Shropshire Star

Border Hardwood focuses on future after positive 2023

A Shropshire-based independent timber merchant, oak specialist and importer is reflecting on a positive 2023.

Border Hardwood

And, with its new office building ready in Wem, 2024 looks set to continue Border Hardwood Limited’s positive outlook as it prepares for a new launch and looks to maintain its commitment to sustainability. Established in 2001, the firm has become one of the largest stockists of sawn oak in the UK.

Last year, it successfully signed contracts to supply oak for HMS Victory – a 10-year project for the full restoration of the historical ship, dry docked in Portsmouth.

Last month, the business completed the 5,000 sq ft development of a new office building, which is fully heated via a biomass boiler. This uses waste timber and solar for the electric requirements.

Owner Charlie Bevan-Jones said: “We needed to modernize the office environment and improve the working culture.

“This commitment comes at a price but a price well worth paying. We have a responsibility to ensure that we are carbon neutral as a matter of urgency. We have implemented a recruitment drive over an eight-week period and invited some of the team, who are remote working, to come back and work internally.”

The firm says its long-standing mission statement is ‘the sustainable choice, where it doesn’t cost the earth’. After winning the Shropshire Chamber Business Award in 2019 for environmental innovation, the business has accelerated investment in becoming carbon neutral.

All company cars will be fully electric by 2026 while all lifting equipment will follow the same path by 2028. Last year, the firm fitted 100KW of solar panels and a 500KW biomass boiler to replace the oil boilers.

Designated members of the team ensure all timber purchased is fully certified and due diligence is competently carried out.

Looking at the year ahead, the business is launching a new product, Marine Hardwoods, this month. Jon Kearns, leading the launch, said: “We are very excited and confident. The USP of being the only volume stockist in the Midlands puts us in a strong position to gather momentum within the sector to gain market share.”

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