Over the years, Deceuninck has developed a strict environmental policy throughout the world. In Belgium, this policy is supported by the annual participation in the Environmental Charter of the province of West Flanders.
Scientific research carried out on an international scale has shown that PVC-U as a material is a sustainable, responsible choice providing comfort, quality and safety. Indeed its cost to performance ratio means that citizens of many income groups can enjoy these benefits. CO2 is a major contributing factor in global warming but the sustainability of all materials should be judged not only on the embodied CO2 produced in manufacturing a product but from the whole life cycle including the in ‘in-use’ phase through to disposal.
Plastics are often seen as symbols of a throwaway society but PVC-U is durable, long lasting, does not corrode and not to mention its excellent thermal efficiency properties. Studies show that double glazed PVC-U windows are twice as energy efficient as double glazed aluminium windows. In fact, ecologically PVC-U fairs favourably with all materials used for fenestration.
The latest Green Guide to Specification published by BRE categories PVC-U windows as ‘A’ rated for use in domestic and ‘A+’ in Commercial Buildings. Not only does PVC-U reduce energy costs but, in addition, it is well suited to recycling. During 2009, almost 200,000 tonnes of post-consumer PVC-U were collected for recycling under the European PVC industry voluntary commitment, Vinyl 2010 (which is coordinated in the UK by Recovinyl).
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The industry recognises the importance of recycling to a sustainable future, a recent project undertaken by Recovinyl showed that equivalent emissions of one tonne of recycled PVC versus virgin PVC could reduce manufactured CO2 by 94%.
The combination of all these factors confirms that PVC-U has a favourable ecological balance sheet.
The effect that we all have as individuals on the environment and the long term damage that this could do cannot be ignored. Global Warming has the potential to change our lives forever.
Deceuninck Limited recognises, like all organisations, that its business activities, products and services impact on the environment. As a result we are committed to managing any action that could potentially harm the environment in a responsible and effective way.
As a minimum standard, we will:-
- seek to comply with all relevant environmental legislation and other requirements.
- Seek to prevent pollution by proper treatment and management of wastes arising from our activities and services, whether they are released to air, land or water.
- Manage our resource consumption in such a manner to minimise unnecessary or avoidable use and waste.
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
Deceuninck has been recycling its own production waste and the cut-offs of window profiles (post manufacturing waste) for quite some time, but recently found solutions for recycling more difficult postconsumer PVC waste, like broken window frames, old roller shutters, building profiles and drainage pipes.
To do this, Deceuninck developed Cyclefoam®, a foam process in which processed post-consumer waste is extruded using innovative technology to produce high-quality profiles and also TCI (Thermal Chamber Insulator) inserts for Deceuninck PVC-U window frames. PVC-U used in building products or windows have an average life of 35-50 years. PVC can be recycled up to 10 times without a problem.
That means that one kilo of raw material has an average life of 350-500 years. As members of the British Plastics Federation, Deceuninck Ltd. support the Recovinyl scheme which is part of Vinyl 2010, a Europe wide initiative by the PVC industry to ensure end of life post-consumer PVC waste is collected and recycled.
uPVC is environmentally sound:
- uPVC manufacturing processes go beyond the strictest UK and EU legislation through a Voluntary Commitment by the PVC industry to sustainability.
- uPVC windows and doors are low maintenance throughout their service life compared to alternatives. This avoids the on-going environmental damage associated with the cleaning chemicals, solvents and paints needed to protect and maintain windows and doors made from other materials.
- Good environmental life cycle performance.
Economical & Energy Efficient of uPVC Windows
- UPVC windows and doors provide exceptional cost effectiveness.
- The Northern Consortium of Housing Authorities in the UK carries out regular surveys of the cost of window systems and this shows UPVC’s continuing economic benefit both in capital and maintenance costs – typically around 30% compared with softwood alternatives.
- In addition to minimal installed costs, their low maintenance attributes mean uPVC windows and doors avoid the need for costly cleaning chemicals, varnishes and paints.
- The British Fenestration Rating Council www.bfrc.org rate windows of different materials on their energy efficiency and is recognised within the industry as a key marker on energy efficiency.
- Continuous development has led to considerable improvements in thermal efficiency – with significant savings on home heating costs, reductions in energy loss and a commitment to sustainability.
uPVC is Sustainable
- PVC is the world’s most researched polymer with numerous life cycle analyses conducted in the UK and the EU indicating the material is as sustainable as any other option.
- The major ingredient of PVC is common salt – an abundant natural resource. UPVC window products are fully recyclable at the end of their life.
uPVC is Recyclable
- uPVC windows are being recycled at the end of their service life in to other useful products.
- The industry has developed highly successful recycling systems for PVC, including construction materials and has targets to recycle increasing quantities of PVC every year across Europe.
- In the UK the Recovinyl Scheme has developed an infrastructure of 130 collectors and 30 recyclers of PVC construction materials to recycle products at the end of their service lives.
- A study by the Government funded Waste and Resource Allocation Programme (WRAP) suggests that some alternative materials are practically impossible to recycle efficiently, due to the paints, solvents and putties used to install and protect them during their service lives.
- In 2007, the UK recycled 42,162 tonnes of post-consumer PVC, which includes windows and doors.
- The BRE “Green Guide To Specification”, updated in 2008, UPVC windows have been awarded an ‘A’ rating for domestic windows and an ‘A+’ rating for commercial windows, proving the environmental credentials of PVC windows. The Green Guide
Glass is Infinitely Recyclable
Sustainability | FAQs
Glass is 100% recyclable. One of the significant sustainability advantages of glass as a material is that, unlike many other materials, it can be recycled indefinitely. The only real constraint in glass-making terms is colour. Whilst it is possible to use clear glass cullet in the production of coloured glass it is not practicable to do the reverse. However, this does not mean that all glass products can be recycled easily. Removal, segregation and transport impacts can affect the viability and environmental impact of recycling. The level of contamination determines if the glass will be used in the float, container, fibreglass or aggregate industries.
The major components of glass are sand and sodium carbonate. Although not readily renewable, they are some of the planet’s most abundant materials.
Glass is 100% recyclable and can be recycled an infinite number of times without loss of quality, strength and functionality.
‘Downcycling’ and landfill can be avoided In addition, for a glass manufacturer, the use of cullet (recycled glass) is extremely beneficial. Cullet is the technical term the industry uses for crushed glass and is a very important secondary raw material. Aside savings in virgin raw material consumption, around 2.5 – 3% in energy savings can be achieved for every 10% of cullet that replaces primary, ‘virgin’, raw materials, as no ‘reaction energy’ is needed to melt cullet.
The increased use of cullet, replacing carbonates as well as other raw materials, also results in reduced CO2emissions. The use of cullet leads to savings on both fuel and raw material costs – something the glass industry has known for some time. However, using cullet also brings down CO2 emissions, as proved by a study carried out in the UK by Glass Technology Services Ltd (GTS) in collaboration with a group of leading manufacturers and The Carbon Trust.
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