At the recent Glass and Glazing Federation’s Members’ Day annual conference, the GGF President, John Agnew delivered a spirited speech that clearly showed Members the Federation’s intentions going forward.

Entitled the “The Future of the Federation”, John Agnew provided a brief background of the GGF’s roots stressing that it was set up to provide one consolidated voice for its Members and the industry, pointing out that though the present challenges facing our industry are quite  different, the GGF’s initial mission and purpose is even more relevant today.

In his presentation to over 100 delegates, the President identified key areas of focus for the GGF including Membership, Industry Advocacy, Climate Change, Training and the GGF Board.

The excerpts from John Agnew’s speech are highlighted below:

On Membership:

“The Federation needs to continue to build on its technical offerings for Members, this is a key function and an expanded technical function will bring valuable benefits to our Members. Support for members, large or small, will be important to assist Members compliance to standards and specifications.”

On Industry Advocacy:

“The GGF must continue to act as a key opinion leader and opinion former with Government and other critical stakeholders.

The GGF is the trusted voice of the industry and continued member engagement is needed to ensure their voices are heard. A recent example of the GGF being a trusted voice of industry is the request from Heathrow Airport, for the GGF to write the glass specification for domestic dwellings impacted by the new runway.

Advocacy on behalf of the industry to improve our operating environment (standards and regulations) will be pivotal to ensure that the GGF remains the “go-to” organisation for an authoritative respected opinion because the GGF represents the key stakeholders of the industry i.e. members.

We need to ensure that we are the leading trade body for our sector and continue to earn the respect of industry and Members and increase recognition from Government.

The Industry needs to understand the value of the work we do – unpaid and unfunded – on a national and international scale, essential work, we carry out on behalf of Members and non-members alike, which ensures that we in the UK are not disadvantaged by those with alternative agendas.”

On Climate Change

“The Government, on our behalf has committed to Net Zero Carbon by 2050 to help combat climate change. It is essential we all play our part. We will need to continue to work with Government to ensure that we get a fair regulatory change deal for our sector – the GGF must and will lead this critical issue for not just the industry but our overall environment.”

On Training

“Following a survey of members, the Federation has provided training courses this year on installation and surveying with the installation course proving to be the most popular. The installation and surveying courses are now accredited by GQA Qualifications.

Using external facilitators, the Federation will be adding to the courses available in 2020. Examples of courses that may be offered include Emergency Glazing and Fire-Resistant Glazing. The courses offered will be targeted in geographical areas to assist participation.”

On the GGF Board

“Although the GGF Board has received critical press over the last three years in relation to change, essential organisational changes have been made where necessary by a fully united and dedicated Board, supported by a strong management team, for the benefit of the business and Members.

All businesses need change to revitalise, change culture and practices, generate enthusiasm and excitement and create the opportunity for the business. Whilst some changes have been difficult, our core team of key senior managers has remained strong and intact throughout. Staff promotions have been made within the business to build on our individual employee’s strengths and to bring benefit to the wider business.

The GGF Board are aware that there is a need to find a way in which members can interact more directly with the Board. The GGF Board has therefore decided that from February 2020, a Chairperson’s Forum will be held on an annual basis. This new assembly will invite the Chairs or Vice-Chairs or a nominated Member from their group to provide representation from all the Executives, Committees, Groups and Regions in the Federation.”

In Summary

John finished his speech with inspirational words for the Membership, “We are clearly facing significant challenges, but I can state that everyone at the GGF Group is working towards positive common objectives, to ensure we have a strong trade federation focused on providing improved benefits for our Members. The Board and Group colleagues are totally committed to working together to achieve that aim and ensure we remain the leading trade organisation for our sector.”