Press Release: EPF applauds the inclusion of the cascade use of wood principle in the Renewable Energy Directive (RED III)

Brussels, 15 September 2022 – The European Panel Federation (EPF), representing the European manufacturers of particleboard, MDF, OSB, hardboard, softboard and plywood, welcomes the positive vote in the European Parliament Plenary on MEP Pieper’s Committee on Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE) report on the revision of the Renewable Energy Directive (RED III) as part of the ‘Fit for 55’ package.

This vote on the revised RED comes at a critical time for the energy sector especially if we are to achieve EU’s goal of net-zero emissions by 2050. EPF applauds that the Parliament resolution clearly recognises and underlines the need for alignment of bioenergy policies with the cascading principle[1] of biomass in line with resource efficiency through the prioritisation of the highest environmental and material added value for the use of biomass and by requiring respect of the waste hierarchy.

EPF is delighted that this will enshrine the cascading principle into the Directive allowing for the maintenance of sustainable carbon cycles in products such as wood-based panels, while ending market distorting subsidies for the burning of primary woody biomass for energy and limiting the burning of all woody biomass through enhanced sustainability criteria.

Mr Clive Pinnington, EPF Managing Director commented that “wood-based panels are natural, sustainable carbon stores, that contribute daily to the mitigation of climate change in furniture, construction, packaging and other applications. We are delighted that RED III will now allow these products to thrive on an increasingly level playing field”.

EPF’s Technical Director Mr Kris Wijnendaele welcomed the “efforts by the European Parliament to safeguard the material use of wood to manufacture high quality versatile products like furniture and sustainable nature-based building materials that are needed to realise the ambitions of the New European Bauhaus of EC President Mrs von der Leyen to turn the built environment from a greenhouse gas emitter into a carbon sink”.

EPF appreciates that ‘no later than one year after the entry into force of this amending Directive, the Commission shall adopt an implementing act on how to apply the cascading principle for forest biomass’. EPF stands ready to support on this and in the overall achievement of Europe’s New Green Deal.

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 25 EU countries. The EU wood panel industry has a turnover of about 22 billion euro every year and creates directly over 100,000 jobs. The production of wood-based panels in the EU-27 (+EFTA) in 2021 was an estimated 63.7 million m³.  

[1] In line with the cascading principle, woody biomass should be used according to its highest economic and environmental added value in the following order of priorities: 1) wood-based products, 2) extending their service life, 3) re-use, 4) recycling, 5) bio-energy and 6) disposal.



Press release: EPF rings in a new era of sustainability with a wooden bell

Brussels, 29 June 2022

The start of the 2022 Annual General Meeting of EPF, the European Panel Federation, will be marked by the inauguration of a wooden bell made entirely from wood-based panels by the arborist Ben Vanden Berghe. The EPF AGM 2022 takes place in Ghent from 29 June to 1 July.

By ringing this bell, EPF and Fedustria, the Belgian federation of the textile, wood and furniture industries and this year’s host of the AGM, intend to kick off a new era of sustainability in construction, furniture, packaging and other markets served by innovative wood-based panels.  As well as being active contributors to climate change mitigation through natural long-term carbon storage, these products from sustainable sources fit perfectly into the circular economy and optimise resource efficiency through the cascading use of wood. They represent both our past, and our way ahead.

Today, only 45% of Europe’s wood goes to material use. EPF calls on regulators, EU Institutions and consumers to embrace nature-based materials, to prefer the cascading use of wood and thus to drive this usage up to at least 60%. The era of sustainability is upon us.

As EPF Chairman Martin Brettenthaler stressed: “Together with our members and in the traditional yet progressive city of Ghent, the wood-based panels sector, a role model European industry, is proud to ring in the start of an exciting future.”


Press Release: Programme of the European Wood-Based Panels Symposium on 13-14 October 2022 in Hamburg, Germany

Brussels, 2 June 2022

Following the great success of the previous Wood-Based Panel Symposia, EPF is organising the 12th edition of this Technical Conference again this year following the regretful cancellation of the 2020 edition due to the COVID19 pandemic and the restrictions that made such a large gathering impossible.

The Symposium is again intended to serve as a forum for the wood-based panels industry, supplying industries, technology providers, consultancies, research, education and training institutes from Europe and beyond. This symposium will again be organised in co-operation with WKI-Fraunhofer Institut für Holzforschung and with the support of iVTH and Hywax (formerly Sasol Wax). The event will take place in the Grand Elysée Hotel in the centre of Hamburg, Germany, on 12-14 October 2022.

The event will be opened by plenary presentations by EPF Chairman and SWISS KRONO Group CEO Mr Martin Brettenthaler and Mr Edi Snaidero, Chairman of the European Furniture Industries Confederation (EFIC) followed by a speech by the Managing Director of the Confederation of European Paper Industries (CEPI), Mr Jori Ringman. We are also happy to announce that Prof Dr Tunga Salthammer from Fraunhofer WKI will present a critical review on the TVOC value during the 2nd day of the conference.

For the full programme, please click Here.

For more information and registration, please visit the website .

EcoReFibre Press Release: European Wood-Based Panels Industry scales up end-of-life recycling and circular use of recovered wood

Horizon Europe project EcoReFibre (May 2022-April 2027) explores smart sorting and processing technologies to recycle post-consumer waste wood back into fibreboards and into novel building products.

Five highly promising pilots with leading panel manufacturers are launched to demonstrate how Circular Economy approaches linked with innovative, digital-supported technologies will enable security of raw material supplies. EcoReFibre’s aim is to increase available wood resources in Europe. The ambition is to substitute up to 25% of the virgin fibres currently used in the European fibreboard market. The project demonstrates how this upscaling of circular technologies can become possible.

EPF is co-leading together with Innovawood the communication and dissemination phase to ensure a broad spreading of results and recommendations, fostering links to many EU-level networks and national clusters. A series of engaging events, conferences and communication actions will be geared to the objective of achieving greater acceptance for wood waste recycling in the context of circular economy and climate change adaptation.

EcoReFibre Press Release, 31 May 2022

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.

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



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

Verified by ExactMetrics