Plans are in place to strictly regulate the gas extraction method of fracking next year. This was revealed in the German Federal Government’s recent response (18/2984) to a minor interpellation launched by the German parliamentary group Alliance’90/The Greens (18/2829). According to the response, a regulation should be adopted by the German Federal Cabinet by the end of the year and then approved by the German Federal Parliament and Federal Council of Germany in the first half of 2015. According to the German Federal Government, the regulation will mainly focus on protecting health and the environment and will be based on a current set of guidelines produced by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMBWi) and the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB).

A ban on fracking in Germany would lead to a number of competitive disadvantages for PVC production activities, as was proven by Hans-Christian Porth from VESTOLIT in his presentation on „PVC in Europe“ at the „PVC and the Environment“ workshop in June. In fact, the field of PVC production in Europe is now already suffering from a cost disadvantage (raw materials + energy) of 150 to 200 US dollars per ton in comparison with the USA, where fracking technology is used intensively and resulting in a boom in the chemical industry.

„The Energy-Efficient Renovation of Buildings – Recognising Potential and Using Opportunities“ was the title of a joint series of events hosted by AGPU and VinylPlus. At two workshops held in mid-January and at the end of October this year, the Innovation City/Model City Bottrop was used as an example to show participants how the energy transition can be implemented in practice. A bilingual documentation of the two events has now been completed and can be downloaded from the PVC WIKI as a PDF file.

Another event focusing on this topic is planned to take place in the first quarter of next year. If you are interested in attending this event, please feel free to let us know and we will send you the corresponding information.

The German Federal Government wants to provide financial incentives totalling several billions of euros for energy-saving measures, as was confirmed in a resolution passed by the German Federal Cabinet in Berlin a couple of weeks ago. According to the resolution, the Bundesregierung wants to invest up to three billion euros in incentives for the renovation of buildings in the future in order to achieve its climate protection objectives by 2020. The package of measures adopted by the cabinet is planned to be launched in 2015 and should initially be implemented for a period of five years. Before this can happen, however, it needs to be approved by the individual Federal States of Germany.

AGPU has welcomed the resolution on the climate package. In fact, the working group and a number of other associations have already been demanding the implementation of appropriate measures in order to meet these ambitious energy-saving targets for quite some time. Last year, for example, Axel Gedaschko, the President of the Federal Association of German Housing and Real Estate Companies (GdW), emphasised the importance of tax incentives for the implementation of the energy transition at the Prowindo Industry Gathering in Berlin. These demands to the world of politics were also repeated at the press conference held at the fensterbau/frontale 2014, a specialist window, door and facade exhibition in Nuremberg and in the talk given by Andreas Hartleif, Chairman of the Board of VEKA AG, at the AGPU Colloquium.

The agenda for the next joint „PVC and the Environment“ workshop, which will be hosted by AGPU and PlasticsEurope Germany in Bonn on 13th January 2015, has been finalised a few weeks ago and its range of different topics seems to have had a positive impact in the industry. The AGPU office has now already received more than 70 registrations for the event, not only from AGPU and PlasticsEurope members, but also from a multitude of external companies.

Alongside the current situation of PVC, the workshop will also focus on topics such as the analysis of material flows of plastics and PVC in Germany. The German Specialist Association for Manufacturers of Flexible Flooring (FEB) will also present itself at the workshop, where other speakers will focus on the topic of plasticisers in indoor air and in biomonitoring. The event programme will be rounded off by presentations on the difference between hazard and risk, the current status of waste legislation and environmental product declarations for PVC windows.

If you are interested to join as well, we will be happy to send you an invitation to the workshop. We look forward to hearing from you soon, please contact Iris.Pohl@AGPU.com.

In the December edition of the business magazine brand eins, which was published two weeks ago, readers are greeted by the new advertisement motif for the Soft PVC Communication Campaign run by AGPU Media. The winter sports motif, which features the corresponding slogan of „PVC is fun“ and was commissioned by the steering committee of sponsors of the campaign, shows young people doing winter sports in the snow on a sledge made of soft PVC and is now being used for the first time. The next use of the motif will be in the architecture magazine MADEby at the beginning of February next year.

If you want to know more about this Soft-PVC communication campaign, about the achievements 2014, the programme for 2015 and how you can participate, please contact Thomas Hülsmann at AGPU Media GmbH.