Sustainability is no longer a «nice to have» but a necessity that every industry must now pursue. It has also become increasingly clear that it must be assessed multi-dimensionally.

It depends on the environmental impact of:

1.product composition – materials of which it is made

2.product production process – how it’s made

3.product application or use – how it is used

4.end-of-life management – how it is disposed of

Improvements over state of the art for a paint or coating are, for example:

1.high bio-based content, low VOC content, low health and pollution risk associated to the component materials and the product itself

2.low energy draw, low emissions, low waste, highly efficient, low variability (so that there is no «bad product» to be discarded) production process

3.low energy draw, low emissions, low waste, highly efficient, low variability application process on an equally sustainable substrate, such as wood

4.long useful life and well-managed collection and disposal process

LIFE-Biopaint targets decisively all the above environmental impact improvement vectors

1.the intended products will have high bio-based content, beginning from highly innovative binders based on safe new bio-based building blocks replacing oil-derived and noxious acrylic/methacrylic acid or styrene.

2.bio-based paint production will be achieved in a completely new production plant and process, characterized by closed circuit raw material inputs, extremely low energy use, highly efficient dispersion processes, no VOC emissions, innovative closed circuit batch-to-batch cleaning process, ensuring very high batch-to-batch consistency.

3.the intended products are UV-cured coatings with very low or zero VOC at application, highly efficient, room-temperature radiation curing, applied on sustainable wood substrate.

4.the coatings so obtained have very high mechanical and chemical resistance characteristics, thereby ensuring a long useful service life for the resulting wood components (furniture, parquet, doors, fixtures etc.), without impeding final disposal of said wood in a variety of recycling schemes.

POLICY IMPLICATIONS

• Environment Action Program to 2020, 1386/2013/EU

• Roadmap to a Resource Efficient Europe, COM (2011) 571

• EU Circular Economy, COM (2014) 398

• Energy Efficiency Directive, 2012/27/EU

• Paint Dir., 2004/42/EC, Ind. Emissions Dir., 2010/75/EU

• REACH, EC 1907/2006, Seveso III, 2012/18/EU

• EU Strategic Framework on Health and Safety at Work 2014-2020 [COM(2014) 332

•The implementation of these legal documents will be promoted through:

• The introduction of more environmentally friendly chemical processes

• Increasing energy efficiency of paint production

• Reducing GHG and eliminating VOC emissions for paint production

• Eliminating waste and decreasing petrochemical resource usage

• Substituting hazardous, regulated chemicals with safer and natural bio-chemicals, reducing the exposure of workers to a dangerous environment

• Establishing specific environmental impact and LCA evaluation methods