“Sustainable manufacturing” is a phrase that gets mentioned often these days. But what exactly does it mean?
According to the United Nations, sustainable manufacturing is “a form of manufacturing development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”
From a global perspective, this definition of sustainable manufacturing focuses on the need to avoid wasteful practices and over-utilization of natural resources to preserve a strong legacy for those to come.
Similarly, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency defines sustainable manufacturing as the creation of manufactured products through economically-sound processes that minimize negative environmental impacts while conserving energy and natural resources. Sustainable manufacturing also enhances employee, community and product safety.
Protecting the world we live in
At Polyvision, we understand that our customers not only want a durable product that is aesthetically pleasing, but also increasingly want to work with manufacturers focused on social and environmental sustainable practices.
And we take our commitment to sustainable manufacturing to heart. In fact, it informs everything we do. In line with this belief, we strive for continuous improvement in all areas of environmental stewardship to reduce the impact of our activities on the world around us. We believe we are all in this together and that sustainable choices also help our customers to succeed.
A commitment to environmental stewardship
So, how does Polyvision achieve its sustainability goals?
To start, all scrap from our production process is 100 percent recyclable. We return all of our manufacturing waste to the steel manufacturer, who uses the scrap to power their blast furnace. This creates a circular economy where we aren’t wasting virgin materials. In addition, no volatile materials or dangerous solvents are used during production of our CeramicSteel surfaces.
Our goals are focused on reducing and managing our global environmental footprint when it comes to volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions, water use, waste output, CO2 emissions, and more. As such, all Polyvision facilities are compliant with the most stringent international standards.
We are ISO certified for Quality, Environment, Health and Safety and have also earned a number of other, third-party environmental certifications. These certifications assure our customers that the products they select support healthy indoor air quality and are made with the environment and sustainability in mind.
Cradle to Cradle Certified™ Bronze. Polyvision’s CeramicSteel is Cradle to Cradle Certified Bronze level, the global standard for products that are safe, circular and responsibly made. Cradle to Cradle assesses materials and products using five criteria: material health, product circularity, clean air and climate protection, water and soil stewardship, and social fairness. Whether a product can be recycled after it has reached the end of its useful life is also an important consideration.
Indoor Advantage Gold™. CeramicSteel has earned the Indoor Advantage Gold rating, certifying that the material supports a healthy indoor environment by meeting strict indoor air quality (IAQ) chemical emission limits for VOCs. As a result of this certification, specifying CeramicSteel may qualify projects for LEED® points in the U.S.
At Polyvision, we work with world-class visionaries, researchers and designers to provide the best solutions for enhancing and protecting structures, people and the planet. We understand the vital importance of sustainable manufacturing, and – as a global citizen – that we have a responsibility to our customers and non-customers alike.
Most recently, we partnered with Voka, a Belgium-based network of companies, to broaden our sustainability-focused business practices under the guidance of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals Program.
Voka is providing us with a tailored action plan supporting our aim to meet the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Established in 2015 and intended to be achieved by 2030, the SDGs are part of a universal call to action to end poverty and inequality, protect the environment and improve lives.
Polyvision continues to take every step possible to ensure that our surfaces are made with minimal environmental impacts and won’t negatively affect the health of our customers or manufacturing teams – all while helping to preserve the planet.