BMF arranges fact-finding visit to Lords BM for Construction Minister

BMF arranges fact-finding visit to Lords BM for Construction Minister

With continuing industry uncertainty around product availability and rising energy prices, Construction Minister Lee Rowley MP undertook a timely fact-finding visit to Lords Builders Merchants in Park Royal, West London to understand the merchants’ essential role in the supply chain, supporting the economy and keeping vital building projects on track.

Discussions undertaken during the tour, which was arranged by the Builders Merchants Federation, highlighted the challenges facing builders’ merchants, as well as initiatives Lords Builders Merchants are undertaking to reduce their carbon footprint and support their staff as well as their customers.

Established 35 years ago, Lords now operates from 12 branches across West London and the Home Counties, with a customer base mainly comprising local tradesmen and construction companies.

Jamie Herd, Lords’ MD, said: “We have worked extremely hard over the last two years to maintain stock levels and pricing for our customer base. However, the disruption in the supply chain, lack of HGV drivers and price inflation continue to have a significant impact on merchanting across the board. I was pleased to have the opportunity to outline the extent of these issues and the measures we have put in place to support our customers.

“We were also proud to share details of the work we are doing in partnership with fellow BMF members Bradfords and Markovitz to develop an ESG framework that can be used by the wider industry. These include trialling renewable diesel HVO in our vehicles, moving to lithium batteries in our forklifts and the use of solar panels as we refurbish branches.

“As part of our social strategy, we have launched a company-wide ‘Mind Kind’ initiative, with 24 staff now trained as mental health first aiders to support staff that may be dealing with poor mental health.”

The visit was organised as part of the BMF’s industry and parliament engagement programme to highlight the vital role merchants play within the supply chain to keep Britain building.

John Newcomb, CEO of the BMF, gave the Construction Minister an overview of how its members perform an essential function in distributing construction materials and home improvement products across the UK. He also explained how the industry is actively embracing a more sustainable focus.

John, who also co-chairs the Construction Leadership Council’s Product Availability Group, said: “Faced with the challenges of the past two years, the construction supply chain has adopted a flexible and collaborative approach to finding solutions. This has not only helped overcome issues with product availability, it also underpins the industry’s approach to finding sustainable solutions.

“Low or zero-carbon products will be crucial in the construction and home improvement industries to drive down emissions. We were able to demonstrate that the building supply chain is the most efficient route to market for these products.”

Main image caption (l-r): Darren Price, Operations Director of Lords Builders Merchants; Brett Amphlett, BMF Policy & Public Affairs Officer; Lee Rowley MP Construction Minister; John Newcomb, BMF CEO; Jamie Herd, MD of Lords Builders Merchants.

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