ICI Paints AkzoNobel is the UK decorative paints division of AkzoNobel, a Dutch chemical company that acquired ICI in January 2008. Before it was purchased, ICI had 15,000 staff and an annual turnover of £4.8bn.
In 2008, ICI Paints launched Ecosure, a range of decorative paints under the Dulux Trade brand that were specifically designed to balance performance with strong environmental credentials. Several technologies were applied in parallel: the use of low-carbon opacifying pigment, opacifying polymer spheres, high-performance polymer resin and dry hiding technology. As a result, Ecosure paints have virtually zero emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), compared with 110 grams per 5 litre tin for a comparable paint.
In addition, the level of CO2 emissions associated with Ecosure are much lower than comparable paints, and so is water consumption. Waste generated per litre of paint produced is also significantly lower.
Separately, ICI Paints developed a range of paints with enhanced reflectivity called Light & Space. Incorporating a branded technology called Lumitec, these paints have a light absorption value of 8%, compared with 16% for a conventional Dulux Trade paint. As a result, they make rooms feel lighter, brighter and more spacious.
This can bring significant environmental benefits, according to ICI Paints. Independent testing by the Buildings Research Establishment (BRE) established that up to 22% less lighting energy is needed in rooms using paints from the Light & Space range. As a result, lower lighting power levels can be installed or artificial lighting can be left off for longer. Alternatively, a wider range of colours can be used while still meeting current recommended standards and legal obligations for light reflectance value.
The Light & Space range has been available for over a year and has achieved £1m in sales.
These two technologies are available together in Ecosure Light & Space, a low-carbon, virtually zero-VOC paint with a high light reflectance value.
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Ecosure launch press release