Freedom and Sadness
Whilst we begin to enjoy some of our freedoms again as lockdown eases, It is with sadness that we have recently learnt about the passing of HRH Prince Philip. At the age of 99 his passing remains a sad moment for both the UK and the family of the Queen.
The roll-out of Covid-19 vaccinations has been little short of a miracle here in the UK and whilst our positive test data continues to fall, in other areas of Europe populations are not as fortunate. It will be interesting to see how this year pans out as far as the home improvement market is concerned. Last year members reported a boom in the home improvement sector with some members claiming that, for a short period, orders were up by 100% on the previous year. Is the ‘staycation’ set to become a holiday of choice and again have an effect on the home improvement market this year?
Across the whole industry it is very clear that we have lost a great deal of our skilled workforce and whilst this may benefit those already in the industry, it will continue to put brakes on the anticipated growth in both the commercial and home improvement markets. I look forward to receiving the first of our ‘State of the Market’ reports for 2021 later this month which may give us some guidance. One thing that is clear, that since lockdown a year ago demand for home improvement has not let up and some are now asking when this ‘bubble’ will burst?
On the production side of Aluminium, we see Hydro exploring the potential for developing and operating hydrogen (H2) facilities to meet large internal demand as well as serving an external market. The first aluminium plants to run on H2 will likely be in Norway and no doubt help to unleash this future fuel further.
The move to a more sustainable world continues. With reports of some contractors running site equipment on vegetable oil and wanting its supply chain to follow suit; the rapid advance in electric delivery vehicles and with the ‘Future Homes’ consultation moving rapidly forward, that carbon reduction is firmly on the roadmap for all our futures. As Chief Executive of CAB, the team and I are reviewing what we need to be able to offer our members by way of support in understanding and preparing for these emerging technologies and legislation.
As we come out of lockdown, cautiously, as expected, I am looking forward to meeting many of you in my first physical event as CE of CAB in a few months time, hopefully with all restrictions lifted.
Phil Slinger - CAB Chief Executive