Doing more with less

Manufacturing, by its very nature, can result in the loss of some raw materials during the various processes involved. Paints and coatings are no exception, with materials being generated that can’t be sold as products to customers. This includes off-spec batches, quality control samples, powder fines and outdated stocks, as well as damaged goods that are returned to us.

In the past, these were often disposed of as waste, for example by incineration or landfill. But as part of our continuing efforts to radically reduce our waste streams, we’ve now found customers for these previously obsolete materials.

Representatives from our various paints and coatings businesses joined forces with specialists from supply chain, legal and our corporate departments to form a dedicated task force. Together, they developed contracts which made it possible for the company to sell what used to be regarded as waste for further use as low tier paints. This included making all the required documents available, such as safety data sheets and product codes.

Customers now use what we sell them as raw materials in their own processes and market products under their own brand names. Typical low tier products are water-borne and solvent-borne paints, as well as powder coatings. Audits are also carried out to ensure that our products are being legitimately applied for further use.

In 2013, 11,000 tons of paints and coatings were sold as a result of this initiative, saving AkzoNobel an estimated €4.5 million.