Voluntary Commitment

The foundations of the VinylPlus programme are established in its Voluntary Commitment signed by the four founding associations and a number of representatives from different PVC converting sectors. Five key challenges have been identified for PVC. The first four challenges are technical in nature whilst the fifth challenge consists in promoting sustainability awareness across the entire value chain.

Each of the challenges is based on The Natural Step System Conditions for a Sustainable Society.

The Voluntary Commitment of the European PVC industry

Challenge One: Controlled-Loop Management of PVC

We will work towards the more efficient use and control of PVC throughout its life cycle.


  • Recycle 800,000 tonnes/year of PVC by 2020.
  • Exact definitions and reporting concept to be available by end 2011.
  • Develop and exploit innovative technology to recycle 100,000 tonnes/year of difficult to recycle PVC material (within the overall 800,000 tonnes/year recycling target) by 2020.
  • Address the issue of legacy additives and deliver a status report within each annual VinylPlus Progress Report.

Challenge Two: Organochlorine Emissions

We will help to ensure that persistent organic compounds do not accumulate in nature and that other emissions are reduced.


  • Engage with external stakeholders in discussion of the organochlorine emissions during 2012.
  • Develop a plan to deal with stakeholder concerns on organochlorine emissions by end 2012.
  • Compliance with PVC resins Industry Charters by end of first quarter of 2012.
  • Risk assessment for the transportation of major raw materials, in particular VCM, by end 2013. 
  • Target zero-accident rate with VCM release during transportation in the next ten years.

Challenge Three: Sustainable Use of Additives

We will review the use of PVC additives and move towards more sustainable additives systems.


  • Lead replacement in the EU-28 by end 2015.
  • Additives Task Force to work out robust criteria for the ‘sustainable use of additives’, with status report by end 2012. 
  • Validation of the robust criteria for the ‘sustainable use of additives’, in conjunction with the downstream value chain, with status report by end 2014.
  • Other PVC additive producers and the downstream value chain will be invited to participate in the ‘sustainable additives’ initiative.

Challenge Four: Sustainable Energy & Climate Stability

We will help minimise climate impacts through reducing energy and raw material use, potentially endeavouring to switch to renewable sources and promoting sustainable innovation.


  • Establish Energy Efficiency Task Force by end 2011.
  • Resin producers to reduce their specific energy consumption, targeting 20% by 2020.
  • Define targets for specific energy reduction for converters by end 2012. 
  • Energy Efficiency Task Force to recommend suitable environmental footprint measurement by end 2014.
  • Establish Renewable Materials Task Force by end of first quarter 2012.
  • Renewable Materials Task Force’s status report by end 2012.

Challenge Five: Sustainability Awareness

We will continue to build sustainability awareness across the value chain – including stakeholders inside and outside the industry – to accelerate progress towards resolving our sustainability challenges.


  • VinylPlus web portal to go online in summer 2011.
  • A VinylPlus Monitoring Committee, which will meet a minimum of twice a year, will be established by end 2011.
  • A VinylPlus Membership Certificate will be launched by end 2011.
  • A public, and independently audited, VinylPlus Progress Report will be published annually and proactively promoted to key stakeholders. The first edition will be published in 2012.
  • Annual external stakeholder meetings will be organised, commencing in 2012.
  • A VinylPlus product label will be launched by end 2012. 
  • ECVM will take an active role in promoting VinylPlus with international PVC industry organisations worldwide.
  • ESPA will actively promote VinylPlus sustainability principles to the markets outside the EU-28.
  • VinylPlus will increase the number of participants by 20%, compared with 2010 by end 2013.
  • VinylPlus will engage with five global brand holders by end 2013. 
  • A review of progress towards the globalisation of the approach will be undertaken by end 2015.

A formal interim review of all targets is foreseen in 2015.