The future of European environmental policy: what’s the industry’s role?

The protection of the environment and economic growth are not enemies. On the contrary, they should go hand in hand, in Europe more than anywhere.

According to a comprehensive assessment published by the European Environment Agency on 16 March 2015, the state of Europe’s environment is closely linked to the broader economic and societal context. Protecting natural resources will have an important positive effect both on Europe’s growth and on its citizens’ quality of life.

As the Agency notes, “environmental policies are also creating economic opportunities and thereby contributing to the Europe 2020 Strategy, aimed at making the EU into a smart, sustainable and inclusive economy by 2020.” This is particularly true as the European Commission discusses its new ‘Circular Economy Package’ at the highest political level.

Furthermore, the European industry’s commitment to shift to resource efficiency is worth mentioning. From the introduction to life-cycle thinking in the production, use and disposal of products to the investment in research and development to produce more durable materials, trends are positive.

At the same time, even the latest economic recession has created opportunities. In order to maintain their global competitive advantage, European firms have invested in developing the highest quality products, in order to ensure that they remain their customers’ first choice. All in all, over the past years, policy-makers’ and economic actors’ objectives have converged for the benefit of Europeans and the environment.

The polyurethanes industry supports European competitiveness and environmental ambitions

With close to 240,000 companies directly and indirectly depending on Polyurethanes in Europe, the polyurethanes industry is a strong supporter of Europe’s environmental policy ambitions as they will ultimately contribute to our continent’s future industrial competitive advantage.

From the producers of polyurethane’s compounds, diisocyanates and polyols, to manufacturers of products using polyurethane in their end product it has become obvious that committing to sustainability also means committing to long-term economic growth. This is particularly true for sectors investing in innovative materials such as the insulation sector.

In addressing buildings’ energy efficiency, through refurbishment, European policy-makers can “hit two birds with one stone.”

Investing in polyurethanes solutions will not only contribute to supporting European industry, SMEs for the greatest part, but will also lower emissions and decrease waste. Why is that? Polyurethanes use less than 0.1% of oil consumed worldwide and can save up to 100 times more. All in all, polyurethanes save 14.5 million tonnes of CO2 in Europe each year in building insulation and lightweight automotive components alone – the equivalent of almost 2 millions’ homes electricity use for one year.

When approximately 40% of fossil fuels are used to heat and to cool buildings of all types, improved insulation is therefore one of the most cost effective ways to lower energy consumption, cut carbon dioxide emissions, reduce the associated threat of global warming and ultimately improve consumers’ spending. Also of note, European institutions and national government have noted that financial support will be provided to forward-looking companies, meaning sustainability will be the key to receiving the support to create new jobs.

In addition, polyurethanes are recoverable, and there is a wide range of possibilities for dealing with end-of-life polyurethanes –be it recycling or recovery – to ensure that polyurethanes are re-re-injected in the economic system while minimising the burden on the environment. That is particularly promising at a time when the European Environment Agency’s report notes that “despite recent progress in waste prevention and management, EU waste generation remains substantial, and performance relative to policy targets is mixed.”

Producing polyurethane, investing in Europe’s future… The future is not only about what we make out of it. It’s also what we make it from.

For more on the impact of polyurethane in preserving our planet’s resources or for any questions on what makes polyurethane materials sustainable do not hesitate to engage with us on Twitter!

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Product stewardship programmes: ISOPA’s mark for the future

Have you ever heard of product stewardship and why it matters? If you haven’t, this is an opportunity to learn more about it as it impacts us all.

Product stewardship is the process of identifying, managing and minimizing a product’s environmental, health and safety impact. The entire value chain is part of the effort as it brings together all actors involved in the production, use and End of Life stage.

It should come as no surprise that product stewardship is of crucial and incremental importance for the chemical industry at large, and for ISOPA in particular.

Product stewardship is vitally important for ISOPA

Product stewardship is part of ISOPA’s DNA. The association and its members develop promote programmes in order to guarantee the safe handling of diisocyanates and polyols, the chemistry behind polyurethanes. In addition to ensure businesses and products comply with the highest safety standards, ISOPA encourages all relevant private and public partners work with them in understanding and adopting these best practices.

