The Glass and Glazing Federation (GGF) has released its Annual Report for 2013 showing a ‘financially stable’ position against the tough economic conditions in the period
In his remarks on what has been a period that has started to see some general economic improvement and a brighter perfroamnce by the UK construction sector, Mark Warren, retiring president of the GGF noted: ‘2013 proved to be yet another testing year with many challenges for businesses to grow and survive in the tough economic climate, along with new legislation that had an impact on the entire construction sector.’
There had been the disappointment of the government’s heavily criticised Green Deal that had promised so much but had ended up delivering little. ‘The Green Deal initiative is widely recognised as too cumbersome for consumers to understand and too onerous on businesses especially small to medium enterprises (SMEs) to take part. The GGF continues to consult with the government to improve the scheme for the glazing industry.’
This was extremely frustrating for the GGF and its members, partly because of the hard work that had gone into preparing for the launch of the scheme and also the definite need for improvement in the housing stock. Mr Warren pointed out that the government’s own statistics showed the scheme has had a very slow uptake across the entire construction industry and the figures for glazing measures installed were ‘extremely disappointing’ especially as it was estimated that over 20% of a property’s heat escapes through inefficient windows. ‘It’s even more frustrating because the demand exists – an estimated 83% of domestic dwellings in the UK don’t have energy efficient windows.’
Another problem had been the introduction of the Construction Products Regulation (CPR) and CE Marking in 2013 and by the end of the year it was estimated that 80% of UK companies were not compliant with the latter.
Mark Warren also believed that the GGF’s Strategic Review would begin to pay dividends with a more ‘cohesive’ approach to the way it operated.
He has handed over the presidency to Brian Baker of GLASSOLUTION Saint Gobain who was keen to point out that although ‘2013 was a difficult year for the industry, the GGF membership remained stable and continued to provide a high level of support for members’.
Nigel Rees, GGF Group Chief Executive, noted that the membership grew in 2013 with 32 new ones joining the Federation and 11 companies joining the Promotion Programme but only 13 members leaving.
In the political arena during 2013, the GGF continued its dialogue with government on several campaigns such as Cut the VAT, Consumer Rights and Fire Safety. During the period, the Federation was also highly ‘proactive’.