Midland Lead Comment: Q3 2021

The lead industry, like others, is affected by short-term issues such as Brexit and the driver shortage. We believe it will take a while for it to settle back to normal levels. Hefty price rises for energy, raw materials and packaging are hitting the industry, and shortages in the supply chain are affecting buying habits.

But it’s sustainability which is rightly at the top of the industry agenda.

Attending a BMF Parliamentary Reception to support the CO2nstructZero Campaign and Sustainable Construction a few weeks before the COP26 summit in Glasgow we saw the industry’s appetite to reduce its negative impact on the environment.

The event was well attended by builders’ merchants, industry leaders and politicians. However it’s clear that legislation is needed to force construction to work towards the target of all buildings becoming net zero before 2050.

Builders’ merchants and other construction materials suppliers source and provide to meet demand, and the cost to the end user will always be a priority until legislation dictates otherwise.

As a sustainable material, lead is at the forefront of building materials because, by its very nature, it’s the most sustainable roofing product available. Lead alternatives cannot be recycled or reused indefinitely like lead. But it’s up to manufacturers to get in front of specifiers and buyers to demonstrate what is needed to reduce the negative impact that construction has on the environment.

Midland Lead is the first lead manufacturer to be awarded an EPD for its cast sheet lead. An EPD, or Environmental Product Declaration, transparently communicates the environmental performance or impact of a product or material over its lifetime. We worked hard to achieve this, but does it influence purchasers’ decision to use real lead? The answer is still yes and no, but construction is becoming more aware of its impact on the environment.

Legislation needs to change significantly to help create a truly sustainable future. So, keep your eye on that and be aware of your business’ environmental impact because change is on its way.

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