The workshop United in Diversity, organized by ECPI, the European Council for Plasticisers and Intermediates, has brought together, for the second time, the representatives of major European plasticisers producers to build the basis for a stronger and united plasticisers industry and define crucial principles of collaboration.
The event was a follow-up to the previous workshop held in Brussels in September 2015, Plasicisers on the Move. At that time, industry representatives were invited to discuss the challenges, the needs and the expectations of a European plasticisers sector which is facing important regulatory, economic and social challenges. They identified the areas where enhanced collaboration is needed, namely communications and advocacy, recognizing the value of bringing their efforts together to speak with one voice.
“We all agreed that the plasticisers industry would certainly benefit from having a platform to work on common goals, being united and effective in our communication. We believe ECPI can be that platform. Having an open and honest discussion with the entire plasticisers industry will contribute to identify priorities, come up with innovative ideas and develop stronger ties to collaborate beyond diversities.” said ECPI’s Manager, Stéphane Content, in his opening remarks.
Participants also had the chance to learn more about the VinylPlus sustainability initiative and how it has been successfully communicating throughout the entire PVC value-chain involving more than 200 companies in its commitments. Brigitte Dero, VinylPlus’ General Manager, offered a historical review of the motivation behind this voluntary commitment and its evolution over the years. “We need to put our forces together and set conflicting interests aside to be more visible, more credible. Ally or die,” Dero stated during her intervention. She highlighted the successful work done at the London Olympics as a good example of how the PVC industry can and should engage with influential decision makers to reach the most ambitious sustainability objectives. “We are part of the solution” she concluded.
ECPI’s Communications Manager, Michela Mastrantonio, provided a thorough overview of some of the most recent communication activities carried out by the association. She explained that ”in the last few years, ECPI has become a reference for the media and other stakeholders. We are a trusted source of information when it comes to all plasticisers and plan to continue expanding what we have done to make sure we can represent the whole industry.” she added. ECPI and the plasticisers industry are already doing a lot for science and sustainability and should communicate more about the benefits of all plasticisers, passing positive messages, making people aware of the value that plasticisers bring to our everyday life through a variety of applications.