Progress Report 2023: Pathway 3
The VinylPlus® Product Label is a third-party-certified sustainability scheme for PVC products in the building and construction (B&C) sector, developed in cooperation with BRE and The Natural Step.
In 2022, the VinylPlus Product Label was updated and integrated with new criteria to comply with the requirements of the Italian GPP CAM (minimum environmental criteria) for Building and Urban furniture, in terms of recycled content and use of by-products (as defined in the CPA Guidance Document on Waste). The Product Label was also opened to companies that are not VinylPlus partners.
The updated version of the Product Label was launched in March 2022, and in August 2022 the VinylPlus® Product Label was mentioned in the Gazzetta Ufficiale (the Official Journal of Record of the Italian government) as a valid proof of certification for recycled content in the updated CAM.
In December 2022, the updated Product Label was submitted for European accreditation by Accredia, the Italian accreditation body.
In February 2023, Accredia confirmed that the accreditation of the new version of the Product Label is now granted at the Italian level.
In 2022, VinylPlus also commissioned the Swiss organisation Ecobau to carry out an assessment of the VinylPlus Product Label criteria. Ecobau provided an evaluation on how VinylPlus® Product Label criteria could be embedded into their criteria of ecoBKP, ecoDevis and ecoProducte for the profile product category (e.g., windows and doors).
To better align with the VinylPlus 2030 Commitment and the revised BRE’s Responsible Sourcing Framework Standards, the VinylPlus® Product Label is currently undergoing a revision to version 2.0. This started in June 2022 and is expected to be completed in 2024.
VinylPlus® Supplier Certificates (VSCs) are sustainability schemes for additive producers and compounders that are partners of VinylPlus. They allow raw material suppliers to demonstrate their sustainability efforts and help converters obtain the VinylPlus® Product Label.
In 2022, five companies – Akdeniz Chemson, Baerlocher, IKA, Polymer- Chemie and Reagens – obtained the VinylPlus® Supplier Certificate.
Under the theme ‘Embracing EU Green Deal Ambitions’, the 10th edition of the VinylPlus Sustainability Forum (VSF) took place in Brussels, Belgium in May 2022 and online. The VSF is the annual flagship initiative of the European PVC
value chain, and it provides an opportunity for the industry to come together to discuss progress on sustainability and
exchange points of view with partners and stakeholders.
The 10th edition involved 490 stakeholders from 40 countries. #VSF2022 debated the dynamic policy landscape of the EU Green Deal and discussed how the European PVC industry can tackle the challenges of circularity, foster sustainable innovation and advance towards carbon neutrality by continuing to work together.
The VSF was preceded by the VinylPlus General Assembly, for VinylPlus partners only, which gathered around 100 participants.
VinylPlus also continued to co-operate with other regional PVC associations in 2022 and to actively share experience,
knowledge and best practices in the Global Vinyl Council’s (GVC) bi-annual meetings.
Engaging with civil society
To enhance the PVC industry’s contribution to the SDGs, VinylPlus is committed to continuing to engage with civil society, including young
generations, local communities, institutions and associations of public authorities, including at the cities and regions levels, as well as with the
private sector, to develop partnerships, joint projects and initiatives.
Sports play a key role in ensuring social wellbeing and spreading positive values such as education, fairness and gender equality. As part of its engagement with the sports community, VinylPlus supported the second edition of She Runs – Active Girls’ Lead in September 2022. It was also the occasion to consolidate VinylPlus’ partnership with ISF and apply the Environmental Action charter signed in 2019 to ensure the manufacture, supply and disposal of PVC products in accordance with VinylPlus’ sustainability programme.
Aligned with its commitment to engage with the sports community and promote sustainability, VinylPlus launched the online campaign (Re)cycling with PVC in July 2022. The campaign aims to raise awareness of how PVC (and recycled PVC) plays an important role in cycling, as it provides many of the essential components of a bicycle and related equipment.
The VinylPlus® Med Belgian pilot project was officially launched in early 2022 to accelerate sustainability in the healthcare sector in Belgium through the recycling of discarded single-use PVC medical devices.
To date, 14 hospitals are part of the project with +35 on the waiting list to join.
In 2022, the project received two important external recognitions: it received the bronze award among 36 projects in the Circularity category of the INOVYN Awards and was included in the top three initiatives shortlisted for the first Trends Impact Awards, organised by the Belgian magazine Trends for companies or organisations that create sustainable value for society with their projects.
Engaging with local communities
Garden to Connect is a project developed by the PVC Information Council Denmark in partnership with Miklsn and VinylPlus. Its objective is to promote the reuse of PVC pipes to make the urban landscape greener and bring people closer to nature and to each other.
In 2022, Garden to Connect was selected for participation in the New European Bauhaus Festival, the new flagship event of the European Commission, which aims to bring together talented people and ideas from all over Europe to contribute to the accomplishment of the European Green Deal. The mobile exhibition, situated in four central squares of Brussels, featured a sustainable urban garden made from used PVC pipes.
VinylPlus also supported the extension of the Garden to Connect project in Rwanda aimed at upcycling waste pipes for kitchen gardening and community building. Rwanda has a long tradition of urban agriculture and the rapid urbanisation and many ongoing water infrastructure projects resulted in installation waste.
Together with two local NGOs, Garden to Connect is currently developing a pilot project that turns waste into plant containers. In Rusheshe, Kigali, it enables local food production through the reuse of pipes and educates local communities about gardening, reuse and nature conservation. In the Indaro Center, in Kigali, children learn about gardening and the reuse of building materials.
PVC has always been our preferred material. The reason is that PVC is extremely suitable for the functionality of our products, which are used by both the agriculture and aquaculture sectors.
PVC can withstand the impact from farm animals’ excrements – wastewater, manure, slurry and manure water – as well as the aggressive aquatic environment in fish farms.
The PVC products are fantastically durable, which is why we often find that farmers have the same pipe systems in their stables after 30-35 years.”
CEO, Fog Agroteknik A/S