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News archive 2016

Holzindustrie Schweighofer investments in Romania - a model for Europe

During the General Assembly of the European Organisation of the Sawmill Industry - EOS, held in Brasov in mid-June, important names in the timber industry in Europe visited the newest and most modern sawmill in Romania, owned by Holzindustrie Schweighofer, located in the town of Reci, Covasna county.

"I am honoured that the distinguished members of EOS chose to visit the sawmill in Reci; this is a unit with the latest technology and most of the volume of processed wood takes the form of products of exceptional quality and high added value", Gerald Schweighofer, CEO of Holzindustrie Schweighofer, said on this occasion. "Beyond our internal performance, I am convinced that the activity of the Reci factory makes an important contribution to the economy of Covasna county, creating jobs for locals and diversifying economic activities in the area", he added.

With an area of 68 hectares, the Reci factory of Holzindustrie Schweighofer was inaugurated in 2015, following an investment of EUR 150 million. Currently, the unit has 420 employees and, when its operations reach the designed capacity, it is to reach a team of 650 people. Based on the experience offered by the other four factories that the company owns in Romania, Holzindustrie Schweighofer estimates the Reci sawmill indirectly supports the work of over 2,000 people in related industries through cooperation with other companies.

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Update: FSC on process flaws at Quality Austria and on Holzindustrie Schweighofer

FSC declares auditing process at certification body Quality Austria to be insufficient  

Holzindustrie Schweighofer’s FSC Multi Site certificate has been temporarily suspended by the certification body Quality Austria. The reasons for this move were not known so far. Now FSC informed in a press release that procedural defects at Quality Austria led to this decision. As a result Quality Austria temporarily suspended Holzindustrie Schweighofer’s FSC certificate.

FSC certificate is a voluntary measure and there is no legal obligation at all have it. In the above mentioned context, Holzindustrie Schweighofer can perform business activities to the full extent.

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Holzindustrie Schweighofer supports the establishment of a professional class

A new education project under Building Bridges, the sustainable development concept initiated by the company

Holzindustrie Schweighofer, the largest greenfield investor in timber industry in Romania and partner of educational institutions, supports the establishment of a professional class at the "Grigore Cobalcescu" College of Technology in Moinesti, Bacau County, starting with the school year 2016 - 2017.

In this class, 14 students will be trained, for three years, for becoming locksmiths, and another 14 students will be trained as low-voltage electricians. Upon graduation, these students will also be offered the opportunity to be employed in the Holzindustrie Schweighofer factories.

"We are naturally involved in the life of local communities through corporate social responsibility projects meant to support sustainable development. We think on a long term and our vision regarding the development of a sustainable business also includes supporting the communities in which we operate, building bridges for the future, that's why we've brought all our CSR programs under the symbolic title Building Bridges. Education holds a special place: we contribute to the training of future specialists in the wood industry. We have valuable partnerships with educational institutions in Romania, that we support, in order to give young people training opportunities at the highest level", declared Dan Banacu, General Manager of the blockboard factory Holzindustrie Schweighofer Baco from Comăneşti.

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FSC certificate temporarily suspended

Holzindustrie Schweighofer’s FSC multi-site certificate has been temporarily suspended by the certification body Quality Austria. Currently a fresh on-site inspection is being prepared in co-operation with FSC and Quality Austria, so that, after a successful audit, the FSC certificate can again be used in full.

Holzindustrie Schweighofer invites NGOs, FSC and its accreditation body ASI, as well as other stakeholder groups to co-operate in this audit, in order to develop and implement a transparent, sustainable solution, including suggestions for improvement.

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Acquired areas in connection with restitution

In relation to the forest purchase deal mentioned in some media outlets, Holzindustrie Schweighofer would like to inform: the company is always obeying the law, in respect with the local regulations and procedures – and has acted as a good faith buyer. Moreover, the purchase process went through a careful and detailed legal due diligence and a rigorous analysis, performed by international law companies, before completing the transaction.

