The use of paints and coatings helps to protect the items they are used on, such as wood, masonry, plastic, metal and many other surfaces, contributing to better durability of such materials, saving our natural resources. Likewise, printing inks help in the identification and packaging of food products, enabling them to be appropriately marked and labelled, protecting and extending the life of the contents. Decorative paints and wallcoverings also enhance our lifestyle.
The BCF has developed a Sustainable Development Policy, detailing members’ commitment to the principles of sustainability in terms of economic and social responsibility and economic viability. The policy forms part of Coatings Care, a worldwide umbrella programme aimed at continually improving the performance of the coatings industry in the fields of the environment, safety, health, distribution and product stewardship. See also our Frequently Asked Questions.
Since its inception in 1996, the Coatings Care Indicators of Performance have demonstrated significant improvements by the industry. Energy used per tonne of product by kWh has almost halved and the percentage of waste sent to landfill has reduced by 55%. The Indicators of Performance also monitor solvent usage and safety records and show a steady fall over the last ten years in solvents purchased per tonne of production and injuries per 100,000 man hours. The Sustainable Development Policy looks to build upon these successes by setting out clear standards for members to adopt.
The coatings industry continues to be very active, over the last few decades, developing new products and technologies to reduce the environmental impact of the production and use of their products, such as lower VOC-containing products, in paints and inks alike. There are now many examples of innovations designed to minimise energy consumption, VOC emissions, water consumption and transport, within the coatings industry. Other examples include an increasing use of renewable materials, advanced recycling and waste recovery techniques and the supply of products in returnable packaging. Printing ink producers have an established code of practice on the selection of their raw materials with attention being paid to any substances that have particular heath and/or environmental effects.
BCF Members may access communication relevant to the BCF Sustainability Policy Committee here. Log in will be required unless you are already logged in.