On Wednesday this week, we hosted a joint webinar with the Wood Protection Association and Timber Decking and Cladding Association to support our Treated Timber campaign. The webinar gave details of how we are promoting the correct level of timber treatment to end-user markets, from merchants to builders, and resources available to TTF members and their customers. This webinar is essential watching for any of our members involved in treated timber, with good reason. You can find the video to the webinar here.
Using the right product in the right place – and actively making sure the wrong product does not go into a project – is a responsibility which runs right throughout the supply chain. This means labelling the goods properly so they can be clearly identified by customers and making sure an accurate product description is carried all the way through the supply chain – from the treatment plant through to merchants, to builders to architects, and others.
The ‘mystery shopper’ exercise by the Wood Protection Association found that 97% of merchants did not know that a specific class of timber treatment, Use Class 4, exists for timbers used in ground contact. This confusion extended to the end-users who were surveyed, with over 90% saying they did not know there was a specific treatment for timber in ground contact, and 72% saying they did not know what Use Class 4 means.
It was great to see so many members attend the webinar and such interest from across the supply chain. However, it remains frustrating that there were still comments in saying “the industry isn’t ready to change”.
My response is simply: “if not now, when?” And, if not by the TTF, then by whom? How will change actually take place for the better unless we start now and work towards an end goal? It is only by working together that we can achieve this. I realise there will always be grey areas and niggles, but we will simply have to address each of these in turn. Apathy is not a solution.
There is a chance to differentiate between products based on their performance and to profit from doing so. Why would you not take this? To quote Darth Vader, “I find your lack of faith disturbing!”
This campaign also connects into a broader stream of work which all our members should be preparing for, which is the Code for Construction Product Information (CCPI). The CCPI arises from the issues across construction first crystallized the Hackitt Review, which was followed by two further reports from the Competency Steering Group for Building a Safer Future, including ‘Setting the Bar’.
The CCPI workstream, being administered by the Construction Product Association, has asked the construction products sector, including TTF members, to respond to a consultation ‘Construction Product Information Industry Consultation: Better Data, Safer Building’, setting out the need for a sector-wide approach to providing clear, accurate and unambiguous product information.
While the Grenfell tragedy may not have included timber products, it has shifted the landscape for all building materials and their performance, with responsibility extended right through the supply chain, and rightly so. As an industry, we all must do better. You can expect to hear more from us in the coming weeks on the CCPI and what this means for TTF members, but in the meantime please do check out the Building Safely website and the CCPI consultation.
Looking to next week, on Monday we will have our inaugural TTF Q&A Clinic which will be a forum where ALL members can share and discuss any burning question or issue related to plant health, treated timber, customs activities, and UKTR Due Diligence. You can sign up for the clinic here.
Wishing you a good weekend,
News round up for your week
TTF Q&A Clinic: The TTF is hosting a Q&A clinic for its members. This is a forum where ALL TTF members can share and discuss any burning question or issue related to member’s operations from UKTR to treated timber. Click the link to register.
TTF Members invited to focus group discussion on Sustainable Import Guarantee: TTF members importing from Indonesia are invited to join a focus group led by the Green Finance Institute (GFI) to discuss an ‘import guarantee’ pilot scheme that aims to provide financial benefits for importers of FLEGT licensed timber from Indonesia. The scheme, “Sustainable Import Guarantee”, would provide a guarantee on trade loans (instruments) used to source timber from a FLEGT verified country. These guarantees will allow the banks to offer a cheaper interest rate (cost of financing) on the loan. This initiative is led by the Green Finance Institute (GFI) in collaboration with the UK government. Date and time to be confirmed. For more information please email Xiao Ma.
CPA weekly notes: According to the CBI’s Industrial Trends Survey for the three months to March, 3% of manufacturers, on balance, reported an in output volumes, up from a balance of -8% in February and the highest since May 2019. The March survey showed that output increased in eight of the 17 sub-sectors, with growth in electronic engineering and plastic products partially offset by declines in paper, printing & media and aerospace. The total order books balance (-5%) rose to its highest since April 2019 and was above its long-run average (-14%) in March. Looking to the next three months, a balance of 30% of firms expect output volumes to increase, the strongest balance since August 2017.
CPA Economic and Construction Update: For the half-year to 31 January 2021, major housebuilder Bellway reported volume growth of 6.3% to 5,656 homes compared with 5,321 homes in the same period in 2020 and for the full year Bellway expects sales of around 10,000 homes compared with 7,522 homes in the year to 31 July 2020. It also reported strong underlying demand, with a 3.3% increase in the private reservation rate to 156 per week (2020 – 151) and its operating margin, before net legacy building safety expense, was 17.3% (2020 – 19.3%)
EUWID Wood Products and Panels report: EUWID Wood Products and Panels publishes market reports, statistics, news, overviews and much more for the international wood & timber industry. On page 5 you will find the latest press release from the TTF on softwood imports for 2020 increasing 3% over 2019 totals.
CPA State of trade survey: The CPA’s State of Trade Survey for Q1 is now open. To continue notifying the markets with the latest information, we urge you to complete this survey. The survey will provide markets with a better understanding of the current demand, supply, and logistical problems facing the industry. The deadline is Monday 12 April.
Environmental Audit Committee consultation ‘How can the construction industry become net-zero ready?’: The Environmental Audit Committee has launched a new inquiry considering the sustainability of the built environment. It will look at the best routes to net zero for our future building needs from low carbon materials through to policies to minimise the whole life carbon impact of new buildings. We will be sending further information on this to members next week.
Garden furniture sales lift UK retail as outdoor socialising looms: Spending on home improvements and garden furniture in February helped the retail sector stage a modest comeback during the UK’s third lockdown as sales increased by 2.1% in February from the previous month.
For more information, visit ttf.co.uk