Sherwin-Williams launches Sustainability By Design

Sustainability By Design

Sherwin-Williams outlines its new Sustainability by Design™ concept for the development of coatings for the metal packaging industry.

Sustainability is a priority for Sherwin-Williams and its customers, investors and other stakeholders. Given the complexity and often regional nature of what constitutes sustainability, implementing sustainable measures can be a daunting task with no single solution.

To better address sustainability throughout a product’s development process, Sherwin-Williams has developed Sustainability by Design™, a comprehensive and dynamic approach for ensuring sustainability parameters are considered during the development of coatings. This programme builds upon the success and incorporates elements of the Sherwin-Williams Safety by Design concept, first launched in 2013. 

Environmental footprint, product blueprint and social imprint are the three areas of focus that make up the foundation of the Sherwin-Williams Corporate Sustainability Programme. The programme has been developed to ensure a global standardized approach to sustainability, but still allows business units to customise aspects of the programme for specific customers and markets.

As a critical component of the refreshed sustainability framework from Sherwin-Williams, Sustainability by Design is part of the product blueprint and incorporates sustainability attributes throughout the R&D process.

“Technology innovation and sustainability need to be linked together,” said Flavio Marchi, VP Global Marketing, Sherwin-Williams Packaging Coatings. “That’s why we will include sustainability elements in our technology development process, helping our customers achieve their sustainability goals and, therefore, helping the environment and communities we live in.”

Sherwin-Williams packaging coatings are among the first products that will use this new framework as part of the research and development process. Utilising a variety of best practices, including voice of the customer, life cycle assessment, competitive benchmarking and stage gate processes, Sustainability by Design™ takes a comprehensive and holistic approach towards sustainability.

With this framework, both technologies and materials can be assessed in terms of environmental, social and economic risks and opportunities.

“Although our Packaging division will be among the first of the Sherwin-Williams business units to formally adopt the programme, Sustainability by Design™ will begin to be integrated across the enterprise in 2021,” commented Dr. Robert Israel, VP of Global Sustainability and Advocacy.

One of the key aspects of Sustainability by Design™ is incorporating life cycle assessment and life cycle thinking throughout the product development process. By considering impacts and benefits across the entire product life cycle, Sherwin-Williams can avoid regrettable substitutions and ensure that sustainable advancements are not offset in other parts of the supply chain.

For example, a resource efficiency improvement from raw material selection is not an overall improvement if the environmental impact is disproportionately increased elsewhere in the value chain.

“Sustainability by Design formalises what we do every day, which is develop world-class products that are safe and provide sustainable benefits to our customers and our company,” says Dr. Israel. “This programme builds off our continuous improvement approach to product development, ensuring our products meet high-performance expectations and are safe and sustainable.”

With one of the largest and most comprehensive portfolios of sustainably advantaged products in the industry, Sherwin-Williams is committed to being a leader in sustainability.

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