10.00 am

Pivotal EC official and keynote speaker Professor Schellnhuber confirmed

Over 700 participants already registered

The wood4bauhaus.eu alliance has the pleasure to announce that Mrs Ruth Reichstein will open the wood4bauhaus conference on Thursday 8 April 2021 starting at 10.00 am CET.

 

Mrs Reichstein is the pivotal European Commission official in charge of developing the New European Bauhaus, including liaising between the cabinet of President Ursula von der Leyen and the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre.

 

 

Professor Hans-Joachim Schellnhuber of the Potsdam-Institute for Climate Impact Research in Germany, who has recently been named as an ambassador for the New European Bauhaus High-level Roundtable, is confirmed as our keynote speaker.

 

These leading figures of the New European Bauhaus will provide first-hand insight of the President’s visionary new initiative and will seek to inspire the wood sector to contribute to the design and targets of the New European Bauhaus. Additional speakers – architects, designers, industrialists, researchers and social partners – will share first projects, ideas and best practices responding to the President’s call for wood to play a key role in transforming the built environment into a carbon sink[1]. They will demonstrate that zero-emission buildings can be beautiful, offering pleasant and affordable living spaces, accessible to all.

The wood4bauhaus alliance consists of the InnovaWood EU network for wood research, innovation and education, the European Wood-Based Panels Federation (EPF), the European Confederation of Woodworking Industries (CEI-Bois), the European Federation of Building and Woodworkers (EFBWW) and the European Organisation of the Sawmill Industry (EOS). It has also the support of the Horizon 2020 project consortia BASAJAUN and WoodCircus. The alliance has applied to become an active Partner of New European Bauhaus.

For the complete programme of the conference and for registration please visit the conference website: wood4bauhaus.eu.

Brussels, 30 March 2021

Background info

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

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

Press release on the Renovation Wave Strategy: the opportunity to turn the built environment into a carbon sink

Brussels, 15 October 2020

The European Panel Federation (EPF) warmly welcomes the publication of the European Commission communication on the Renovation Wave Strategy: “A Renovation Wave for Europe – greening our buildings, creating jobs, improving lives”. This Strategy aims at a refurbished and energy efficient building stock in the EU that will help pave 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 emissions.

The Renovation Wave is also a unique opportunity to create up to 160.000 sustainable green jobs and to boost growth within the framework of the post covid-19 recovery while reducing drastically greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and ensuring a better living environment for European citizens. More than merely reducing GHG emissions this Renovation Wave Strategy is the unique chance for the EU building ecosystem to become a carbon sink improving the pool of carbon removals “through the promotion of green infrastructure and the use of organic building materials that can store carbon, such as sustainably-sourced wood”.

“By minimising the footprints of buildings and optimising carbon storage in natural, renewable building products and solutions, such as wood-based panels, we are taking an important leap towards the achievement of the objectives of the European Green Deal”, said Mr Clive Pinnington, EPF’s Managing Director.

Mr Alexis Kuhl, EPF’s Climate and Environment Advisor added: “Ensuring that the construction ecosystem is fit to deliver sustainable energy efficient renovation, based on circular, sustainable and climate-friendly solutions is the way forward. EPF strongly supports the EU’s aim to have building renovation as a priority for national recovery plans under the European Flagship ‘Renovate’”.

About EPF

EPF – the European Panel Federation has members in 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.

EPF gives feedback to DG ENERG on the IIAs on the review of EED & the revision of RED II

The European Panel Federation (EPF), welcomes the Inception Impact Assessment on the review of the Directive 2012/27/EU on energy efficiency and the related more ambitious targets for the reduction of the EU’s greenhouse gas emissions by at least 50% to 55% by 2030. Enhanced energy efficiency is indeed a key objective of the Green Deal in the framework of the incoming Renovation Wave Initiative in mid-October and in our recovery from the COVID-19 crisis. The wood-based panels industry believes that it is especially essential to foster energy efficiency of the EU building stock.

Read more on EPF Feedback on the Inception Impact Assessment on EU energy efficiency directive (EED) evaluation and review

The European Panel Federation (EPF), welcomes the Inception Impact Assessment on the revision of the Directive (EU) 2018/2001 on the promotion of the use of energy from renewable sources (RED II). The wood-based panels industry believes that the promotion of the use of renewables and the transition towards a decarbonised European society are key to achieving the objectives of the Green Deal and ought to play a fundamental role in the post COVID-19 recovery.

Read more on EPF Feedback on the Inception Impact Assessment on the revision of the Directive on the promotion of the use of energy from renewable sources

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.” Click here to see how she said it!

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