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Danzer CEO says Hardwood can compete effectively
Hans-Joachim Danzer speaks at UNECE in Geneva about opportunities for forest products
Geneva, Switzerland, October 2016 – Does the hardwood industry need special help from regulators to thrive? This was one of the questions at a United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) panel discussion on forest and forest products that has been held in Geneva, Switzerland on October 18 – 20. Hans-Joachim Danzer, CEO of global hardwood specialist Danzer, said he was confident hardwood could compete effectively on its own merits; he did not ask for any special help from policy makers – provided there was a fair playing field compared to other materials and there was no over-burdening regulation for smaller companies. At the conference, Hans-Joachim Danzer was one of four panelists from the wood industry, and the only one representing hardwood. All panelist agreed that wood was a material with a bright future.
The fragmentation of the hardwood industry, according to Mr. Danzer, led to much inefficiency in the value-chain. Despite the obvious advantages of the material, like being warm, decorative and sustainable, there was still ample potential to improve the efficiency in the industry.
Mr. Danzer called attention to another important implication of the industry’s fragmentation: Most hardwood businesses were small, often owner operated. They couldn’t afford any PR departments; their voice was mostly unheard. And even though they might operate very professionally, they still struggled to deal with over-burdening regulation. While Mr. Danzer acknowledged the value of regulation, he suggested striving for simplicity when designing them. Only that way, smaller hardwood businesses could comply and stay in business; otherwise the hardwood industry would get smaller, to the disadvantage of the material with so many positive characteristics.
Danzer innovates to increase efficiency in the hardwood industry
Mr. Danzer presented four examples from his own business to illustrate the potential for efficiency improvements, while conceding that not all of the innovations were adopted immediately by the wood industry:
- Danzer’s log scanner, which allows looking inside a log before processing it, hence optimizing the yield from the valuable hardwood resource
- Danzer’s light-weight board, which can be machined like traditional boards and is very resource efficient as it is made from slicing waste
- Innovative wooden surfaces which provide new authentic looks, including wood aluminium composites for automotive interiors and other interior design applications
- Danzer’s method to slice thick cut veneers for the flooring industry, which can save thousands of truckloads of saw dust compared to the traditional method of sawing
Regulators Should Ensure a Supportive and Practical Framework
Mr. Danzer reckoned that the businesses in the hardwood industry were able to solve key challenges at hand. Policy makers didn’t need to give special help. He asked that they focused on ensuring a stable and fair framework; for example the strict rules for forest use should be matched by similar rules for agricultural products from former forestland.
Practical solutions to prove compliance with regulations were needed, especially for small owner-operated businesses, which struggled with over-burdening regulations. Rules and regulations were necessary but had to be adjusted to the capabilities of small businesses. Specifically, he recommended the following guidelines for hardwood regulation:
- Foster free trade: including the support of free trade agreements, avoiding market distortions from subsidies or incentives, not limiting access to resources based on non-scientific campaigns, and not favouring large companies over smaller ones by creating more and more regulation.
- Make sure that all costs are reflected in the price consumers pay: this would include stopping all hidden subsidies for non-wood products, which are often burdened with lesser regulatory requirements than timber, and have customers pay for so called externalities, like the use of air or water or end-of-life cost.
- Take the lead in promoting wood: including pushing for wood in public buildings, continuing to invest in forestry schools and educating the general public; this would help reaching the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) and substantially reduce carbon emissions.
- Support hardwood as a lever for economic development: by keeping markets open for timber from responsible and sustainable sources in developing countries – and discourage trade with agricultural products from converted former timberland in these countries. Several wood characteristics could not be matched by any other materials. And only if timber products fed the local people, they had an incentive to maintain their forests.
- Foster trust in hardwood: by consistently enforcing existing laws and rules like EUTR, support truthful labelling, but do not arbitrarily favor one voluntary certification program over others.
All panelists ultimately came to the same conclusion: wood will be an essential material in the coming decades as it plays a key role in addressing climate change and the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.
UNECE’s press release covering the event can be found at: http://www.unece.org/?id=44135.
Danzer is the first Hardwood company to pass new due diligence standard
Danzer North America has received the ISO 17065 certificate for its due diligence program for the procurement of legal timber. HPVA Laboratories®, the testing and certification arm of Reston, Virginia based Hardwood Plywood & Veneer Association (HPVA) issued the certificate in June 2016 (www.hpva.org). The new due diligence standard ANS LTDD 1.0 2015, published in March 2015, was developed jointly by the American National Standards Institute (www.ansi.org) and HPVA in March 2015 to help encourage the use of wood and wood products.