Concretely, the first step to minimise environmental and health impact is to provide robust data and expert advice to all relevant parties throughout the polyurethanes’ value chain – from production to waste management.

The “Walk the Talk”, “Logistics” and “One Step Ahead” education and information programmes are platforms created by ISOPA to ensure safety information is disseminated. These programmes enable for both workers, transporters and customers of polyurethanes to understand the importance of sharing responsibilities to guarantee the safe handling of chemical compounds. All in all, they demonstrate ISOPA’s commitment to promote industrial responsibility going forward, both in Europe and beyond.

“Walk the Talk”: Improving safety across Europe

walk the talk

Walk the Talk” is a programme developed by the ISOPA’s members with the aim to improve safety, health and environmental standards across the European polyurethanes industry. It focuses on the behavioural safety in the industry through an ongoing process of information exchange and dialogue. The programme consists of detailed sets of training covering all the phases of the industrial process: processing, maintenance, warehousing and waste of polyurethanes.

“Walk the Talk” programmes are available in 26 languages and a large number of employees have received special modular training tailored to the specific situation on their work sites.

Logistics: High standards for loading and unloading safety across Europe

logisticsISOPA is committed to the continuous increase of standards in the loading, transport, unloading and storage of diisocyanates and polyols. Our aim is to assure maximum protection of health and safety and a consistent industry wide approach.

Putting this into practice and to ensure the highest levels of safety in the transportation of chemicals, ISOPA developed programs like: Guidelines for bulk and packed MDI/TDI and Driver Training for carriers.

 “One Step Ahead”: ISOPA’s programme in the Middle East and Africa

One Step Ahead” (OSA) is ISOPA’s seminar programme that aims to increase awareness and standards in the loading, unloading, storage and use of diisocyanates and polyols in Africa and the Middle East since 1998. For over 15 years it has received extremely positive feedback from participants across countries. That’s promising for the future!

In 2014, ISOPA held “One Step Ahead” in:

  • April 2014 in Tanzania
  • November 2014 in Dubai

In May 2015, “One Step Ahead” activities will be held in Morocco.


The programme’s guidelines, posters and self-assessment forms ensure the optimal protection of health and safety for the users of these chemical products. The seminars are held locally by representatives of ISOPA member companies using suitably adapted materials for the specific markets’ needs.

For more information on ISOPA’s product stewardship programmes visit our website or email us.

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Creativity in materials: A sustainable ride into the sunset

Everyone wants a car that can combine performance and efficiency, from the regulators to consumers. Innovation in materials will be key going forward.

Transport: A priority sector in the Commission’s climate & energy plans

The automotive industry undeniably is one of the most challenged industries of our century but one that holds the most opportunities for progress. As one of the sectors contributing most to European and worldwide CO2 emissions, road transportation has become critical to the discussions on climate change and environmental sustainability. In fact, at European level, authorities have estimated that road transport, and more specifically light-duty vehicles – vans and cars – currently represent about 15% of EU’s total CO2 emissions.

As a result of its significant environmental impact, the automotive industry has faced increasing regulatory challenges. Yet, the same challenges have also led the sector to create new opportunities. For instance, innovation in materials has been – and will keep being – crucial to the sector’s future. New materials used for the production of vehicles play a critical role in tackling climate change as they can contribute to reducing fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions.

The environmental and economic significance of the automotive and overall transport sector has notably led the European Commission to identify it as a key area in the recently published Energy Union Package. Indeed, in addition to its environmental aspect, transports’ reliance on imported energy has led the European Union to further encourage the use of new sources of energy and the development of more energy efficient vehicles to increase the region’s independence from external providers.

Officially introduced on 25 February 2015, the European Commission‘s Energy Union Package gives an overview of the climate and energy objectives and policy initiatives the EU will undertake within the next 5 years. It notably furthers the Commission’s 2050 Transport Strategy which asserted the EU’s objective to cut transport emissions by 60% by 2050. The same strategy also emphasized the need to develop more energy efficient modes of transportation, to extend intermodal networks, and to improve infrastructures.

