February 4, 2011



Its priorities for the coming year are: to improve awareness of its consumer protection programme; continue its successful political lobbying campaign; and to place environmental matters at the heart of its activities.

Commenting on the GGF’s 2011 action plan, chief executive Nigel Rees said: “The remit of the GGF is vast, and we have many responsibilities to our members; there are many developments that occur on a daily basis that will affect one or more of our members, and we will always deal with those immediately.

“However, there is also a bigger picture, and we must continue move the organisation forward without being hampered by the minutiae of day-to-day operations. This is why we have singled out these three areas – consumer protection, political lobbying, and the environment – for particular focus in 2011.

“Furthermore, we are in the final stages of updating our website, which will promise better access to the operations of the GGF and its members.”

Consumer Protection The GGF is the leading authority for employers and companies in the flat glass, glazing, home improvement and window film industries. The total annual turnover for its Members is in excess of £1.5 billion and it was responsible for developing and setting up FENSA, the Competent Persons Scheme for the Replacement Window and Door Industry, which has over 9,100 Registered Businesses, the majority of whom are micro enterprises and SMEs.

Underpinning the GGF’s relationship with the consumer and the homeowner is the Federation’s Code of Good Practice and the Customer Charter. These protect the consumer by guaranteeing that GGF member companies will behave honestly and fairly, while offering products that comply with the latest industry and GGF standards.

The Code of Good Practice puts the consumer’s mind at rest for a number of reasons, including:

• Honest sales procedures

• Deposit protection (via GGF Fund Ltd)

• An open structural survey

• Products manufactured in accordance with all relevant standards

• Installation in accordance with all relevant standards

• Installers who meet all of their legislative requirements • Guaranteed products and installation

• Availability for insurance backing of guarantees

To strengthen this even further if the consumer has any complaints that cannot be settled satisfactorily with the member company, the GGF will provide a free, correspondence-based conciliation service.

The GGF will be raising awareness of the protection it offers consumers through the updated website, new brochures and literature, increased presence in consumer media, and by exhibiting at a greater number of consumer exhibitions than ever before.

Political Lobbying

During the last year, the GGF appointed a leading firm of political lobbyists to pursue its aims by delivering the organisation’s messages directly to the people who make the laws for the United Kingdom.

There have been a number of high profile successes, such as briefing Luciana Berger MP prior to a parliamentary debate on energy efficiency. The focus of that debate was on the funding available to homes for energy efficiency measures to be installed under the Green Deal, a scheme that the GGF is campaigning to have include energy efficient windows.

However, these are only the tip of the iceberg, and GK Political offers valuable behind the scenes advice.


As mentioned previously, one area that the GGF is lobbying hard on is the inclusion of energy efficient windows in the widely discussed ‘Green Deal’. The Green Deal is a scheme whereby homeowners are incentivised to install energy efficient products in their home. Despite hinting earlier in the year that windows could be included, the Green Deal currently only considers roof and wall insulation.

To push the case for windows, the GGF and Pilkington Glass recently met with Dave Watts MP – and will soon be meeting with Rosie Cooper MP and Ian Mearns MP – to discuss the relationship between glass and the environment.

Dave Watts (the MP for St Helens North) said he could not understand the resistance of DECC (Department of Energy & Climate Change) to the inclusion of the windows and has offered to write to the Minister – the GGF provided him with a draft letter, outlining the case for including windows in the Green Deal, pointing out that the Energy Savings Trust has stated that as much as 23% of a home’s energy can be lost through inefficient windows.

On a more day-to-day level, it is easy for companies to say “we consider the environment”, but it is more difficult to carry that promise out effectively. In a recent interview, the GGF’s deputy chief executive, Ian Chisholm, said: “Whether we had intended to or not, we have built up an unparalleled level of understanding on the relationship between glass and glazing and the environment. Furthermore, we help to advise companies on matters such as reducing carbon emissions, the amount of waste they send to landfill, and the designing of green products. Surely, the very fact that we are in constant dialogue with the government – helping it to shape environmental policy – is evidence enough of our environmental wisdom.”

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