Progress Report 2014
Executive Summary available in DE, DK, EN, FR, IT and NL.
2013 was full of activity for VinylPlus, as we made significant progress towards all our sustainability goals and contributed to a lively debate on EU regulations.
The volume of recycled PVC increased 23% to 444,468 tonnes, keeping us fully on track to meet our target in one of our five sustainability challenges. We were particularly pleased to see VinylPlus partners' innovative and upgraded recycled products and their commitment to make PVC into a truly circular economy. We hope that innovation in recycled products can soon become part of the normal business proposition, also thanks to a market accepting and demanding them.
We also engaged in a discussion over EU regulations – in particular REACH – on legacy additives in recycled PVC, something that highlights the complexity of our efforts to promote sustainability in different areas.
Excessive restrictions on the use of recyclates containing legacy additives might in fact undermine the development of recycling schemes, making it harder to reach future recycling targets. Several sectoral groups and task forces provided facts and positive suggestions to the debates. Authorities will now have to devise a regulatory framework that balances consumer and environmental protection with resource efficiency and recycling.
Progress was also made in our other challenges, related to organochlorine emissions, sustainable use of additives, energy use and sustainability awareness.
In 2013, VinylPlus increased its global reach and activities, an important mission as we try to spread our best practices and encourage voluntary initiatives like our own. The Beijing-based China Plastics Piping Association proposed to encourage the phasing out of lead by 2015 – a move that really pleased us, as it was inspired by our Voluntary Commitment. In November, VinylPlus became a member of the Green Industry Platform, a joint initiative of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), to catalyse, mobilise and mainstream action on Green Industry around the world. We will continue to help promote a more sustainable model of industrial production on global level, by spreading our approach, experience and best practices.
For all this hard work and for efforts on a range of other sustainability initiatives, I would like to thank the VinylPlus organisation, the member companies, the PVC Network, sectoral associations, Task Forces and external stakeholders. I would like in particular to thank the four founding associations and their members. They continued their financial commitment despite persistently adverse economic conditions, and they committed to maintain it for the current year too. It has been a pleasure to work with such committed, hard-working people and organisations, and I look forward to another fruitful year.