Sustainability is the hot topic of the day and is widely regarded as the key future issue for our industry. The Brundtland report defined sustainable development as:
"Sustainable Development should meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs."
From a political perspective there appears to be a growing acceptance that sustainable development encompasses a balance between three components - social, ecological and economic development.
Sustainability is seen as an outcome of balancing these three drivers of sustainable development:
At PRA, we realise the opportunity for innovation in sustainable development. Having the right expertise, we are able to help you develop a strategy for sustainability, perform Life Cycle Analysis and formulate products with reduced environmental impact.
The coatings and chemical industries have invested heavily in research to develop sustainable products with reduced environmental impact. There has already been legislative pressure to reduce the use of organic solvents. In Europe, for example, the Solvent Emissions Directive (1999/13/EC) and the Paint Directive (2004/42/EC) have been enacted with the specific aim of lowering emissions of VOCs to the atmosphere. Although the development of waterborne coatings and high solids solventborne coatings has been a success, a number of raw materials that were used in the past, notably lead pigments and mercury-based biocides, are no longer acceptable because of health, safety and environmental concerns.
Raw materials substitution remains a challenging area where proactive communication is needed throughout the supply chain. PRA, the essential connector to the global surface coatings community, can help you through its Networking Events, Conferences, Environmental Information Services and Environmental Technical Services.