SEA Achievements 2013
(In no particular order)
1. A further 2 lunchtime briefing sessions were held at the House of Lords bringing our cumulative total to 20. Discussions with Peers, MPs and representatives from the regulatory authorities covered topics such as REACH, Ministry of Defence standards, skills shortages in our sector and ever increasing energy prices.
2. Following on from one of the luncheons,we were able to have input into the Business Task Force report on EU red tape. The Task Force was set up by the Prime Minister and our comments were included in the final report which was presented to the European Council.
3. We took a group of members to Germany to visit a number of surface engineering colleges and universities, including the leading surface engineering university in Ilmenau. Our German colleagues are now assisting us in a proposed development of an e-learning system, which should be operational towards the end of next year.
4. The SEA continues to take a lead role within the CETS organisation which has now become recognised by the European Commission as the lead European body for our sector. Meetings were held in Vienna, Austria and Oslo, Norway. At the first meeting, our Chief Executive was unanimously elected as President of the organisation.
5. We have developed a new service for members whereby they can get access to specialised legal advice on all environmental matters at preferential rates. This also includes regular updates on developments in environmental legislation.
6. A number of meetings were held in Brussels with the European Commission, DG Enterprise & Industry and DG Environment 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 is continuing to pressure them to reinstate a number of surface engineering standards that were declared obsolescent.
8. In an effort to demonstrate that substances of very high concern (SVHCs) can be used safely, we continued our work with the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) on biological monitoring. A report has been published and new guidance is being produced to address some of the findings of the report.
9. New Climate Change Agreements for the surface engineering sector and the heat treatment sector came into operation and will run through until 2013. Members of the schemes are enjoying substantial savings on the energy bills totalling almost £7 million.
10. The SEA continues to operate in a financially sound manner and has developed sufficient reserves to continue to develop over the coming years. Reserves have increased by more than 5 fold in the last 12 years leaving us in an extremely health financial state.
11. 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
- Nickel Institute / CETS Nickel Working Group
- DECC Focus Groups regarding new climate change agreements
- Cross-sector REACH group
12. Our biennial Industry conference was a great success with a wide range of speakers and exhibitors being entertaining at the evening meal by Roger Godsiff, MP who outlined a week in the life of a MP.
13. The high profile that the SEA now enjoys means that we were involved with numerous consultations during the year from the Environment Agency, HSE, DEFRA, DECC, and many European regulatory bodies.
14. We took a group of members to the SurFin conference and exhibition in Chicago where our Chief Executive participated in an International Panel on Surface Engineering.