Eco-premium solutions

Eco-premium solutions help to create value for our business and our customers. They provide top line growth opportunities because of improved performance in areas such as raw material use, manufacturing processes and product innovation.

Our target is to increase the share of turnover from eco-premium solutions to at least 30 percent in 2015. This is a challenging objective because the measurement will be taken against the mainstream product in the market, which is a moving target.

One particular area of focus during 2009 was on developing desktop tools to help R&D and marketing groups develop solutions for customers which have excellent functionality, and which will also be eco-premium.

Our Marine and Protective Coatings business’ Environmental Scorecard assesses products against nine parameters important to stakeholders in their markets. Decorative Paints also has an Environmental Impact Analyzer, developed in the UK with the NGO Forum for the Future, which is being extended ready for implementation across all regions.

Our businesses carry out an annual assessment of their portfolio. Total eco-premium sales are more than €2.5 billion. The proportion of eco-premium solutions has increased to 20 percent (2008:18 percent) against the interim milestone of 22 percent in 2009. This is divided between Specialty Chemicals (20 percent), Performance Coatings (18 percent) and Decorative Paints (22 percent). The 2009 analysis shows that sales growth in eco-premium solutions is ahead of the total product portfolio. For 60 percent of these solutions, the eco-efficiency benefit is realized by our customers as they use our products.

You can read about some of our eco-premium solutions in the Strategy sections and Business performance.

We also use this analysis to identify products that may not be sustainable in the longer term due to competitive or regulatory pressures. This is an important element of portfolio management, a topical example being the reduction of solvents in coatings products.

Eco-premium solutions1
in % of sales
Eco-premium solutions in % of sales (bar chart)
1 An eco-premium solution is measured using a quantitative analysis or a qualitative assessment focusing on six categories: toxicity, energy efficiency, use of natural resources/raw materials, emissions and waste, land use and risks (eg accidents). The eco-premium solution must be significantly better than currently available solutions in at least one criterion, and not signifi cantly worse in any.

Refer to reporting principles for details on comparability of data

Cradle to Cradle studies

During 2009, we signed an umbrella contract with German professor Michael Braungart and his EPEA organization which allows all our businesses to explore the opportunities of the Cradle to Cradle (C2C) concept. The challenge is to design and produce chemicals or coatings that can be readily recovered as raw materials once a product’s useful life has ended. Two businesses have identified opportunities which are being explored in detail. Five other “ideation” stage activities are in progress, during which businesses identify possible C2C product/market combinations.

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