At DSM we’re a science leader – and Decovery® is one of a long history of innovations with sustainability at their core. For us, being sustainable means achieving three essential goals of safeguarding health, tacking climate change and reducing waste. We’re so passionate about the power of sustainability as a societal driver that we plan to (publicly) set ourselves goals in each of these three areas – and then report back on how we perform.
Our goal is to deliver the cleanest coating resin solutions with maximum performance and minimal impact on the planet. But we’re also committed to being honestly clean. Which means acknowledging that while our Decovery® paint resin is made primarily from plants, we are not yet at 100% and some toxins remain (although at very low levels). Without doubt, this is what we need to achieve; and as soon as scale allows us, we intend to continue our journey towards a 100% plant-based resins
How do we define sustainability?
Creating safer ingredients by finding ways to remove potentially harmful substances (like solvents) from our products.
Tackling climate change
Reducing the amount of carbon dioxide used in creating our products and tracking the environmental impact across a product’s entire lifecycle.
Using renewable materials (like plants) in our products.
Carbon footprint: Measuring the impact of Decovery®
The EU view
"A Biobased economy uses renewable biological resources from land and sea – such as crops, forests, fish, animals and micro-organisms – to produce food, materials and energy."
“The European authorities want the industry to be 30% biobased by 2030. It’s our ambition to contribute to this, which we underline with our Decovery® resin.”
Sjaak Griffoen, Sustainability & Innovation Director at DSM
Reducing solvents in paint
Product stewardship is a major part of our sustainability agenda – which in the case of paint resin means reducing the use of toxic materials like solvents in our finished products – and thus enabling the industry to create healthy homes for people everywhere. To achieve it we’re looking beyond simply complying with the regulations and instead striving to reduce the risk of human exposure to chemicals all along the supply chain – from the painters who apply the product to consumers at work or home.
Already there’s a zero-VOC paint on the market for walls and ceilings made with Decovery® (called Sigma Air Pure). For other indoor-architectural applications Decovery® enables a low-VOC product with a minimal amount of the most common solvent found in acrylic paint - Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs). And in the spirit of being ‘honestly clean’, our team continues to work hard in lowering VOC content even further.
Our dream? To introduce 100% plant-based resin in the near future and thus lead the transformation towards a world of more sustainable paints & coatings.
Markets & Products
Building & Construction
Decovery® is a unique, eco-friendly family of plant-based paint resins for Decorative and Architectural markets including walls, ceilings, flooring and joinery.
Decovery® is a unique, eco-friendly family of plant-based paint resins for furniture, kids’ furniture and kitchen cabinets.
Frequently asked questions
Non-renewable fossil feedstocks, like crude oil are not only becoming scarcer but they also contribute to climate change. By using plant-based materials that perform as well as (if not better than) fossil-based equivalents we unlock environmental benefits that reduce our overall ecological footprint. In markets like paint, for example, we see customers increasingly making this a key part of their decision criteria.
The environmental impact is measured through a Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) - also known as life-cycle analysis, eco-balance, or cradle-to-grave analysis.
The LCA is a technique for assessing environmental impacts associated with all the stages of a product's life, from raw material extraction through materials processing, manufacture, distribution, use, repair and maintenance, and ending with disposal or recycling. Increasingly we use this process to guide us in the way we design products. For example it helps us determine how much energy goes into and out of a product over its life and the subsequent effect on environment – which ultimately helps us make better-informed decisions. The bigger the market for plant-based paint becomes, and the largerr the scale of our production, the greater the benefits will be.
The environmental footprint of Decovery® is already significantly better than solvent-borne resins, and slightly better than traditional acrylic polymers. In future we intend to reduce its footprint further by increasing the volume of plant-based content and our use of biomass waste materials.