PFA adds human rights clause to Platform on Sustainability

According to Robert Luedeka, Executive Director of the PFA: "A sustainability programme is a process and not an endpoint. These principles provide guidance for our group's current activities and future programmes. Our goal in publishing and continuing to re-evaluate the PFA Platform on Sustainability is to create a springboard for ongoing discussion, education and growth in this area."

The amended platform now contains eight principles, with the newest clause appearing as number seven:

1) Reduce solid waste. FPF products are recyclable. The FPF industry scrap collection and reuse system has developed into one of the most successful examples of recycling in the world. In the United States, nearly all manufacturing scrap is collected and recycled. Each year hundreds of millions of pounds of post-consumer waste FPF are diverted from landfills and recycled as bonded carpet cushion. PFA members are encouraged to improve the efficiency and widen the scope of post-consumer recycling efforts.

2) Maintain technical sessions to share scientific research about environmentally friendly materials and renewable feedstocks. PFA organises technical programmes twice a year as forums for presentation of relevant research and product innovations. Current bio-based raw materials now used within the FPF industry were introduced at PFA technical programmes.

3) Support energy saving technologies. FPF manufacturing technology is an example of energy-efficient production. Through the use of an exothermic reaction, FPF is manufactured with little requirement for energy or water. PFA manufacturing members also conserve energy by utilising over-the-road trailer and container compression techniques to increase capacity, thereby reducing fuel costs associated with transportation of FPF materials.

4) Continue efforts to improve product safety. Voluntary third-party analysis and evaluation of FPF products promote a high level of product safety for workers and the consuming public. An industry-accepted labelling programme enables end-product manufacturers, retailers and consumers to distinguish between FPF products that comply and those that do not.

5) Encourage sustainability through product performance. Support programmes that help reduce raw material consumption and waste generation by increasing usable product life, and therefore, improve sustainability.

6) Educate to support sustainability. PFA created a "Community First" programme to help manufacturing members share their commitment to environmental stewardship and manufacturing safety, and also engage their employees in this commitment.

7) Evaluate environmental and sustainability benefits in relation to human rights issues. Before supporting or adopting new manufacturing practices, consider the impact on human rights issues such as exploitation of workers and child labour.

8) Maintain continuous dialogue with leaders in sustainability. An effective sustainability programme cannot be developed in a vacuum. PFA encourages input from non-government organisations, academia, customers and others involved in the implementation of sustainability initiatives throughout the year and especially at our technical programmes.