Russwood reflections 2022
As the year draws to an end, we have taken the time to reflect on another busy year at Russwood. This year hasn’t been without its challenges, but we have been lucky enough to be able to bring more innovative products to our customers, been involved in a number of award-winning projects, and embraced new technologies which will help reduce our carbon footprint.
Back to normality
Covid put a hold on many events towards the end of 2021, including our annual Christmas Party. Of course, we didn’t let that stop us and instead delayed our party until it was safe to do so, celebrating Christmas in June 2022! Flooring Supervisor, Blair, had plenty to celebrate this year; welcoming his third child, Charlotte, in February and marrying his partner, Amy, in May 2022. Talking of celebrations, Russwood had commissioned artist Arthur Watson to design a sculpture to celebrate 30 years of Russwood in 2020, and we were finally able to install it on a cold winter day in April 2022.
Shinty was back in full swing and the Newtonmore Second Team, sponsored by Russwood, had a treble winning season taking home the Sutherland Cup, Strathdearn Cup and Mowi Scotlands’s North Division 1 League. It’s good to see the boys back on top! Finally, after two years being spread out across makeshift office spaces and a number of staff working from home, we were all back to normality in the main office in Newtonmore by August. It’s great to have a full office again!
New partnerships and products
Researching and developing new products has always been at the forefront of Russwood’s strategy. This year was no different with us launching a number of exciting new products. We partnered with Finnish timber experts Lunawood to launch a new cladding range, Lunawood Collection, suitable for interior and exterior cladding applications – some members of staff were even lucky enough to visit Lunawood in Finland in August. We added Kurowood® to our interior cladding range, Grandis Select® to our exterior cladding range, and a new Performance Profile® to our Accoya® offering.
Along with expanding our product range, we introduced two new Virtual Tools in 2022, with the help of Architextures. Our Architextures tool allows architects and specifiers to download Russwood cladding textures to include in SketchUp, and our Cladding Visualiser tool allows you to see our products in a real-life setting. Following the Russia / Ukraine conflict, in February Russwood stopped sourcing Siberian Larch and continue to supply pre-conflict Siberian Larch only.
We said farewell to PJ & Lorna as they both retired at the start of the year. Both Lorna and PJ have been with Russwood since the very start and we hope they are enjoying a well-earned rest! Ten new staff members started in 2022; welcome to the team Craig, Charlotte, Charlie, Chris A, Chris C, George, Laura, Michael, Molly and Raf. Russwood’s former Architect Liaison Technician, David Ross has also returned on a part-time basis to help with product research and development.
The future is electric
After a long wait, we finally took delivery of two new fully electric forklifts, which replace our diesel-powered forklifts. I think you will all agree Andy looks delighted with his new toy! We also upgraded our company car to electric and installed a PodPoint charger station in our car park. You can now charge your car whilst you are visiting us for a tour. This year, we also invested in new systems to improve our processes and efficiencies, along with reducing the amount of paper we use.
Learning and development
A number of staff have completed training this year, improving their knowledge of the timber industry and building on their expertise. Jenny, our Production Manager completed NEBOSH training and several staff members completed Wood Science training.
On a more personal note, Forklift driver, Andy Parker, received The Royal Warrant for Fire and Rescue long service and good conduct medal in recognition of 20 years exemplary service to round off the year. Congratulations Andy, an amazing achievement!
We also welcomed more Architectural practices than ever this year to our Newtonmore production site and display area, where our ALT and Sales teams provide hands-on tours and guidance on specifying external cladding, internal cladding, flooring and decking. Visits to our Newtonmore site can be booked from the 5th of January onwards in 2023.
Please note we are closed from the 22nd December until the 4th January 2022 – see our Visit Russwood Page for more information. From the whole team at Russwood, we wish you and your family a Happy Christmas and a Happy New Year!