The 17 Successes

17 Successes: The Plumber

Pipes, valves, taps and boilers… this is the world of Giacomo, a plumber and heating installer who is clearly passionate about his job.

“I wanted to do something practical where you can see the result of your efforts. Contact with people was also important for me, so I decided to become a plumber and heating installer. Three years of study, combined with traineeships, brought me to where I am.”

Giacomo is unusual in that he started working independently straight after his studies. “Most people first start to work for a boss, and maybe later on become independent”.

Every time Giacomo finishes a project, he feels great satisfaction that, in addition to helping people, he has also done something good for the environment.

“I frequently attend courses at the local environment authority to make sure that I am aware of the latest environmentally-friendly heating techniques.”

Chlor-alkali chemistry, in the form of polyvinyl chloride (PVC), plays an important part in Giacomo’s work. Indeed, PVC is one of the key uses of chlorine! Pipes made of this vital material last for decades, resisting fracturing, acids and even high temperatures. Water quality is also maintained as PVC pipes do not corrode or rust.

PVC is also an essential part of the circular economy. It takes less energy to make it than alternatives and is lightweight, meaning fewer emissions during transport and installation. It can also easily be recycled at the end of its long life.

According to Eurostat, in 2004 over 1.3 million people were employed across Europe to install plumbing in new buildings. They can rely on PVC pipes to help carry clean drinking water in our communities.

Learn more about how chlor-alkali is used to make, and keep water pure here.