From an environmental perspective, the new Commission therefore plans to tighten CO2 emissions and energy efficiency standards, in particular in the case of passenger cars and vans. Of note, a review of the post-2020 regulation setting emission performance standards for road vehicles will be carried out in 2016-2017. On the shorter-term, the regulatory initiative set up in the Energy Union should also help the EU meeting its earlier established 2020 targets on reducing CO2 emissions from road transportation.

Polyurethane: when innovation meets sustainability

Going forward the automotive industry has a critical role to play in the fight against climate change. And improving vehicle materials and design will be key to reducing vehicles’ environmental impact. Energy savings essentially depend on practical innovations. For example, from seats to structural bonding, door panels and panoramic glasses, polyurethane enables cars to gain in lightness and durability while reducing their CO2 impact.

For car geeks out there, polyurethane foam in seats and headliners help decreasing their density. Similarly, composite door panels are made thinner and lighter thanks to fibre mats made from polyurethanes. In addition, polyurethanes in car seals and adhesives also improve vehicles’ dynamic and strength. All in all, that’s beneficial both for the environment and for your wallet as you’ll make more fuel savings.

Meeting EU energy and climate change objectives takes more than commitments. It takes creativity! Thanks to polyurethane, enhancing vehicles’ energy efficiency and environmental sustainability goes hand in hand with modern design and economic savings for the consumer.

You can also take a look at our video for more information on the impact of polyurethanes on our live. Also, do not hesitate to engage with us on Twitter and ask your questions!


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Meet ISOPA at UTECH 2015!

UTECH 2015, the leading international event for the polyurethanes industry, will take place in Maastricht on 14-15-16 April 2015.

Come visit ISOPA’s stand and learn more on ISOPA’s activities and how today’s imagination is the solution to tomorrow’s challenges!

For more on ISOPA’s UTECH activities stay tuned on our blog and our Twitter account.


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En route pour Paris COP 21: ISOPA commits to the values of sustainable development

23 years have passed since the Chairman’s for the World Commission on Environment and Development inspiring speech welcomed 175 world leaders to the first United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC) in Rio in 1992. Since then, endless discussions, followed by national policies and international agreements, have been echoing the need to ensure our planet’s sustainable future.

Worryingly, according to the UN World Meteorological Organisation, fourteen out of the fifteen record-hot years have occurred after 2000. That means more efficient work needs to be done!

A couple of weeks back, in Geneva, the United Nations’ negotiators completed the draft document of the Paris Summit negotiating text. One after another countries are now drafting their own Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) ahead of the UNFCCC Conference of the Parties (COP) 21 that will take place in Paris in November-December 2015. By the end of March 2015, the European Union is also expected to submit its INDC.

Meanwhile, whilst the world is holding their breaths in waiting, ISOPA reiterates its commitment to reducing CO2 emissions through innovation in materials.

Europe: Leading the way in Sustainable Development

At EU level, 2015 is a crucial year. The new European Commission has been working towards developing policies in order to ensure jobs and economic growth in a sustainable environment.

In revising its climate and energy, air quality and waste policy the European Union has committed to putting sustainability at the centre of Europe’s future growth. This is where the industry can play a significant role.

Cutting the levels of greenhouse emissions does not equal the end of industrialisation. On the contrary, it’s an opportunity for the world to enter the third phase of industrial development: more sustainable, environmentally-friendly, technologically advanced thus yielding benefits for the economy, the environment and consumers. That is ISOPA’s mantra

Polyurethanes: A Primary Example of Sustainable Industrialisation

Throughout their value chains polyurethanes embody the principles behind sustainable development. While polyurethanes are mainly based on finite fossil raw material resources, their specific properties help to conserve material and energy resources, to significantly reduce CO2 emissions and to protect high and growing standards of living; making them a key contributor to environmental sustainability. Building & construction, transport and refrigeration are amongst the most important sectors where polyurethanes can make a difference. Overall, throughout its lifecycle polyurethane saves approximately 80 times more energy than it is used for its production.

Furthermore, ISOPA’s quest for sustainability and innovation has opened a door for new developments in the production of polyurethanes. For example, in 2011, a group of German chemists discovered a way to produce a chemical precursor into which CO2 is integrated and then processed into polyurethanes. That meant CO2 would no longer be wasted but would rather be used as feedstock for the production of high quality plastics instead going into the atmosphere.

