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CLOCKWISE FROMTOP RIGHT John Carter, chief operating officer | Geoff Cooper, chief executive |


Paul Joyner, director of sustainable building solutions | TP has a large and profitable property portfolio | Plenty of options | Kitchen class Benchmarx is part of the Travis Perkins Group | The choice is yours


THIS PAGE TOP One stop shop RIGHT


Northampton’s Tongan prop Soane Tonga’uhia. Travis Perkins


sponsors the Premiership rugby club FAR RIGHT Bags of business


The renewables market is a huge opportunity for Travis Perkins; not least in the


field of education as they can not only work with trades on technology, performance


and delivery, but also raise consumer awareness


through their branches


something in the building sector, the chances are TP moves it, with more than 2,000 heavy-duty vehicles in its fleet, operating round the clock. “We do not just meet with buyers


and specifiers at housebuilders, but their sales and construction directors, as we can give them forecasts and feedback from customers about trends and preferences they can align their products with.” The renewables market is a huge opportunity for Travis Perkins; not least in the field of education as they can not only work with trades on technology, performance and delivery, but also raise consumer awareness through their branches and tap into a big and engaged customer database. There is more growth to be had and


Travis Perkins believes there is still 25 per cent of headroom to fill in their sphere of operation. “There is further growth potential and I also see more and more off-site fabrication in controlled environments,” said Carter. “Renewables are key, but at the moment the market is so fragmented and does not make commercial sense with high entry costs and no great and guaranteed pay back. It needs to be much more prescriptive because at the moment businesses


are floundering, trying different things and not operating efficiently. Costs need to come down before we can get real momentum,” said Carter, who is a trustee of the Building Research Establishment, with Travis Perkins partnering with BRE to provide advice on sustainable building, with the huge retrofit market to service, as well as new-build. Paul Joyner, director of Sustainable Building Solutions at Travis Perkins, is tasked with cutting through a construction industry tarred with green wash, helping suppliers meet regulations, validating the eco- credentials of their products and penetrating the hearts and minds of consumers to drive demand. Chief executive of Travis Perkins Geoff Cooper believes if the economy was more robust taxes could be imposed on embodied carbon from imports, immediately switching the currency from money to carbon and repatriating sustainability business, while the move towards an increasingly localised supply chain, delivering building materials, could mean companies’ survival depends on the locations within their property portfolio.


Will private growth, given rising cost pressures in a market not expanding, compensate for the public sector squeeze? While sustainable products offer investment opportunities, the funding mechanism, yet along the burden of regulation, is unclear. “Despite the considerable challenges, I cannot think of a better industry than construction to lead the recovery and we need new housing. Building is the lifeblood of the UK economy, with huge social benefits to reap too,” said Carter. The Travis Perkins chief operating officer had just been round Olympic Park when we met and was waxing lyrical about the timber in the Aquatics Centre and the design of the Velodrome. Whatever the controversies over the allocation of Olympic tickets, there is plenty of construction work to be proud of and a vast project such as the London 2012 Olympic Games is all about the supply chain. When it comes to supply chains for housebuilding work, large and small, Travis Perkins is responsible for more links than most. You suspect the merchant’s ties with housebuilders, large and small, are only going to get stronger.


sh showhouse July 2011 | 81


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