In June 2022 world leaders convened at the G7 Summit in Germany to discuss how to rise to the world’s most urgent and pressing challenges. With combating climate change high on the agenda, the summit closed with G7 leaders unveiling plans for a new Climate Club in a bid to tackle global warming head on.
But world leaders can only take it so far and industry therefore has a vital role to play. For businesses aspiring to hardwire sustainability into their DNA, they need to bring forward impactful, large-scale action and rapid change which will protect the planet in the future.
One company seeking to do this is paint manufacturer Crown Paints who are implementing a series of measures to drive sustainability within industry. And as companies strive to demonstrate their environmental credentials, Crown Paints is leading the charge with its innovative approach. Making long-lasting improvements across its products, operations, and processes to minimise its impact on the planet, the business has been leading from the front since launching its earthbalance scheme in 2008.
Being a part of global coatings group Hempel, Crown Paints is playing a crucial role in delivering the organisation’s Futureproof roadmap, which sets out clear ambitions to be achieved by 2025 across the areas of performance, products, and people. Futureproof is designed to radically advance the company’s environmental and social performance so Hempel, its customers, employees, and the planet can thrive going forward.
Crown Paints’ approach starts with a hard bottom line. They know the importance of taking care of the planet. Crucially, they know that sustainability is about being aware of how actions affect the environment around you. Cause and effect. With a strong focus on customer needs, the community, and its impact on the world, sustainability is naturally one of Crown Paints’ core values.
The business has instilled this into its operations by introducing radical measures to reduce emissions. Sites in Darwen and Hull are leading a 5 percent year-on-year reduction in energy consumption, with the latter using renewable electricity thanks to the introduction of 500 solar panels to its warehouse. Alongside its efforts in this space, Crown shares best practice and encourages others within the industry to be environmentally conscious, while also assessing where it can improve carbon footprints across the entire lifecycle of its products.
Meanwhile, Crown has made efforts to tackle emissions across its transport operations. The Crown Paints Sustainable Transport Solution Project is geared towards supporting the Hempel 2025 Futureproof commitment. The initiative, which seeks to streamline Crown’s emissions from transport and haulage and uses empty back haul vehicles to transport waste, has seen a 500,000 kg CO2 reduction over three years, with the company intending to reduce emissions further in the years to come.
And Crown’s ambition goes beyond limiting emissions. Its best-selling retail range of paint containers are now manufactured from 100 percent recycled plastic, being one of the first in the market to achieve this, and cutting significant tonnes of plastic from being sent to landfill or, worse yet, from languishing in the environment for centuries to come. Crown is also working with its trusted packaging suppliers to reach a 30 percent PCW minimum in all plastic packaging by 2023. Furthermore, throughout 2021 Crown recycled and repurposed some 1,825 tonnes of plastic, metal, cardboard, and paint from its own site operations to add a truly circular approach to the way they operate.
Meanwhile the company’s Crown Can-Back™ recycling scheme has further supercharged its waste reduction efforts. The scheme, run through the national network of Crown Decorating Centres in partnership with social enterprise NIMTECH, entrenches environmental consciousness into the community by enabling trade professionals to return their empty paint cans, from any brand, to one of the 148 centres across the country to be processed for recycling. This is a powerful tool for providing the necessary feedstock needed to drive the production of PCW plastic.
Pulling together the power of more than 2,500 trade professionals, half a million paint cans have so far been processed in 2022, with Crown Paints expecting to exceed a million by the end of the year. These are the types of measures needed across all industry sectors if everyone is to rise to the existential climate challenges facing the planet.
Crown has identified that a unilateral, globally aligned approach is needed to solve some of the world’s toughest challenges, evidenced by the launch of its Walls and Ceilings paint range this month. Going beyond the product itself, the range is designed to inspire purpose, growth, and the teamwork needed to create a better world.
The product is the first paint range in the UK to be awarded vegan verification by independent worldwide product testers Eurofins Scientific, and is the first paint which has gone under this level of scrutiny, and also uses Crown’s unique breatheasy® formulation which is 99 percent solvent free. As a result, it limits exposure to airborne triggers of asthma and allergies and in doing so creates a healthier space for families to live in. It is these finer and more intricate details which pay homage to Crown’s ambition that their goods leave as little impact on the planet as possible.
Products such as Crown’s Covermatt Obliterating Emulsion and Crown Trade Fast Flow range have gone through a rigorous accreditation process to meet environmental standards. The emulsion’s Environmental Product Declarations are BRE Global verified, BREEAM (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method for Buildings) certified, and LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified. Achieving these certifications means the product has seen its full lifecycle assessed and environmental impact tested, and passed
Committed to creating a community which works with the planet, not against it, Crown has taken demonstrable action to put sustainability first. By 2025, Crown aims to be completely carbon neutral across all of its manufacturing operations, as well as achieving zero waste to landfill and developing its PCW content across all packaging. With powerful actions already in motion which will reduce waste and improve Crown’s site efficiencies, they are well on their way to achieving this with a firm dedication to improving sustainability across all areas of the business which will inspire change across the entire industry.
Simply put, Crown is creating a powerful roadmap for achieving true sustainability.