Replacing oil with CO2 in the production of polyurethanes has also provided a basis from shifting the industry’s reliance of fossil fuels. Thus, using CO2 as a substitute for crude oil is reducing the production costs for polyurethane products making them dependent on commodities’ volatile prices. That’s good both for producers and consumers!

All in all, innovation is becoming the industry’s flagship that will yield significant outcomes. ISOPA supports the European objectives and showcases that significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 are achievable. Reductions in the greenhouse gas emissions are not a barrier for the development in the 21st century. They are an OPPORTUNITY. By following the polyurethane’s example other industries can help achieve the COP 21 goals and ensure an ecologically an economically secure future for future generations.

If you are interested to know more about the ISOPA’s objectives and sustainable PU industry, don’t hesitate to follow us on Twitter  and visit our website .

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Polyurethanes don’t do fashion. They’re fashion.

Twice a year, for a month, fashionistas from all over the world jump between the world’s fashion capitals to witness the culmination of designers’ genius: catwalks. If you think this is an easy process, think again. Running from show to show while looking flawless is harder than one imagines. This is why all designers, editors, bloggers and models can think of is how to better combine beauty and innovation with comfort. Thankfully polyurethanes are there to make their lives easier.

“I firmly believe that with the right footwear one can rule the world.” Right on Bette Midler!

fashion 1

From the 1960’s to today to today polyurethane has taken centre stage in shoe production. Thanks to its versatility and long life-span polyurethane is the go to material for designers who want to offer their customers the best possible support for their feet while combining creativity. That’s optimal when you want to stand out in front of photographers. Or even when you want to look funky at the gym!

As for ethical fashionistas who wonder what will happen to their favourite pair when it has worn out from frenetically walking up and down the Jardin des Tuileries, we have good news! Polyurethane components are recyclable and could even be used as a potential energy source.

Polyurethane in clothes: at the service of the consumer

Aside from shoes polyurethane is used from bags to sports gear. A lot of women reading this article may just realise that one of their favourite bags or even the “leather” skirt they own is made of polyurethane. It’s a great alternative for consumers who want to avoid leather yet do not want to compromise in quality or aesthetics.

Furthermore, as technology and our everyday needs progressed textile manufacturers managed to combine polyurethane with nylon in order to produce swimsuits, socks or gym wear. It is partly thanks to polyurethane’s inimitable qualities that designers can materialise their creativity yet ensure their customers are comfortable in soft and breathable garments.

And for those living in Brussels, take a look at your raincoat’s tag. Often sports anoraks and light rain clothes are made of polyurethane coating to ensure top quality water resistance. That’s a big deal when you brave the raindrops multiple times a week!

Blown away by polyurethane’s applications? Share a picture of your favourite item made of polyurethane on Twitter and we’ll tell you more about the chemistry behind polyurethanes!

fashion 2

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Innovation in materials: Key to European energy security

Over the past months, with Europe’s regional environment suffering instability and Member States defining new climate and energy targets, energy policy has raised to one of the European Union’s priorities. From the 2030 Climate and Energy package to the ‘genesis’ of the Energy Union under the new Commission, all eyes are on energy. As expected, thanks to its potential, energy efficiency in buildings receives its share of the spotlight.

Energy efficiency: A fundamental dimension of the ‘new’ Energy Union

When presenting his Energy Union, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker emphasized commitment to promote energy efficiency. This dimension of the Energy Union reveals that Europe intends to solve its energy security challenges by doing more that ensuring security of supply. As pointed out by the European Commission Vice President in charge of Energy Union Maroš Šefčovič, while “the European Union imports more than half of all the energy it consumes” there is a need to invest in the buildings sector.

Energy efficiency under the Energy Union follows EU’s 2030 Climate and Energy ambition to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Ahead of the publication of the Communication on the Energy Union to be published on 25 February 2015, a leaked version underlined that the Commission intends to set up a communications strategy on the benefits and necessity of energy efficiency to the public in cooperation with Member States. The document also hinted to a legislative proposal to meet the 2030 energy efficiency target, based on a revision of the Energy Efficiency Directive and the Performance of Buildings Directive.

