Progress Report 2022: Pathway 3
Building global coalitions and partnering for the SDGs
“Representing the united European PVC value chain as VinylPlus, we commit to ensuring transparency and accountability in its relationships with all stakeholders. Engaging with key stakeholders, including brand owners and specifiers, we will contribute to sustainable development through certified and traceable products. We will continue partnering with civil society, European and global organisations, as well as with the global PVC communities, to share our best sustainability practices and contribute to the UN SDGs.”
Recognizing the key role of the UN SDGs in contributing to global development, promoting human wellbeing and protecting the environment, VinylPlus has committed to Pathway 3 to address broader societal needs.
- provide maximum transparency and accountability in its governance and reporting
- encourage its partner companies to adopt sustainable practices and to integrate sustainability information into their reporting cycles
- support the industry’s contribution to sustainability through labelling and certifications
- encourage and promote effective partnerships and initiatives with civil society, institutions, NGOs and the private sector
3.1 Ensuring transparency and accountability
The Progress Report 2022 has been independently verified by SGS, while tonnages of recycled PVC waste and expenditures have been audited and certified by KPMG.
The VinylPlus 2030 Commitment contains a series of targets and ambitions that all industries engaging in it want to achieve together. In 2021, each industry sector (ECVM, ESPA, European Plasticisers and EuPC) applied the Commitment to its specific operations, at an operational level and through presentations and debates at their general assemblies, to engage more colleagues in partner companies.
Prof. Dr Ir. Jo Dewulf
Faculty of Bioscience Engineering, Ghent University
3.2 Contributing to sustainable development through certified and traceable products
The VinylPlus® Product Label is a certified sustainability scheme for PVC products in the building and construction (B&C) sector, developed in cooperation with BRE43 and The Natural Step.
Despite the pandemic, all the converters holding the Product Label were recertified in 2021. Remote audits were organised whenever travel restrictions did not allow onsite assessments. Two new applications (floor decking and skin foam sheets) were certified. A dedicated VinylPlus® Product Label Committee has been set up to coordinate efforts to achieve the Label-specific targets.
Two new sustainability schemes, the VinylPlus® Supplier Certificates (VSC) for additive producers and compounders that are partners of VinylPlus, have been finalised and approved with specific differentiated criteria.
These two schemes will allow raw material suppliers to demonstrate their sustainability efforts and facilitate converters in obtaining the Product Label. All ESPA members with production facilities in Europe have committed to initiate the VSC certification process in 2022.
3.3 Engaging stakeholders in the sustainable transformation of the PVC industry
The VinylPlus Sustainability Forum (VSF) is the most important annual event for the PVC value chain, as 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 9th edition, #Towards2030, was especially significant, as it was the occasion of the official launch and signing ceremony of the VinylPlus 2030 Commitment. VSF2021 took place on 17 June 2021 as a hybrid event. It was held in Brussels and livestreamed to allow the widest possible worldwide participation. It brought together more than 500 stakeholders from 44 countries, including representatives from the European Commission, European Parliament, the United Nations, consumer organisations, academia, specifiers, recyclers and the PVC value chain. Along with the launch of VinylPlus 2030, VSF2021 celebrated the completion of the second 10-year Voluntary Commitment of the Europe PVC industry and its main achievements of the last two decades.
3.4 Partnering with stakeholders
To enhance the PVC industry’s contribution to the SDGs, VinylPlus is committed to continuing to engage with civil society: this means young generations, local communities, but also institutions and associations of public authorities, at cities and regions levels.
We will continue building connections with the private sector too, to develop partnerships, joint projects and initiatives.
› Engaging with civil society
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 renewed its partnership with:
Belgium Yoga Day, held on 20 June 2021.
The event, livestreamed by Belgian television channel RTL TVI, took place for a restricted group of people in the park of the Pairi Daiza zoo and botanical garden in southern Belgium. VinylPlus provided PVC yoga mats for the event, which were donated to hospitals and youth associations after the event.
The Green Community Growth in Reused PVC Pipes, 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 as a go-to material for urban gardening, and so contribute to the building of communities. PVC pipes were recovered from urban waste and repurposed to build a community garden placed as central hub in the public park of the Marselisborg Rehabilitation Centre in Aarhus.
The local community, from the young to the elderly, helped to build the garden. The project attracted the interest of the Aarhus Municipality’s office for cooperation and green growth and has been nominated by the Aarhus City Council for the city’s Spireprisen (Sprout Award), an award for active contributions to the green transition.
Sorting and recycling non-infectious plastic waste can significantly reduce hospitals’ environmental impacts and operational costs.
VinylPlus® Med was launched in February 2021 to accelerate sustainability in the healthcare sector across Europe through the recycling of discarded single-use PVC medical devices. Building on the success of the RecoMed scheme to recycle PVC masks and tubing, which was co-funded by VinylPlus in the UK, VinylPlus® Med started with a pilot recycling scheme for Belgian hospitals. The project’s partners are waste management company Renewi, recycler, and VinylPlus’ partner Raff Plastics. All Belgian VinylPlus® Med partners are located within a radius of 120 km, to limit transport distances and minimise the carbon footprint.
Initially launched at Europe Hospitals, VinylPlus® Med currently has more than 20 hospitals on the waiting list.