Kristian Chalmers, head of sales at Pilkington United Kingdom Limited, part of the NSG Group, looks back at the year that’s been and reviews what’s in store for 2022.
In 2021, the sector enjoyed sustained high demand with housebuilding and home renovation in overdrive since our emergence from lockdown, supporting glass and glazing’s recovery.
It will always be a landmark year in the industry’s history too. The world-first trial of hydrogen used to fuel a gas furnace, pioneered at Pilkington UK in Merseyside, sounded the starting gun on our race towards decarbonisation.
But for all the opportunities and highlights the industry has grappled with major challenges too.
It’s naturally been a frustrating time as headwinds in the global supply chain and onset of the energy crisis have limited the glass trades’ ability to throw its full weight behind market opportunities.
Supply constraints channelled unprecedented demand through to Pilkington UK. Our team worked incredibly hard to ensure that we manufactured, or imported from other assets, every square metre of glass that we possibly could to ensure continuity of supply.
We owe a huge thanks to our customers for their patience and understanding as we’ve faced these challenges together.
There is confidence that, while they’ll rumble over into 2022, challenges are expected to subside through the year. Once they do, it will reveal just how exciting a time it is for the sector.
Connectivity and digitalisation present major opportunities for the glass and glazing sector. Glass that conducts electricity or transfers data, opens a new world for Pilkington UK and our customers.
We’re already working with some exciting companies that are realising futuristic glass applications with the help of products like NSG TEC™
The industry will also work more closely together, finding new breakthroughs that will enable us to reduce our impact on the climate, after COP26 rightly honed focus on the desperate need for climate action.
Personally speaking, I’m very proud to have taken the post of head of sales at Pilkington UK earlier this year. It’s been an exciting but challenging experience. And with the help of our amazing team, I’m looking forward to getting further stuck into the role and continuing to strengthen our customer relationships as we head into a new year.
From all of us at Pilkington UK, we hope you and your families are safe and well, and that 2022 brings you every success.