EU Raw Materials Week and the publication of the guidance on cascading use of biomass
The European Commission organised 3rd annual EU Raw Materials Week in Brussels from 12 to 16 November 2018. The week, consisted of series of events, gave the opportunity for the raw materials community to discuss and exchange on all relevant issues such as policy, technology and international cooperation. Over 130 speakers from all over the raw material sector gave their presentations along the week.

CEPF participated the EU Raw Materials Week and was represented at the event “Forest-Based Industries 2050” which took place on 15 November. During the event different actors from the forest-based sector representing e.g. industry, research and private forest owners gave insight into the future of the sector. The CEPF Secretary General Fanny-Pomme Langue presented the views of private forest owners on EU policies today and in the coming decades.  

The European Commission published its guidance on cascading use of biomass during the EU Raw Materials week on 14 November. The guidance, namely “Guidance on cascading use of biomass with selected good practice examples of woody biomass”, presents five guiding principles for the cascading use of biomass: 1. Sustainability, 2. Resource efficiency, 3. Circularity in every stream and at every step, 4. New products and new markets and 5. Subsidiarity. These principles aim to clarify the cascading approach and help guide stakeholders in applying cascading. In the guidance can also be found selected good practice examples on woody biomass from the world’s fastest sawmill to a big data system for the forest-based sector.

CEPF has been actively participating in the discussions on the cascading use of biomass by publishing a position paper, issuing statements and organising events on the topic. The guidance addresses the importance of market-based approach, does not address sustainable wood mobilization and is not legally binding which were some of the essential issues for CEPF prior the publication of the guidance.  

Furthermore, CEPF welcomes the fact that subsidiarity is one of the 5 key guiding principles, recognising national contexts but also regional and local ones in assessing the most economically viable use of biomass. CEPF also welcomes the fact that the guidance defines cascading as resource efficient and circular use and not as a hierarchical use of raw materials. Therefore, it does not introduce restrictions on the use of biomass, which is essential to allow the forest sector to play its role in the bioeconomy. In order to draw the highest possible values from forests and to ensure continuation of sustainable forest management, the full range of uses of biomass should be enhanced now and in the future.


Please find the presentations of the event “Forest-Based Industries 2050” here.

Please find the summary of the event “Forest-Based Industries 2050” be the European Commission here.


CEPF’s statements on cascading use of biomass:

A Bottom-Up Approach to the Use of Forest Biomass

European forest owners strongly question the benefits and practicability of the cascade use principle