Newsletter January 13th 2012
A Happy New Year to all our members from the TTF. Please find below our newsletter for 13th January 2012
Two Members Formally Expelled for RPP failure
The Timber Trade Federation has announced that two of its members have now been formally expelled for failing to implement the Responsible Purchasing Policy (RPP) documentation.
In March 2011, six members were suspended for not undertaking adequate due diligence as required by the RPP system. Of this six, four members completed by December 2011 and were readmitted, while two did not and have therefore been expelled.
TTF Chief Executive, John White commented: "It is very sad to have to expel any of our members and we have not done so lightly. But, in order to maintain standards in the industry we really have no choice."
"We established our due diligence system, the RPP, in order to help drive out the threat - real or perceived - of illegal timber entering the market. It acts as an environmental risk management tool for members and their customers alike. With the European Union Timber Regulation (EUTR) due to come into force next year, we cannot afford for any members to ignore this essential requirement."
"We have been very pleased with the results from the industry in undertaking the RPP. Clear and transparent improvements in environmental standards and supply chain management are good for the industry and essential if we are to grow timber's market share in difficult economic conditions. This is the first time we have had to expel any members for not complying with our environmental code of conduct. I hope it is the last."
Construction Products Association appoints new Chief Exec
The Construction Products Association (CPA) has appointed a new Chief Executive, Dr Diana Montgomery, currently the Deputy Chief Executive of the Chemical Industries Association. She will take over from Michael Ankers, who retires at the associations AGM in April.
Diana Montgomery said of her appointment: "I am delighted to have this opportunity to lead the Construction Products Association and relish the prospect ofrepresenting the construction products community at a time of great economic challenge and opportunity. Its members have a vital role to play in leading and sustaining our country's economic recovery and helping the Government deliver its low carbon strategy."
HSE Launch Independent Regulatory Challenge Panel
The Health and Safety Executive has launched an Independent Regulatory Challenge Panel.
The panel will allow businesses to challenge the advice of health and safety inspectors and seek to have their advice overturned quickly if found to be wrong. The panel will be chaired by Tricia Henton, an experienced former regulator at the Environment Agency. Panel Members will be independent.
For more information about how the panel will work, or if employers wish to raise an issue where they believe HSE or local authority health and safety inspectors have given incorrect or disproportionate advice please visit: http://www.hse.gov.uk/contact/challenge-panel.htm
Alternatively, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
JCT Launches Consultation on Building Life Cycle Issues
The Joint Contracts Tribunal (JCT) has launched a consultation to get industry's views on life-cycle issues for buildings. The consultation aims to provide a focus for sustainability to improve industry performance and help deliver the government's strategy for sustainable construction.
It seeks views and opinions from construction professionals and the supply chain on range of issues, in particular the importance placed on the long-term performance of buildings in terms of sustainability.
The consultation runs until 5 April 2012 and can be completed online on the JCT website.
To view the consultation please click here
Sustainable Building Products and Technologies Workshop
The Centre for Sustainable Design is holding a Sustainable Building Products and Technologies Workshop for the SME sector on January 20th in Crawley.
Full details of the event can be found by clicking on this link: Sustainable Building Products Workshop
Timber Trades Benevolent Society Messages of Support
The Timber Trades Benevolent Society has received an influx of messages from its beneficiaries over the Christmas period, demonstrating how much the work of the TTBS is appreciated around the country.
The TTBS has asked us to pass on their thanks to all members for their continuing support.
A New Year Message from TTF President Martin Gale
A very Happy New Year to all our members! I'm sure many of you will be glad to see the back of 2011, it's certainly been a tough year for all concerned and clear that we are not out of the economic doldrums just yet.
And, at first glance, 2012 is not looking much better. The Construction Products Association has forecast that overall construction output is likely to drop by over 5% during the year, with the number of new homes started during 2012 likely to be 5000 fewer than in 2011.
At the same time, the construction sector will have to meet ever increasing environmental legislation over carbon content, energy efficiency and life cycle analysis.
As a result, low-carbon and low-cost are going to be key to maintaining market share in the forseeable future.
On both grounds this should be good news for our sector and the timber industry should be miles ahead of its competitors. The environmental credentials of timber are well established, particularly in terms of carbon content and life-cycle analysis. Meanwhile, the speed and ease of construction of many modern timber framed buildings such as Bridport House and the Stadthaus in Hackney - the tallest residential timber building in the world - mean that contractors can make huge time and cost savings.
Yet, these credentials still do not seem to have the same visibility and recognition with our customer base that they deserve. It is up to us to change this. We need to ensure that our voice is heard first and that our sector is recognised within these terms.
Which is where the good news comes in.
New government incentives, such as the Green Deal, should see an expansion of activity in 2012 and provide an extra boost for members, particularly as with a lack of new build, many people will be looking to refurbish or extend their current homes instead. The excellent thermal insulation properties of wood and wood fibre should make these the ideal choice for Green Deal projects.
There are also signs now that the timber industry and issues affecting our supply chain are getting more public recognition. It was great to see that Peter Latham and Roy Wakeman were both awarded OBEs in the New Year's Honours list - both well deserved and both a sign of the awareness that our industry plays in the wider economy and society.
In addition we saw more mainstream news coverage over stories affecting our supply chain, particularly the contentious issues of biomass and woodland management.
This coverage is set to grow massively over the course of the year with the new Wood for Good campaign soon to launch. This will have a specific focus on making wood the first choice for architects and contractors and will be hoping to make waves in national and construction press alike as well as with public decision makers.
Other industry initiatives such as the Wood Awards - an excellent visual showcase of wood's versatility and properties in architecture and design - and the Timber Expo also offer good platforms for members to display to the wider market.
But, these initiatives will only be successful so long as all of us get behind them and show our support, to make sure they are a success. We need to prove to the rest of the market that, as a sector, we stand together, united and speaking with one voice.
Standing together, I believe we can grow our market share and make 2012 the year of timber success.
Thank you and a Happy New Year.
Martin Gale, CBE.