How vinylsiding.org’s New Sustainability Page Can Help VSI Members Drive Home Sales on the Green Front
The Vinyl Siding Institute (VSI) has worked hard to tell the strong story of the sustainability of our members’ products and processes that make vinyl siding a leader in the exteriors industry. Using the most powerful weapons available – facts and science – VSI recently retooled the messaging on our website by adding compelling infographics and additional key points. This innovative approach makes it simple for consumers to understand one essential aspect for their next home building project: North America’s #1 siding product is also one of the best for environmental impact.
The vinyl siding industry’s commitment to improving and promoting the sustainability of our products over the past decade has grown in direct relationship to the science of life cycle analysis. The way that life cycle management is measured has matured so much during the past five years that it has become much easier to communicate sustainable advantages to our target audiences.
Our updated “sustainability page” reads like a graphic novel treatment, leaving no doubt that choosing to use our industry’s products will reduce carbon footprint significantly compared to fiber cement and brick. We know consumers understand how cars compare with each other in terms of gas mileage and carbon footprint, so we’ve created easy-to-use analogies for use in the field.
Key graphics on the updated webpage include:
- VINYL SIDING VS. FIBER CEMENT: The impact of vinyl siding on global warming is 40% lower than fiber cement. It’s like driving a CROSSOVER VERSUS A PICKUP TRUCK.
- VINYL SIDING VS. BRICK & MORTAR: The impact of vinyl siding on global warming is 83% less impact than brick & mortar. It’s like driving a TESLA VERSUS AN F-150.
- REDUCED ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT, SAME IMPRESSIVE RESILIENCY: More recent findings on the industry’s environmental impact reductions since 2011 include using 22% less electricity, 33% less natural gas and 100% less propane.
Using the analogy that vinyl siding is like a fuel-efficient or fuel-alternative car really makes it easier for homebuilding pros and homeowners alike to understand vinyl siding’s superior performance over its competition related to sustainability. And unlike many fuel-efficient cars, vinyl siding is affordable! In fact, affordability plays a significant role in sustainability.
Great Tools & Resources For Promoting Climate Change Reduction
VSI’s sustainability web page also now houses the downloadable EPDs (Environmental Product Declarations) for vinyl siding, polypropylene siding and insulated vinyl siding. These updated, comprehensive EPDs use compelling graphics and images to educate building professionals on our products’ sustainability benefits. Given the trend toward environmental consciousness, they may very well be our most effective marketing tools in the field.
To reinforce this issue, we also encourage using the Embodied Carbon in Construction Calculator (EC3). It can be used for design and material procurement so that builders can make the best sustainable choices for their projects. The EC3 includes a free database of EPDs, including ours. It’s the brainchild of Building Transparency, a Washington state-based nonprofit committed to helping reduce the building industry’s impact on climate change, supported by some heavy hitters like Amazon and Meta.
A History of Sustainable Success
The current sustainability page is a culmination of years of hard work by VSI and its members to continuously improve its carbon footprint. With the formation of our Green Team around 2010, Building for Environmental and Economic Sustainability Software (BEES) as the starting point. Measuring key metrics like human health impact, manufacturing waste, toxin emissions, and most importantly, global warming impact, vinyl siding outscored most of our cladding competitors hands down (except for wood, and we are better in many categories than wood). Partnering with Sustainable Solutions Corporation, VSI continued to dive deeper, using facts and science to prove that vinyl siding performs very well in life cycle management.
The passage of the 2022 Inflation Reduction Act stipulates that home builders have to follow energy efficiency guidelines that align with vinyl siding’s adherence to the highest standards of sustainability and begins to start to require measurements on climate change impacts on building products.
We make our products more efficiently than the rest. This makes them more affordable and of higher quality while limiting our carbon footprint. What better material choice could there be than a superior product that also has a better carbon footprint?
In a world where affordable workforce housing has become a big issue, our updated sustainability web page will be a powerful tool in educating building pros and consumers that our highly affordable products are also helping to improve the environment. And if you read all the way through, you’ll also see how post-consumer vinyl siding can be easily recycled where programs exist. With these upgraded tools, VSI is “visualizing” how affordable pricing, high-quality performance and lower carbon footprint can all be directly related. And this visual effect shows that vinyl siding is the ultimate material choice.