The European market has helped shape and influence the UK market for window and door systems since the 1970’s. Today companies throughout the supply chain are been faced with some huge environmental issues which are covered within Vinyl 2010. But how will this affect us?
As an industry the environment has been high on the agenda for several years, indeed the Vinyl 2010 commitment was signed back in March 2000 which bought together the European PVC industry supply chain. Given that Profine is Europe’s largest extruder of window and door profiles this commitment has formed part of the Group’s strategy. The main commitments are:
- 1. Compliance with European Council of Vinyl Manufacturers (ECVM) Charters on PVC production standards.
- 2. A plan for full replacement of lead stabilisers by 2015, in addition to the replacement of cadmium stabilisers that was achieved in March 2001.
- 3. The recycling of 200,000 tonnes/year of post-consumer PVC waste by the end of 2010.
- 4. The recycling of 50% of the collectable available PVC waste for windows profiles, pipes, fittings and roofing membranes in 2005, and flooring in 2008.
- 5. An R&D research and development programme on new recycling and recovery technologies, including feedstock recycling and solvent-based technology.
- 6. The implementation of a social charter signed with the European Mine, Chemical and Energy Worker's Federation (EMCEF) to develop social dialogue, training, health, safety and environmental standards, including transfer to EU accession countries.
Within Vinyl 2010 there are a series of targets, projects, initiatives and research studies primarily concerning environmental protection and resource management. One of the key targets is the removal of lead as a stabiliser in PVC, which Profine achieved back in 2003 and since then both the Kömmerling and KBE products have been extruded using Greenline, a calcium zinc based stabiliser.
There are other targets in terms of recycling in which Kömmerling and KBE’s Recycline initiative has contributed towards and the UK industry has in fact taken a lead in terms of the volumes of PVC recycled – 42,100 tonnes in 2007. However there is a target to completely replace lead as a stabiliser by 2015 and only a handful of systems companies have made the switch, which include Kömmerling and KBE.
So how easy is it for systems companies to change? Put simply it’s not. New materials have to be tested and indeed some extruders in the UK have tested and failed in the adoption of calcium zinc based materials. It’s a considerable investment in new products, testing, re-testing, approvals and stock.
The next time you speak to your systems company you should ask them about their commitment to Vinyl 2010 and what they are doing to achieve the key targets. Kömmerling and KBE have already met them along with just a small handful of others in the UK.
For further information on Kömmerling’s and KBE’s green credentials and range of window and door systems contact the sales office