On 12 October, the traditional meeting between Glass for Europe and national glass and glazing associations was held for the first time in the format of a web conference. Attendees connected from all over Europe discussed the Covid19 crisis and its impact on the sector, the EU and national Recovery plans, the upcoming Renovation Wave and support schemes for windows across Europe and the flat glass industry vision of a climate-neutral Europe.
Discussions showed how the COVID19 crisis had very different economic impacts across European countries. For instance, some markets have been hit harder during the first the part of the year and, although recovery is now experienced, significant declines are expected on a yearly basis. In other countries, reduced market declines were experience. However all national representatives agreed that the future is very uncertain and that concrete political actions will be needed to safeguard the glass ecosystem.
The Renovation Wave, which will be released on October 14, is expected to set a strategy to increase the rate and quality of renovation in order to decarbonise the European building stock. This could help the flat glass sector overcome the crisis triggered by the Covid-19 pandemic. In fact, the Recovery and Resilience Facility revealed last Summer already includes building renovation as a one its flagship initiatives. It stands clear that the opportunities to support windows replacement are there. Lobbying activities at national level are crucial to ensure that national governments make building renovation and windows retrofitting a priority of their National Recovery Plans.
Companies and National Associations present at the workshop included AGC Glass Europe, Assovetro, British Glass, Bundesverband Flachglas, BVGlas, CSFVP Chambre Syndicale des Fabricants de Verre Plat, Glascentrum i Växjö AB, GBO / Bouwend Nederland, Guardian, InDUfed, Institut du verre, NSG Group, Polish Glass Manufacturers Federation, Sain-Gobain, Svensk Planglasförening, Swedish Flatglass Processors Association and UDTPV.