Wood Sector Alliance for the New European Bauhaus
Fostering circular bio-based materials and innovative system solutions for sustainable cities and rural areas
The alliance has been initiated by several umbrella organisations: the InnovaWood EU network for wood research, innovation and education, the European Panel Federation (EPF), the European Confederation of Woodworking Industries (CEI-Bois), the European Federation of Building and Woodworkers (EFBWW), the European Organisation of the Sawmill Industry (EOS). It has also the support of the Horizon 2020 project consortia BASAJAUN and WoodCircus. The ambition is to grow the network of supporters and contribute to forming a major hub of the sector for the New European Bauhaus.
EPF represents 100,000 direct jobs and counts more than 5,000 wood-based panel manufacturing and furniture companies in 25 countries. As the main industry association, EPF represents the European manufacturers of particleboard, MDF, OSB, hardboard, softboard and plywood. In 2019, the total production of European wood-based panels reached a total of 59.2 million m³. Panels were sold into the furniture, construction and packaging industries, as well as to other applications. EPF and its members provide a vast experience in advanced production and application of wood-based panel products, including a large European and world-wide network of scientific, technical, environmental and societal experts as well as business, research, education and institutional actors.
The major tasks of EPF are to: (i) act as a meeting point of all producers of particleboard, MDF, OSB, hardboard, softboard and plywood and of their supplier industries, technology providers, technical, research and education institutes, consultants and specialised trade press; (ii) act as a representative of the particleboard, MDF, OSB, hardboard, softboard and plywood industries with the supra-national authorities; (iii) follow up and steer the activities in respect to technical and environmental topics that have an impact on the wood-based panel industries; (iv) set up a statistical system on the wood-based panel industries and their markets; (v) provide information to the membership through annual report, regular newsletters, and the organisation of technical conferences; (vi) provide all interested parties with general information on the sector.
Founded in 1952 in Brussels, CEI-Bois is the European Confederation of the Woodworking Industries. It numbers sixteen national organisations, four European sector federations as well as one commercial public establishment. Looking at the market, the production value of the European woodworking Industry was close to 240 billion EUR in 2018 while, in the same year, about 397 000 enterprises were active in wood-based industries across the EU, representing 20% of EU manufacturing enterprises. CEI-Bois is also one of the founders of the Forest-based Sector Technology Platform (FTP).
The primary goal of CEI-Bois is to promote the interests of the European wood sector and to this end to contribute to the EU policy-making process. It is the main body representing the European Woodworking Industries at European and International level. In particular, CEI-Bois’s mission is to promote the sector and the use of wood in its numerous forms and applications, to represent and safeguard the European Woodworking Industries interests and finally to highlight the natural sustainability of wood and wood-based products. CEI-Bois supports its Members through five working groups: construction, research & innovation, sustainability, trade and social affairs. Additional ad hoc task forces are established when needed; the most recent addition is the Task Force dealing with issues related to Deforestation and Illegal Logging.
EOS represents the interests of the European sawmilling sector on European and International level. Through its member federations and associated members, EOS represents some 35.000 sawmills in 12 countries across Europe (both hardwood and softwood producers), manufacturing sawn boards, timber frames, glulam, decking, flooring, joinery, fencing and several other wood products. Together they represent roughly 80% of the total European sawn wood output. While European countries remain very relevant export markets for EOS producers, EOS companies are each passing year more and more export-oriented: currently around half of the exports of the European sawmill industry are absorbed by non-EU markets. Securing access to raw material is therefore vital for the European sawmill industry.
The European Organization of the Samwill Industry (EOS) is committed to advancing de-carbonization of the economy not only within the EU but also outside. Wood is a renewable material and harvested wood products (HWPs) retain CO2 throughout their lifecycle. EOS advocates for a European green growth that creates favourable conditions for a Bioeconomy focused on the production and utilisation of natural, sustainable climate friendly resources to generate high-value industrial products. Although collaboration is well established with other forestry related organisations. EOS regularly consults its Members and all decisions and position papers are adopted on unanimous basis. EOS strongly believes that no interests should left behind, companies are equally valuable disregarding the size or turnover.
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. Founded in 2003, and based since 2010 in Brussels, InnovaWood represents a common voice for promoting more impact from innovative uses of wood, Europe’s main abundant renewable raw material, in line with the major policies of the European Union.
The overall aim is to bring business benefit to the value chain by providing a forum for the member organisations and contribute to the competitive development of the European forest-based sector. The network represents organisation in the entire value chain from forestry and wood processing to construction, furniture and bioeconomy. InnovaWood communicates towards decision-makers in policy, administration and industry on the EU and national level. Collectively, its members are involved in at least 1,500 national and 250 international projects.
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 Federation's main task is to represent its affiliates in Europe and help them defend the rights and interests of the workers in the industries it covers. Since the virtual completion of the European Market, and especially since the conclusion of the Amsterdam Treaty, strong representation in Brussels has become all the more important. The European Union has now become a legislative entity in its own right, but in our view it still has some catching up to do in terms of developing its social dimension. The EFBWW also provides a framework for union cooperation and the coordination of action taken in the industries we represent.
The EFBWW is in favour of European integration in the interest of Europe’s workers and citizens. We see European integration as a means to uphold fundamental rights for all workers and citizens and as a bulwark to protect Europe’s democratic institutions, such as the rule of law and freedom of speech. In a nutshell, we deal with the labour market, migration, capacity building, industrial relations, health and safety issues, worker representation in multinational companies. Together with the ETUC and the other European Industry Federations we are striving to achieve a more social Europe. The EFBWW works in close cooperation with the Building and Woodworkers’ International (BWI)
EU Horizon 2020 grant agreement no. 862942 | Oct 2019 – Sep 2023
BASAJAUN is a major European innovation project about sustainability of building with wood. Modernising our cities by building more in wood is a unique, strategic opportunity to achieve significant CO2 emission reductions and transform the built environment from a carbon source into a carbon sink. Wood is an extremely versatile and lightweight building material, and a circular material par excellence.
The main objective of the project is to demonstrate how wood construction chains can be optimized to foster both rural development and urban transformation whilst being connected with sustainable forest management in Europe. Two full-scale medium-sized demo buildings will be constructed in Finland and France using innovative architecture and a complete digitalization of the 'forest to building' chain. The title BASAJAUN is adopted from a creature of the Basque mythology and can be translated as ‘Protector of the forest’.
Coordinated by Tecnalia in Spain, the project comprises 29 partners from 12 countries including 8 leading research and technology organizations, 3 universities, 14 companies and 4 other public and sectoral organizations. InnovaWood is leading the project communciation.
Horizon 2020 grant agreement no. 820892 | Nov 2018 – Dec 2021
WoodCircus increases knowledge, raises awareness and improves conditions for an uptake of resource efficient processing and recycling in wood-based value chains, fostering increased competitiveness of the European woodworking sector. The project links the challenges and opportunities for resource efficiency and cascade use of wood and woodwaste with the aim to enhance the wood construction sector and improve environmental, economic, and social sustainability. The project identifies, evaluates and disseminates the outstanding good practices in process efficiency, wood waste collection, management and recycling in the woodworking value chains in Europe with a focus on wood construction.
The project is coordinated by VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland Ltd in Finland, and includes as partners 7 Research and Technology Organizations (RTOs), 7 Industries in woodworking and waste management and 3 European networks and associations.