“We are living in a place, Europe, that the large majority of the world population envies” with these words, aimed at emphasising the key role of Europe in providing welfare, the Chairwoman Honourable Member of the European Parliament Mrs Maria Noichl opened this new edition of the Club du Bois meeting wishing to all participants a positive 2018. She welcomed the woodworking industry family to this event and she warmly thanked the Members of the EU Parliament present to this meeting: Mr Eric Andrieu, Mr Paul Brannen, Mr José Inácio Faria, Mrs Marijana Petir, Mr Paul Rübig, Mr Tom Vandenkendelaere, Mr Ricardo Serrão Santos and Mr Carlos Zorrinho.
The Club Du Bois is an event jointly organised by the three Brussels based organisations: CEI-Bois, EPF and EOS representing the interests of the European Woodworking Industry. Since 2014, Mrs Noichl, Honourable Member of the EU Parliament, is the Chairwoman of this dedicated Club.
The main focus of the meeting was the contribution of the woodworking chain to the European Communication "Investing in a smart, innovative and sustainable Industry – A renewed EU Industrial Policy Strategy".
The European wood Industries are very innovation-minded: through technical innovations, the sector is now undeniably in a position to supply high-quality products all over the world providing market oriented solutions and new systems to ensure the highest level of traceability of timber. Establishing a Wood Industry 4.0 requires companies to rethink the way they do business and a long-term effort is needed to successfully navigate the changing industrial environment of Industry 4.0.
Honourable Member of the European Parliament Paul Rübig (EPP) emphasized the importance of research and innovation: if the woodworking industries aspire to be competitive in an increasingly challenging economic arena they need to devote enough resources to research and innovation. To this end, he called for all stakeholders to seize the opportunities provided by Horizon 2020 (FP8) and by the programme which will succeed the FP8, the new framework programme funding research, technological development, and innovation (FP9, starting from 2021).
The EOS Member, Mr Michael Proschek, Head of Compliance and Sustainability at Holzindustrie Schweighofer opened his intervention explaining that the approach of Holzindustrie Schweighofer to innovation can be summarised in two main activity areas:
1. Innovation in the supply chain and sustainability approach;
2. Support sector-wide innovation with the Schweighofer-Prize.
Supply chain traceability is a key element in order to guarantee sustainability of timber products; for this reason, as explained by Mr Proschek, Holzindustrie Schweighofer has introduced one of the most innovative solutions to ensure the traceability and transparency for the timber supply chain: the publicly accessible TimFlow GPS system. The GPS tracking system “Timflow” for saw log deliveries represents an innovative tool related to the company’s action plan for a sustainable timber supply chain in Romania. Following its commitment to fight unlawful logging, the company bases its approach on constructive dialogue with environmental NGOs, transparent communication and an overall enhanced control system for its supply chain. Since the company does not harvest any trees itself, it requires its suppliers to equip all trucks with the GPS system Timflow. This allows tracing of the delivered timber back to its exact loading place, This allows tracing of the delivered timber back to its exact loading place. Holzindustrie Schweighofer is even publishing this data (GPS tracks and photos) of all truck on www.timflow.com, thereby providing for maximum transparency within the supply chain.
KEEP IN MIND! The measures laid down in Holzindustrie Schweighofer’s action plan surpass all legal requirements by far and set novel control standards within the timber industry in Romania and the regulatory requirements. It also complies with the standards laid down by the European Timber Regulation (EUTR) for placing legal wood on the European Single Market. Every one of the more than 700 trucks delivering saw logs to the company’s mills is now equipped with a GPS device that tracks its exact route from its loading place to delivery at the mill gate where all information will be thoroughly checked.
Finally, Mr Proschek informed that since 2003 the Schweighofer family awards with a prize money of €300,000 biannually the best innovative ideas, technologies, products and services in order to strengthen the competitiveness of the European Forest Based Sector.
In the picture, the Organizers of the Club du Bois, Mrs Noichl and the speakers of this Club du Bois edition.
For further information on this event & date of the next meeting, please visit http://www.clubdubois.eu