2016

Every year, VinylPlus finances a number of communication projects run by sector-specific and national PVC associations.  Their main goal is to increase sustainability awareness as agreed in the Voluntary Commitment while at the same time the image of PVC as a material of choice can be improved. 

Externally, these projects respond to a number of social expectations by promoting a transparent dialogue with all stakeholders which, in turn, can help VinylPlus addressing key concerns. Internally, they contribute to creating a sustainable mindset and shared goals across the PVC value-chain.

Energy & Resource-Efficient Products for Public Procurement

Objectives

  • Making use of articles and the combination of editorial articles & advertisements (advertorials) in journals which are relevant for public procurement managers. 
  • The articles present winning stories which are demonstrating the sustainable “value” of PVC products and the PVC industry.
  • To position PVC Products as sustainable solutions in public procurement by demonstrating their energy and resource efficiency at lowest lifecycle cost.
  • Using new tools of communication to boost VinylPlus awareness.
  • Improving the image of PVC.

Milestones / Deliverables

  • 2 Magazines have been selected for „advertorials“ and technical articles.
  • The Magazines have special relevance for decision makers in local authorities and for public procurement.
  • The so called „advertorials“ are written articles which may include advertising elements.

KBD – Kommunaler Beschaffungs-Dienst
Advertorials and title stories (technical article) in 3 (4) issues:
(01/16 – title story: maintenance/renovation – part of 2015)
06/16 – advertorial: flooring in public buildings i.e. hospitals and kindergarten
09/16 – title story: renovation of public buildings
11/16 – advertorial: recycling

Umwelt Magazin
Technical report/article in 1 (2) issue(s):
(01/16 – article about water management – part of 2015 project)
06/16 – title story: PVC recycling and circular economy

Next steps / actions
To Write the missing articles in KBD for September and November issues and select pictures and graphs that fit to the “messages” for the target group.

Key Learnings: 

  • The choice of the relevant magazine / journal is critical to address the selected target group.
  • The advertorials have to be written more in a technical style than like an advertisement to ensure that the story / information is reliable .
  • The key massages about the sustainability of PVC products and our industry have to be described by different achievements of the entire value chain.
  • The articles and pictures / graphs need to be consistent with our messages via other channels.
  • Booking of spaces for articles need to be done very early to ensure a good fit to the key item per magazine issue.
  • There needs to be a continuous campaigning of such like articles to achieve a proper recognition.

Conference on temporary buildings: ecological, cost efficient & social - from top sports buildings to apartment buildings

Project Description & Objectives

  • Organisation of a half day conference with external speakers about “affordable homes” for about 30 – 35 deciders.
  • The target group are municipal decision makers, planners and architects involved in / responsible for municipal and private building projects plus window and flooring manufacturers. 
  • Position PVC building products as robust and esthetical as well as very sustainable – the solution for a very wide variety of applications for “affordable building projects”. 
  • Demonstrate the sustainability of the PVC-industry by the VinylPlus Programme and promote the cost and resource efficiency of PVC products. 
  • Consider a report / article about this conference in a magazine for public procurers.

Milestones / Deliverables

  • Organisation of a conference/workshop: 
    • selection of a top location
    • identification of 2 – 3 external speakers
    • identification and selection of target groups
  • Demonstrate the sustainability of the PVC-industry by the VinylPlus Programme.
  • Position PVC building products as robust and esthetical as well as very sustainable – the solution for a very wide variety of applications for “affordable building projects”.

Next steps / actions

  • Follow up of the invitation process - if necessary proceed with an additional contact/approach by phone to selected key people of the target group.
  • Preparation of presentation.
  • To check presentations of the external speakers.
  • Running of the conference.
  • Check possibilities for a report about the conference in a magazine for public procurers

Key Learnings

  • Contacts to a strong and established network of potential speakers is necessary and can be achieved by regular contacts via other and / or common projects/activities.
  • Up to date database of target groups is essential.
  • Proper planning and selection of conference venue and date is critical.
  • To “motivate” the target audience to join OUR conference(s) is demanding / time consuming ….