European Parliament: A valuable ally to energy efficiency

At the same time, the European Parliament has been active on establishing a strong relationship between energy security and energy efficiency. More specifically, on February 3 the European Parliament Industry Committee (ITRE) published the amendments to the draft report on European Energy Security. The 821 amendments submitted demonstrate that the issue of energy security has received particular attention in the Parliament. A significant number of MEPs underlined that the impact of energy efficiency would be favourable both from an internal and external perspective, leading to lower energy prices and reducing the need for imports.

The European Parliament Environment (ENVI) Committee also published a list of amendments. Promoting energy efficiency was one of the recurrent themes demonstrating the Parliament’s positive stance towards developing comprehensive regulation on the issue. Energy efficiency in buildings emerged as the MEPs’ first priority creating a call for additional advocacy towards the European Parliament.

While MEPs and the Commission have not agreed yet on how to materialise energy efficiency objectives, there appears to be a consensus over revising and enhancing the provisions on European Energy Efficiency and Energy Performance of Buildings Directives. While no proposal is expected to be put on the table until the end of the year, stakeholders have become increasingly active in order to give energy efficiency in buildings the clout it deserves.

Buildings renovation: A necessary step to energy security

Buildings renovation, notably encompassing improved insulation, plays a significant role in the search for a more efficient and independent Europe. Better building insulation leads to reduced needs in energy. Thus, not only does it help limit the need for external energy supply and supplier, but it also enables the effective preservation of the environment and its natural resources.

Improved insulation is also the key to savings on the consumer’s and the government’s side. While energy poverty has been affecting a significant part of households in Europe better insulation can enable more Europeans to enjoy the comfort of a warm home, no matter their levels of income.

Polyurethanes for a more sustainable Europe

One of the key materials for building insulation, polyurethane is pivotal to the achievement of a more energy efficient and sustainable Europe. Insulating and renovating new and older buildings with the appropriate polyurethane rigid foam can help European governments save significant financial and natural resources.

All in all, Europe’s climate and energy ambition reminds us of how crucial energy efficiency is to the Europe’s future: enhancing its energy independence, preserving its resources and ensuring its population well-being. In making this future a reality, polyurethane becomes an indispensable material enabling for the warmer homes and happier Europeans.

For more insights on how the energy policy debate is unfolding on a European level and the benefits of polyurethanes for our everyday lives, visit our website or connect with us on Twitter  to share your own ideas and opinions.

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Saving resources in Europe: What future for the circular economy model?

Have you heard of the Earth Overshoot day? Last year it was 19 August. This day symbolises the milestone date when global population has exhausted the Earth’s natural resources that should have lasted a whole year. This day reminds us that resource scarcity is a growing issue at the global level.

If we keep exploiting our planet’s resources in the same way, scientists have predicted that worldwide demand will triple in less than 35 years’ time. At this rate, who knows when we will be able to celebrate the Earth Overshoot day?

A few years back, the Roadmap to a Resource Efficient Europe was published. It was the lead European initiative to tackle this challenging issue of resource efficiency. Since then a few additional priorities have been identified in order to turn such roadmap into reality. With landfills at almost every 50km, waste management was logically pushed to the centre of this European initiative.

In 2010, the European Commission’s data revealed that nearly 40% of waste generated by Europeans ended up in landfills. In other words, 40% of the total waste had no chance to become a resource through recycling, energy recovery or composting. This is an urgent call for action.

Is the European Commission’s circular economy going forward?

In 2014, the previous European Commission adopted the Communication “Towards a circular economy: A zero waste programme for Europe” and a number of legislative proposals aiming both at reducing landfilling in Europe and at promoting alternative waste management processes with a strong focus on recycling. While Europe was moving full-speed, the new Commission announced last December that the “Waste Package,” as it is called, would not be part of its 2015 Work Programme .

The news led to much criticism from a number of stakeholders, including the European Parliament, which in turn have strongly advocated for the reintroduction of the package. In January 2015, during an exchange of views with Members of the European Parliament, the European Commission indicated that an improved proposal should be published before the end of 2015. It is rumored that this new proposal will seek more coherence with the concept of circular economy.

