Painting And Crowning A Sustainable Future

by Business Watch Team

The construction industry is a significant contributor to environmental degradation.

It accounts for approximately 39% of global carbon emissions, with 28% coming from operational emissions from energy used to heat, cool, and light buildings, and the remaining 11% from materials and construction processes. Additionally, construction is responsible for a large portion of waste production and the depletion of our natural resources.

The paint industry plays a significant role in the construction process, and it is imperative to recognize the environmental impact associated with traditional paint production and consumption.

To be effective paint companies must adopt eco-friendly practices in their production, operational, and distribution processes. This includes minimizing water usage, reducing pollution, transitioning to renewable energy resources such as solar in our plants and responsibly sourcing raw materials.

Players in the paint industry need to proactively innovate solutions that will help reduce their impact on the environment while ensuring we continue to enjoy the benefits that coatings can provide. We must strive to minimize waste, increase energy efficiency, and explore renewable energy sources to power our operations.

Initiatives in the industry such as the use of non-toxic, Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) paints that are safer for both humans and the environment and investing in research and development, we can create innovative, eco-friendly paint formulations and processes that meet the highest standards of quality and performance.

Sustainable paints and coatings aim to minimize or eliminate VOCs, thereby reducing the carbon footprint and enhancing indoor air quality. These coatings offer a greener alternative while maintaining the performance and longevity expected in the industry.

Another way for the paint industry to play its part in protecting the environment is through the production of water-based coatings which are becoming increasingly popular due to their lower environmental impact. They contain fewer harmful solvents and are easy to clean up, making them an eco-friendly alternative to oil-based coatings.

Through innovation, we also have biodegradable coatings that are formulated with decomposable components, reducing their environmental impact at the end of their life cycle. This can also be supplemented by recycled content coatings which incorporate recycled materials, contributing to a circular economy and reducing the need for new raw materials.

To give an example of how this can be achieved Crown Paints Kenya Plc and its subsidiaries across the region, have adopted the guidelines, and technically achieved heavy metal-free formulations, even though the cost of such products is imperatively high.

All Paint decorative products need to be free from LEAD, CHROMIUM, MERCURY, and ARSENIC, this would indicate a significant awareness and responsibility to the environment where the industry operates. For example, there is a need for paint firms to transition to renewable energy like solar power as a supplementary source of energy to run plants and office operations.

Beyond the production floor, players in the sector can also employ ingenious ways to remain sustainable by enforcing some simple yet significant changes.

Paint manufacturers can also phase out the use of fossil fuels by getting rid of equipment like diesel generators. This can be extended to other handling equipment like converting from diesel powered forklifts and vehicles to electric, alongside the reduction of plastic and usage of petroleum. Simple measures such as rainwater harvesting, reuse of water and recycling of waste also go a long way in saving resources.

In summary, the shift toward sustainable practices in the paint industry and the stringent regulations surrounding them reflect the growing global commitment to environmental responsibility. The paints industry is at the forefront of this movement, embracing innovation and pushing the boundaries of what is possible in the quest for a greener and more sustainable tomorrow.

By navigating the green wave and embracing eco-friendly solutions, the paints industry can pave the way for a world where aesthetics, protection, and sustainability coexist harmoniously.

By Richard Muturi | Group Chief Operations Officer | Crown Paints Plc


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