Whether it’s Uber ratings, Google reviews, or independent advocacy groups, it’s clear that we are – more than ever – living in the age of consumer power. An age where the end user ultimately defines the “success” of a product or service, where reputation can deliver a competitive commercial advantage, and where public approval can turbocharge sales. In short, consumers are increasingly informed, engaged, and keen on making the right choices for the right reasons.
Take my industry, the paint and coatings market, for example. Over the past decade, I’ve witnessed a strong and growing bottom-up demand for both transparency and sustainable solutions. It’s no longer enough for companies to say their products are healthy and sustainable, they must be able to show independent proof. Today’s consumers want to know – for sure, without a doubt – that what they are buying is not going to harm them, their family, or the world around them.
Eco-labeling: Sustainability that sells
It’s no wonder that eco-labeling is becoming an increasingly important tool in driving competitive differentiation in the coatings industry. And don’t just take my word for it: as you can see in the graph below, developed by Painter Insight Monitor 2019, a large proportion of consumers in key markets pay attention to eco-labels when buying paint. In the years to come, I can only see this proportion growing further.
Source: Painter Insight Monitor 2019
I’m proud to work for a company that has – for over 50 years – been working at the frontline of sustainable paint coatings development. Our strategy recognizes that sustainability is not only good for the planet, but essential for our long-term business success. As such, over the past five decades, eco-labeling requirements have been an integral part of our R&D vision, and will doubtless continue to be so.
Specifically, working closely with various eco-labeling authorities around the world – whether it’s Eco-Label across Europe, Nordic Swan in Scandinavia, Afnor in France, or AgBB and Blue Angel in Germany, and many others beyond – is a key part of our strategy. In this way, we can stay ahead of changing labeling parameters, advocate for higher sustainability demands, and ensure that our resin products meet and exceed all eco-labeling requirements.
Designed for a brighter future
At DSM Resins & Functional Materials, all our products are designed to meet the highest standards for health, safety and sustainability – and carry with them the environmental seal of approval from independent authorities. In this way, our customers can be fully confident that the eco-labeling certification that end consumers demand and respect is applicable.
Indeed, we believe that product stewardship is key to being a responsible company. That’s why we recently announced we will phase out NMP from our product portfolio ahead of schedule with all relevant market legislations, and why we decided to implement changes in our biocide packages without reducing bio-protection. Not only has this allowed us to align with eco-labeling requirements, but it has ensured us our customers are fully futureproofed.
Moving forward, I expect to see this strong product stewardship approach make a positive difference – both to our customers and the world around us. With consumers everywhere increasingly concerned about the environmental impact of the products they choose, and of the potential health impact attached to paint products, I believe eco-labels will soon be more than “nice to have” – they will be the only way.
Want to know more about sustainable paint technology? Read our blog on why customers need our support to live sustainably.
Would you like to discuss how DSM Resins & Functional Materials can support paint manufacturers to meet eco-labeling requirements? Feel free to reach out to me! Send me an email.
Gerjan van Laar, Marketing Manager Decorative