CoatingsPro Magazine

NOV 2017

CoatingsPro offers an in-depth look at coatings based on case studies, successful business operation, new products, industry news, and the safe and profitable use of coatings and equipment.

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18 NOVEMBER 2017 COATINGSPROMAG.COM S ustainability requires a balance between environ- mental, social, and economic concerns to meet today's needs head on without affecting future generations' abilities to meet their own needs. But sustainability shouldn't be viewed as just another part of your work in the coatings industry. To see the most benefits, you should make sustainability the guiding principle of your company's ethos. Read on to discover how you can incorporate sustainable practices into your coating application company for better business and a cleaner future. Why Sustainability Is Important Sustainability impacts all aspects of the environment, society, and the economy, and these areas see significant advan- tages when a company becomes more sustainable. By reducing emissions or using renewable energy sources, working with less hazardous products, and assuring proper disposal of waste, sustainable coating application companies help improve air and water quality and keep ecosystems intact. is also benefits the health and well-being of the local community, as well as those who work around the finished product. W hat's more, sustainability brings the creation of greener jobs, which boosts employ- ment rates and economic growth. As a coating applicator, you can also enjoy financial incentives from developing sustainable practices and reducing waste. It is also worth noting that many companies now have corpo- rate environmental goals to align with the general expectations and desires of their customers. By providing public access to your sustainable measures and offering environmentally respon- sible products, you can delight your target market, increase your compet- itiveness, and potentially generate new business. How to Increase Sustainability If your company is looking for ways to ramp up its sustainable practices, there are a variety of areas related to the application and use of coating products that provide great starting points. Reassess Waste: Using tools to make precise calculations for the amount of paint a given project will require prevents leftover coating from being produced and wasted. Your appli- cation methods can also help reduce waste by increasing the amount of the paint that actually makes it onto the surface. is requires staff training on improved coating practices, includ- ing the optimal spray gun setup and calibration, the proper overlap of spray pattern, and spray gun movement. Reducing waste is very helpful, but the remaining product must be disposed of responsibly after application is complete. Fortunately, collection and recycling of unused paint has increased in recent years, with total production waste reduced by 48 percent between 1995 and 2013. In that same time period, the amount of waste recycled increased by 81 percent. is keeps hazardous materials where they belong and not in the environment, where they can lead to health risks. You should make sure your organization is disposing of waste in an ecologically responsible and legal way, and encourage your clients and colleagues to do the same. Reduce or Eliminate HAPs and VOCs: Hazardous air pollutants (HAPs) and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are found in many coating and solvent products, and they can affect the people who are exposed to them. is exposure may occur to your employees as they mix or apply the coating, as well as to those who come into contact with the finished product. e application of coatings with these types of compounds releases dangerous toxins into the air. eir effects can spread over a large area and affect many more people if allowed to contaminate groundwa- ter. HAPs and VOCs can cause health issues ranging from relatively minor symptoms, such as eye irritation and headaches, to serious health threats, such as kidney damage, nervous system damage, or even cancer. Coatings with few to no VOCs and HAPs can be healthier for people and our environment as a whole, and improving your practices to reduce overspray may minimize air pollution. W hen using coatings that do contain VOCs and HAPs, opt for those that require less frequent recoating, such as solvent-borne options. Using less harmful coatings more carefully, you may face fewer federal regulatory burdens, such as National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP), making this practice a win-win scenario — the very essence of sustainability. Boost Energy Efficiency: Sourcing products that were produced using minimal energy is an effective way to reduce your environmental footprint. e energy used by coating manufac- turing facilities can be reduced with more efficient lighting, climate control, Notes From the Field Notes From the Field By Merrick Alpert, President of EonCoat The Coating Applicator's Guide to Sustainability

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