News & Events

“The Value of Wood" for European bioeconomy explained at Brussels International Forum

Over 100 participants, composed of European Timber Industry stakeholders, policy makers and key trade organisation leaders, gathered last 21 March 2017 in Brussels for the International Forum “The Value of Wood."

Hosted by the Honourable Member of the EU Parliament (MEP) Paul Brannen, the event showcased the contribution of wood-based innovation to the European bioeconomy.

Mr Sampsa Auvinen, president of the European Organisation of the Sawmill Industry (EOS) said: “Increasing the use of wood in construction and in everyday products plays an important role in tackling climate change, developing green jobs - particularly in rural areas - and boosting the bio-economy."

He also recalled that “Without doubt, wood is one of the most environmentally and sustainable friendly material. To address global challenges such as climate change, a growing population and resource scarcity, Europe must find pathways to produce goods, food and energy by using renewable organic materials more widely.  In this sense, the promotion of timber construction is anchored in the bio-economy concept."

"The European sawmill industry makes market products with a small carbon footprint, from raw material procured from sustainably managed forests. Companies process hardwood and softwood for a wide ranges of construction and furniture products. The sawmill industry is the backbone of the bio-economy. Residues from sawmill processes can be converted into a broad range of wood-based products including bio-composite materials, bio-plastics, textiles and carbon-neutral biofuels. Simultaneously, the production of saw-logs, and the correlated use of by products and residues, complies with the resource efficiency principle, guarantees the highest profitability for forest owners and provides the raw materials needed for developing the bio-economy.”

The Director for the environmental department of the French research centre FCBA, Gerard Deroubaix offered a technical explanation of the wood products as carbon store. He underlined how the carbon footprint of construction products made of wood is, in a very large majority of cases, significantly lower than the carbon footprint of the products made of competing materials. He recalled that a recent study commissioned by the EU Commission and entitled “Climwood2030” presented calculations at European level showing that “the material use of wood products instead of functionally equivalent alternative products leads to a decrease of fossil based GHG emissions over the whole life cycle of about 1.5 à 3.5 t CO2 per ton of wood product”.

The role of timber in Architecture was presented by Andrew Waugh, from Waugh Thistleton Architects, who explained the latest achievements of building with wood. He presented the Dalston Lane Project that is the world’s largest CLT building: the ten-storey, 121-unit development is made entirely of CLT, from the external, party and core walls, through to the floors and stairs, weighing a fifth of a concrete building of this size, and reducing the number of deliveries during construction by 80 per cent. The ten-storey, 121-unit development, is made entirely of CLT, from the external, party and core walls, through to the floors and stairs, weighing a fifth of a concrete building of this size, and reducing the number of deliveries during construction by 80 per cent. Another example of wood application is the Murray Grove, the first urban housing project to be constructed entirely from pre-fabricated solid timber, from the load bearing walls and floor slabs to the stair and lift cores.

Finally, Per-Olof Weding, President of European State Forest Association (EUSTAFOR) emphasised that European Forests are constantly growing both in size and in volume of wood. This extremely positive fact is due to an active and sustainable forest management system that ensures the production capacity and resilience of forest ecosystems as a whole. He stressed that a vibrant European forestry sector can make the bio-economy the next major economic development and can bring real benefits to mitigate climate change.

[Photo courtesy of International Union for Conservation of Nature and Revolve Media]

 

[News URL: http://cti-timber.org/content/%E2%80%9C-value-wood-european-bioeconomy-explained-brussels-international-forum]

BWF launches new employment guidance to help joinery businesses save money and time

The British Woodworking Federation (BWF) has launched a set of employment guides and new draft policies to support how a joinery business can employ, manage and appraise members of staff.

The raft of documents aims to provide clear guidance on often-tricky employment matters and allows BWF members to focus on manufacture and sell high-class joinery products.

The guidance features a new employee handbook that BWF members can adapt and use, along with further information on appraisal techniques and an example contract for prospective employees. This is in addition to template policies covering areas such as social media use, company vehicles, data protection and maternity/paternity leave.

The set of guides also includes downloadable information addressing the procedures for managing ill-health absence, how to set out a clear disciplinary and redundancy process and the right way to handle employment tribunal claims.

As well as aiding the management of staff, the new resources can help attract new employees, assist with Pre-qualification Questionnaires and support compliance with the BWF Code of Conduct which sets out the principles of good practice for a woodworking or joinery business.

 

[News URL: http://cti-timber.org/content/bwf-launches-new-employment-guidance-help-joinery-businesses-save-money-and-time]

Roy Wakeman OBE appointed new CTI Chairman

Roy Wakeman OBE has been appointed new Chairman of the Confederation of Timber Industries (CTI). He succeeds Peter Hindle MBE, who stepped down last autumn.

Mr Wakeman will coordinate the new CTI strategy encouraging best practise and boosting a wide collaboration among the leading trade organisations and companies across the Supply Chain.

Mr Wakeman is a leading figure and driving force in the timber and joinery Industry. He has led the Industry as President of the BWF (British Woodworking Federation) three times in his career, 1987, 2001 and 2013. He was Chairman of the Construction Confederation in 2001 and has previously chaired the Networking Forum for the CPA (Construction Products Association) for 11 years.

Mr Wakeman has grown a number of well-known brands and businesses in the joinery manufacturing arena including Sarek Joinery with sales of £30m in 1984-90; The LS Group of Performance Doorsets including the brands of Leaderflush, Shapland and Petter and Longden Doors with sales of £40m 1995-2005.