Vinyl and the College of Hospital Professionals

Objective
Convince the decision makers in the hospital system(s) to subscribe to the goals of VinylPlus & the benefits of Vinyl as a material for hospital interiors. The goal is to leverage credibility of VinylPlus in the hospital environment by an integrated approach, & reach out to the full "college of hospital professionals".

Target group: Hospitals doctors, nurses, managers

Actions
Settting-up of an international advisory board to organise workshops in Switzerland & Austria

Recocard - Collecting used PVC pre-paid shopping cards for recycling into useful new products

Objective
Gain maximum awareness of the VinylPlus programme amongst the retail community & with consumers in general.  200,000,000 PVC cards arise in the UK per annum.  This is equivalent to 2,500 tonnes of PVC.  The project will demonstrate the circular economy in action.  It will demonstrate the practical feasibility of recycling PVC with a short life into a long life product, therefore keeping the materials within the value chain.

Target group: Retailers & consumers

Actions
Case study & press release highlighting how PVC cards are recycled + VinyPlus branded containers to collect PVC shopping cards

Roadshow on automotive trim recycling

Objective
EATS conducted a trial study on end-of-life solutions for post-industrial PVC waste in the automotive trim industry. The objective of the communication project is to communicate on the results of the trial study & to motivate the automotive industry to collect & separate their post-industrial PVC waste for recycling.

Target group: OEMs, automotive industry & the press

Actions
Event for the press & automotive industry + roadshow for automotive suppliers

Flexible PVC in our cities: interactive infographic

Project Description & Objectives
Computer-generated interactive infographic showing the multiple uses of rigid and flexible PVC in everyday life

Promotion through ECPI communication channels (eg websites, newsletters etc). The infographic will be made available to VinylPlus and all of its partners

Milestones / Deliverables

  • Collection of information from the value chain through VinylPlus
  • Creation of simple messages about rigid/flexible PVC and plasticisers
  • Development of electronic and printed infographics showing the use of plasticisers and PVC in a number of applications which can be found in a city:
    - 4 scenes: House, Hospital, Stadium, Street
    - 6 applications for each scene


The infographic is available here: http://www.plasticisers.org/where-pvc-is-used

ECPI infographic

Next steps:
Share the infographic with all VinylPlus partners
All VinylPlus partners can use and share the infographic

Key learnings:
The initial project proposal envisaged the development of an electronic interactive infographic as well as a printed version of it. When the development of the electronic infographic was concluded, we realised that a printed copy would not bring any added value to the project. The value of the infographic is its interactivity which is impossible to reproduce in a printed version. Therefore we focussed on improving the electronic version and make the inforgeraphic fully responsive.
The inforgraphic is now available for all kind of electronic devices, including tablets and smartphones. This will allow VinylPlus partners to use it during events and meetings and to promote it throught social media and websites.

Media Field Trip: exploring the PVC value chain

Objectives

  • Raise awareness about the commitment of the PVC value chain to sustainable development
  • Enhance the image and reputation of PVC by promoting its safe and sustainable use in many applications
  • Focus on: environmental performances of PVC, sustainable use of additives, PVC recyclability
  • Build longstanding relationships with trade media


Milestones / Deliverables

  • Two-day field trip to Germany
  • Visit two companies producing, converting or recycling flexible PVC
  • Minimum 5 journalists from specialised trade and industry publications
  • Close collaboration with German associations
  • Promotion of VinylPlus and ECPI
  • Possible media coverage

Project Status
(29 -30 June 2016, Germany. Visit to Mehler and AgPR; 10 journalists attending)

Media field trip

Key learnings:

  • Timing: to ensure good media participation it is important that the event does not clash with international events such as the K Fair or others.
  • On the ground experience: Journalists are eager to visit plants and are enthusiastic about the opportunity to learn through on-the-ground experience. The Media Field Trip is a great opportunity to dissipate misconceptions and raise awareness about the PVC value chain’s commitment to sustainability. 
  • Partnership with national association (AgPU): the support we received from AgPU was much appreciated and journalists were happy to learn about the German PVC value chain

Other remarks:
The Media Field Trip brings journalists to production and recycling plants and give them the opportunity to know the people working for the industry. Such a personal experience and direct contact make the industry appear more “human”, closer to consumers. Journalists become more keen to listen, learn and perceive the industry more positively.

