Sustainable Development



Raw Material / Product Design

In sustainable procurement EPPA pledges for the considerate use of raw materials and also stand for future-oriented product design, which today already includes recyclability after a 30- to 40-year service life.

Raw material.PNG


Manufacturing Process

Sustainability requires resource-saving manufacturing process, in which energy is used sparingly and the emission of greenhouse gases and other pollutants is reduced.

factory 1.PNG


Durability / Functionality

A window’s life counts at least 30 years during which product performance must remain constant. Independent product and quality marks such as the VinylPlus Product Label stand for windows that are long-lasting and are produced from sustainable resources.

window 3.PNG



If a PVC window is replaced, it is far too valuable for the landfill or incineration plant. Instead, the old window serves as a raw material supply for new profiles and thus must remain in a closed loop via recycling.



New Windows with Recyclate

When buying new PVC windows it is worth asking whether a window contains recycled PVC (recyclate). The recyclate core saves raw materials, energy and CO2 emissions during production.

window 1.PNG
EPPA Line.png
Environmental Product Declaration PVC wi

Environmental Product Declarations (EPD)

Environmental Product Declarations, which EPPA published for double-glazed windows and triple-glazed PVC windows, summarize the environmental impact of PVC window profile systems throughout their entire life cycle from raw material to disposal. The data set represents over 90% of the European market for PVC window profiles.


EPPA is committed to a Europe-wide harmonization of environmental impact assessments for construction products.


In this context, EPPA also supports "Level(s)", the voluntary sustainability assessment framework for buildings, as developed by the European Union.

EPPA Line.png

PVC Window Recycling

Since more than 25 years, used PVC windows can be fully recycled by re-introducing the resulting recycled PVC (recylate) into the core of new PVC windows. Today the PVC industry uses around 50% of its own recyclate (controlled loop). For EPPA, recycling is a key topic, both in terms of energy and resource efficiency and in terms of controlled or closed loop recycling management.

That is why EPPA has developed a European recycling strategy. The vision for 2025 is that EPPA increases the visibility of the profile industry that is the blueprint for closed loop recycling in all member states.


The main goals are to improve the collection of old windows to recycle 420.000 tons of PVC from windows by 2025 and to establish one controlled loop for PVC profiles. Therefore, the association advocates increasing the number of collection points for old windows in the main markets Germany and France by coordinating actions with Rewindo (DE) and UFME/SNEP (FR) and by support recycling activities also in UK. In collaboration with polish actors, EPPA would like to develop and implement a clearinghouse concept for Poland.



EPPA has been a partner of the European sustainability concept VinylPlus® since the beginning of the 2000s. In line with the five VinylPlus objectives, EPPA supports the goal to recycle 900,000 tons PVC annually by 2025.


EPPA and the European manufacturers of PVC window profiles have largely implemented these five VinylPlus challenges or are working intensively on them:


  1. Controlled-Loop Management of PVC
    More than 25 years ago EPPA implemented the more efficient use and control of PVC windows throughout its life cycle via recycling. The PVC profile industry is the only sector (cp. to other window materials) which keeps the material in a controlled (window to construction applications) or even closed loop (window to window) system. That’s a result of 100 millions of Euros in investments.

  2. Organochlorine Emissions
    EPPA members only procure material from modern manufacturing technology and production facilities. Therefore, they help to ensure that persistent organic compounds do not accumulate in nature and that other emissions are reduced.

  3. Sustainable Use of Additives
    Since the early 2000s the majority of the profile industry stopped using lead and cadmium stabilisers. They have moved towards more sustainable additives like calcium-zinc or glass fibre material, that is used today. Industry wholly supports the restriction for all new and imported PVC products.

  4. Sustainable Energy and Climate Stability
    The PVC profile industry help minimize climate impacts through reducing energy and raw material use (less fresh PVC, more recyclate), potentially endeavouring to switch to renewable sources and promoting sustainable innovations like design-for-recycling.

  5. Sustainability Awareness
    The last 20 years and in future, EPPA continues to build sustainability awareness across the value chain to accelerate progress towards resolving the VinylPlus sustainability challenges – through public relations and communication with stakeholders and representatives from national and European politics.

EPPA Line.png

VinylPlus 2030 Commitment

VinylPlus launched the new 10-year Commitment of the European PVC Industry to Sustainable Development at the 2021 edition of the VinylPlus Sustainability Forum themed #TOWARDS2030.

One of the main topics was how to embrace the EU’s Circular Economy and European Green Deal ambitions and how the strategy will be achieved through a united PVC industry working together towards shared sustainability goals.

EPPA and other representatives of resin, additives, stabilizers, converters, and VinylPlus formed a task force that was actively working on drafting the commitment. 

The VinylPlus 2030 Commitment is built around three Pathways:

  • Scaling up PVC value chain circularity – focuses on increasing the amount of products that are being recycled, the volumes of recycled PVC.

  • Advancing towards Carbon Neutrality and Minimising our Environmental Footprint – covers the topic related to the lifecycle impact, additives and chemical substances. Focuses on decreasing the impact.

  • Building Global Coalitions and Partnering for the SDGs – focuses on communication and certification. 


The aim is to implement the VinylPlus 2030 Programme into the work program of the sector associations.


Here you can find more details about the VinylPlus 2030 commitment.


Circular Plastics Alliance (CPA)

As a member of the EU recycling initiative Circular Plastics Alliance, launched in 2018, EPPA is actively working with some 200 other companies and associations towards the common recycling objectives of using at least 10 million tons of recycled plastic in new products by 2025. In the CPA working group “Construction", the association also coordinates the topic "Design-for-Recycling".

EPPA Line.png

EPPA’s Commitment

  • increasing the market average of recycling PVC used by 1% point every year

  • increasing post-consumer waste recycling

  • increasing the material efficiency of the production processes


These recycling objectives and the recycling of old windows as a whole is endangered by legal barriers, that includes:

  • any potential restriction of lead use below 2%* or cadmium use below 0,1%

  • any potential restriction of other additives used in PVC profile production in the past

  • any potential required authorization on the use of substances present in recyclate

  • any classification of PVC waste as hazardous

Further more there should not be any mandatory requirements on the use of recyclate in the PVC industry. This would increase the scarcity of high quality recycled PVC material and prevent compliance with the commitment.

EPPA is therefore working on a legislative solution that will allow the PVC profile industry to continue to use the recyclate in their products in a harmonized way throughout Europe, while protecting the environment and human health as much as possible. This is the only way to make a true recycling of PVC a reality. Learn more about recycling in our videos.

*Lead, which no longer occurs in PVC windows, can be contained in the recycled material of old windows. Scientific studies have shown that PVC window profiles do not pose a risk to processors and consumers, as recycled PVC is firmly enclosed in fresh PVC. Read more about the topic under "Regulatory Framework"

EPPA Commitment_neu01_22.jpg
EPPA Line.png

Reusable Transport System for Stillages

In 2019, EPPA introduced Europe wide systems for the return of long goods transport stillages with the aim of ensuring that window manufacturers are able to return stillages and thus guarantee the sustainable use of this recyclable packaging and transport solution. A rental, deposit or CRM system is available. Find out more about this topic in the information flyer.