The Plasterboard Sustainability Partnership (PSP) came into existence in 2009 as an output of a DEFRA programme to develop a Plasterboard Roadmap identifying the environmental impacts of plasterboard throughout its lifecycle. The PSP is made up of the broad range of stakeholders involved in the production, installation and disposal of plasterboard as well as the relevant government departments and regulatory agencies. The members of PSP are listed in Contacts.

The intent of the PSP is to enable greater awareness and understanding amongst all stakeholders of existing knowledge about the role plasterboard plays in construction and of the sustainability issues throughout the supply chain, and to use this knowledge to develop practical and coordinated strategies for sustainability. This includes economic and social as well as environmental impacts.

Considerable knowledge already exists on the use, impacts and recyclability of plasterboard and key reports can be found in Library.

Also, range of actions and initiatives already exist to improve collaboration in the supply chain, such as the Ashdown Agreement. Details of these are in Initiatives.

The PSP arose out of the Government initiative on product Roadmaps to sustainability. This initiative initially focused on the following ten products from four high impact product areas:

Priority area


Food and drink
  • Milk and associated roadmap
  • Fish and shellfish
Passenger transport
  • Passenger cars
(including construction and appliances)
  • TVs
  • Domestic lighting
  • Electric motors
  • Window systems
  • WCs
  • Plasterboard
Clothing and textiles
  • Clothing

What is a product roadmap?

What is a product roadmap?

A product roadmap is a tool to help us better understand the environmental and, in some cases, wider sustainability impacts of a particular product and the ways in which these impacts can be mitigated. The roadmaps aim to:

  • identify the impacts that occur across each product’s life cycle
  • define a vision for each product to help address its impacts and make it more sustainable
  • set out a course of action - comprising short, medium and long-term measures aimed at the life cycle stages generating the highest impacts - to achieve that vision

The roadmaps are being developed gradually and collaboratively with a wide range of stakeholders.

The first set of roadmaps focus on the following ten products from four high impact product areas:

What are the ‘impacts’?

What are the 'impacts'?

At the different life cycle stages, impacts can include:

  • Environmental: greenhouse has emissions, air and water pollution, resource depletion and biodiversity loss
  • Social: child labour, health and safety risks, poor working conditions and low wages

Why plasterboard?

Why plasterboard?

Evidence shows that, at an EU-25 level, housing – which includes buildings, construction and appliances – accounts for 20-35 percent of all environmental impacts.

Within this broader category, across its lifecycle, plasterboard can generate significant environmental impacts, for example, waste at the end of life.

The plasterboard sector have already demonstrated commitment to improving the environmental performance of plasterboard. The positive, collaborative approach the sector have already demonstrated could provide a useful model for others.

Improving sustainability – The Plasterboard Sustainability Partnership

Improving sustainability – The Plasterboard Sustainability Partnership

The roadmap is an analysis tool to identify environmental issues. The PSP has been formed between a broad range of stakeholders and Government to collaborate on strategies to develop actions to address the environmental impacts that occur across plasterboard life cycle, where evidence shows this would be most effective. As well as addressing the environmental impacts associated with plasterboard, it will enable us to explore plasterboard’s positive impacts and its potential contribution, though its insulation properties and use of recycled materials, to improving the sustainability of buildings.