The problems of the restitution processes in Romania are well known, involuntarily affecting different sectors of the national economy and companies alike

Holzindustrie Schweighofer offers 21 scholarships to eminent students from forestry and forest engineering faculties

Education as a priority of the Building Bridges program, initiated by the company

Holzindustrie Schweighofer, partner of academic studies institutions, will offer 21 monthly scholarships, in the 2016 – 2017 academic year, for 10 months, to students with excellent results in the study of forestry and wood engineering, from the universities of Brasov and Suceava.

Current generations of students are the future professionals in forestry and wood engineering, and one of the commitments of Holzindustrie Schweighofer is to acknowledge and encourage performance. We were delighted to find valuable partners in educational institutions and we will continue to provide support in order to give young people professional training opportunities at the highest level, declared Thomas Schiefer, Country Manager of Holzindustrie Schweighofer Romania.

The Schweighofer scholaships initiative is in line with the social responsibility platform symbolically named “Building Bridges” and under which Holzindustrie Schweighofer joins all the present and future initiatives of social responsability that the company conducts at the same time with its economical operations in Romania.

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FSC certification of Holzindustrie Schweighofer remains in effect and valid

The certification body “Quality Austria”, which most recently certified Holzindustrie Schweighofer, cannot issue any new certifications at this time due to complaints by third parties. Holzindustrie Schweighofer is committed to complete transparency: Possible open issues will be inspected in additional audits.

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German students visited the Rădăuți sawmill: “Overwhelmed, but in a positive way”

A group of four students in the sixth semester of their forestry engineering bachelor’s at the University of Applied Sciences Weihenstephan-Triesdorf, Freising/Germany, chose Romania for an 18 weeks internship.

In mid-May, the group also visited Holzindustrie Schweighofer’s sawmill in Rădăuți. There the future forestry specialists explored one of the most modern woodworking facilities in Europe. The students showed particular interest in the aspects on how wood is used and its processing technology.

"Holzindustrie Schweighofer’s saw mill in Rădăuți appeared to be well organized and managed. It is the biggest I have ever seen. The size seemed somehow overwhelming, but in a positive way. We were surprised that the company was so open to receive use and took time for us ‘simple’ German students. It was an interesting experience to see how the timber is well managed and processed by a capable and reliable company, delivering timber produced in a sustainable manner”, Späth explains.

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Holzindustrie Schweighofer develops proprietary GPS tracking system: EIA invited to collaborate

Holzindustrie Schweighofer supports EIA requirement for full transparency in the Romanian timber industry. Uniform solution for entire timber industry desirable.

“Like the EIA, we are in favour of maximum transparency. We are supporting the authorities in their many efforts to establish an appropriate system. Regardless of this, we are already playing a pioneering role on our own. That’s because Holzindustrie Schweighofer is working on a concept for tracking all deliveries by GPS with a data set in the background,” says Georg Erlacher from Holzindustrie Schweighofer. In 2015, Holzindustrie Schweighofer processed around one-tenth of the timber harvested in Romania. An effective and meaningful traceability system therefore naturally needs to be rolled out for all market participants. This is mainly an issue for legislators.

All Details.

Independent report: Holzindustrie Schweighofer own controls of origin of timber far exceed statutory requirements

Indufor experts: Comprehensive controls on the part of Holzindustrie Schweighofer ensure legal sourcing of wood

The renowned international forestry consulting firm Indufor examined the controls (due diligence system) in place at Holzindustrie Schweighofer as part of an independent and voluntary audit. After completing an on-site visit, the experts from Finland were impressed by the comprehensive and meticulous control mechanisms in place at Holzindustrie Schweighofer. “The due diligence system ensures that wood purchased and delivered to the company’s mills has appropriate documentation to demonstrate the legality”, the Finnish auditors confirmed in their report.

The Indufor report is available for download here: download report

Press release

Indufor
www.indufor.fi 

Holzindustrie Schweighofer - partner at BIG BUILD 2016

Holzindustrie Schweighofer is one of the partners of Habitat for Humanity Romania concerning the organization of the biggest accelerated construction event in Europe – the BIG BUILD.  The event, through which the World Habitat Day is celebrated, will take place from October 3-7, at Bacau, Romania.

