Sustainability, no-one can do everything but everyone can do something, How sustainable is your business?

We all know the current state of the climate, & if you don’t know what I’m talking about then its time to come out from under that rock. The biggest global issue, climate change, is not going anywhere and its up to us to do something about it.

What is the average number of half-used paint cans in garden sheds?

We have been talking to Dulux. A global paint company & supplier we specify for many of our projects.  They asked us, ‘What is the average number of half used paint cans in a shed?’. This immediately caught our attention as something we can all relate to. 

How are Dulux becoming sustainable?

Dulux have annual targets to drasticaly improve & lead the way in sustainability for decorative paints.  Here are the ways in which Dulux are striving to improve sustainability within the industry.

Since 2012, Dulux have sent zero waste to landfill through schemes we will discuss in more detail throughout the blog. However, the primary product Dulux use to promote & encourage sustainability is a water based alternative to a solvent-based paint. The benefits of a water based paint include; less solvent VOC content (volatile organic compounds), lower embodied carbon, reduced impact on air quality & maintaining the same or improved finish as a solvent-based paint.

According to a recent survey, only 27% of the UK market use water based paints as an alternative to solvent-based, why is this?. This could be due to traditional painter behaviour in conjunction with a lack of education in specifying products. Dulux are working hard to ensure consumers have access to sustainable solutions and advice to make choosing sustainable paints an easy & commonplace task.  Dulux team advisors can assist on all products & keep updated information on each products environmental product declarations via their website.

Community Repaint Scheme

The ‘Community repaint’ scheme is a paint reuse network that collects leftover paint & redistributes it to benefit local communities & charities. In the UK alone, 50 million litres of paint is disposed of annually & over half is still usable paint. Instead of waste the reused paint has a positive effect in reenergising communities and bringing people together.

Can Recycling Scheme

The ‘Dulux decorator centre can recycling’ scheme offers a practical & sustainable solution to disposing of paint cans that have a small amount of residual paint. Packaging accounts for 10-20% of the total environmental footprint of a can of paint & most are still disposed of via general waste, resulting in landfill. Dulux are not the only decorating merchants to offer this type of scheme & they encourage consumers to use any of these recycling centres to strengthen the sustainable impact.

How can we become more sustainable?

As a design company we have a responsibility to promote sustainability & lead by example. That is why we at Fruition are doing our bit by gradually implementing small changes into daily tasks. 

Switch to Ecosia

Firstly, switching from major search engines to a lesser known search engine Ecosia. Ecosia is a certified search engine that takes the ad revenue they generate & gives at least 80% of their profits to organisations worldwide that plant trees. They demonstrate their transparency by publishing their financial reports & tree planting receipts each month. Ecosia is used in exactly the same way you use Google or Bing but instead, displays a tracker of how many trees your searches have planted (45 searches = 1 tree planted). With Ecosia being a FREE search engine, why wouldn’t you make the switch?

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Recycle Clause

After the CPD with Dulux it was agreed that we would include a ‘think about waste’ clause within our contractor documentation. We would also provide local recycling information combined with careful consideration when specifying paint products. Changes as small as these are vital to the overall cause to incite conversations with those who may not be aware of how their actions contribute to an unsustainable future.

Source Sustainably

Green procurement is another easy way to transform our carbon footprint within businesses. Sourcing products locally reduces shipping & storage costs which ultimately reduces emissions & energy use-age. However, many argue that products can be sourced cheaper elsewhere, so why would we buy locally?. This is not to say you should always source locally from sustainable suppliers but to make more of a conscious effort when sourcing products. Not only does this make your company greener but can increase the local economy & foster collaboration with local suppliers. At Fruition we reach out to local suppliers all year round to build a working relationship that prevents us from always purchasing online goods. 

Whilst these changes may seem small, it is important not to forget that it is about all of us doing our bit & together making a difference. Living close to the sea we are even more aware of the impact our actions have on our natural surroundings. We want to enable ourselves & others to enjoy our planet for future generations. 

Oh & if you’re still wondering the answer to the question. The average number of half full paint tins in household sheds is 17.

How can we help you?

Fruition offer good design for good people with a complete design service for business. Whether it is an interior, graphic or web design project you have in mind, contact one of our designers today to talk about your design needs on 01803 295959 or by email.

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