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25 January 2007

Survey Shows Builders and Merchants Going Green

A new survey amongst UK builders and builder's merchants reveals that many are "going green", with concern for the environment being a big issue for them.  In a poll commissioned by leading timber importer Premier Forest Products, 80% of builders and merchants surveyed said they would make a commitment to being "greener" and more environmentally friendly in 2007.

The research, which was conducted amongst international, national and regional building workers, also revealed that 86% recycle at home now, and 83% intend to recycle more in the future.  And 96% surveyed said they would like to do their bit for the environment by buying or using sustainable construction products, but due to a perceived lack of availability they don't always seek these out.  In fact, all those surveyed said they would prefer to use sustainable plywood in construction projects if the cost was reasonable.

green tree

Terry Edgell, a Director at Premier Forest Products, believes that the survey results are a reflection of a dramatic shift taking place throughout the construction industry;  "Central government is really pushing sustainable products like timber in construction, so its interesting to see that changes in attitudes are taking place on the ground as well as from above.  We recently launched Greentree Plywood to respond to the demand from many of our existing clients for environmentally friendly plywood, and since we began selling Greentree we have worked hard to keep up with the demand for this product.  The UK construction industry's attitude to the environment is really changing for the better."

So why this sudden shift in perception?  Well, when asked why they wanted to become greener, the most popular reason given by the 100 builders and merchants surveyed was that they believe "it is the right thing to do" (49%), while 26% wanted to help save the planet for future generations.  Nearly a quarter of those surveyed (23%) said they wanted to become greener in 2007 because their children nag them about it.

One Swansea-based builder questioned, said: "The typical stereotype of a builder is someone more concerned with where his next cuppa is coming from instead of the effects of their work materials on the environment.  But the reality is that more and more people in the construction industry are sitting up and taking notice of what's going on in the wider world. Maybe we should be called green van men instead of white van men!"

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