SEA Achievements 2010

(In no particular order)

1. Another excellent financial performance. The SEA now has the highest level of funds within the Federation which is an excellent base from which to develop long term success.

2. The high profile that the SEA now enjoys means that we were involved with numerous consultations during the year including:

  • Health & Safety Executive (HSE) review of European Union (EU) artificial light regulation
  • Department of the Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA) consultation on the definition of waste
  • Department of Energy & Climate Change (DECC) form and content of new Climate Change Agreements
  • DECC & DEFRA changes to Environmental Permitting Programme
  • Environment Agency (EA) review of charging schemes for 2011/12
  • EA review of Process Guidance Note PG6/23
  • European Chemicals Agency (ECHA), numerous Substances of Very High Concern (SVHC) proposals

3. The SEA now has wide-ranging representation on many committees / organisations engaged in / with the surface engineering sector at a regional, national and European level including,

  • Government / Industry IPPC Sounding Board
  • Government / Industry LA-IPPC Sounding Board
  • European Commission Technical Working Group – STM BREF
  • Environmental Permitting Programme Stakeholder Committee
  • Surface Engineering Board of the Institute of Material, Minerals & Mining
  • Comité Européen des Traitements de Surfaces (CETS)
  • Ministry of Defence SAG:E3 Committee
  • BSI Committee STI/033 Electrodeposited and other coatings
  • Nickel REACH Consortium
  • DECC Focus Groups regarding new climate change agreements

4. The SEA continues to take a lead role within the CETS organisation which has now been registered in Brussels as an International Not For Profit Organisation. Meetings were held in Karlsruhe and Solihull, UK hosted by the SEA in conjunction with the Institute of Metal Finishing.

5. A further 2 lunchtime briefing sessions were held at the House of Lords where the impact of REACH and spiralling energy costs were discussed with Peers, MPs and representative from regulatory authorities. The SEA provided briefing papers to Peers, MPs and representative of various Government Departments on a number of subjects.

6. A meeting was held in Brussels with the Nickel Institute to discuss the potential impact of the REACH registration and authorisation processes.

7. The SEA has supported the Ministry of Defence through its participation in the Standards Advisory Group E3 and has helped to develop many new standards related to surface engineering. Meetings were held at Edinburgh, London, Wolverhampton and Glasgow.

8. The SEA has developed a partnership with the Health & Safety Executive regarding biological monitoring of exposure to workplace carcinogens, in particular hexavalent chromium, soluble nickel and cadmium. The initial results of the programme are very encouraging and clearly show that where companies work in accordance with the sector’s best practice guidelines, then exposure levels are comparable with background levels. A full report is due in Spring 2012.

9. The Climate Change Agreements for the surface engineering sector and the heat treatment sector both successfully reported to the Department of Energy & Climate Change for the 2010 period. Members of the scheme paid a reduced rate of climate change levy on their energy bills giving a saving of around £8 million in total.

10. The SEA Awards were successfully held at the House of Lords where our Honorary President, Lord Hoyle, was the host for the evening.

11. Lobbying against certain aspects of the implementation of the REACH regulation took up an enormous amount of time during the year. Firstly a meeting was held at Federation House with Malcolm Harbour, MEP and this led multi-sectoral meetings hosted by the EEF to develop our strategy. The SEA led a lobby group to the European Parliament and this was followed up with a letter from Vince Cable, MP to the European Commission expressing support for our request for a 12 month transition period. The SEA then led a delegation to meet with ECHA in Helsinki to continue in our efforts to protect our members’ businesses.

12. Diana Blair attended the O & S Exhibition in Stuttgart to investigate the possibility of arranging potential funding streams to allow members to both exhibit and visit the exhibition in the future. This process will be repeated at a number of other overseas exhibitions during 2011.