As we put the long winter nights behind us and look forward to sunnier days, CPET work has calmed down enough to allow us time to reflect on the past few months. As always we have been traversing the country and meeting organisations and individuals from a variety of sectors in order to provide guidance and assistance in implementing the UK government timber procurement policy
Training workshops have continued through February and March with workshops in Nottingham and London. The last regional workshop took place in Newcastle on the 17th February and was well attended. Crucially we had a strong turnout by representatives from Local Authorities. This highlights the gathering pace of our Local Authorities work and credits the work of Bill Kirkup, the Sustainability lead in the North East, who has done a great deal of hard work to implement sustainable timber procurement policies amongst Local Authorities in the area.
Further signs of a growing awareness of the importance of timber procurement policies can be seen in other regions of the country. In February we hosted workshops in Wakefield and Swansea, which were largely attended by members of Local Authorities. In Wakefield attendees including representatives from councils across Yorkshire and in Swansea we were fortunate to present to Swansea City Council representatives. Special thanks goes to Ben Scotting at Yorwoods and Nigel Doyle at Swansea City council for organising the respective workshops.
In our continuing endeavours to raise the awareness of the UK government timber procurement policy, the Central Point of Expertise on Timber hosted a stand at this year’s Ecobuild exhibition. The stand proved a great success and attracted individuals from across the construction and sustainability sector. For further information about the exhibition please see here. Continuing in this vein, on June 15th and 16th, CPET will be hosting a stand at the Public Procurement Exhibition at the Excel Centre in London. More information about the event can be found here.
The policy’s continuing role in creating a market for sustainable timber has been highlighted at a number of recent events which CPET has presented at. CPET’s Project Manager, Sofie Tind Nielsen, was recently invited to present at a Zoological Society of London (ZSL) meeting on timber certification as a tool for improved wildlife management in West and Central Africa. Sofie’s presentation demonstrated the important role of the UK Government’s timber procurement policy to drive sustainable forest management. Additionally, Sofie also presented at the PEFC Biodiversity Specialist workshop in Munich on the inclusion of conversion criteria in public timber procurement policies and its role in biodiversity conservation.
With some crucial changes in the policy over the past year we are keen to ensure that all government departments, executive agencies and non departmental bodies for which the policy is mandatory, understand the new requirements and have made the appropriate changes to their internal procurement policies and procedures. We are always available for help and advice and will be contacting relevant individuals in each department to find out how they have implemented the changes.
We are currently in the middle of the biennial review of certification schemes. Assessment guidance has recently been updated to include social criteria and 2 new assessment criteria on ‘conversion’ and ‘governance of national schemes’. Results of the review will be published on the CPET website in the near future.
Our next London workshop will take place on the 29th April. This will be the last workshop until after the summer, when we will again host regional workshops. As always, we are available to provide ad hoc training workshops and presentations for groups and organisations for whom it is necessary to understand the requirements of the policy. To organise an ad hoc training workshop please contact the CPET Awareness Coordinator, Nick Moss on email@example.com or 01865 243766 01865 243766 .
Please keep up to date with the latest news, advice and guidance by visiting the CPET website at www.cpet.org.uk.