Russwood reflections 2023

Marketing Executive

It has become a tradition that we take time at the end of each year to reflect on the past 12 months. It's been a year of embracing change at Russwood, from launching our new branding, expanding our production and office buildings, and bringing new products to the UK market. In this blog, Amy summarises some of our 2023 highlights.

Our newly branded lorry

A new look for the new year

We kickstarted the year by introducing a fresh new look for Russwood with an updated logo, emblem and bright colour palette. We had outgrown our old branding and engaged the help of Kat Scott from K&Co to collaborate with us to create a more dynamic brand identity across all channels.

Our Profile magazine also had a facelift this year. It showcases some of the amazing projects that feature our products, including our Project of the Year, Silverstone. It also gives some more insight into what life is like at Russwood.

We may have a fresh new look but we will always remain true to our roots, providing high quality timber products across the UK. You can find out more about the history of Russwood by visiting our timeline.

Expanding Russwood products and services

We added some fantastic new products to our offering this year. In July we were announced as Abodo®‘s UK Architectural Specification Partner. The Abodo Vulcan range comes in 2 cladding options, Flatsawn and Vertical Grain. Abodo Vulcan Flatsawn cladding stands out as a high-quality, clear grade cladding option and an ideal alternative to short-in-supply Siberian Larch. Abodo Vulcan Vertical Grain is a premium exterior cladding option and sustainable alternative to old-growth Western Red Cedar. It was also shortlisted for Best Cladding Product at the Build It Awards 2023.

We expanded our flooring range, bringing in European Mountain Larch and Douglas Fir flooring in the Autumn. European Larch offers a scandi look with 3 pale colour choices and Douglas Fir offers exceptional lengths and widths, for a more premium flooring choice.

Andy driving our new electric forklift in front of our new production office

We also introduced another new virtual tool, the Cladding Comparison table to help our customers narrow down their cladding options and find the best option for their project requirements. Our Architectural Liaison Technician (ALT) team delivered 7 successful online CPD Webinars to over 170 architects and specifiers across the UK. Sign up to our newsletter to be first in the know of all future webinars.

Phase 1 of our storage shed extension was completed in the summer, doubling our storage capacity and providing a new office space for our Production team. It was important to us to use natural materials where possible in the build. The office space is constructed from cross-laminated timber (CLT), glulam beams and clad in our Scotlarch® cladding coated in SiOO:X Mid Grey. Thank you to local companies R-Fab, CR Construction, Binnie Electrical and Grampian Builders, SA Borthwick Plumbing and Heating Contractor, GS Campbell Contractors, & Michael Ritchie who helped bring it together.

It wasn’t just our product offering and office spaces we expanded in 2023, we also welcomed 10 new staff members to the Russwood team. Ailza and Kathryn joined our Reception team, and we appointed Ross and Fraser to our Architectural Liaison Technician team based in our Glasgow office. Scott and Alecs are the newest recruits to join the Cladding Sales Team and Zoë, also based in the Glasgow office, was welcomed into our Marketing department. Chris, Martin and Dave joined the Production team. After 16 years of service with Russwood, John Smith retired from his role as Cladding and Decking Sales Advisor in the spring of this year. We gave him a good send off with our best wishes and a bottle of his favourite tipple!

If you are interested in joining the Russwood team, check out our careers page for our current job vacancies and details of how to apply.

John Smith (centre) with John Russell & Big Mac at his retirement drinks
Students who passed their wood science exam were presented with their certificates at our Christmas coffee morning

Learning and development

Russwood is committed to helping our staff learn and develop so that they have opportunities for progression and growth, both personally and professionally. This year we have seen 4 staff members being promoted internally; well done Vicky, Amy, Roxana and Alaister!

We also have several staff members complete their Level 2 Certificate in Wood Science and Timber Technology with TFT Woodexperts Ltd, a course which provides in-depth knowledge on wood as a material.

On a more personal note, our Marketing Manager, Fiona Finnie, was named as one of Cycling UK’s 100 Women in Cycling 2023 in recognition of co-founding woman’s mountain bike festival, Limitlass. Congratulations Fiona!

Community spirit

We had the opportunity to support many events in our local community throughout 2023. This year included the Aviemore 10K, Kingussie Bikeathon, and Newtonmore Golf Club’s Golf Week to name a few. We continued our sponsorship with the Newtonmore Second Team, who won the Sutherland Cup Final in September, looking fresh in their new kit. We installed an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) at our Newtonmore HQ in April, providing life saving equipment to our staff, the other companies and delivery drivers on the industrial estate.

A number of coffee mornings were scattered throughout the year to raise funds for charities including Marie Curie Cancer Support and MFR Mission Christmas. Our staff also generously donated gifts to Cash For Kids which are then given to disadvantaged children, so they’ll wake up to something under the tree on Christmas morning. As a company, we have made a Christmas donation to Inverness based charity Mikeysline. Mikeysline supports people of all ages when struggling with mental health. They aim to break down the stigma associated with seeking support for emotional distress and raise awareness that it is okay not to be okay but nobody should suffer in silence.

Newtonmore Second Team with the Sutherland Cup
The energy produced from our solar panels help charge our electric forklifts

A sustainable future in the built environment

As the built environment continues to evolve, Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs) will become an essential document for all projects to ensure sustainability credentials. We worked closely alongside Environdec to produce EPD documents for our most popular cladding options, quantifiably demonstrating the environmental performance of these products.

We have invested in photovoltaic panels to produce energy at our Newtonmore HQ which will power our sawmill and office buildings. Further to ensuring we are having a minimal effect on the environment, Russwood are now being monitored on a monthly basis by Scottish Water to ensure our wastage water is cleaned to meet the consented PH balance before being returned back into our water supply.

As we look to the future, we are always looking for innovative ways we can improve production at Russwood, whilst respecting the environment around us.

Please note we are closed from the 22nd December until the 8th January 2024 – 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!

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