In 2006 he led a Management buyout of Mumford and Wood, the UK’s leading manufacturer of high quality bespoke Timber windows and Doors which at the time had sales revenues of £6m. Since then Mr Wakeman and his team have built a Group of Timber Fenestration brands, under the Group umbrella of PTPG, with sales currently over £20m pa. The brands include Mumford and Wood, Timber Windows.com and Dale windows and Doors.

In 2012, Mr Wakeman was awarded an OBE in Queen's Honours List for services to the joinery manufacturing industry and, one year later, he was appointed non-Executive Chairman of European Doorsets, a leading supplier of Performance Doorsets for the Construction Industry.

Commenting on his appointment as new CTI Chairman, Roy Wakeman said: “I am delighted to accept both the role and challenge of the Chairman of the CTI, and very much look forward to helping everyone involved in this great industry to consolidate and improve the leading position that Timber holds as a modern material of choice.

Having spent my whole life in the distribution, manufacture and marketing of timber and its end products, I will use all my experience to make sure that we continue to lead, innovate and increase our reputation.”

 

[News URL: http://cti-timber.org/content/roy-wakeman-obe-appointed-new-cti-chairman]

Roy Wakeman OBE appointed new CTI Chairman

Roy Wakeman OBE appointed new CTI Chairman

Roy Wakeman OBE has been appointed new Chairman of the Confederation of Timber Industries (CTI). He succeeds Peter Hindle MBE, who stepped down last autumn.

Mr Wakeman will coordinate the new CTI strategy encouraging best practise and boosting a wide collaboration among the leading trade organisations and companies across the Supply Chain.

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CTI Blog - Brexit: The future of trade and the EUTR

This guest blog post is by David Hopkins, CTI Director and Managing Director of the Timber Trade Federation (TTF)

 

The triggering of Article 50 this week has started the long process of negotiation and withdrawal from the EU which could have major implications for the timber industry.

It was good to see, therefore, that the formal letter dispatched by hand to President Tusk was far more conciliatory and constructive in tone than much of the triumphalist rhetoric which has been circulating in recent weeks and months.

Whichever side of the debate one sits on, it is hard to deny that this will be a complicated affair, with emotions running high from all participants. It is in the UK best interest to acknowledge this and approach the talks positively, calmly and with everyone’s best interests at heart.

Certainly, the TTF view is that we should focus efforts on making this transition as smooth as possible for our trade. To do this, the most important part of the future arrangements with the EU must be to negotiate a mutually beneficial customs arrangement to ensure the same trading access as is currently the case. This would include ensuring the same regulatory environments for our industries and supply chains. 

Our view is that, if we cannot complete this process within the two year time frame – which seems a very tight window given the complexity of the negotiations - then a transitional arrangement must be agreed.

To be clear, it is not just tariffs that are the issue. Timber attracts relatively low tariff levels even under WTO rules. But, the potential to slow down trade due to suddenly having to make customs declarations and border inspections on all goods entering the UK would significantly slow down trade – especially as HMRC and other agencies are unlikely to have the staff or the know-how to make this work.

As our largest timber trading partner and an EU member state, Sweden’s views on the future of UK-Sweden trading relations must be taken into consideration. On March 15, Sweden’s National Board of Trade published a report summarising potential likely options for trade procedures between the EU and the UK. The report concludes that it is likely that any alternative situation negotiated will be less favourable than the current, with increased administrative requirements, higher costs and ‘reduced predictability in the flow of goods’.

Since this is an issue which will affect many industries in the UK, it should be given careful consideration. The exit negotiations must take these potential future burdens into consideration to ensure that trade can continue, freely and unhindered after we have left the EU in whatever form.

The next step within the UK following the triggering of Article 50 will be the implementation of ‘The Great Repeal Bill’ to repeal the EU Communities Act 1972 and begin transferring EU law into UK law for the interim period. With this in mind, there are a number of key items of EU legislation affecting the UK timber trade which will need to be addressed, mostly notably the EU Timber Regulation (EUTR).

The TTF and its membership believe strongly in the value and effectiveness of EUTR and advocate its retention post-Brexit.

The wording of the Article 50 letter stated: “We should…prioritise how we manage the evolution of our regulatory frameworks to maintain a fair and open trading environment, and how we resolve disputes.”  This is to be welcomed and supported and should not be undermined for supposed short term gain.

The timber industry is not alone in wanting to maintain the current regulatory status quo with Europe. The CBI, Chemical Industries Association, Institute of Directors, the City of London and many others have called for much the same thing. The regulatory regimes are priced into most of their business models and they see little to gain from undermining them.

TTF has already begun a programme of meeting with ministers and civil servants from key government departments such as Defra, BEIS and DfID about potential impacts to the timber trade. It is our view that the timber sector can show a very positive picture of free trade with nations across the globe, based on a common set of principles and regulatory regime.

As the talks continue, we will keep members updated and will be running regular MP visits to members businesses around the country.

We applaud the Prime Minister’s view that the UK should be seen as an innovative modern, global leader in international trade and want to ensure this is the outcome that prevails.

However, if the UK does want to be seen as a modern leader in global commerce, rather than a hand-delivered letter to Brussels, should Mrs May not have just sent an email? 

 

[News URL: http://cti-timber.org/content/cti-blog-brexit-future-trade-and-eutr]

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