The environment was the key issue at this year’s BMF Members’ Day at the National Motorcycle Museum on October 10, with keynote speaker Alan Cherry, chairman of sustainable building firm Countryside Properties, setting the tone for the day.
Cherry said that the merchant industry should ensure staff are efficiently trained to cope with the changes occurring in the industry. He also encouraged merchants to embrace the new sustainable technology emerging in the market, as more and more housebuilders are looking to use sustainable products in their buildings.
“Sustainability adds value and is necessary for the future,” he said. “We need to think about construction products differently.”
He said that the industry had to realise that sustainability is more about protecting the environment; it is also about social sustainability.
“In the UK and Europe people are becoming increasingly concerned about social and environmental issues and this concern will continue to grow. Our industry must take notice and action to address these concerns,” he said. “The industry is beginning to recognise the importance of sustainability but must be prepared to go beyond meeting regulations and make an effort within their own business practices to encourage sustainability.”
The BMF also launched their Environmental Code at the show, addressing the need for a consistent set of standards for the merchant industry.
Said BMF managing director Chris Pateman: “The BMF have taken the need for companies to explain their environmental credentials and created a straightforward process that allows you to say: ‘We as a business are taking this seriously.'”
The afternoon break-out sessions featured talks by Paul Kaye from Freeway Commerce on the subject of e-trading, Bradfords’ security manager John Makin on the subject of theft and fraud and Steve Evans of the Local Authority Building Control (LABC), who encouraged merchants to work closely with them.
Awards were also given to Harold Davies of Jackson’s branch in Gainsborough and Dean Atkinson of Naylor Myers, who won the MOL First Prize for training and Apprentice of the Year respectively.