Eco-premium solutions

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

We are committed to continuously improve the sustainability of our operations and the entire value chains in which we operate. Downstream, we seek to offer solutions that allow our customers, or their customers, to reduce their footprint. For example, by reducing energy or water requirement, or waste generation. Upstream, we achieve improvements by working with our suppliers to reduce their eco-footprint, or to identify new and lower footprint process, formulation or application routes to meet our customers’ needs. Our businesses continue to use desktop tools to review the eco-footprint during R&D development processes. An additional tool being developed focuses on comparing the environmental and social impacts of renewable raw materials.

We have a ambition to increase the share of revenue 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, or standard, product in the market, which is a moving target.

Our businesses carry out an annual assessment of their portfolio. In 2010, total revenue relating to eco-premium solutions were more than €3.5 billion. The proportion of revenue from eco-premium solutions has increased to 25 percent (2009: 20 percent). This is divided between Specialty Chemicals (23 percent), Performance Coatings (22 percent) and Decorative Paints (29 percent). The 2010 analysis shows that revenue growth in eco-premium solutions is ahead of the total product portfolio. For more than 50 percent of these solutions, the eco-efficiency benefit is realized downstream by our customers or the end user of our products.

Eco-premium solutions in % of revenue

Eco-premium solutions in % of sales (bar chart)

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 significantly worse in any.

Decorative Paints’ Dulux Weathershield SunReflect lowers the temperature of external walls by up to 5° Celsius and reduces the need for air conditioning by reflecting up to 90 percent more infrared radiation than comparable exterior paints.

Our Pulp and Paper chemicals product Compozil Fx is a wet end management system for the largest and fastest paper machines. Top quality paper can be produced with higher productivity, better economy and reduced environmental impact.

Autoclear LV Exclusive is a high gloss clearcoat paint for car refinishing. Based on proprietary resin technology, it is not only highly resistant to scratches and easy to apply, but also features remarkable self-healing properties when exposed to gentle heat.

Additional examples are given in the case studies included in this report.

As an important element of portfolio analysis, we also use this analysis to identify products that may not be sustainable in the longer term due to competitive or regulatory pressures. This includes products which contain materials of concern where we have phase-out plans in place, for example some lead compounds and chromates.

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