“Particularly with existing buildings, efficient insulation is often the most cost-effective and environmentally friendly way to reduce energy consumption, conserve natural resources and advance climate protection”, states ISOPA President Frank Grunert.
From 3-5 June 2014, ISOPA, the European trade association for producers of diisocyanates and polyols, participated as an exhibitor at Green Week, the European Commission’s largest annual conference devoted to environment policy. Presenting a series of best practices for the ecological and economical use of polyurethanes at its stand, ISOPA shared the holistic story of the material and the industry as part of Europe’s circular economy, focusing on the life-cycle of polyurethanes from innovation to end-of-life solutions using building insulation as the prime example.
“Roughly 40 percent of all energy consumed is just to heat and cool buildings,” said ISOPA President Frank Grunert whilst visiting Green Week. “Particularly with existing buildings, efficient insulation is often the most cost-effective and environmentally friendly way to reduce energy consumption, conserve natural resources and advance the protection of the climate.” Polyurethane insulation foam has also long since proved its essential role in the cold chain, where it helps to protect vital foodstuffs against spoilage.
Organised by the European Commission’s Environment Directorate-General in Brussels, Belgium, Green Week provides a unique opportunity for debate, exchange of experience and best practice among its participants, which include high-ranking politicians, industry representatives, NGOs, scientists, journalists and the public. This year’s edition of Green Week focused on the ‘Circular Economy, Resource Efficiency & Waste’, and is thought to have gathered over 2,000 participants.
One particularly prominent visitor was European Commissioner for Environment, Janez Potočnik, who was all ears as ISOPA General Secretary Jorg Palmersheim shared the holistic story of polyurethanes as part of Europe’s circular economy. “Polyurethanes are today already contributing to the implementation of the circular economy concept,” explained Palmersheim. “Polyurethanes make important contributions to the conservation of non-renewable resources. They hold the potential to save a lot of energy over their service lives and therefore must be assessed accordingly with respect to sustainability.”
ISOPA President Frank Grunert added: “ISOPA is committed to the responsible and sustainable handling of polyurethane products up to the end of their service lives. We will continue to innovate and develop new products to improve our performance and sustainability, in close collaboration with the polyurethane producers associations.”
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