Through VinylPlus, the entire PVC value chain worked together with its stakeholders to build bottom-up the next Commitment, that will expand on 20 years of experience as a frontrunner in the circular economy. The VSF2021 was held as a hybrid event, live from Brussels with an online audience, and brought together more than 530 participants from 44 countries.
Along with the launch of the next Commitment, VSF2021 celebrated the completion of the second 10-year Voluntary Commitment of the Europe PVC industry and its main achievements of the last two decades in PVC recycling, product stewardship, research and innovation and improvement in the environmental footprint of PVC. The VinylPlus® Product Label Awards Ceremony celebrated four companies, Epwin, Finstral, Internorm and profine, all partners of VinylPlus, who were awarded the VinylPlus® Product Label in 2020. The Product Label is granted to companies who offer PVC products with the highest sustainability performance. The VinylPlus® Product Label is the very first certification scheme that has been recognised as Responsible Sourcing Certification Scheme within BREEAM®, the world’s best-known green building standard, for plastic building and construction products.
Reflecting on two decades of leadership in sustainability and the circular economy, VinylPlus Managing Director Brigitte Dero commented, “As a united European PVC industry, we accomplished a lot. While we have much to be proud of, we know that these achievements are only milestones on the road to a sustainable future. Therefore, in order to build an even more ambitious programme, we worked alongside Accenture in 2020 for a three-month long open process of external consultation to gather input on key sustainability drivers, challenges and opportunities for the PVC industry to respond to in the next decade.”
Moderated by EurActiv’s Senior Editor Frédéric Simon, this year’s event featured Ondrej Knotek, Member of the European Parliament, who spoke about the importance of strengthening the recovery and resilience of the European industry in the post-Covid era, and Werner Bosmans, Policy Officer at DG ENV at the European Commission, who highlighted the European policies on plastics in the circular economy, as keynote speakers. Ondrej Knotek commented, “The European PVC industry, through VinylPlus, has a role to play in the large-scale renovation efforts which were identified by the European Commission as a key area for investment thanks to its ability to improve the environmental footprint of buildings across the EU and create jobs.”
After the keynote speeches, the VinylPlus 2030 Commitment was unveiled. The next 10-year Commitment of the PVC value chain identifies three ‘pathways’: Scaling up PVC value chain circularity; Advancing towards carbon neutrality and minimising our environmental footprint; and Building global coalitions and partnering for the SDGs. The three pathways encompass twelve key action areas and 39 targets that outline concrete steps to be taken by the European PVC industry to continue improving the sustainability performance of PVC.
The VSF2021 #TOWARDS2030 closed with the signatory ceremony, launching the VinylPlus 2030 Commitment. The ceremony officially opened the next stage of the united European PVC industry’s journey, that will build on VinylPlus’ 20+ years of progress and achievements to accelerate the transition towards a more sustainable and circular future with even more ambitious goals.
Myriam Tryjefaczka, on behalf of the converter VinylPlus partners, commented, “More than ever, in the context of acute environmental and climate crises, collaboration is crucial in the PVC value chain to accelerate the shift towards a Circular Economy and support climate change mitigation. The VinylPlus 2030 Commitment dedicates investments in technical projects for developing reverse logistics and recycling technologies. This will contribute to the VinylPlus objective of reaching 1 million tonnes of PVC recycled per year by 2030 in Europe, in line with the ambitions of the Circular Plastics Alliance, while contributing to the European Green Deal objectives.”