Voluntary Commitment

The foundations of the VinylPlus programme are established in its Voluntary Commitment signed by the four founding associations and a number of representatives from different PVC converting sectors. Five key challenges have been identified for PVC. The first four challenges are technical in nature whilst the fifth challenge consists in promoting sustainability awareness across the entire value chain.

Each of the challenges is based on The Natural Step System Conditions for a Sustainable Society.

The Voluntary Commitment of the European PVC industry

As planned from the outset, in 2015 VinylPlus conducted a full review of the objectives and targets of its Voluntary Commitments to measure and evaluate the programme, taking into account market and technical developments, the evolution of the regulatory framework, as well as input and suggestions from external stakeholders.
Here below the updated VinylPlus targets and status of achievement.

 

Challenge One: Controlled-Loop Management of PVC

We will work towards the more efficient use and control of PVC throughout its life cycle.

Targets

1. Recycle 800,000 tonnes/year of PVC by 2020. > ongoing
2. Exact definitions and reporting concept to be available by end 2011. > achieved
3. Develop and exploit innovative technology to recycle 100,000 tonnes/year of difficult-to-recycle PVC material (within the overall 800,000 tonnes/year recycling target) by 2020. > withdrawn1
4. Address the issue of ‘legacy additives’ and deliver a status report within each annual VinylPlus Progress Report. > ongoing

allenge Two: Organochlorine Emissions

We will help to ensure that persistent organic compounds do not accumulate in nature and that other emissions are reduced.

Targets

1. Engage with external stakeholders in the discussion of organochlorine emissions during 2012. > achieved
2. Develop a plan to deal with stakeholder concerns on organochlorine emissions by end 2012. > achieved
3. Compliance with the PVC resin Industry Charters by first Quarter 2012. > partially achieved
3.a. Achieve full compliance by 2020. > ongoing
4. Risk assessment for the transportation of major raw materials, in particular VCM, by end 2013. > achieved in 2015
5. Target zero-accident rate with VCM release during transportation in the next 10 years. > ongoing

Challenge Three: Sustainable Use of Additives

We will review the use of PVC additives and move towards more sustainable additives systems.

Targets

1. Lead (Pb) replacement in the EU-27 by end 2015 (extended to the EU-28 in 2014). > achieved
2. Robust criteria for the ‘sustainable use of additives’ to be developed, with status report by end 2012. > achieved in 2014
3. Validation of the robust criteria for the ‘sustainable use of additives’ in conjunction with the downstream value chain, with status report by end 2014. > partially achieved
3.a. Develop a methodology for the sustainable choice of additives for profiles and flexible applications. > ongoing
3.b. Develop a systematic framework methodology, taking into account the EU PEF concept. > ongoing
4. Other PVC additive producers and the downstream value chain will be invited to participate in the ‘sustainable additives’ initiative. > ongoing

Challenge Four: Sustainable Energy & Climate Stability

We will help minimise climate impacts through reducing energy and raw material use, potentially endeavouring to switch to renewable sources and promoting sustainable innovation.

Targets

1. Establish Energy Efficiency Task Force by end 2011. √ achieved
2. PVC resin producers to reduce their specific energy consumption, targeting 20% by 2020. > ongoing
3. Define targets for specific energy reduction for converters by end 2012. √ partially achieved
3.a. PVC converters will report their gains in energy efficiency year on year.
4. Energy Efficiency Task Force to recommend suitable environmental footprint measurement by end 2014. √ delayed (waiting for the EU PEF pilot phase results)
5. Establish Renewable Materials Task Force by end first Quarter 2012. √ achieved
6. Renewable Materials Task Force’s status report by end 2012. √ achieved + extended
6.a. Updated status report by the end of 2020. > ongoing

Challenge Five: Sustainability Awareness

We will continue to build sustainability awareness across the value chain – including stakeholders inside and outside the industry – to accelerate progress towards resolving our sustainability challenges.

Targets

1. VinylPlus web portal to go online in summer 2011. > achieved
2. VinylPlus Monitoring Committee, which will meet a minimum of twice a year, will be established by end 2011. > achieved + ongoing
3. A VinylPlus Membership Certificate will be launched end 2011. > achieved
4. A public, and independently audited, VinylPlus Progress Report will be published annually and proactively promoted to key stakeholders. With the first edition being published in 2012. > achieved + ongoing
5. Annual external stakeholder meetings will be organised, commencing in 2012. > achieved + ongoing
6. A VinylPlus product label will be launched by end 2012. > launch achieved in 2014; implementation being reviewed
7. ECVM will take an active role in promoting VinylPlus within international PVC industry organisations worldwide. > ongoing
8. ESPA stabiliser producers will actively promote VinylPlus outside the EU-28. > ongoing
9. VinylPlus will increase the number of programme participants by 20% compared to 2010 by end 2013. > not achieved
10. VinylPlus will engage with five global brand holders by end 2013. > partially achieved + ongoing
11. A review of progress towards the globalisation of the approach will be undertaken by end 2015. > achieved
12. A Social dialogue commitment endorsed by the EU Sectoral Social Dialogue Committee for the Chemical Industry will be included in the VinylPlus programme by the end of 2016. > achieved + ongoing

[1] Nevertheless, VinylPlus will continue to pursue efforts to find technically and economically viable solutions for difficult-to-recycle PVC