VinylPlus is the voluntary sustainable development programme of the European PVC industry. It aims to create a long-term sustainability framework for the entire PVC value chain. The regional scope of the 10-year programme is the EU-28 plus Norway and Switzerland.
The VinylPlus programme was developed bottom-up in industry workshops and through an open dialogue with all stakeholders, including NGOs, regulators, public representatives and users of PVC.
Five key challenges (see chart below) have been identified for PVC on the basis of The Natural Step System Conditions for a Sustainable Society.
Through the VinylPlus initiative, the European PVC industry aims to:
- recycle 800,000 tonnes of PVC per year by 2020
- promote a sustainable use of additives
- improve PVC products sustainability and their contribution to sustainable development
- reduce progressively GHG (greenhouse gas) emissions as well as energy and resource consumption along the entire production chain
- move towards a low-carbon circular economy
- build sustainability awareness along the value chain and among stakeholders.
VinylPlus is committed to the following working principles:
- Voluntary action – tackling the sustainability challenges of PVC in a proactive way.
- Measurable targets and deadlines – shared publically and reported on annually.
- Continuous improvement – accepting that the journey to sustainability requires constant evaluation and learning.
- Collaboration – working together within the industry to find solutions that no single player can implement, and reaching out to much broader stakeholder groups.
- Transparency – opening up, sharing and recognising the gap between where we are now and where we aim to be.
- Scientific rigour and research – making sure technologies, processes and materials are assessed according to strong and scientifically-based sustainability principles.
- Dialogue – creating more debate with those who have something to say about PVC, in a positive, receptive frame of mind.
- Responsibility – no one is going to secure a place for PVC in the sustainable future other than the industry itself.
- Seeking business prosperity – we need successful businesses along the value chain – that means making an acceptable return on investment, being competitive while pursuing a sustainable development.
- Priority to sustainability innovation – research, design and innovation should have no goal other than improving the sustainability potential of PVC, including its market competitiveness, and openly challenging components, materials and practices which do not make sense in terms of sustainable development.