On 18 June 2019, EOS, together with its Member, Fachverband der Holzindustrie Österreichs, hosted the EOS General Assembly and the EOS Board meeting in Vienna. 

The meeting was anticipated by the visit to the HoHo building. The new 84-meter, 24-storey high ‘HoHo Tower‘ in Vienna is one of the world’s tallest wood timber building – around 76 percent of the structure is constructed from wood. This timber construction system is resource-efficient, is highly efficient in terms of thermal insulation and also in terms of embodied energy. In the public debate, the health of our planet is becoming more and more a top priority. Buildings are responsible for approximately 40% of energy consumption and 36% of CO2 emissions in the EU. Solid wood lumber, commonly used in building construction, keeps carbon (previously absorbed by the tree) sequestered for the lifetime of the building and is thus a credible solution for environmentally-friendly buildings. At the end of a building’s life, wood can be recovered to be re-used in another structure, or by another wood industry, or chipped for use as fuel. 

Looking at the sawn wood markets, although 2018 was a positive year for both softwood and hardwood lumber producers – production in the respective markets went up by 2.2% and 1.3% meeting a strong demand – the year 2019 is seeing significant changes in the markets. What is more, deep concerns have been highlighted regarding the effect of forests disturbances on the sawmill business. Forest disturbances such as pests and wildfire can lead to the destruction of entire forest stands having significant impacts on the productive capacity of forestry sectors and on wood quality supply. Insects and fungi reduce wood quality, resulting in lower yields and reduced timber prices. 

Dr Tomáš Hlásny, co-writer of the “EFI study on the effect of pests in forests. Current situation and the possible effects caused by the climate change on forests”, gave a comprehensive presentation about the Study. This document was prepared in response to the alarming increase of bark beetle outbreaks in Europe’s conifer forests. He emphasised that bark beetle outbreaks in forests are expected to take a heavy toll in the coming years, particularly affecting spruce stands in Central Europe. 

The 2019 EOS General Assembly elected its new EOS Board of Directors and President. Sampsa Auvinen is reconfirmed as President of the European Organisation of the Sawmill Industry for his third mandate. Ernest Schilliger is reconfirmed EOS Vice President for softwood. 

Maria Polz is elected for the first time and nominated EOS Vice President for hardwood. 

The following Board Members were unanimously nominated for the mandate 2019-2021. 

Sampsa  Auvinen  EOS President – III Mandate  LATVIA 
Kai  Merivuori  Sahateollisuus  FINLAND 
Herbert  Joebstl  Stora Enso  AUSTRIA 
Stephan  Lang  Rettenmeier  GERMANY 
Ernest  Schilliger  Schilliger Holz – EOS Vice President (SOFTWOOD)  SWITZERLAND 
Thomas  Sève  Sève-Monnet  FRANCE 
Mathias  Fridholm  Skogsindustrierna  SWEDEN 
Nicolas  Douzain-Didier  Fédération Nationale du Bois  FRANCE 
Maria  Polz  Ehp – EOS Vice President (HARDWOOD)  AUSTRIA 
Nicolae  Țucunel  FOREX  ROMANIA 

During the General Assembly, the EOS Members received a copy of the 2018/2019 EOS Annual Report. This new edition contains a comprehensive review of the wood-working industry markets, with special attention to sawnwood markets, three special focuses – China, the Parquet Industry and the Erasmus +, and a thorough report of EOS advocacy activities in Brussels. EOS is engaged together with all its Members in the European dialogue to achieve a sustainable bio-based and environmentally-friendly future. Sustainably managed forests and products derived from these forests play an essential role in mitigating climate change by reducing greenhouse gases emissions and contribute to an environmentally-friendly economic growth. 


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