40 houses, in just 5 days

During BIG BUILD 2016, a team of approx. 800 volunteers will build 40 houses, in just 5 days. Another 1.200 volunteers will work ahead of the event in order to prepare the site. The housing project is especially for families with small income.

Holzindustrie Schweighofer will sponsor the activity with 150.000 Euros and will also provide the technical expertise of our specialists. Moreover, the company will have its own volunteers on site - about 20 employees from Holzindustrie Schweighofer Baco from Comanesti will be involved in the construction of the 40 houses. The successful cooperation with Habitat for Humanity has existed since 2013.

Success story in Saxony: Holzindustrie Schweighofer creates new jobs

Just six months after acquiring the factory, Holzindustrie Schweighofer is introducing extra shifts at its lumber mill in Kodersdorf, generating approximately 60 new jobs. The factory in Saxony is characterised by its ability to provide a reliable supply of raw materials, which allows it to make a significant contribution as a supplier to Holzindustrie Schweighofer’s other processing facilities.

Press release

Holzindustrie Schweighofer refutes all of the EIA organization’s accusations

The EIA, which is an American environmental organization, made a huge number of accusations against Holzindustrie Schweighofer in a report at the end of 2015, in connection with the ostensible processing of illegally felled timber in Romania.  

A precise check and reappraisal of the EIA report’s contents has clarified meanwhile that no single accusation against the company is true or verifiable from the facts. Holzindustrie Schweighofer has published a comprehensive ‘counter-report’ today, in which the EIA’a accusations are refuted by means of additional research, documents, information about both the market and law, case numbers, excerpts from maps, official statistics, etc

Reply to the Environmental Investigation Agency’s allegations
The facts and storiesbehind a misleading campaign
Download Reportfileadmin/files/all_de/Pressemitteilungen/HS_Richtigstellung_EIA-Report_Februar2016_weboptimiert.pdf

More Information.

Holzindustrie Schweighofer refutes all of the EIA organization’s accusations

The EIA, which is an American environmental organization, made a huge number of accusations against Holzindustrie Schweighofer in a report at the end of 2015, in connection with the ostensible processing of illegally felled timber in Romania. 

A precise check and reappraisal of the EIA report’s contents has clarified meanwhile that no single accusation against the company is true or verifiable from the facts. Holzindustrie Schweighofer has published a comprehensive ‘counter-report’ today, in which the EIA’a accusations are refuted by means of additional research, documents, information about both the market and law, excerpts from maps, official statistics, etc.

Reply to the Environmental Investigation Agency’s allegations
The facts and storiesbehind a misleading campaign
Download Report

More Information.

Success for Holzindustrie Schweighofer: Vienna Commercial Court issues injunction against untrue allegations of Romanian environmentalists

On 19 January 2016, at the request of Holzindustrie Schweighofer, the Vienna Commercial Court issued an injunction against the Romanian Association “Neuer Weg”, which has now become final. The association had repeatedly spread false allegations about Holzindustrie Schweighofer on the Internet and in various mailings to media at home and abroad.  

With the ruling, the association “Neuer Weg” must cease and desist from making allegations that Holzindustrie Schweighofer is involved in illegal felling, timber theft and other offenses.

All such allegations, some of which were also repeated or accepted by other environmental organizations, have been found to be untrue. This was verified, among other means, by multiple checks by independent institutions and by the company itself.

Find the press release of the company with more details on this issue here.

New FSC<sup>®</sup> Certificate: Holzindustrie Schweighofer again successfully audited

Starting January 1st, Holzindustrie Schweighofer has implemented an FSC® Chain of Custody Multi-Site Certificate (FSC-STD-40-004 V2-1 and FSC-STD-40-005 V2-1). All procedures have again been successfully audited. The accredited certification body Quality Austria confirms the compliance with the chain of custody standards. With the ability to use the “FSC® Controlled Wood” claim, Holzindustrie Schweighofer shows that all suppliers are audited and the use of wood from unacceptable sources is absolutely avoided.

You can find additional details with regards to Schweighofer’s FSC® Multi-Site CoC certificate at the following link and on
Quality Austria