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EP_19.jpg Nov/Dec 2005
Cover Story
Case Study
Lead 2
ALE
Bilfinger Berger
Arnold Laver Group
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FOREST FLOOR TO
FRONT DOOR

Timber importer and expert, The Arnold Laver group, has recently stepped up its dedication to be environmentally friendly.

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05.jpg The Arnold Laver group employs 850 staff across the country and offers an unrivalled level of knowledge and expertise in timber and sheet materials from across the world including North America, Africa, the Far East and Europe. Its product range has expanded from softwood to include plywood, MDF, hardwood, laminate, joinery products, engineered products and kitchens.

Working with a natural resource such as timber brings its own challenges and Arnold Laver Timber World is committed to protecting the environment, and strongly believes it is part of its corporate social responsibility to help preserve world forests and promote effective forestry management.

To this end, in August 2005, Arnold Laver Timber World validated its environmental commitment by signing up to a pioneering new purchasing agreement. The company became one of the first Timber Trade Federation (TTF) members to sign up for the organisation's Responsible Purchasing Policy.

The policy was launched earlier this year to offer TTF members a way of demonstrating their environmental commitment by providing them with a tool to assess their suppliers’ performance.

The company assesses the suppliers’ environmental responsibilities based on a series of questionnaires and documentary evidence before rating them as high, medium or low risk. Timber World will then cease trading with all high-risk suppliers and work with medium risk suppliers to help them to become low risk - with the ultimate aim of providing 100 per cent independently certified stocks.

Pat Burke, Arnold Laver's Group purchasing director, said: “Arnold Laver has a very strong culture of corporate responsibility and we firmly believe in prioritising environmental issues.

“We feel it is our responsibility to the environment to obtain and supply an ever-increasing proportion of legally and sustainable produced timber products. By signing up to the Responsible Purchasing Policy, it will enable us to provide our customers with the peace of mind that the supply chain for our timber has been thoroughly examined from forest floor to front door.”

Assurances
The company has embraced the principles of sourcing materials from legal, sustainable, well managed forests and mills, with all Arnold Laver Timber World branches in the UK having Chain of Custody implemented, independently evaluated and certified, to provide its customers with environmental assurances.

This gives their customers the confidence that the majority of its timber and wood-based products are from legal, well-managed forests.

The branches mentioned above total 16, which between them stock a vast array of hardwoods, softwoods, panel products, decorative surfaces, joinery products and kitchens. With thousands of lines ex-stock, including a broad range of enhanced, up-to-the-minute timber products, Arnold Laver can offer next day delivery, direct to site and can work with customers to schedule deliveries in line with a build programme, including 'plotted' house packs, delivered just-in-time.

Never content to rest on its laurels, the company is still building on the foundations laid by founder and company namesake Arnold Laver in 1920. To remain a modern and contemporary organisation requires continuous investment, and the group is currently implementing a multi-million pound programme to keep it in the vanguard of the industry.

This investment includes a new National Production Centre on a 17-acre brownfield site at Holbrook, Sheffield, and a recent acquisition in South Tyneside. The National Production Centre, which also incorporates a Call Collect depot, features a design engineering production facility, a machined profile production centre, a sheet material processing unit and two treatment plants.

Fifty jobs have been safeguarded and a further 30 will be created when the timber merchant relocates from its FJ Reeves Timber World at Tyne Dock to the former Dent Steel site in Wagonway Road, Hebburn, South Tyneside.

Regeneration
The £3 million South Tyneside relocation project was only given the go-ahead in September 2005, and will regenerate a former shipbuilding steel plate works in the North East creating an additional 30 jobs over the next five years.

The Timber World division offers a call collect service and nationwide delivery of a wide range of products including softwoods and hardwoods, sheet material, joinery products and laminates. The £3m move is necessary, as the Port of Tyne requires the Tyne Dock site for the extension of its container facility.

Arnold Laver, with headquarters in Sheffield, Yorkshire, will spend more than £500,000 on installing a mill and refurbishment at the new depot, with work expected to be completed in early 2006.

Arnold Laver director Mark Bower commented: “This is terrific news for the area and shows our commitment to the region following our recent acquisition of F J Reeves. “The project is part of our national expansion plans focusing on providing our full range of stock and production capabilities to serve the local market. Hebburn will also have a Call Collect facility enabling customers to obtain a full range of materials in one quick visit to the depot. Our Call Collect builders' merchants facilities have also been developed in Birmingham, Manchester, Kidderminster and Reading.

“Relocating to the former Dent Steel premises will improve the service Arnold Laver can offer as well as providing positive regeneration benefits to an area that is suffering from economic decline,” added Mark.

Alongside this significant investment in premises and equipment (including a Weinig Powermat moulder with a 12 inch capability - the first of its kind in the UK) Arnold Laver is also continuously improving the marketing of its goods and services. November 2005 saw the arrival of its ‘essential guides’, two brand new brochures designed to showcase its new 2005 essential laminates range and decorative surfaces portfolio. The glossy guides feature a wide selection of images and information on product colours, styles, sizes, durability and suitability. Julia Innocente-Jones, Arnold Laver Timber World's group marketing manager, explained: “The brand new brochures bring together the best of Arnold Laver's impressive range of laminates and decorative surfaces in a compact and easy to follow format.

“They provide vital information for specifications, helping customers to decide exactly what kind of product they would need for a range of different applications.” From humble beginnings Arnold Laver has grown into the company that is well known today. Now with many major sites across the UK, Arnold Laver Timber World is renowned and respected nationally as a company representing quality and choice. The firm also enjoys international respect in the Russian, Scandinavian and Canadian timber circles making the Laver family and their company an essential part of the worldwide timber industry.  CT-E

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