The last few months have been intensely busy for CPET. The increasing awareness of the policy in public and private sector has been very encouraging and has resulted in greater need for an understanding of the policy.
Over the winter months CPET has been conducting its annual regional training workshops visiting locations around England and Wales. Workshops have been held in 5 locations, London, Manchester, Portsmouth, Cardiff and Birmingham. The workshops have been well attended by both the private and public sector and feedback has been very positive. We will be continuing these workshops in the coming months, with further training planned in Nottingham, Cambridge, Exeter, Leeds and Newcastle. Please see here for more details of the workshops.
The main focus of CPET’s work continues to be the implementation of the policy in Central government departments. We have recently sent a letter to all central government personnel involved in sustainable procurement, through the CESP Practitioners Forum update (sent 14th Dec). The letter highlights recent changes in the policy and encourages staff to contact CPET for any advice related to timber procurement. We also hope to meet with key procurement staff in the coming months to understand how far the policy has been implemented and how we may be able to help.
Awareness raising work is ongoing as CPET endeavours to not only advise the public sector, but raise understanding and knowledge of the UK policy amongst a wide audience. CPET has attended and presented at a range of events over the last few months including presentations at the Action Sustainability ‘Meet the buyers’ event, The Centre of Expertise in Sustainable Procurement (CESP) Practitioners Forum and the Publishers Database for Responsible Environmental Paper Sourcing. We have also been part of the Buying Solutions Property and Office Road show team which has been presenting to public sector suppliers and contractors across the country. Details and future events are planned and can be found on the Buying Solutions website.
CPET have also held ad hoc workshops, supporting the public sector in its efforts to implement responsible timber procurement policies. In November we visited Newcastle and trained key personnel in the North East Purchasing Organisation (NEPO). The North East Purchasing Organisation is a consortium consisting of 12 full member local authorities and 12 associate members. The NEPO policy on timber procurement is aligned with the UK Government policy and the training focused on understanding the policy and how personnel can implement the policy in their jurisdiction.
Our campaign to engage Local Authorities continues to be an important part of our work. In association with WWF and the Timber Trade Federation (TTF), we have continued to approach Local Authorities to discuss their current timber procurement policies, and assist them to understand the merits of implementing a responsible timber procurement policy which is aligned with the UK government policy. We have had positive responses from a number of Local Authorities and attendance at workshops is increasing. We will continue to offer assistance and advice and would like to encourage Local Authorities and their buyers and suppliers to contact CPET and attend the training workshops. For those who are interested we have a on our website which is dedicated to Local Authorities.
CPET continue with Defra to support other EU member states in developing and implementing national timber procurement policies. We attended the European Commission’s Standing Forestry Committee’s ad hoc working group on public procurement of wood meeting in Brussels in November and Defra’s policy lead Greg Moffat presented the UK’s timber procurement policy at Green Public Procurement event arranged by the Swedish EU presidency. Read more about the EU level support here.
CPET and Defra also attended PEFC’s stakeholder dialogue meeting in Paris and the Forest day 3 in relation to COP15 in Copenhagen. Read more here.
The CPET team wishes everyone a very merry Christmas and a happy New Year. We hope that together we can ensure the widespread implementation of the policy and an increased demand for sustainable timber and wood products in 2010.