Back Wood First, trade urged26 May 2012
Wood for Good’s Wood First campaign needs grass roots backing to broaden its impact and help achieve its aim of persuading government and business to give preference to timber over other construction materials.
That was the message of Wood for Good head of external affairs David Hopkins, speaking to the Hants and Dorset Timber Trade Association (HDTTA) annual dinner in Bournemouth.
Mr Hopkins told the 120-strong audience at the Royal Bath Hotel that Wood for Good had given presentations on the Wood First initiative to several local authorities and a range of specifiers and other building professionals.
“We’re saying that giving priority to using timber, where feasible and practical, will help them achieve low carbon and sustainability goals,” he said. “In the case of local authorities, we’re urging them to implement a Wood First policy in their planning guidelines.”
He added that Wood for Good had been invited back by Hackney council to give a day-long presentation on Wood First to stakeholders, and that could lead to their voting on adopting the policy in months.
Wood for Good would continue to broadcast the Wood First message, he said, but it needed timber industry support.
“If individual businesses take Wood First’s low carbon message to the market, use the logo in letterhead and literature, it will increase recognition and provide a massive boost,” he said. “We’d also like companies to act as campaign advocates to their local authority, and let us know if they’d like us to approach them.”
HDTTA president Stephen Frommont said that while market conditions were tough, the good news was that the Timber Trade Federation, was getting stronger.
“More people are appreciating what it can do on behalf of our industry and are joining or rejoining. The Federation has an exciting future,” he said.
The dinner raised £1,150 for the Timber Trades’ Benevolent Society.