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Why paint customers need our support to live sustainably

From package delivery drones to electric cars that are unlocked with fingerprint apps, the pace of ‘innovation’ defines modern life and is the key to a While most people will agree that our world needs to be more sustainable (what is the alternative anyway?), making it happen seems much more problematic. All too often, it’s difficult to translate good intentions into positive actions, strong ideals into tangible steps. The real challenge is that, in many cases, building a better world involves hard work and making sacrifices today for a better future tomorrow. We want to save the coral reefs, but are we willing to fly less? Are we going to choose sustainably grown tomatoes if they’re more expensive? And how do we feel about ecotaxes when they weigh on our wallet?  

In the paints and coatings industry, in which I’m involved, ‘sustainability’ is - broadly and increasingly – demanded by our end customers. As you can see from the chart below, environmental friendliness can enable significant competitive differentiation in the paint market. But again, are our progressive end users ready and willing to compromise on price? Would you, for example, choose a sustainable coating product if it is 20% more expensive and will squeeze your profit margins?

Making the right choices easier
I’m proud that at my company, DSM Resins & Functional Materials, we not only fully understand that sustainable resin products really are the future, but that these sustainable solutions need to be practical, functional and high-performance. By thinking along with our customers, and our customers’ customers, we work hard to make it easy for people to make the right coating choices in the right way.

In our decorative paint resin segment, in particular, we know that only by delivering attractive products – products that perform on all levels – can we really drive the adoption of sustainable living practices. Take the example of our recently launched Decovery®SP-2022 XP resin for self-matting floor coatings. We designed this resin not only to contain over 30% bio-based content (making it better for our world), but also to enable the lowest gloss lacquer available with outstanding performance, as well as time savings in operations and higher durability (making it better for our customers). 

Keeping it real, keeping it sustainable
Our commitment to helping customers make the right choices extends beyond our product designs, though. Our lifecycle analyses and our carbon emission estimates, in particular, personalize and individualize the real meaning of sustainability. For consumers to fully understand the impact of their behaviors, and the positive difference they can make with their purchasing choices, we need to make them see the wider picture and how small changes can lead to big results.

Did you know, for example, that if every wall paint of our addressable market would use our Decovery®SP-8405/6, we’d collectively save 84kt of COa year – the equivalent of growing 1.4 million trees for 10 years?[1] In this way, the real impact of consumer choices is made explicit and tangible. I encourage other businesses to also put themselves in their customers’ shoes – shaping a better future depends on it. 


We’re always thinking along with our customers on sustainability. Want to find out more? Read our blog on why sustainability is good for the planet and great for paint sales.

Would you like to discuss how our products at DSM Resins & Functional Materials combine both sustainability and performance? Feel free to reach out to me! Send me an email.

Ger-Jan van Laar, Marketing Manager Decorative

[1]Reviewed by CE (Delft, NL) according to ISO 14040/14044 methodology and WBSCD chemical sector guideline

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