Polypipe Civils Comment: Q2 2021

Steve Durdant-Hollamby, Managing Director Polypipe Civils is BMBI’s Expert for Civils & Green Infrastructure.

Supply issues have dominated headlines across the quarter again, and with demand showing no sign of slowing, supply will continue to challenge businesses regardless of size and sector. Given such exceptional circumstances, Polypipe, along with other like-minded suppliers, is doing what it can to maximise output and provide customers with regular trading updates and delivery forecasts that are as accurate as possible.

Fluctuations in demand are nothing new. What is different now is that rather than being limited to a particular sector or sectors, we are seeing the whole industry light up. In normal times that’s a nice challenge to have. Today, with COVID still imposing restrictions, with congestion at ports, and with global material and container shortages, it is extremely frustrating. Furthermore, with strong growth forecast well into next year, there will be no quick turnaround.

COVID still has the power to disrupt, so we remain vigilant as new variants continue to threaten. But it’s good to see a gradual, albeit cautious return to conventional practices.

Globally, greater evidence is emerging about the impact of climate change. The UN’s landmark climate report, published ahead of the COP26 summit in Glasgow later this year, states that all countries must produce tougher climate plans to limit the increase in global temperatures.

The Government’s forthcoming Environment Bill is a generational shift in legislation targeted at protecting and improving the nation’s ecology and resilience in the face of population growth and climate change. Currently in the House of Lords, the Bill’s legally binding changes will impose specific regulation across a wide range of environmental management, from chemicals and air quality to, perhaps most critically, water. From now on, water companies will be required to publish plans to preserve water resources as well as their plans for improving overall drought and flood resilience.

Rethinking how we manage, use and reuse water will be at the heart of achieving our climate goals. The Bill should be a catalyst in driving a more creative, forward-thinking approach to construction with greater collaboration at the earliest stage in a project delivering maximum benefit to individuals and communities.

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