The requests of more and more sustainable solutions by consumers, and the decision of FITT of turning sustainability into a competitive advantage, has pushed the Vicenza company to undertake a path for the obtaining of a voluntary environmental label for FITT Bluforce and FITT Bluforce RJ, the PVC-A water supply network piping systems.
There are many environmental labels currently available on the market. These are labels that confirm the commitment of a company towards the environment and the reduction of the environmental impact of its processes.
But many of these labels are nothing more than “green washing” operations: empty boxes aimed at creating a deceptively positive image of the company in terms of environmental impact, or at deflecting the attention of public opinion from the negative effects that its activities and products actually have on the environment.
However, there are also environmental labels based on a scientific approach, that can be quantified and agreed, and which measure the activities of the company and the sustainability of its products: the Environmental Product Declarations (EPD).
And it is indeed a scientific and quantifiable approach that FITT has followed for two main products of the pressurised water network sector: FITT Bluforce and FITT Bluforce RJ, the first PVC-A water supply network piping system in Europe to be EPD-certified, following the ISO 14025 and EN 15804 standards.
The FITT Bluforce and FITT Bluforce RJ environmental declaration has followed the same path as all the product environmental declarations based on Life Cycle Assessment (LCA), carried out in accordance with the PCR (Product Category Rules) rules and requirements discussed and shared by the various stakeholders, to ensure comparability of the data and information regarding a certain product category.
The starting point of every LCA is a database. As the FITT pipelines meet the PCR of construction materials following the UNI EN 15804:2012 European Standard, the first six months of 2019 were dedicated to the collection and analysis of environmental data, a process that lasted a few months. To ensure the quality of the collected data, the information research and gathering activities were also extended to the main suppliers of the raw materials used in the production of FITT Bluforce and FITT Bluforce RJ.
The collected data were then analysed through the LCA, a tool that can be applied to all products or services, and which allows a holistic vision of the main environmental impacts associated with a product, process or human activity: from the extraction of the raw materials, to the handling of the product at the end of its life cycle. A holistic approach that avoids shifting the problem from one phase or category to the next, and takes into account the whole manufacturing chain.
The environmental information obtained through the LCA was then transferred to the product environmental declaration, which after being assessed by SGS Italia, an independent credited body, was published on the website of Environdec, the international Program Operator selected by FITT.
Program Operators are entities that promote and ensure the development of PCR rules, coordinate their publication and issue the corresponding environmental declarations.
The FITT Bluforce system environmental declaration guarantees the environmental ID of the product, with objective measurements of the performance of the company in terms of sustainability. A voluntary certification that FITT was the first to obtain as far as PVC-A piping systems, and which joins the portfolio of mandatory approvals already obtained by the FITT Bluforce and FITT Bluforce RJ pipelines for the movement of water for human consumption.
An environmental label which therefore facilitates the communication between the manufacturer – FITT -, and the stakeholders – bodies, integrated water service utilities, building companies -, and which also takes on an important role as far as public sector procurement procedures: the environmental criteria of the product environmental labels are in fact an important factor in the awarding of contracts.
A voluntary and transparent decision, based on scientific, measurable and certified data, that emphasizes the commitment and the sense of responsibility of the company in relation to the territory, the consumer, and our stakeholders. An objective starting point, around which it will be possible to develop eco-design guidelines, with the aim of creating generations of products that are more and more “green” and efficient.