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Mat-7 PVC Minimisation Credit Removed

In October 2011, the Technical Steering Committee (TSC) of the Green Building Council of South Africa (GBCSA) announced its resolve to withdraw the Mat-7 PVC Minimisation credit from the Green Star SA rating system.

A green building rating tool sets standards and benchmarks for green building, and enables an objective assessment to be made as to how "green" a building is. The rating system sets out a "menu" of all the green measures that can be incorporated into a building to make it green. Points are awarded to a building according to which measures have been incorporated, and, after appropriate weighting, a total score is arrived at, which determines the rating.

Initially a PVC Expert Reference Panel (ERP) was formed, which acted as an advisory group to the GBCSA and assisted with technical matters on domestic and international best environmental practice initiatives related to the manufacture, use and end-of-life of PVC building products. In particular, the panel advised on the applicability of the revised Australian Green Star PVC credit to the South African context. To this end, the GBCSA then engaged with the Southern African Vinyls Association (SAVA) – an industry body that is representative of the local PVC industry. SAVA coordinated an industry questionnaire on behalf of the GBCSA, which, together with recommendations by the ERP, resulted in a platform for the GBCSA Technical Steering Committee (TSC) to have a constructive debate and recognise the voluntary progress made in the Southern African context in terms of long standing vinyl issues.

“SAVA aims to assist members, relevant authorities and experts to understand, characterise and address issues associated with the life cycle of PVC products through our Product Stewardship Programme (PSP),”, says SAVA CEO Delanie Bezuidenhout. “SAVA members are committed to the responsible and sustainable use of additives, the implementation of a sustainable recycling programme and the promotion of a healthy vinyls industry, and we are proud of the fact that our efforts resulted in a transition that has been deemed to be similar to that of the Australian PVC industry,“ she adds.

The withdrawal of the Mat-7 PVC Minimisation credit from the Green Star SA rating system acknowledges the progress SAVA has made to date, and will serve as further impetus to address the historical environmental concerns of PVC and improve the environmental performance of PVC that is traditionally an important product used in the construction and decorating industries.

“The GBCSA commends SAVA for taking the initial step of the development and implementation of a voluntary stewardship program for PVC resin and product manufacture for the South Africa industry”, Wilkinson concluded. “We will continue to engage with SAVA with regards to representing the views of our membership, supporting their values of green building practices and driving continued market transformation. We look forward to watching this initiative develop further, producing meaningful improvements to the PVC life cycle with regards to environmental performance and human health impacts”.

Article Reference: November 28 2011, ‘Green Star SA rating tool - Mat-7 PVC minimisation credit removed’, South African Vinyls Association [link to www.savinyls.co.za].

Contact Marley Pipe Systems

Marley Building Division
t. +27 11 739 8600
f. +27 11 739 8680

Marley Mining & Industrial Division
t. 0861 MARLEY (627539)
t. +27 12 045 0997

e. info@marleypipesystems.co.za

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