The Brick Development Association (BDA) launches a new Brickmakers Quality Charter (BQC) to provide the whole UK supply chain from client to end user with assurances as to the product, manufacturing and ethical standards of BQC holders.
Supported in the UK by the Builders’ Merchants Federation, the Association of Brickwork Contractors and others, any clay brick manufacturer, irrespective of where they operate, can apply for the BQC. To be approved and accepted, companies must demonstrate their compliance to a range of existing internationally recognised protocols and standards like ISO 9001, BES 6001, ISO 14001 or ISO 50001.
The charter also aims to help firms to meet the incoming stringent requirements being mooted through Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) thinking. BDA Chief Executive, Keith Aldis outlines the thinking behind the Charter saying: „Use of the Charter provides merchants and customers with a massively valuable short cut, identifying responsible clay brick and other clay product manufacturers. We have noticed a growing percentage of imported bricks that are coming into the UK from a global supply chain of which we know very little. With a post-Brexit focus on self-reliance, coupled with international co-operation through competitive trade, we are convinced that there is greater room for error when purchasing and using clay bricks from unregulated and largely unrecognised sources. We want to make sure that the UK and European clay brick using sector, continues to enjoy the high reputation it has built up over decades.”
New global trade reality
All clay brick manufacturers wishing to participate, will be subject to an initial audit of relevant certifications. Those meeting the basic requirements will be awarded the Charter. Keith Aldis: “Clay brick is one of the few building materials that are proven to last for centuries. We want to ensure that this doyen of UK construction and housebuilding is manufactured, marketed, sold and used with due diligence and with assurances having been provided to clients, specifiers and customers. We want there to be no question mark over the consistent quality of this wonderful material. We have had a universally positive reaction from manufacturers.”