Vinyl Council of Australia updating best practice criteria

Monday, 10 August, 2020

Vinyl Council of Australia updating best practice criteria

Criteria for the Vinyl Council of Australia’s Best Environmental Practice (BEP) PVC product verification scheme will be reviewed and updated following discussions with the Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA).

Best Practice PVC products, independently verified as fully compliant with the scheme, are recognised in Green Star building rating tools, as well as other public and private procurement policies in Australia.

Launched 10 years ago, the BEP scheme upholds stringent criteria for manufacturing PVC, with participants required to meet conditions such as emissions targets below regulatory limits, voluntary restrictions on the use of certain additives, and stewardship requirements for end of first use of PVC building products in Australia.

The update will allow the Vinyl Council to consider stakeholder feedback on existing criteria and emerging material aspects of the life cycle of PVC products.

The Council also aims to align with the new Green Star rating tools due to be released this year, which will ensure continued recognition of accredited PVC products, streamline the process and reflect current best practice in PVC manufacturing.

Vinyl Council of Australia Chief Executive Sophi MacMillan said, “It is not an easy label to achieve.

“Proposed by the GBCA, our first major review of the scheme and its criteria in a decade has already generated some useful feedback during our first consultation up to early July. This suggests there is strong support to maintain full compliance with core supply chain criteria, plus requiring some optional ‘ahead of the pack’ criteria.”

MacMillan explained that BEP accreditation is not limited to Australia and can be achieved by manufacturers around the world. However, this is conditional on accredited independent auditors having assessed the performance of the manufacturer’s supply chain, so it is a global mark of recognition of a manufacturer’s commitment to addressing environmental impacts in their supply chain.

“Manufacturers of PVC products from Europe, the US and the Asia–Pacific region have now achieved the BEP PVC mark,” MacMillan said.

As part of the ongoing review, the BEP scheme will be compared to the Vinyl Council’s PVC Stewardship Program. This program is more extensive, driving change in supply chains and evolving continuously with regular stakeholder input under the governance of a steering group. Other comparable ecolabels were also considered to ensure that the update reflected global best practice standards.

Further consultation will take place to September 2020, requesting feedback on the detailed compliance criteria and verification requirements proposed for the updated scheme.

“We are inviting input from companies who would like to participate in the next consultation round. Please get in touch or you can visit our website for further updates,” MacMillan said.

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