With VinylPlus® , the European PVC industry has adopted a programme in the form of a Voluntary Commitment to initiate sustainable development and achieve long-term recycling targets.
The initiative was established in 2000 for the European PVC industry. In the meantime, 28 EU countries, Norway and Switzerland are participating to ensure a common value chain for PVC. These are over 200 companies from the PVC industry, non-governmental organisations and over 170 recycling companies. The challenges that determine our actions are based on the natural building blocks for a sustainable society:
Our quality standard applies not only at GEALAN itself, but also for our processors. This means that we give our customers specifications relating to window production and how to handle profiles, such as the best ways to drain, vent, brace, and store profiles. During regular quality checks, we review compliance with these quality specifications and award qualified window construction companies our GEALAN Qualitäts-Zertifikat (GEALAN Quality Certificate, GQZ) – because the premium nature of GEALAN products does not end at profile manufacture, but only when the high-quality window is fully installed!
This is done by means of a systematic approach that gives employees – and especially those at management level – an awareness of linear and long-term energy management. This enables the company to exploit potential savings as well as gain competitive advantages and a substantial boost to its image. The new standard behind this has only been in force since April 2012 and replaces the European standard EN 16001 that had been valid up to then. All the more remarkable is the fact that GEALAN managed to integrate an energy management system to ISO 50001 within just four months.
An environmentally sustainable approach to product manufacturing is a central pillar in how the GEALAN Group sees itself. From the outset, the company focused on close cooperation with customers, suppliers and other companies within the industry. A sense of responsibility towards employees and society as well as the continuous refinement of products, processes and services have been key factors in the company's success.
The GEALAN Group has always regarded changing market conditions or new legal requirements as a business challenge: for example, when PVC became a topic of public discussion in the mid-90s, the decision was made to become involved in the recycling of old PVC windows. Following independent investigations, GEALAN started to offer a recycling concept for these products in 1994.
GEALAN works with several partners to promote environmental protection and sustainable development. In order to achieve our objectives and exchange knowledge and experiences, we are members of the following organisations:
The Nachhaltigkeitsabkommen Thüringen (Thuringia Sustainability Accord) is a voluntary agreement between Thuringian industry and the Thuringian State Government. Its aim is to continuously improve cooperation between the state and industry in the area of sustainable development.
Together with other leading German vinyl profile manufacturers, GEALAN co-founded Rewindo as the successor to FREI, the previous window recycling association. The young company is made up of the former members of FREI and the company VEKA AG. It thus covers approx. 80% of the German vinyl window market.
With VinylPlus, the European PVC industry has entered into a voluntary commitment to encourage sustainable development and to realise its recycling goals in the long term.
The Working Cooperative for PVC and the Environment has made it their task "to bring PVC and all environmental protection concerns into harmony". Among other things, this has resulted in the founding of several PVC recycling programmes.
ÖAKF is a platform made up of the most important system providers in the Austrian market. Its remit is to provide manufacturer-independent information about vinyl windows. It promotes the recycling of old windows and thus the fulfilment of the voluntary commitment of the European industry.