Vinyl Sustainability Forum 2014

On day one, in sessions devoted to VinylPlus Progress & Achievements and Markets, the speakers elaborated upon current states of the industry, the industry’s technical progress, global and Italian PVC market reviews and achievements of the VinylPlus programme.

The following session on ‘Partnerships as a driving force: Cooperation towards sustainability goals’ was opened by an inspiring keynote speech by Barbara Kreissler of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO). Kreissler reminded in particular the global primary objective of decoupling natural resource use and environmental impacts from economic growth and the role that Public Private Partnerships can play towards the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals. This is the aim and the approach of the Green Industry Platform, the high-level multi-stakeholder partnership run by UNEP and UNIDO, to which – she said – VinylPlus can bring significant contribution sharing its experiences and best practices.

The session continued with panellists discussing Public Private Partnerships from different perspectives, as for example the positive collaboration between municipality of Ferrara and the chemical industry, or the possible synergies between the GPP under definition by the Italian Ministry of Environment and the VinylPlus label approach.

On day two, the conference saw discussions on the benefits of working together towards Resource & Energy Efficiency, focusing on PVC recycling challenges and achievements, also in relation to the position of the EU Commission, and to the perspective in the B&C sector, in relation both to its importance as the major PVC market and to the energy-efficiency related issues and opportunities for innovation and growth.

In the following session, panellists engaged on the theme of Partnerships through trust and cooperation across the value chain as a key element in progressing towards sustainability, with effective examples from the medical and plasticisers sectors and extra-European experiences the United States and South Africa.

The last session of the day was dedicated to an overview of the future trends, particularly in terms of innovation and circular economy, two of the main challenges the PVC industry will face for a sustainable future, featuring presentations from VinylPlus’ commercial partners with their revolutionary PVC products, and included a keynote speech by Peter Davis of the British Plastics Federation.

The different sessions were rounded off by lively question & answers where delegates could ask panellists for more elaboration and was moderated by Paul Hohnen of Sustainability Strategies from the Netherlands.

The Vinyl Sustainability Forum will next convene on 29th & 30th April 2015 in the south of France.