Sustainability and sustainable development are broad concepts covering environmental, social and economic aspects of human development. VinylPlus refers to the well-known “Brundtland Commission” definition of sustainable development (World Commission on the Environment and Development, 1987):

"Development that meets the needs of the present without undermining the capacity of future generations to meet their needs.”

In the implementation of our Voluntary Commitment we are also guided by a scientific definition of sustainability in the form of sustainability principles* to bring this aspiration into practical reality. These principles describe the basic operating conditions for a sustainable society and tell us what we need to achieve together in the long-term to become truly sustainable:

In a sustainable society, Nature is not subject to systematically increasing
  1. concentrations of substances from the Earth's crust
  2. concentrations of substances produced by society
  3. degradation by physical means
and, people are not subject to structural obstacles to
  1. health
  2. influence
  3. competence
  4. impartiality
  5. meaning-making

VinylPlus has collaborated with The Natural Step since 2010 to apply these principles and the VinylPlus roadmap builds on an analysis using them to define the key challenges for the industry to tackle in Europe. Targets in our current commitment period up to 2020 are recognized as proactive and ambitious steps toward our vision where the use and management of PVC ultimately aligns with these principles. 

*These principles are often referred to as The Natural Step “System Conditions for a Sustainable Society” after the international non-profit organization promoting their development and application since 1989. The principles are part of a Framework for Strategic Sustainable Development that is openly published in peer-reviewed journals.