The pressure on the construction industry and its supply chains to improve sustainability is mounting from not only ambitious government targets, but by customer demands too.
Alongside the UK’s 2050 net zero targets and impending changes to building regulations that aim to make housing greener, communities and businesses are increasingly asking suppliers to demonstrate their environmental credentials.
Up and down the supply chain, organisations supplying the building industry are working hard to become better and greener businesses. Many are adopting new ways of working to reduce their impact on the environment and their local communities.
That’s certainly the case at Crown Paints. Crown have been investing in making their working practices more environmentally friendly for more than a decade, and they are constantly looking at what else they can do to support their customers with their sustainable working practices too.
That’s why in 2012, Crown Paints committed to a partnership with NIMTECH, a social enterprise providing employment opportunities for the hard to reach, and long term unemployed in the community.
Based at Crown’s Darwen and Hull manufacturing sites, NIMTECH provides waste recovery and recycling services to the whole of Crown Paints’ UK operations and supports Crown’s circular economy objectives by reusing products where we can.
For instance, NIMTECH is able to recycle any clean can returned to Crown Paints. Its ability to do this helps accelerate Crown’s Can Back scheme, which was set up to encourage decorators to return empty paint cans free of charge so they can be recycled and has been running since 2011.
Since the scheme’s inception, the results have spoken for themselves. Over the last year alone, Crown Paints have recycled more than 200 tonnes of paint cans. To put that into perspective, that’s equal to 2.4 million litres of paint. The scheme has even been upgraded to accept cans from any paint manufacturer – not just Crown Paints.
But, Crown know there’s more that they can be doing. And so, they have set themselves the ambitious target of collecting and recycling every single can of paint sold through their network this year – of which there are more than 140 Crown Decorating Centres (CDCs). Crown Paints know that’s a tough challenge but if they are serious about doing all they can to become the most sustainable businesses they can be, it’s a target Crown are serious about achieving.
Partnering with NIMTECH has been one of the best initiatives Crown Paints have arranged. It does good for the community while helping Crown to do better for the environment through schemes like Can Back. It also paved the way for Crown’s ‘Kick out the Can’ initiative – a programme designed to limit paint wastage.
Crown Paints know that it’s not always easy for the customers they work with to specify the exact amount of paint needed for a job, and so wastage is sometimes unavoidable. But the last thing Crown want as a responsible business is for wasted products to go unused – or worse, thrown away.
To combat this, Crown Paints launched Kick out the Can, where NIMTECH assists the CDC network with collecting surplus paint from customers and redistributing this to worthy causes in the local community.
One of the most recent Kick out the Can community projects was a children’s home in Plymouth, Fair Ways Care. They wanted to refresh the exterior of the house and so Crown Paints were able to donate 300 litres of paint through NIMTECH, to allow the home to completely overhaul its exterior – with enough left over for any future touch-ups. The savings made by not having to purchase the paint, allowed the children’s home to buy three new bikes.
Crown Paints are proud of the achievements they have made so far, and they are excited about what else they can accomplish over the coming months and years.
The goal at Crown Paints has always been to be a responsible business that does good for the communities they serve, while being a trusted partner for the decorators they work with – all while limiting their impact on the environment.
Meeting the Government’s net zero targets will be a lofty task for the building industry, but it’s certainly achievable. By working together with its partners and suppliers, Crown Paints can make sure their industry leads the way in sustainability.