Following the devastating impact of the war in Ukraine, merchants across the industry have demonstrated their support for those affected.
FAKRO has collaborated with the Think About the Future Foundation and local entrepreneurs from Nowy Sącz. FAKRO provided vehicles from its fleet free of charge to transport long-term food and hygiene articles to Ukraine. The first convoy of four trucks with aid for Ukraine has already reached Lviv and the value of the provided aid is currently PLN 500,000.00.
Bożena Damasiewicz, president of the Think About the Future Foundation, said: “FAKRO made available its logistics centres in Nowy Sącz and Lviv. The latter one is at the disposal of Caritas Lviv, while employees of FAKRO Lviv were delegated to assist with the unloading and redistribution of humanitarian aid in Ukraine. The facility can be used free of charge by other charities helping Ukraine. After the return of the truck convoy to Poland, the Foundation plans further shipments of humanitarian aid goods. We accept only full pallets of a single product for transport due to the requirements of customs clearance. We encourage entrepreneurs to participate in further transports. We are impressed by the courage of Ukrainian soldiers and the entire society of Ukraine. We all feel united with Ukrainians suffering from the cruelty of war and we find it as a natural reflex to help them.”
BDR Thermea Group, the parent company of Baxi, is donating €500,000 to 11 humanitarian charities including the Red Cross, Oxfam Novib and UNICEF.
Bertrand Schmitt, BDR Thermea CEO, said: “We are horrified by this war and stand in solidarity with its victims: people suffering inside Ukraine, people who have fled the country, and friends and family all over the world.”
“By donating, we want to play a part in helping those affected by this humanitarian tragedy.”
Karen Boswell, UK & Ireland managing director, said: “We deeply sympathise with the people of Ukraine who must endure this terrible act of war in their country, as well as all those with friends and family in Ukraine and all our employees of Ukrainian descent.
“’One team’ is a core value of BDR Thermea Group and that has never been as true, relevant or urgent as it is now.”
The Builders Merchants Federation (BMF) is calling on its members and their customers to help raise vital funds via its dedicated appeal page: www.bmf.org.uk/Ukraine_Appeal
BMF CEO, John Newcomb, is the current President of the European Federation of Building Material Distributers (UFEMAT). He is co-ordinating a pan-European campaign, calling on support from the building materials industry across the continent. UFEMAT has also called on members to place an embargo on importing all Russian building materials until the war in Ukraine comes to an end. Funds raised through the appeal in the UK will go to DEC, the Disasters Emergency Committee, which works with the UK’s 15 leading aid charities to provide and deliver aid.
John Newcomb said: “We have received pictures from our UFEMAT colleague in Ukraine showing the devastation affecting homes and factories, and the brutal cost of war on ordinary people. His own daughters are amongst the millions who have been forced to flee the country to safety.
“In addition to emergency aid, he told us that warm clothing, such as thermal and insulated workwear, is also urgently required.
“Our members play a key role in the community and the unique nature of their work, and their stock of equipment such as workwear, puts them in a good position to help get much needed supplies over to Ukraine and we will be working with them to orchestrate a national response and get supplies to those who need them as quickly as possible.”
“In the meantime, our focus is on raising funds through our appeals pages in the UK and across Europe.
“The building materials industry is known for its generosity in supporting those in need. If you are able to make a donation, please do so at www.bmf.org.uk/Ukraine_Appeal
In addition, VELUX Group suspended its operations in Russia and Belarus. As of February 28, all VELUX operations in Russia and Belarus are suspended until further notice, this includes taking, delivering and servicing orders. IT systems are closed, all financial transactions between VELUX and these countries are suspended and all employees are sent home.
David Briggs, CEO of the VELUX Group, said: “We have decided that the best course of action as a business is to suspend our operations in Russia and Belarus until further notice. We believe that we cannot and should not continue our operations there due to the current situation. We regret the immense impact this decision has on our loyal and dedicated employees in both markets.”
“It is truly a sad and very unfortunate situation, and we are concerned for our colleagues and business partners in Ukraine. We are in ongoing contact with colleagues there and will do everything we can to support them.”