The Canadian paint and coatings industry continues to advance with respect to sustainability initiatives, ensuring that systems and processes meet the needs of the present without compromising the needs of the future. The focus remains squarely on the three pillars of sustainability: economic, social, and environmental. With this in mind, CPCA member companies continue to improve their business operations and culture, ensuring their approaches meet national and international objectives on sustainability, with particular emphasis on the protection of human health and the environment. They are pushing the envelope, developing and launching innovative products that meet the needs of consumers and the market alike. And, as they should be, they are being recognized for their robust efforts. A quick look at some of our members clearly reveals this to be the case.
PPG achieved its goal of sustainable products representing 30 per cent of its sales in 2015, meeting its 2020 target five years ahead of schedule. The company forged ahead by introducing 250 innovative projects recognized through its internal sustainability awards process. These environmental and ergonomic-related improvement projects helped PPG save more than $14 million. In only three years, the company cut greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions intensity and energy intensity by 1.5 per cent each year. The Dow Chemicals Company was a strong performer as well, cutting its annual GHG emissions to 32 million metric tons from 44 million in 2015. Dow, which is merging with DuPont, reported $472 million in cumulative savings through annual absolute energy reduction since 2005 and a 30 per cent reduction of VOC, NOx, and priority compounds emissions.
In terms of product development, AkzoNobel continued to progress towards its 2020 target: To provide customers and consumers in its downstream value chain a significant sustainability advantage compared with the most commonly available equivalent commercial products or industrial processes. The company reported that its eco-premium solutions with downstream benefits generated 19 per cent of its revenue in 2015. AkzoNobel has cut its carbon footprint “per ton of products sold” by 3 per cent since 2012 and its absolute footprint is down 10 per cent, thus helping move towards its objective to reduce its cradle-to-grave carbon footprint by 25-30 per cent per ton of sales by 2020. Lower footprint energy sources such as renewables, along with efficiency gains at its energy-intensive facilities and stronger sales of lower carbon footprint coatings products, are helping AkzoNobel meet its objectives. The company increased its Resource Efficiency Index (REI) to 113 from a base of 100, fuelled mostly by sales of higher added value products and positive currency effects.
Benjamin Moore’s efforts on sustainability were recently recognized by the global firm MBDC, which originated the Cradle-to-Cradle design framework that supports company efforts to go beyond minimizing harm and move towards creating a positive impact on planet Earth. The company received certification from the Cradle-to-Cradle Products Innovation Institute at the Silver level for its greenest paint Natura, its professional coating Ultra Spec 500 as well as for the zero-VOC waterborne colourants. Benjamin Moore was the first premium paint manufacturer to earn this designation from MBDC, signifying that its products meet stringent requirements in the following areas: material health, material reuse, renewable energy, carbon management, water stewardship, and social fairness.
BASF, for its part, recognizes that contributing to a sustainable future is imperative to future success. Its statement
We create chemistry for a sustainable future
Valspar was recently recognized as the Most Innovative Paint Supplier in the Sustainability category of the Paint Supplier Innovation Awards, created by ArcelorMittal to encourage and stimulate creativity and inventiveness among its suppliers. Valspar’s products help companies save resources because they incorporate bio-renewables, reduce waste and increase efficiency. Its leadership in sustainability was showcased at the 2015 Greenbuild International Conference & Expo. Valspar partnered with Building Design+Construction’s GreenZone on the installation called The Growing Green Centre featuring wall and roof panels adorned in Valspar’s Fluropon SR coating.
Société Laurentide, for its part, said it is in the process of adopting a policy on sustainability principles. The company recently reviewed and developed an action plan to introduce this policy. It should be noted that Laurentide Re/Sources is already among world leaders in post-consumer paint recycling with sales of recycled paint in Canada and many offshore countries from its plant in Victoriaville, dedicated mainly to producing recycled paint. Société Laurentide is in the process of completing the construction of a 55,000-sq-ft research, development, and innovation centre in Shawinigan committed to improving the quality of recycled paint and to developing management tools to enhance non-recyclables and waste including sludge generated by production.
Recycled paint production reduces the environmental footprint by 85 per cent when compared to new paint. CPCA is now engaged with the Building Sustainable Value Research Centre at the Ivey School of Business at Western University to conduct research on new uses and new markets for leftover paint. The study will proceed over the next two years by engaging CPCA’s manufacturer members, program operators, processors, and other stakeholders engaged in moving forward with post-consumer paint recycling and the industry’s long-standing commitment to Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR).
With regard to environmental incidents, BASF reported zero transportation incidents with a significant impact on the environment and decreased the number of lost-time injuries per one million working hours to 1.4, while Dow had more than 5.8 billion fewer tonne-miles of transporting hazardous materials. Dow achieved more than 1,500 fewer injuries and illnesses, more than 11,000 fewer spills, and 400 fewer process safety incidents over a 10-year period. PPG, meanwhile, reported that its injury and illness rate fell by 26 per cent in four years (an 11 per cent reduction resulted in 2015 alone). The company said it implemented wellness programs at 71 per cent of its facilities and a community engagement framework at 65 per cent of its sites by the end of 2015.
Many other companies in CPCA’s membership including the SMEs, both manufactures and suppliers, are firmly focused on sustainability. They continue to work hard to ensure the products they deliver are sustainable, while at the same time provide the performance their customers have come to expect from the many recognized brands produced by CPCA member companies.