With one of the hardwood industry's largest and most experienced procurement organisations, Danzer has a long history of formally managing its procurement processes to ensure the procurement of legal timber: Danzer formalised its Procurement Policy in 2005 using the same ISO14001 framework as its Environmental and Safety Management System. It has been audited by a third party ever since. "Our existing groundwork has been the reason that Danzer could pass the new standard so quickly", says Kami Ervin, Sustainability and Compliance Director at Danzer North America. "While Danzer's due diligence system is not new, having a program certified to the ANS LTDD Standard will further offer piece of mind to our stakeholders that we are providing a legal and responsible product to our customers. It is also easier for customer to communicate and prove the legality of their raw material, when they buy from a certified source."
The new Danzer certificate applies to all Danzer wood and wood products in North American with logs to veneer, including higher risk items like exotic trade veneers.
The certificate is available here: Click here to view the certificate.
Danzer UK retain NEPCon LegalSource Certification.
Danzer UK has again passed its annual NepCon LegalSource standard audit and that our certification status continues.
This is as a result of our ongoing efforts to ensure that our whole supply chain is legal and EUTR compliant as a minimum. Everyone at Danzer UK is immensely proud of this achievement and as far as we are aware we are the only hardwood company in the UK that has this certification or similar. It is another indication that the legal and sustainable supply of timber products remains at the core of our DNA at Danzer UK and provides our customers with peace of mind regarding the credible supply of timber products from some of the world's most challenging supply areas.
Eyewitness report in the Republic of Congo.
FSC-certified forest management at IFO is a key instrument to reduce poverty and enhance community development.
Being part of the Congo Basin rainforest, IFO's concession has an area of 1.2 million hectares, more than one quarter of the size of Switzerland. IFO employs almost 1,100 workers. Most of them live in the village of Ngombe, next to the IFO premises and sawmills on the banks of the wide river Sangha. IFO belongs to the Swiss based timber company Interholco and stands for Industrie Forestiere de Ouesso, the main city nearby.
To read more from this report, visit the link below.
Danzer Invests Further in Deck Layer Production for Engineered Flooring.
Danzer's Supervisory Board decided on future strategic priorities: The worlds largest producer of sliced wood will invest approximately 15 million Euro in technologies to increase resource efficiency in hardwood production. Danzer plants in France, the Czech Republic and the US are going to be adapted or upgraded. The companies' curve-saw and log scanning technologies will also be optimised further.
"Over the course of the last years, the flooring market developed very positively. We have started in 2012 to slice deck lamellas for engineered hardwood flooring, and continuously increased our capacity since then. As part of a 15 million Euro investment program for the next 18 months, we are now continuing this development and increase the production of parquet deck layers." says Hans-Joachim Danzer, CEO of Danzer Holding AG, and shares further aspects of the strategy: "The main markets for our flooring products are Europe and North America. The majority of our investments will be used for the upgrading of our veneer plant in Souvans, France; it will specialise on the production of thick-cut flooring lamellas. In addition, we are investing in the expansion of the existing flooring capacity in our veneer plant in Melnik, Czech Republic and start 2016 with deck layer production in the Danzer veneer plants in the US."
Danzer Releases First Sustainability Report.
Hardwood specialist Danzer has released its first Sustainability Report according to the Global Reporting Initiative's (GRI) reporting guidelines. The report covers the business year 2014 and demonstrates Danzer's commitment to transparency, sustainability and social responsibility. The report features extensive data and examples from around the world that collectively capture some of Danzer's key sustainability efforts and impacts. It will serve as a baseline for discussions with stakeholders and future improvements. An update of the report is planned for 2016/17.
Highlights from this year's report include:
* Safety & Health: At Danzer's location in Africa, Ngombé, Democratic Republic of Congo, Danzer employs 23 people at the village health centre; they made 9160 consultations and attended 352 live births in 2014. Mortality rate at birth in Ngombé was less than half of the national average.
* Efficient use of natural resource: Danzer made its scanned North American logs available to third parties so they can have a look inside a log before processing to increase yield and reduce waste. The capacity addition for thick-cut flooring lamellas saves up to 40% of the valuable hardwood resource, as slicing creates no sawdust, as sawing does.
Danzer Backs WWF Call for Stronger EUTR Enforcement.
WWF, Danzer and other companies urge EU for stricter rules against trading of illegal timber.
