The Roadmap of Vinyl Sustainability

Oct. 24, 2022

The Vinyl Sustainability Council® has set a new barometer for measuring sustainability through environmental, social, and governance markers with +Vantage Vinyl verification. The program is leading the industry with a framework to track, verify, and advance a company’s operations and efforts. Companies that undergo the verification process Earn the Mark, and they can then demonstrate to the world that their company meets specific criteria for sustainability.

The vinyl manufacturing process includes several important players. Resin suppliers make vinyl polymer. Additive suppliers make chemicals that are added to those vinyl polymers to improve processing and performance. Material compounders combine vinyl polymers with additives to create specific vinyl formulations. End-product manufacturers make building products and consumer goods from vinyl formulations. Recyclers process production scrap and end-of-life vinyl products for reintroduction into product production. Then, the process returns recycled vinyl material to compounders that combine it with additional additives for use in new products. 

Across the entire industry value chain, sustainability initiatives are implemented to improve performance and lifespan of products. Transparency across the value chain helps meet the changing needs of vinyl companies and provides additional insights into the material. Increasing transparency and collaboration in sustainability efforts reduces risk and keeps the industry moving forward.

+Vantage Vinyl verification is open to any company in the vinyl value chain—resin suppliers, raw material and additive suppliers, material compounders, converters and formulators, end-product manufacturers, recyclers, and distributors. To Earn the Mark, company commitments must be aligned with the voluntary industry sustainability targets in resource efficiency, health and safety, and emissions. Companies must report on sustainability performance every year and be reverified every three years to maintain the mark. An independent verification through the GreenCircle Certified process provides assurance of achievement. 

The +Vantage Vinyl program facilitates industry-wide collaboration by working with domestic manufacturers and international counterparts to develop standards and initiatives across all steps of the value chain. All the companies involved in the processing of vinyl products from resin producers to additive suppliers, material compounders, end-product manufacturers recyclers and retailers can verify to +Vantage Vinyl. This provides the consumer with assurance that the product is being produced and handled cradle-to-grave in an environmentally responsible way.

Optimal Environmental Performance  
Research shows that the construction marketplace rewards companies that address environmental, social, and economic aspects of sustainability. It is good for the Earth, and for business. 

Material science has made available new products that are durable and perform well. It is hard to imagine a return to purely natural materials when synthetic components support green design and construction with added durability. For vinyl manufacturers, the goal is therefore to choose materials that perform well in their intended applications with the lowest environmental impact. 

  •  Vinyl has a low relative CO2 footprint due to 57% of resin feedstock being derived from salt. 
  •  Vinyl insulated siding helps to make homes energy efficient while white vinyl roofs reflect solar radiation, reducing cooling energy consumption.
  •  Vinyl is durable and noncorrosive, reducing product replacement frequency. 
  •  Vinyl is recyclable. Since 2014, the U.S. vinyl industry has increased recycling of post-consumer vinyl materials by 40%. 

As sustainability measures improve for building materials, it is increasingly important for manufacturers to develop environmentally sound products that optimize performance for sustainability. 

Five pillars of +Vantage Vinyl verification guide the vinyl industry to continuous improvement of the entire supply chain. Vinyl companies dedicated to these five pillars—environmental stewardship, social diligence, economic soundness, collaboration, and open communication—showcase their commitment to advancing the industry once they complete the verification process. 

Choose the Mark  
Specifying products from +Vantage Vinyl-verified building product manufacturers signals a sustainable choice. Find out how you can Choose the Mark and what it means for your business at choosethemark.com.