Polyurethane waste management: a circular model

Irrespective of regulatory developments, ISOPA is committed to promote waste management and resource efficiency. We believe that by combining recycling, energy and product recovery options, Europe can set a positive trend towards meeting its zero-waste goals.

Over the last decade, polyurethane producers have invested and developed many effective ways to improve polyurethanes’ waste management. Industry has been successfully working towards ensuring that products are produced with a sense of responsibility towards environment. We strive to develop production models that require reduced amount of resources and produce materials which could be re-used or effectively recycled. Our efforts and strong determination have already proved to be working: more than 250,000 tonnes of polyurethane are recycled and recovered every year, and the number is increasing!

Resource efficiency and Energy efficiency: hand in hand thanks to Polyurethanes

Beyond sustainable waste management, polyurethanes contribute to a better use of resources considering the benefits they bring in terms of energy efficiency. Energy is indeed a most precious resource!

Thanks to Polyurethanes’ unique chemical properties, we save energy and resources. For example, polyurethanes help to produce freezers and refrigerators, which over the last 15 years have become 60% more efficient than they used to be. Moreover, improved insulation can significantly reduce energy consumption which would ultimately lead to lower levels of CO2 emissions and creation of different energy-related waste. ISOPA’s passive house is a prime example of how polyurethanes can help save energy in buildings’ applications. Thanks to polyurethanes, the passive house almost does not require external heating or conditioning sources. It proves that effective isolation is one of the most sustainable ways to lower energy consumption and reduce waste of resources!

How can you contribute to the circular economy?

The European economy cannot thrive without a flourishing environment. ISOPA is determined to improve existing practices and to develop new technologies to ensure sustainable circular economy in Europe, from cradle-to-cradle.

We are also looking forward to working with policy makers to ensure that the new circular economy packages reflect challenges and opportunities for all activity sectors in Europe.

Committed to the principles of the circular economy? Visit our website or connect with us on Twitter  to share your own ideas and opinions. The time to engage is now!

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The Passive House: ISOPA’s contribution to meeting the EU climate and energy goals

Over the past years, Europe has strived to become a global leader in the fight against the climate change. This   is particularly true in 2015 in light of the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris. In the coming months the European Parliament and the European Commission will discuss the 2030 Climate and Energy package’s implementation.

For ISOPA the fight against climate change constitutes a unique opportunity to highlight how much innovation can contribute. From buildings’ insulation to footwear, innovative Polyurethanes are indeed at the core of environmentally friendly practices.

ISOPA welcomes European energy policy initiatives

Europe is currently at a critical turning point, as the institutions are assessing the future of Energy Policy. Meanwhile, the same institutions are also keeping a close eye on Member States’ energy efficiency progress. Meeting energy efficiency targets is not only an environmental imperative but also the key to turning economic and geostrategic challenges into opportunities. For example, security of energy supply and the cost of energy are part of the European energy policy.

To achieve Europe’s ambitions it is also paramount for regulation to align to the European Commission’s objective for jobs and growth and to the European industry’s ambition for innovation. Ahead of these changes, ISOPA has been striving to make this transition smoother and more efficient. In 2011 ISOPA started its Passive House project in an effort to show that today’s innovation is the solution to tomorrow’s challenges.

Wondering what is a passive house? Let us refresh your memory.

ISOPA’s Passive House brought in a new wind in the art of construction. It was built using polyurethane materials from floor to ceiling: the heat-reflective polyurethane windows frames contribute to heating of the rooms during the winter while making the house a pleasant place to hide from the summer heat.

Furthermore, polyurethane insulation systems create precautionary air barriers in attics, walls and under floors, effectively allowing low energy use. In spite of its smaller than usual heating system the Passive House manages to maintain stable internal temperature throughout winters and summers.

A house built using polyurethane materials consumes up to 85% less energy than a conventional building! This means that innovative materials, such as polyurethanes, can help you save on energy bills from the very first day of installation while contributing to adding comfort to your life.

