It’s just two years since some of the leading lights in the UK timber window industry formed the Wood Window Alliance (WWA). And in that there is no doubt the campaign has made its mark through cost-effective, carefully planned advertising and PR promoting of the simple truth that wood is the most sustainable and attractive choice for windows. Even competitors have grudgingly acknowledged that we are getting our messages across.

One of the biggest challenges has been to address the myths that continue to dog our industry, mostly around durability and maintenance. And it amazes me that the idea that you cannot double glaze a timber window still persists, particularly with consumers.

Product quality, industry standards and sustainability are at the heart of our campaign and it is making itself heard in all kinds of ways. This year new LCA research showed that WWA brandmarked windows are carbon-negative and in 2010 more groundbreaking research results will be announced.

We have run four advertising campaigns and our PR programme has produced hundreds of column inches and several strategic alliances. Not bad for a couple of years, but there’s plenty more to do to drive up wood windows’ UK market share.

The next two years are crucial if we are to see some real impact on the market, so our ‘standing united’ message continues to ring true. As chairman, one of my main objectives is to increase WWA membership by making it an attractive, achievable proposition for companies of all sizes. The campaign is underpinned by its members’ commitment to standards and their determination to prove them through testing and accreditation. These are not obstacles, but opportunities to prove quality of product in a more competitive and regulated market. Much of what we ask for as a voluntary commitment is likely to become a requirement of Building Regulations or British Standards in the future, so it makes sense to get ahead of the game.

Everyone’s fighting to stay profitable in the recession. But it won’t last forever and, as an industry, we need to be working together to put wood windows in the best position to take advantage of the upturn when it comes.