“Sustainability is enabling our growing human population to live equitably within the supportive capacities of the natural world on an indefinite basis.” ~ Dr. Mark Everard, PVC: Reaching for Sustainability
At the Vinyl Institute, sustainability is about taking into account the social, economic and environmental decisions we make and actions we take today and their implications on future generations. The three aspects of sustainability -- social, economic and environment -- are overlaping and inter-connecting, therefore sustainability inititatives require a balanced approach that strives for continual performance improvements.
Vinyl's Role in Sustainability
Vinyl Industry Performance
Results of the vinyl industry’s annual survey of health, safety and environmental performance is a testament to our industry’s commitment to continual improvement.
- The vinyl industry has an OSHA recordable injury rate that is 1/2th that of the overall chemical industry, and 1/4th the rate of overall manufacturing.
- Overall unit vinyl chloride emissions have declined 83 percent over the past 26 years, while vinyl resin manufacturing has increased 82 percent during the same time period.
- Vinyl industry dioxin emissions have decreased 43 percent since 2009.
In 2014, Tarnell Company surveyed more than 100 vinyl recyclers in the U.S. and verified that some 900 million pounds of pre-consumer and some 100 million pounds of post-consumer vinyl materials for a combined total of just over 1 billion pounds of vinyl materials were recycled that year. Vinyl recycling in the U.S. is roust and significant amounds of vinyl materials are being diverted from the landfill. Indeed, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency confirms n its 2012 study that of the 58 billion pounds of plastic disposed of in the U.S. municipal solid waste landfills, less than 3 percent is vinyl.
Member of The Sustainability Consortium
The Vinyl Institute is a member of The Sustainability Consortium (TSC), a global force for dealing with sustainability measurement science, key performance indicators (KPIs), and supply chain integration for a wide range of retailer product lines.
This membership allows the vinyl industry to work closer with retailers on shaping company and product level sustainability scorecards. It also gives the industry the ability to provide feedback related to the final outcome of the vinyl-related KPIs and product category sustainability profiles.
Sustainabily Focused Technical Papers
- The Role of PVC Resins in Sustainable Design
- Recycling as a Sustainability Practice in the North American Vinyl Industry
- Material Matters: Vinyl's Role in Sustainability, Resilience and the Education of Design Professionals