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Last May, the Ministry of the Economy and the Ministry of Environment, Climate and Sustainable Development (MECDD) presented the promotional brand “Eist Holz” in order to highlight the link between our forests and the local wood value chain.

As a follow-up to this presentation, the Luxembourg Wood Cluster managed by Luxinnovation organised an online information session on the “Holz von Hier” label last Monday, together with the MECDD. The webinar brought together about 50 companies as well as public and private prescribers in the wood sector.

On this occasion, concrete elements were given about the implementation of the label in Luxembourg. The label is one of the three major initiatives presented at the press conference in May.

Guaranteeing a sustainable wood management

“The Eist Holz concept aims to strengthen the very important link between the forest and the local wood industry,” said Carole Dieschbourg, Minister for the Environment, Climate and Sustainable Development, at the opening of the webinar. “It seemed important to us to have a tool that allows us to follow up the traceability of wood and prove its local origin. Reducing transport distances obviously also has an impact in the fight against climate change and, at the same time, the sustainability of wood management must be guaranteed, which is the case thanks to the PEFC and FSC labels.”

Dr Philipp Strohmeier, CEO of Holz von Hier, gave a more detailed presentation of the functioning and advantages of the label, for which the regionality criteria are scientifically established. “Holz von Hier is a European Type I label, which means that it can be included in public tenders,” he said. “It is controlled and managed through an online wood mass balance tool, via a secure server. Via its member companies, it also makes it possible to create regional networks and value chains for regional products.”

“Create more regional value chains”

Regionality has been one of the pillars of the strategy for the wood industry ever since the start of its implementation. And this is all the more crucial because, in the current crisis, the demand for regional products is rising sharply: consumers want, more than ever, to know where the products they buy come from.

“We had to find a simple and pragmatic solution so that companies can ‘prove’ that the wood they offer comes from local value chains,” comments Philippe Genot, Luxembourg Wood Cluster manager at Luxinnovation. “We will now work together with companies to create more regional value chains based on products that make sense.”

In this way, all the players in the sector will work together on both the supply and the demand, much to the satisfaction of Paul Rasqué, advisor at MECDD. “It was important for us to include public specifiers such as the different funds and the Public Buildings Administration in this webinar, so that they can understand how the label works and, thus, request it in the context of certain wood projects.”

The challenge is now to get the certification of companies going on a broader scale and encourage private and public customers to request it.

Another information session, aimed more specifically at municipalities, is planned to be held in September.

See the Webinar’s Replay

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