Following extensive consultation with stakeholders, the Vinyl Council of Australia (VCA) has launched its updated ‘Best Environmental Practice PVC (BEP) v 2.0’ verification scheme for PVC products with the VCA taking on full responsibility for ongoing development, management, and administration of the updated BEP scheme.
Originally launched in 2010, the BEP scheme remains the most stringent criteria and guidelines for manufacturing PVC with participants required to meet conditions including VCM emissions targets, voluntary restrictions of additive use and stewardship requirements for end of first use of PVC products in Australia. Under the updated BEP scheme, products that are independently verified as being fully compliant with all core and one or more optional scheme guidelines are eligible to be issued with a Best Environmental Practice PVC Licence Mark by the VCA, and included in the online product register to indicate to procurers and specifiers that the BEP PVC manufacturing guidelines have been met.
While the original BEP scheme was only applicable to PVC products used in the building and construction sector, the updated BEP accreditation is available to all complying PVC products across the full spectrum of PVC applications.
Following the launch of the updated scheme, it is important to note that there will be a transition period as current BEP accreditation will continue to be valid until the existing verification expiry. The updated BEP guidelines will become mandatory from 1st September 2023 onwards when companies seek renewal of their BEP accreditation, however the VCA encourages all companies undergoing the auditing process prior to this date to elect to be audited against the updated guidelines.
“The BEP 2.0 product certification scheme continues to reflect ongoing best practice in PVC manufacturing through the core guidelines, while also reflecting societal expectations for increased focus on the environmental and social impacts of products and materials through the addition of optional criteria,” said VCA CEO Jim Coulston.
The VCA has worked closely with the Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA) to ensure that the updated BEP scheme is recognised under the GBCA’s Responsible Products Framework, which seeks to drive the supply chain to deliver transparent, healthy, low-impact products that are part of a circular economy.
To learn more about the guidelines and audit requirements involved in gaining BEP verification, please click here.