360,000 tonnes of PVC recycled in Europe in 2012
VinylPlus, the European PVC industry sustainable development programme, had a record 362,076 tonnes of PVC recycled last year, keeping it on track to meet the challenge of recycling 800,000 tonnes per year by 2020.
A more comprehensive and wider scope for what constitutes ’recycled PVC’ has been adopted to include post-consumer and limited types of post-industrial PVC, as well as some of the regulated waste streams in the EU.
The 2012 results were presented at the Vinyl Sustainability Forum 2013 last week in Istanbul. VinylPlus chairman Filipe Constant said the industry “is effectively moving from a model of resource consumption that follows a ‘take-make-use-throw away' linear pattern into a truly circular economy model which puts end-of-life materials back into the production stream extending the added-value of PVC’s inherent durability and versatility.”
Paper giant supports socially responsible forest management
International Paper has joined the Global Forest & Trade Network in North America (GFTN), one of World Wildlife Fund (WWF)’s initiatives focused on eliminating illegal logging and promoting environmentally and socially responsible forest management.
In the US, International Paper has increased its sourcing of Forest Stewardship Council certified fibre by more than 1.2 million tons over the past five years, and expects to triple that increase by the end of 2014. While IP supports multiple certification standards, the company has developed a highly successful model for increasing its supply of FSC-certified fibre in the South-eastern United States.
In Brazil, International Paper’s operations source approximately 75 percent of its pulp wood from FSC-certified sources.
Asbestos survey legislation in the UK
On 21 February 2013 the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) successfully prosecuted the owner of an industrial property for a series of failings that lead to untrained workers being exposed to asbestos fibres. The owner employed two workers and then helped them to remove rubbish, which included a large amount of asbestos insulation board. This was done in an unsafe manner, with a disregard for the risks and no decontamination following the work.
This is just the latest in what seems like monthly legal proceedings against property owners, for breaches of the Control of Asbestos Regulations (2012). The Control of Asbestos Regulations were written into UK law in 2006 and updated in 2012 but companies are still failing to comply with them.
On 4 February 2013 a builder in Birmingham was fined for potentially exposing himself, young children and their parents to asbestos whilst removing asbestos insulating boards from a home. The builder had not obtained a survey of the property and was not aware of the asbestos content of the materials.
According to the HSE, "Asbestos-related diseases are responsible for around 4,000 deaths a year. Working on or near damaged asbestos-containing materials or breathing in high levels of asbestos fibres, which may be many hundreds of times that of environmental levels, could increase your chances of getting an asbestos-related disease."
Asbestos-related diseases are responsible for more deaths than any other single work-related cause. Due to this asbestos surveys are crucial to maintaining a safe workplace. Owners and managers of non-domestic properties have a duty to manage asbestos containing materials under Regulation 4 of CAR(2012) and the best, and only recognised method to achieve this is to first identify the extent and condition of those materials through an asbestos survey.
On 4 February 2013 a firm of architects was prosecuted for failing to advise builders of the presence and extent of asbestos insulating board soffits that were being removed from a clubhouse. In this case the architects had been provided with a survey, commissioned by the club, but they failed to pass on this information to those working on site. Purely having a survey commissioned is not enough and it has to form part of a complete management plan and be made available to anyone conducting work that is likely to disturb those materials identified.
RJS Waste Management UK Limited has a knowledgeable and experienced team and is well placed to advise you on your statutory requirements. The company is capable of providing qualified and insured surveyors to conduct asbestos Management and Refurbishment/Demolition Surveys and can advise companies, landlords and individuals of their duties under the law. They can also help with the creation of an asbestos management plan.
Eco Ricoh makes it nine in a row for Global 100 listing
Ricoh is rated as one of Global 100 most sustainable corporations in the world for the ninth year running. The Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations in the World is the most extensive corporate sustainability assessment in existence, with 4000 companies evaluated and inclusion limited to a select group of the top 100 large-cap companies in the world.
Mariko Azuma, general manager of CSR Division, says: “Ricoh has been named in the Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations list since its inception in 2005. The awarding body recognised our achievements in three areas: First in resource management, where we continue to be committed to carbon reduction in all our activities, second in financial management where our innovative approach was highlighted and finally for employee management with an emphasis on safety and diversity.”
Ricoh is committed to reducing its CO2 emissions by 87.5 per cent by 2050, compared to 2000 levels and is also helping its clients reduce their environmental impacts. Ricoh does this through its Total Green Office Solutions, which includes a range of products and services for large and small businesses. Ricoh’s collaboration with its clients embodies the spirit of the Ricoh brand - imagine.change. - and ensures it delivers efficient, cost effective document management services which lead to better knowledge sharing, customer responsiveness and business agility.
DSP gains SGP acreditation
The Lakeland, Florida facility of Douglass Screen Printers (DSP) - located on New Tampa Highway - is now SGP Certified. The SGP Certification validates DSP's sustainable print operations, which have helped the organisation to become more lean and profitable by reducing waste and adding green-based product lines.
DSP is a screen and digital printing company offering a full array of durable display graphics such as decals, posters, banners, signs, tags, wraps and nameplates, and recently received a Sustainable Business award from Earth Charter US for sustainable business practices that embrace social, economic and environmental responsibility.
SGP Certification has positioned DSP as Florida's first green, screen and digital printer," says CEO Lane K. Hickey-Wiggins.
DSP uses SGP Certification to publicly demonstrate its commitment to protecting and preserving the environment, as well as enhancing its competitive advantages. SGP Certification also prepares DSP to respond to the sustainability demands from both the public and private sectors.