The Vinyl Council of Australia (VCA) is holding a second final consultation and feedback period for its updated Best Environmental Practice (BEP) 2.0 PVC product verification scheme, following extensive consultation with stakeholders over recent months.
Launched over a decade ago, the BEP scheme remains the most stringent criteria and guidelines for manufacturing PVC with participants required to meet conditions such as emissions targets below regulatory limits, voluntary restrictions on the use of certain additives and stewardship requirements for end of first use of PVC products in Australia.
Under the current BEP scheme, products that are independently verified as being fully compliant with all scheme guidelines are recognised in the GBCA’s product certification scheme for Green Star building rating tools, as well as other public and private procurement policies in Australia.
The VCA also issues a Best Environmental Practice PVC Licence Mark and provides an online register of PVC product manufacturers that are confirmed as meeting the guidelines’ required stringent compliance conditions. BEP accreditation can be achieved by manufacturers not only in Australia but around the world, with PVC products manufactured in Europe, the US and Asia among those having achieved BEP verification.
Updates to the BEP scheme will result in closer alignment of the scheme guidelines with the VCA’s PVC Stewardship Program commitments, which represent an ongoing, voluntary undertaking by companies within the Australian PVC industry to recognise and address relevant environmental, health and safety aspects within the lifecycle of PVC products.
Following an extensive consultation and review period on the scheme with the GBCA and various stakeholders over a period of close to a year, since the prior consultation round in late 2022 each BEP guideline has been reclassified as ‘Core’, ‘Mandatory’, or ‘Optional’. Additional information has also been added regarding the historical development of the scheme, and some minor changes to auditor guidance, wording and evidence requirements has taken place.
The VCA is once again offering any further interested parties a final chance to provide feedback on the detailed compliance criteria and verification requirements proposed for the updated scheme moving forward. The VCA aims to launch the updated BEP 2.0 scheme criteria and guidelines by mid-2023.