Polyurethane in the construction sector: Changing European lives since the 1980’s

Since the first Passive House was built in the 1980’s, 40,000 passive house buildings followed worldwide with over 20,000 in Europe alone. This statistic shows that the world has discovered the high potential of polyurethanes in reducing CO2 emissions, rationalising the use of fossil fuels, increasing energy savings and improving living standards.

Kristine Dewaele and ISOPA Secretary General Jörg Palmersheim at the Passive House's opening

Kristine Dewaele and ISOPA Secretary General Jörg Palmersheim at the Passive House’s opening

Since the first EU package of climate and energy targets was adopted in 2007, significant improvements have been made in the intensity of energy use thanks to more efficient construction and buildings. Acknowledging the potential of polyurethanes, ISOPA strives to fulfill present and future society’s needs. We share the responsibility for reducing environmental impacts of products and take a product-centered approach to environmental protection.

In turn, we welcome a sustainable regulation and wish to communicate the high potential and benefits of polyurethanes to both users and regulators in this transition period. Our ‘passive’ model of housing illustrates the important role of chemistry in general and polyurethane in particular in achieving European and global energy goals while improving the quality of life at home.

Climate change is everyone’s responsibility!

Do you still think that individual contribution does not matter? Contrary to what we may think, we can all make a difference by changing the way we consume energy and encouraging our neighbours to do the same. We may all be surprised by the outcome.

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Food Waste: A Target and then What? ISOPA gathers stakeholders around the table

Time to bring the future of food waste to the table

Nearly two months after the publication of the European Commission 2015 work programme, the future of the Circular Economy package as a whole – and of the Food Waste target in particular – remains unclear. With MEPs openly calling for the package’s reinstatement, on January 22, during a parliamentary hearing, the Commission provided reassurance. Indeed, an improved text should be published before the end of 2015.


Frank Grunert, President of ISOPA with Nicola Caputo, Member of the European Parliament

However the question remains. With over 100 million tonnes of food wasted annually in the EU, how can regulation tackle the problem? Nobody knows yet.

For ISOPA, this uncertainty is a call for action.

On January 27, ISOPA brought together Nicola Caputo, Member of the European Parliament, Anne-Laure Gassin policy officer in the European Commission Directorate General for Health and consumer, academics, representatives of Member States, industry and NGOs for a lively and open discussion on food waste prevention.

Nicola Caputo, MEP – Key note speaker

Nicola Caputo, Member of the European Parliament – Key note speaker

One problem. Many causes. What policy action?

All participants concurred that food waste has reached unacceptable levels in Europe and in the world. They all made a call for quick policy action. Unfortunately, awareness campaigns in spite of being necessary do not suffice anymore. A political momentum has emerged in Europe compared to a few years ago. The extent of the problem has raised the issue high on the political agenda.

The will is there; but what should be done? The question is everything but an easy one to answer. The debate reflected such complexity as speakers and participants highlighted the multifaceted nature of the issue. They underlined that consumerism, confusing date marking, unreliable data, breaks in the cold chain, or dysfunctional waste management should also be addressed in order to efficiently tackle food waste.


Anne-Laure Gassin, European Commission – Guest speaker

In the end no final consensus could be reached. At EU level, all eyes are on the Commission and the direction it is planning to take with the Circular Economy package. It is assumed it will work at full speed in the coming months.

 ISOPA determined to contribute

As an active stakeholder ISOPA is determined to take part in the debate. The event was a perfect opportunity for Frank Grunert, ISOPA’s President, and Jörg Palmersheim, its Secretary General, to remind the audience of ISOPA’s commitment to food waste prevention and its determination to engage with regulators and all relevant stakeholders.

As Frank Grunert highlighted, polyurethanes contribute every day to make our life safer and comfortable and our lifestyle more sustainable. This is particularly the case with regards to food waste prevention as polyurethanes play a key role in the efficiency and maintenance of the cold chain thanks to their unique insulating properties.


Jörg Palmersheim, ISOPA’s Secretary General

Overall, it was a great evening. Regulators, manufacturers and NGOs put their differences aside and brought their added values together to discuss an issue of ever-growing importance. And in doing that, they didn’t leave a crumb in their plates!

Curious about more polyurethane applications in the cold chain, visit our website or connect with us Twitter!

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