In paint production, the most important areas related to environmental impact are water and energy consumption, waste and emissions of compounds generated during manufacturing.
At each of Tikkurila's factories, energy is needed for mixing, grinding and moving products, as well as for heating and the use of tools in general. Waste, in turn, is generated, for example, from discarded substances, products that have reached their due date and packaging.
In order to promote the responsible development of production, determined and goal-oriented work is being carried out within the framework of the responsibility program “A Colourful Tomorrow”. The program aims to reduce energy consumption and waste. For example, we are constantly studying how the use of washing water in factory equipment could be optimised and how the by-products of production could be better utilised.
Our goal is to reduce the amount of wastewater relative to production by ten per cent and the amount of waste relative to production by eight per cent this year. Each factory has their own performance targets, which we monitor and report quarterly.
The most environmentally friendly production, i.e. eco-efficient production, is also affected by the maximum utilisation of raw materials, which means water in paint production. Water is Tikkurila's most important single raw material for paints, and water-borne products currently account for about 80 per cent of total production.
In addition to environmentally efficient production, we also want to make more and more sustainable products in the future, which means, among other things, further increasing the production of water-borne paints. Our goal* is that by 2030, 99% of our decorative paints sold in Europe will be water-borne.
Water use is divided into both production and end products – this is how water travels from the factory to the paint can
The management of water resources is of great importance worldwide, which is why its use is carefully considered in all our plants on a country-by-country basis. Tikkurila's first production plants are located in Finland, where water is generally the most used natural resource in terms of volume and is abundant in relation to the population and its use. Water used by industry has been reported to account for about half of the country's water consumption.
At the factories, most of the water used comes from local water distribution networks. To run production, water is needed in factories for both cooling systems and equipment cleaning. About half of the water used goes directly into the final product. The water circulation in our factories is a key process used for refrigeration and cleaning of production equipment, among other things. The treatment water of production equipment is recycled industrially for reuse in cases where it will certainly not adversely affect the quality of the final product.
In this way, part of the washing water of the equipment can be utilised and reused for the production of paints. Untreated wastewater is never released into the environment but is treated either at Tikkurila's own water treatment plant, used in Poland, or by an external party. For example, at the Vantaa factory, water is treated and solids are removed before being transferred to a waste handler.
The water used for paints must be of good quality. The wash water is recycled industrially so that its composition is known, and it is ensured that it is clean enough to be reused and does not adversely affect the properties of the paint.
Water also makes it possible to reduce emissions
In the production of solvent-borne paints, some volatile organic compounds, i.e. VOC emissions, are released into the air from raw materials. At Tikkurila, these emissions have been significantly reduced by investing specifically in the manufacture of water-borne products instead of solvent-borne products.
Sustainability in product development, raw materials, production and through them in end products steers everything we do. For our customers, it means a smart choice – durable and beautiful surfaces made responsibly.
*goal for commercial and construction paints in Tikkurila's SBU West business area (Finland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Poland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania).