To achieve its mission, EUROPUR relies on cooperation between experts from its member organisations in working groups, which operate according to the priorities set by our members. Their number and scope may thus vary over time. We currently have four working groups: Product Stewardship & Impurities, Plant & Workers Issues, Circular Economy and Communication. Our member experts work together in these working groups for the common benefit of the industry, in full compliance with competition law.
Product Stewardship and Impurities
Chair: Adri Aerts, Manager Research and Development, Quality, CALIGEN.
The product stewardship and impurities working group seeks to ensure that polyurethane foam is produced according to the highest quality and safety standards and in compliance with all legislation relating to chemical substances used in foam production. As such it:
- Regularly evaluates and updates the specifications of EUROPUR’s environment, health and safety standard, CertiPUR.
- Cooperates with other stakeholders along the PU foam supply chain for continuous product improvement, as well as for information collection on risk assessments and exposure scenarios for substances used in the manufacturing of PU foam.
- Monitors regulatory developments relating to substances, notably under the REACH Regulation, and informs members so that they can act accordingly to comply with legislation.
- Provides input into initiatives that aim at allowing market uptake of environmentally-friendly products, such as the EU ecolabel criteria for mattresses and furniture.
- Researches and evaluates innovative options for the end-of-life recycling of products containing PU foam.
- Monitors anonymous test results on polyurethane foam from companies participating in the CertiPUR programme to identify substances present in foam as impurities.
Plants and Workers Issues
Chair: Clint Raine, Head of PU Commercial Operations EMEA, Bayer Material Science.
EUROPUR’s Plant and Workers’ Issues Working Group was launched in 2014 and is composed of representatives of flexible PU foam manufacturers and suppliers to the industry, which cooperate to:
- Analyse potential risks linked to the production of flexible polyurethane foam, notably as regards the handling of raw materials, and to make recommendations to the industry to ensure progress towards ever safer workplaces.
- Discuss and evaluate best available technologies and best practices for the production of flexible polyurethane foam, with a strong focus on the protection of workers and the environment.
- Exchange information on incidents and near-incidents in foaming plants to allow members to learn from each other and help in mitigating risks across the entire industry.
- Exchange information on the implementation of EU legislation related to production facilities by EU Member States.
Chair: Jean-Pierre De Kesel, Chief Sustainability Officer, Recticel
The working group was launched on June 2015. The first meeting was an occasion for the participants to discuss the Commission's intentions and to review issues, options and current research projects relating to the end-of-life of polyurethane foam within the framework of the European Commission “circular economy package” looking at instating a landfill ban for plastics (including polyurethane foam) and at imposing recycling targets for solid municipal waste.
The working group responded on behalf of Europur to the European Commission's public consultation on circular economy as a first step to participate in the debate. Europur position paper on Circular Economy
A communications working group was set-up in 2014 to reinforce EUROPUR’s ability to promote the unique benefits of polyurethane foam in its multiple applications in cooperation with other stakeholders from the supply chain.