Newcomer interview with Marino Uberti, Alfatherm
Why did your company decide to join VinylPlus?
For Alfatherm there was first a corporate reason. As part of the PVC industry and member of different national and international sectorial associations we have been following with interest the journey of the European PVC industry Voluntary Commitment since its beginning, first with Vinyl 2010 and now with VinylPlus. We believe that is important to support this joint effort and advance towards the improved sustainability of PVC.
What is your perception of the programme?
VinylPlus is a very positive initiative because it addresses all the main challenges related to the sustainable development of the PVC industry and its products. Recycling is a critical component, of course, but also the sustainable use of chemicals, eco and energy efficiency, as well as the promotion of sustainability awareness. Working together the industry can demonstrate how progress is being made so we can look with confidence at the future of our business.
How do you think VinylPlus can impact your business and what are the key challenges the programme will have to address?
In the current economic situation, it will be crucial to safeguard the PVC market. If the VinylPlus Voluntary Commitment can help to make our products more sustainable it will turn into a competitive market advantage in the longer term. There is an increasing sensitivity towards environmental issues and, therefore, any negative perceptions related to our products can have an effect on our business. We are convinced that the idea of having a recognised VinylPlus product label could bring great benefits to our business.
Looking at specific sectors, the major challenge for VinylPlus will probably be the recycling of difficult to treat PVC products. It requires research, innovation, investments and commitment. Nevertheless, because the Voluntary Commitment covers all different kinds of PVC, a strong increase in the recycling volumes of the main applications will more than counterbalance the difficulties in recycling other applications which in any case are less significant in terms of their volume.
How could you encourage other companies to join VinylPlus?
It is instrumental that more and more companies are onboard to move our industry and our products towards sustainability.