Additive Sustainability Footprint

What is the Additive Sustainability Footprint tool?

Through a ten-step approach, the Additive Sustainability Footprint (ASF) tool allows its users to assess and promote the sustainable production and use of PVC additives across entire product life cycles, including the role of additives in the performance of PVC products. The ASF tool is an industry-wide methodology based on the Sustainability Life Cycle Assessment approach developed by The Natural Step.

VinylPlus®, the European PVC industry’s commitment to sustainable development, proactively developed the ASF tool to ensure:



Additives are sustainably produced using materials that are responsibly sourced


Additives support the sustainable management of PVC products


The functional benefits of the additives enable PVC products to support sustainable development

More than 200 different additives are used to convert PVC into thousands of applications. These additives provide a wide range of benefits to PVC products and allow these products to efficiently meet fundamental human needs, for example through improved longevity and lifetime service, reduced maintenance and replacement costs, and enhanced functionality and recyclability.

Why is ASF necessary?

Many tools are used by industry to assess chemical and product sustainability. Each has a different purpose and scope and does not necessarily provide insights or address considerations related to PVC additives. The ASF tool allows its users to look beyond current legal expectations towards future demands, risks and opportunities driven by sustainability considerations.

You will find here the ASF Application Form

Benefits of ASF

For the converters:

  • Increase awareness of the additives and supply chains related to PVC
  • Understand how to guide dialogue with suppliers on specifications to makeformulations and products more sustainable
  • Make informed decisions on additives to be used
  • Earn a higher audit score for criteria 6.1 of the – VinylPlus® Product Label and thus increase the visibility of a product

For the additives producers:

  • Understand the sustainability performance of additives in specific product applications
  • Understand how to guide dialogue with customers on specifications that makeproducts more sustainable
  • Become a supplier of choice for converters by using an industry-consistent approach
  • Prioritise innovations enabling the highest sustainability performance

For industry and society:

  • An industry-wide methodology using inputs from best practice procedures (REACH, LCA, PEF [1])
  • A tool enabling communication on the contribution of additives towards sustainable development
  • Evidence for regulators and legislators that a risk-based approach across whole product life cycles offers greater insight and impact than a simplistic hazard-based approach
  • A depth of analysis adapted to different budgets and timeframes

How does ASF work?

Online toolbox modules have been developed in order to better understand ASF, assess the sustainable production and use of additives, and innovate to achieve a higher sustainability performance.

  • The Natural Step and Principles of Sustainability
  • Towards the Sustainable Production and Use of Additives
  • Additive Sustainability Footprint – An Introduction
  • ASF Foundations – Framework and Methodology

Want to run an assessment for your own additives in your own product?

More information on ASF can be found in Mark Everard’s and Richard Blume’s article Additive sustainability footprint: Rationale and pilot evaluation of a tool for assessing the sustainable use of PVC additives.

You will find here the ASF Application Form


[1] REACH: Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals
LCA: Life Cycle Analysis
PEF: Product Environmental Footprint


Any VinylPlus partner is invited to assess the sustainable use of additives within its own specific products. Please contact VinylPlus if your company would like to run a specific assessment.

Our webinars

ASF® Introductory Webinar

On 9th December 2021, VinylPlus held an introductory webinar on the Additive Sustainability Footprint (ASF®) attended by 197 delegates from 19 countries.
Despite being a minor part of PVC articles by weight, additives contribute disproportionately to desirable performance (durability, longevity, potential recyclability, etc.) and to regulatory concern.
An assessment of the use and roles of additives using the science-based sustainability principles promoted by The Natural Step (TNS) enables ASF to highlight sustainability challenges, areas for sustainable innovation, and also positive contributions to the sustainability of articles and meeting the UN Sustainable Development Goals.


Lessons learned


This report documents key learning outcomes from development and prototyping of the Additive Sustainability Footprint (ASF) methodology by VinylPlus. The report is provided to VinylPlus as a public summary from The Natural Step (TNS) based on direct input, observations and engagement with VinylPlus stakeholders. The report is a supplement to the documentation of the ASF methodology and results provided to participants involved in pilot projects.


SustainabilityOur contribution to sustainabilityAdditive Sustainability Footprint