Media field trip

Promoting the VinylPlus label & PVC as the sustainable material of choice for windows to architects, specifiers & installers

Description:
Promoting VinylPlus as a sustainable development programme and PVC as the sustainable material of choice for windows to architects, specifiers and installers.

Objectives

  • Expansion of existing contact database to include fabricators, installers, property developers, and architects.
  • Arrange and attend meeting(s) with key contacts in installation/fabrication sector and local architectural firms. 
  • Using a number of events (e.g. Tradeshows, Webinars, etc.) to engage with UK’s specifiers/installers of PVC products and promote the VinylPlus scheme and sustainability credentials of PVC.
  • To bring about the implementation of similar projects across other EU states addressing ongoing instances of de-selection of PVC products by public bodies

Milestones / Deliverables

  • Developed new contacts with key building industry players through attending meetings at the National Home Improvement Council (NHIC) of which BPF has recently became a member

    To name a few:
    • Chartered Institute of Building
    • Fernox
    • British Fenestration Rating Council (BFRC)
    • Local Authority Building Control (LABC)
    • Acumen Marketing Communications Ltd 

  • Expanded existing contacts

    By using BPF Windows Group (BPFWG) contacts from members as well as with other trade associations such as:
    • Fenestration Self-Assessment Scheme (FENSA)
    • Glass and Glazing Association (GGF)

      These contacts are mainly fabricators of windows and installers

  • Designed a cumulative presentation designed for specifiers, fabricators and installers 
    • Using the expertise of BPF’s Windows Group Members and Technical Consultants to promote: 
      • Sustainability of PVC-U Windows and Doors with technical facts and figures
      • VinylPlus mission, challenges and achievements
      • Introducing Recovinyl initiative by using infographic statistics from different EU Member States
      • Case studies from BPFWG members showing projects were PVC windows were chosen instead of aluminium, not only for the benefits on cost and performance but also aesthetics.

Next steps / actions

  • Identified relevant events, with widest visibility and potential to engage with key decision makers
    • UK Construction Week (NEC Birmingham, 18-20 October) 
    • Construction Product Association Annual Meeting
    • National Home Improvement Council (NHIC) Meetings 

  • To have a representation at those events in the form of visitors or speaking at the seminar sessions
    • We will be looking at the potential of exhibiting or visiting UK Construction Week (NEC Birmingham, 18-20 October) with the objective of promoting the sustainability of PVC products in construction and encourage specifiers, fabricators and installers to attend our webinar in November.
    • The presentation designed will be shown at NHIC meeting and other meetings with key stakeholders and organisations (to be determined) 

  • To organise a webinar in November for specifiers and installers to promote PVC’s sustainability credentials and providing them with effective marketing tools to inform their customers’ views. 
    • All of the key contacts across the industry will be invited to join the webinar
    • An expert from BPFWG will speak at the webinar
    • Webinar will be promoted on BPF website and other relevant associations’ websites 
    • Installers are encouraged to contribute to the sustainability story of PVC by bringing back the old PVC windows for recycling

Key Learnings

  • By becoming a member of the National Home Improvement Council we have been able to network and get contacts of many stakeholders involved in the window replacement sector. This has provided a platform to further promote the sustainability progress of the PVC industry.
  • Through our research we have also learned that many of the stakeholders involved in the specification and selection of construction products are not only interested in the sustainability of products, but also and most importantly the aesthetics and price/performance. This has resulted in slightly modifying our approach and place more focus on the progress, development and innovation of the aesthetics of PVC windows.
  • As a hard point, we have found very challenging to get slots to present in existing trade shows and events, although we keep trying. Perhaps one of the reasons is that PVC windows do not seem to be perceived as innovative.
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