Brussels, 12 October 2023
The European Panel Federation (EPF), representing the European manufacturers of particleboard, MDF, hardboard, softboard and plywood strongly welcomes the cascading use of wood principle being enshrined in EU law. Following adoption by the European Parliament in September, the Council formally adopted the revised text of the Renewable Energy Directive (REDIII) on Monday 9 October.
The legislation not only highlights the importance of wood as a renewable resource but also sheds light on the need for responsible and efficient use and on the strengthening of sustainability criteria, aligned with EPF’s advocacy calls for at least 60% of Europe’s roundwood harvest to go to material use, to be cascaded through multiple cycles, and ultimately incinerated for energy at end of material life. As highlighted in Article 3(3), ‘Member States shall take measures to ensure that energy from biomass is produced in a way that minimises undue distortive effects on the biomass raw material market (…) with a view to ensuring that woody biomass is used according to its highest economic and environmental added value’.
EPF further applauds the key decisions of legislators not to give subsidies for the burning of industrial grade roundwood (IGRW) and to carry out a report by the European Commission on market distortions and the limitation of support schemes by 2027.
By encouraging the cascading use of wood and these takeaways, the legislation supports a circular and resource efficient-oriented approach, which resonates with EPF’s longstanding commitment to optimal use, responsible and sustainable practices within the wood-based panels industry.
EPF represents the European manufacturers of wood-based panels being particleboard, dry process fibreboard (MDF), oriented strand board (OSB), hardboard, softboard and plywood. EPF has members in 30 European countries. The EU wood panel industry has a turnover of about 25 billion euro every year and creates directly over 100,000 jobs. The production of wood-based panels in the EU-27 (+EFTA) in 2022 was an estimated 59.8 million m³. www.europanels.org