Our Program is dynamic. Its commitments are reviewed regularly to reflect the completion of targets and to include new challenges as they arise.
With over a decade of activity, we can demonstrate many sustainability achievements. The Australian PVC industry has improved the environmental, health and safety aspects of PVC products' life cycle in many ways, including:
- 20 members have environmental management systems in place covering their Australia operations (nine of which are certified to ISO 14001). Additionally seven Signatories' parent companies or supplier are certified to ISO 14001 overseas.
- The Australian manufacturer of PVC resin, Australian Vinyls, consistently surpasses the Program's targets for managing Vinyl Chloride Monomer (VCM) emissions on-site. In 2014, the company reported average emissions of 20.1g VCM/t PVC resin, well below the standard of 30g VCM/t PVC resin.
- Overall, the quantity of lead additives used by our members in 2014 has dropped by 99.8% from 2002 levels. Three members still reported the use of lead additives in their product in 2014. One company used minimal quantities of lead pigment in specific applications, and is in the process of phasing it out with an expected date of completion of 31/12/2016. The other two companies reported having used lead stabilised products in 2014. Both have now stopped receiving product containing lead stabilisers. One reported having finished working through its stockpile of historical product in 2014, and the other is expecting to do so by mid-2015.
- All but one Signatory are compliant with the commitments on residual VCM in the PVC resin used in their product. Additionally, all but one Signatory are compliant with the targets on VCM emissions during PVC resin production. While it can be challenging for companies importing finished product to Australia to collect the required information, all companies were able to report on this commitment in 2014.
- 70 percent of relevant Signatories have phased out mercury from their supply chain, with many members on their way to do so. Many companies in Australia are importing product from Europe, where the industry is focused on the new regulation requiring all mercury cell technology to be phased out by December 2017 for chlorine production. Nevertheless the last non-compliant companies reported between 60% and 97% of the PVC products they market in Australia as having mercury free derivatives – our threshold for compliance is 98%.
- Since the launch of the Energy Efficiency and Greenhouse Gas Emission Charter, members have reported a wide range of activities leading to increased energy efficiency on site. These range from 'simple' projects such as modification of lighting equipment and review of HVAC systems, to complete energy audits, modification of capital equipment for more efficient machinery, tighter control of vehicle fleet, etc.