Defining Vinyl Sustainability

Sustainability is commonly defined as the avoidance of depleting natural resources to maintain an ecological balance. Being sustainable is about people doing more with less. Vinyl products play a significant role in fulfilling these needs. At the same time, meeting the needs of a growing population requires more of the Earth’s natural resources.

Sustainability is about a balanced approach to product development and resource use where environmental stewardship with economic sense and social due diligence go hand in hand. As the industrial world continues to evolve, it has become increasingly important to be able to produce more while using fewer resources and creating less waste.

Three Things You May Not Know About Vinyl Sustainability

Sustainability is a business imperative in the vinyl industry as companies and consumers strive to deliver efficient and safe buildings for occupants and the environment. Manufacturers incorporating sustainability into business practices, supply chains, and product offerings are seeing benefits across all areas of the business.

#1. There are far more advantages to reusing and recycling plastics than people realize.

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), plastic can be recycled multiple times, and recycling uses less energy than creating an original, new product. Reducing plastic waste is a critical issue, but when recycled properly, plastic can be a sustainable alternative. Recycled plastics, including vinyl, can benefit the environment and the economy.

Due to the durability of vinyl, it is often used for products requiring a longer service life, such as roofing membranes, siding, flooring and pipes. Vinyl accounts for only about three percent of plastic waste in landfills, which could be valuable feedstock for recycled vinyl products.

#2. The U.S. vinyl industry has reduced emissions significantly in the last 50 years.

Since the 1970s, the vinyl industry in the United State has reduced emissions by more than 70 percent through guidelines established by the EPA, according to the EPA’s Air Quality Report. While emissions have decreased, gross domestic production has increased by 182 percent. The vinyl industry remains committed to increasing sustainability efforts and reducing environmental impact.

#3. Sustainability matters to the consumer, especially in the vinyl industry.

Companies are working toward producing more sustainable products and improving manufacturing processes, and consumers – architects and designers, building owners, contractors, and more – are more environmentally conscious when making purchasing decisions. According to a Nielsen study, consumers are willing to pay more for products and services that carry positive social and environmental impacts. This shift has helped push companies to make changes in sustainability initiatives.

Take the First Step

The vinyl industry has made remarkable advancements in sustainability performance. As product improvements and operational enhancements continue to take shape, the industry proves to the market that vinyl is indispensable.

+Vantage Vinyl® verification from the Vinyl Sustainability Council signals to the world that the company bearing the mark meets environmental, health, and social criteria. Learn more about Earning the Mark.

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