Sustainability

Carbon cycle EPF-wood-based-panel products

Only 48% of the total raw wood consumption by the European wood-based panel industry comes from roundwood. More than half of the woody biomass raw material is recycled or an industrial by-product.  

  • Roundwood is the tree coming from sustainably managed forests. In Europe, the annual forest growth easily exceeds the harvesting. Only 64% of the net annual increment is currently cut.
  • Industrial by-products are the remaining wood materials resulting from the work of sawmills and other processing factories in manufacturing wood products. Rather than being simply discarded or burnt, the by-products are used by the wood-based panel industry to create entirely new long-lasting products and reach new markets.
  • Recovered wood is wood derived from the recycling of old furniture, packaging or construction and demolition wood, broken down and transformed into new material for the manufacture of wood-based panels. Recovered wood is often defined as post-industrial (packaging, construction or demolition wood) or post-consumer (old furniture) wood that has been recovered from the waste stream for use as raw material input.

Breakdown of the raw wood consumption by the European wood-based panels* industry, 2017

* Includes particleboard, MDF, OSB and hard & softboard. Please note that not all panels can use industrial by-products and recovered wood. This breakdown is a combined average across all panels. Different panel types will have different profiles.

The role of natural materials, and in particular the role of wood-based panels, should be enhanced in the EU’s bio and circular economy ambitions.