By the end of last month, the Prowindo Technology Conference was held at SKZ in Würzburg and led by the AGPU Managing Director Thomas Hülsmann. More than 60 participants used the two-day-long event as an opportunity to gain a comprehensive insight into the fields of raw materials, processing and system technology from twelve expert presentations and to establish new contacts and maintain existing contacts in the industry. „The PVC window has enormous potential to achieve the targets that have been set as part of the energy transition“, summarises Thomas Hülsmann. He also declared that the PVC window is already a successful product and that additional functions such as the intelligent ventilation of interior spaces using a ventilation system with heat recovery integrated into the window frame significantly contribute towards making it even more successful in Germany and further increasing its acceptance among users by offering additional added value.

The presentations held at the Prowindo Technology Conference are exclusively reserved for the event participants. The presentation held by Thomas Hülsmann on the topic of „PVC in the Area of Conflict between Technical Performance and Political Acceptance“ can be downloaded from the PVC WIKI by AGPU members for free.

According to statements made by Prof. Michiel Haas, PVC pipe systems that contain a suitable proportion of PVC material probably have the lowest environmental impacts with regard to life-cycle assessments in the construction sector. The expert is the founder of the Dutch testing institution NIBE, which specialises in the environmental impacts of construction materials and has assessed more than 500 construction products over the past seven years. „When it comes to the sustainability of construction products, there are many reasons as to why PVC pipe systems are an excellent choice“, declares Haas, before going on to explain that all of the pipe systems examined by the institution to date have been awarded the top mark of one on a scale of one to seven.

PVC drainpipes containing recycled material therefore achieve a higher score than concrete pipes in a diameter range of 300 to 400mm. PVC pipe systems are also better than those made of aluminium, zinc or copper in the case of rain gutters and downpipes. On the whole, the explanations provided by Prof. Haas prove the importance of such life-cycle assessments (LCA) and recycling activities when it comes to the assessment of buildings and building projects. This area will continue to become even more important in the future.

You can find all other comments made by Prof. Haas in a joint press statement released by TEPPFA and PVC4PIPES, which can be downloaded from the AGPU website.

In mid-August, the Minster of Innovation, Science and Research of the German Federal State of North Rhine-Westphalia, Svenja Schulze, and the Minister of Economics, Energy, Industry and Commerce of North Rhine-Westphalia, Garrelt Duin, awarded the InnovationCity Ruhr in the German city of Bottrop the title of „Ort des Fortschritts“ (‚Place of Progress‘). According to the ministers, the example of the model city shows how climate-calculated urban redevelopment measures that also aim to secure industrial locations can succeed. They also stated that the InnovationCity Ruhr is a Place of Progress because it has achieved an outstanding amount of success in using its project to consider economic, ecological, social and cultural aspects and to provide potential solutions to societal challenges.

In relation to this achievement, we are pleased to invite you to „The Energy-Efficient Renovation of Buildings – Recognising Potential and Using Opportunities“, a joint event hosted by AGPU and VinylPlus that will take place on 28th October 2014 and for which the programme has now been confirmed. The event will use the InnovationCity Ruhr / Model City Bottrop project as an example to show guests how the energy transition can be implemented in practice. AGPU wants to use this project, which has received a multitude of different awards, to discuss and develop ideas and possibilities for the implementation of the energy transition in the energy-efficient renovation of buildings together with architects and key decision-makers in the field of construction at administration departments and housing companies. The future houses in the InnovationCity Ruhr, for example, have been fitted with PVC windows that meet the passive house standard and other PVC products such as cable channels and insulating foils.

For more information concerning this event, please contact Ms Julia Gogos. You can also contact her to sign up to attend the event or if you have any questions or queries. The workshop is free of charge.

According to its own figures, the Swedish specialty chemicals company Perstorp, which manufactures a multitude of products, including PVC plasticisers, generated revenue of more than one billion euros in 2012 and now employs around 1500 staff members in 22 different countries. The company has been a sponsor of the communication campaign for products made of soft PVC right from the word go, namely ever since it was first launched in June 2011. Perstorp is also one of the companies working to encourage decision-makers to use soft PVC in the current campaign, which AGPU Media is carrying out on behalf of several partners along the PVC value chain.

Against this background, we are particularly delighted that the company has now decided to become a member of AGPU in January 2015. As a new AGPU member, Perstorp will soon be able to make the most of a variety of benefits, for example access to important decision-makers in the world of politics, at public authorities and in German Federal States, towns, cities and communities, as well as environmental experts in the fields of trade, commerce and industry. Welcome to AGPU!

PVC is an established and proven plastic that has been used in a very wide variety of different applications, above all in the construction sector, for many years. The company Consultic GmbH has now examined the PVC industry in Germany in precise detail in a special study conducted on behalf of AGPU, PlasticsEurope and BKV. As a result of this study, the industry has now been provided with an up-to-date insight into the flow of its material.

The most important results of the study „An Analysis of the PVC Production, Processing, Waste and Recycling Flows in Germany in 2013“ showed that last year, around 1.8 million tons of PVC polymer was manufactured in Germany. The study also revealed that around 1.6 million tons of PVC polymer was processed in Germany in 2013. The amount of PVC waste recorded last year reached a total of 650,000 tons, 99 percent of which was recycled. 37 percent of this overall waste stream was processed using mechanical recycling, nearly one percent involved feedstock recycling and 61 percent was treated in incinerators with energy recovery. The recycling rate of PVC material has increased by five percent since 2007. This is evidence that as an integral component of the plastics family, PVC plays a significant role in ensuring that the material can continue to be used as a valuable resource even at the end of the life cycle of individual products.

The highest recycling rates for PVC waste can be found in the construction sector, where products such as used windows, pipes, flooring and roofing membranes are sorted, collected, recycled and processed to form new products, and in electrical and electronic applications, above all when it comes to cable recycling.

The study also identified the most important application sectors of PVC revealing that nearly three quarters of the processed virgin PVC polymer was used to manufacture products for the construction sector, especially window and door profiles, pipes, flooring, roofing and waterproofing membranes. The construction sector is also the most important market segment for PVC recyclates, 62 percent of which is processed to form building products. Recycled PVC is also frequently used in the fields of gardening and agriculture (approximately 15 percent), for example for stall and greenhouse mats or lawn grid elements. The fact that PVC products are considered to be very durable means that on the whole, PVC is mainly used for long-lasting applications with a lifespan of 40 years or more.