We have yet to see many of the sustainable development ideas available to the Coatings Industry actively commercialised. That may seem a rather harsh statement which does not recognise what may be going on under the surface (sorry for the pun). The Sustainable Innovation Award organised by the British Coatings Federation signals the industry’s progress to date and provides some directions for future action and investment.
I like the audience polls we regularly conduct at the European Coatings Conferences. Who else, if not the coatings experts themselves, could provide a better picture of the industry’s current concerns? I noticed this again at our latest conference on parquet and furniture coatings in Düsseldorf.
It seems to me that functional and multifunctional coatings are on everybody lips since several years. To be honest, I don`t know if this is just a pious hope of the researchers or if these kind of coatings really find their way into the market. While looking for a valid answer I found a lot of research going on and not so many products established in the market.
Tough times - this expression was often linked to the situation of the European coatings industry last year. Even though, coatings producers forecasted 2013 to be a difficult year with a rather pessimistic outlook, it began to fell short of these expectations. The end of the year is showing signs of recovery, which makes the coatings industry quite optimistic for 2014.
My wish for 2014 is that all Coatings Company CEOs will integrate Sustainability into the heart of their business models to ensure that the industry as a whole will be ready to meet the changing demands in downstream markets that growing global population and finite resources will inevitably bring.
‘There is sufficient for the world’s needs, but not for the world’s greed.’ Mahatma Gandhi
Recently, I attended a conference and was astonished about a remark by a speaker from an architectural coatings producer. According to him, binders will become less important in a formulation of paints in future.
Plaudits to AkzoNobel for being ranked in first place in the Dow Jones Sustainability World ranking for the Superchemicals sector for 2013 as well as 2012. This is a significant achievement given the strength of interest and commitment expressed by many large multinational chemicals and coatings companies in Sustainable Development.
Congratulations also to the Decorative Coatings sector of CEPE, the Europe-wide trade association representing the interest of the Coatings Industry, for being one of the 17 successful applicants out of 90 across all sectors of European industry to be selected to join the first phase of a 3 year Product Environmental Footprint (PEF) pilot programme.
The Singapore Green Building Council has developed and implemented coating standards within the country’s Green Mark building assessment scheme in coordination with the local Paint Manufacturers’ Association. It’s a model that has been shared with Green Building Councils around the world and offers a way forward to create consistent global standards for internal and external decorative coatings.
As a newcomer to the world of paints and coatings, I find myself asking what requirements automotive coatings must meet nowadays. The very first one, of course, is aesthetics – they should make the car look beautiful and desirable. But aesthetics alone do not make a good car paint.