Making greener choices
The Environmental Impact Analyser explained
To measure the environmental impact of our products, Dulux has been working in partnership with Forum for the Future, the sustainable development charity, to develop the ' Impact Analyser' tool. As an independent organisation, Forum for the Future helps us to ensure we are using this tool to assess and communicate the appropriate environmental claims on our products.
This tool measures the environmental profile of a product from extraction of its raw materials through manufacture and right up to the point it leaves the factory. We have chosen to focus on 3 key environmental issues:
1. The amount of greenhouse gas emissions (carbon footprint) produced in making the product. This is expressed as carbon dioxide equivalents (CO2e)
2. The weight of waste generated during the total manufacture of the product
3. The volume of water consumed as a result of making the product
The Environmental Impact Analyser allows us to realistically compare the sustainability of different products, helps us to make real environmental improvements and helps our customers to make informed choices based on facts.
Forum for the Future, the sustainable development charity, works with the worlds leading businesses to help them become more sustainable. It has been collaborating with Dulux since 2008 to develop a range of increasingly sustainable products.
Forum for the Future has worked with Dulux to develop a mass market paint with lower environmental impact. This demonstrates Duluxs serious commitment to improving its products and we look forward to seeing it roll out more sustainable paints across its ranges
Peter Madden, CEO, Forum for the Future
Water-based vs solvent-based paints
One of the easiest environmentally-friendly choices you can make is to choose water-based paints rather than solvent-based paints. This will ensure you are minimising the solvent emissions from your decorating project, helping protect the quality of the air that you breathe, and reducing your carbon footprint.
Solvent-based paints were traditionally used on wood and metal. Typically, these types of paints provide a gloss finish but have long drying times and a strong odour. This smell is caused by the evaporation of the solvent or VOC as its often referred to, into the atmosphere.
Water-based paints have improved dramatically in recent years and now offer a high-performance alternative to traditional solvent-based paint. Water-based paints contain low levels of VOC, which means faster drying, less smell and much easier cleaning up! Brushes can be cleaned with soapy water rather than white spirit or solvent cleaners further reducing the impact on the environment.
Most Dulux products and finishes are now water-based and we are actively working to reduce our VOC (solvent) levels in our solvent-based products.
What exactly are VOCs?
VOC stands for 'Volatile Organic Compound'. Typically these are solvents that will evaporate into the air at room temperature and were traditionally used in paint to help the drying process. VOCs are released from many everyday sources including fuels, cleaning agents, aerosols and even cosmetics. VOCs contribute to poor air quality when they react with exhaust fumes and sunlight.
When choosing paint use the 'globe' symbols below to help select low level VOC products.