Danzer UK, a subsidiary of Austrian hardwood specialist Danzer, and 79 companies and organisations from all over Europe signed a WWF (Worldwide Fund for Nature) industry statement to strengthen the EU Timber Regulation (EUTR). WWF asks the European Commission to provide adequate resource and training for the authorities, apply harmonised penalties and sanctions and ensure sufficient capacity for enforcement across the EU member states. The EU Timber Regulation prohibits operators in Europe from placing illegal timber or timber products in the EU. However, the regulation in force covers only 50% of the value of timber products entering the EU market. In addition, the regulation in some countries lacks clear penalties and sanctions for the authorities to take a firm approach towards the enforcement of the legislation. "Signing the statement underlines our commitment to responsible timber trade," says Ken Walsh, Managing Director at Danzer UK, "strict enforcement of the rules protects our forests and will create a fair and even playing field for all market participants."
The full WWF statement and list of co-signing organisations are available for download:
Innovative Wooden Surfaces for Automobiles - Hardwood specialist Danzer exhibits for the first time at IAA.
At this year's International Motor Show (IAA) in Frankfurt, hardwood specialist Danzer is presenting new wooden surfaces for automobile interiors: Danzer Freeform Inlays and Danzer End Grain surfaces. Danzer exhibits for the first time at IAA as part of Autoland Saxony's booth, accounting for the growing importance of wood in automobile interiors.
At the IAA, hardwood specialist Danzer presents new decorative wooden surfaces for automotive fascia design. Danzer already produces custom developed "Beaufort" wood surfaces for the Audi models A6, A7 and Q5 and supplies BMW with a unique design made of American Oak. Now Danzer is offering new options for automobile interiors: Danzer Freeform technology and Danzer End Grain Surfaces. The new products are being presented together with established technologies like Danzer 3D-Veneer, Danzer Vinterio and Danzer Linea at the Autoland Saxony booth. Prototypes for the combination of light and wooden surfaces complete the presentation.
Danzer has been implementing projects for the automotive industry for many years. In 2015, Danzer produced wooden interiors for seven showcars. "The demand for distinctive veneers for car interiors is growing. OEMs are looking for unique and effective solutions - which we can provide as a leading partner in this field," says Eckart Schmitt, CEO of Danzer Specialty Division.
Danzer UK sign up to WWF's Forest Campaign.
We have recently signed up to the WWF's Forest Campaign and would encourage others to do the same and help protect the world's rainforest by promoting sustainable forestry.
Danzer expands in Dresden.
International hardwood specialist Danzer is relocating their IT and technology department to Kesselsdorf, nr Dresden in Germany. At the same time Danzer doubles the size of their production space in Kesselsdorf by moving to a larger site. The expansion is driven by an increased demand for 3D-Veneer and the favourable business conditions in Dresden. "The institute for wood technology and the academy of wood engineering nearby, the qualification of our employees and the high quality of life contribute to our success in Dresden," says Andreas Knauff, Managing Director of Danzer Deutschland GmbH. By relocating and expanding, the company created ten new jobs in the Dresden region.
At the end of April 2015, the relocation of Danzer Dresden started with moving heavy machinery into the new production hall. At the end of June, the last machine had started to work regularly at the new production site and the relocation would be completed soon. The heaviest machine weighs around 20 tons; much logistics effort was needed for a seamless transfer. "The real challenge was to keep producing while transferring the machines one after the other. We accomplished that goal," reports Andreas Knauff.
Danzer offers a behind-the-scenes glimpse.
At this year's Interzum in Cologne, hardwood and veneer specialist Danzer is presenting not only new products and applications but also their development expertise.
On exhibit in this space are for instance the combinations of wood with light, metal and other materials. The centre of the presentation is formed by new products such as the enhanced 3D-Veneer basic, thick-cut veneers for the furniture industry as well as innovative wood surfaces such as Amber Beech, Vinterio Rustic, Driftwood, Danzer Linea Smoked Larch and Figurea Maple. Examples of Danzer material uses in automotive, furniture and architectural applications complete the range of information provided.
For this year's Interzum, the world's leading trade fair of the furniture supply industry, Danzer has advanced their exhibition concept and is allowing a behind-the scenes glimpse into their product development work. "More and more customers are looking for new flexible solutions how to realise their hardwood applications," explains Eckart Schmitt, CEO of Danzer Specialty Division. "At the exhibition we show detailed examples from the fields of interior design, furniture, automotive and industrial design that demonstrate how e can support innovative new products as a reliable partner to our customers from ideation to implementation."
Danzer UK achieve NEPCon LegalSource Certification.
Our due diligence system has been independently audited and has achieved NEPCon LegalSource standard status. A link to our NEPCon LegalSource Certificate is below.