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Pioneering guide for trade associations

1 May 2002

Pioneering guide for trade associations launched at the SDUK conference

The work of the Pioneers Group, 20 trade associations committed to developing and
implementing sustainable development strategies for their sectors, is highlighted
tomorrow in two new documents to be launched by Forestry Minister Elliot Morley at
the SDUK conference.

Supported by DTI, DEFRA and the Sustainable Development Commission (SDC),
Pioneering outlines the business case for sectoral sustainable development
strategies and presents first hand the challenges and opportunities of developing
and implementing such strategies, by those who have begun to do so.

The initiative was praised by Patricia Hewitt, Secretary of State for Trade and
Industry, who said 'Strategic, forward-looking trade associations matter - they are
listened to and can make a difference for their members. That is what the Pioneers
Group is all about. Sector bodies that fail to address environmental and social
impacts - alongside environmental issues - should not be surprised if they find
themselves increasingly marginalized.'

The SDC, the government's independent advisor on sustainable development issues,
have also produced a self-assessment guide to support trade associations in this
work. The guide outlines a range of quantitative and qualitative objectives and
indicators in a clear and concise format, in order to ensure the highest standards of
quality and accountability.

Jonathon Porritt, Chairman of the SDC, adds: 'Sustainable development strategies
provide a framework to help business sectors better identify and manage economic,
environmental and social risks in an integrated way. As we approach the World
Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg in August, the business case
for sustainable development has never been stronger, and trade associations have a
clear role to play in leading their members on this issue.'

Notes to editors

The Pioneering booklet is available on SDC's website at

DTI and DEFRA established the Pioneers Group - a best practice forum - in summer
2001 to accelerate the development and implementation of sustainable
development strategies. SDC joined the forum in order to promote and monitor
quality standards.

To date, four trade associations have published sustainable development strategies:
SMMT: automotive (March 2000), UKCOOA: offshore oil and gas (April 2001) BRC:
retail (November 2001) and ICE: civil Engineers
(April 2002)

Members of the Pioneers Group are:

British Ceramics Confederation
Brick Development Association
British Cement Association
British Property Federation
British Retail Consortium
Centre for Historic Buildings, Sites and Collections
Chemical Industries Association
Construction Products Association
Engineering Employers Federation
Institution of Civil Engineers
Non-Ferrous Alliance
Packaging Federation
Printed Circuit Interconnection Federation
Property Environment Group
Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders
Steel Construction Sector
UK Steel Association
United Kingdom Offshore Operators Association
UK Forest Products Association
Water UK
Wood Panels Industries Association

The SDUK conference is a one day, cross-sector conference on UK sustainable
development issues and takes place at QEII conference centre, Westminster on 2
May 2002. More information on www.sduk.org

The SDC is the government's independent advisor on sustainable development,
reporting to Tony Blair and the leaders of the devolved areas. www.sdcommission.

The Commission's main role is to advocate sustainable development across all
sectors in the UK, review progress towards it, and build consensus on the actions
needed if further progress is to be achieved.

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