WEI News December 2021

CEI-Bois General Assembly

During the meeting CEI-Bois presented its Advocacy Report, a comprehensive overview of its activities undertaken in 2021. Mr Sampsa Auvinen the Chair of CEI-Bois ended the Advocacy Report by looking to the future and noting:

We see significant potential to increase the amount of wood used in both new build and renovation. Currently 0.5Gt of CO2 equivalent is taken out of the European forest each year in the form of sustainable timber, of which we believe approximately 15% ends up in Long Life Harvested Wood Products. CEI-Bois thinks we should be aiming to at least double this figure by 2050 so that wood can play its full role in tackling climate breakdown by making a significant contribution to decarbonising the built environment. There is a very simple way to respect the environment and to preserve it for future generations: simply by choosing wood products one reduces greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere which has great benefits for the environment.”

The Assembly was addressed by guest speaker architect Anthony Thistleton of Waugh Thistleton Associates an architectural practice based in London specialising in building in wood. Earlier this month, on the eve of the COP in Glasgow, his colleague, architect Andrew Waugh launched the GLOBAL WOOD MANIFESTO, produced by a collaboration of European, North American, Australian and New Zealand wood and forestry organisations led by CEI-Bois. The manifesto makes the case for a significant increase in the use of wood in both construction and renovation as the only sustainable structural material that grows worldwide which can enable a substantial decarbonisation of the built environment – based on existing business models and proven technology, providing vast carbon sinks in our rural areas and carbon stores in our cities.

During the General Assembly, Anthony Thistleton challenged CEI-Bois members to: ¨Accelerate the production of Cross Laminated Timber to have the capacity to drive the timber revolution. Timber is not only good for the environment timber is the way out of the climate crisis. The Woodworking Industry must work together more than ever to help deliver clear and simple messages that can correct existing misperceptions¨

The Assembly also ratified the composition of the CEI-Bois Board Members for the year ahead and welcomed a new staff member Mr Sonda.

The CEI-Bois Advocacy Report is available HERE
The Wood Manifesto is available HERE

Sustainable Product Policy: Commission proposal delayed until next year

The Circular Economy Action Plan focuses on sustainable resource use, especially in resource-intensive and high-impact sectors such as textiles, electronics and construction.
The expected initiative, which falls under the Circular Economy Action Plan, would aim at establishing a set of requirements to ensure that all products placed on the EU market become increasingly sustainable and stand the test of circularity.

The Action Plan notes that the core of the initiative will be to explore the potential of expanding the scope of the Eco-design Directive to non-energy related products.

According to the Action Plan, the Commission was expected to present a proposal on sustainable products.

The Commission adopted its second Circular Economy Action Plan on 11 March 2020.

Priority would be given to key sectors such as electronics, ICT and textiles, furniture and high impact intermediary products such as steel, cement and chemicals.

The Commission was expected to present the Sustainable Product Policy initiative, together with the proposal on the substantiation of green claims and the proposal empowering consumers in the green transition on 14 December 2021.

However, the three proposals have been removed from the latest of the College of Commissioners published on 4 October 2021. Therefore the presentation of the initiatives delayed until march 2022.

Read more on Sustainable products initiative (europa.eu)

Unlocking the Green Growth endorsed by trhe European woodworking industries – WoodCircus key messages and policy recommendations

The WoodCircus Policy event was organised on the 1st of December 2021 in a hybrid form and was moderated by Mr Paul Brannen, CEI-Bois/EOS Public Affairs Director.

The transition towards the circular bioeconomy requires dedicated engagement from all stakeholders on European, national and regional levels. With its six Maxims, WoodCircus calls on European leaders in industry, policy, and the community to make transformative change by developing, supporting, and implementing strong policies and practices that underpin the vital role of the woodworking industries in green growth and carbon neutrality.

Among the speakers CEI-Bois’ President Mr Sampsa Auvinen highlighted the key role of wood in decarbonising the economy, which requires a major shift towards circular and carbon neutral production processes, products, construction, and material use. European woodworking industries are pioneers of circularity and carbon neutrality. Circular practices are applied throughout entire wood-based value chains via processing and material efficiency, circular design, and well-implemented reuse and recycling strategies.

More information and the recording is available HERE

The WoodCircus also published its White Paper 2040: European woodworking industries are the green engine of sustainable growth, which is available HERE

WEI AGENDA – Block the dates!

We are pleased to inform that preparations for the next WEI Spring Meeting have started!
It will take place at the Novotel Tour noir in Brussels on 30 and 31 March 2022.

We hope to see you all there!

  • 30-31 March 2022 – WEI Spring meeting (Brussels)
  • 1-3 September 2022 – WEI Annual meeting (Milan, Italy)
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