The Danish Coatings and Adhesives Association encompasses 32 companies. At a very early stage, the Danish Coatings and Adhesives Association together with the industry acknowledged its responsibility for reducing unwanted and harmful substances.
Today, the industry has become a leader in the field through product development and a pro-active approach.
Paints, adhesives, varnishes and sealants are, by nature, sustainable products, as they prolong the service life of bridges, metal and wooden construction materials, car, furniture etc. However, a prolonged lifetime is not enough. Any negative health and environmental effects of the products should be avoided.
The development towards safer and more environmentally friendly solutions began in the 1970s when the direct link between the use of turpentine-based paints and central nervous system depression was discovered. As a result, the industry established an environmental committee with the purpose of improving the health and safety of employees in the industry. In addition, the industry collaborated with other relevant trade associations and authorities to develop a labelling scheme for hazards and risks associated with the use of paint products (the MAL code). This system became an important driver for the development of water-based products and was supplemented by occupational health and safety instructions, requirements for use of the least harmful products in connection with professional painting work, citizen campaigns, etc.
In recent years, the development has primarily been driven by EU measures such as the EU's regulation on chemicals (REACH) and further reductions in the use of organic solvents. The Danish paint industry was actively involved in this process, and Danish manufacturers were among the first in Europe to adopt REACH and enter into a dialogue with the EU Commission about the issues.
Today, Danish manufacturers are at the forefront of the development of environmentally friendly products for both the professional and private markets. Examples are adhesives for the food industry based entirely on natural raw materials, fouling protection systems guaranteeing energy savings and environmentally certified paints as well as water-based paints.
The industry's products can be found almost everywhere, which makes it essential to ensure that innovation focuses on the environment and health and safety from a life-cycle point of view.
The industry has identified some challenges and opportunities for future exploitation:
-Higher resource efficiency for use of raw materials, of energy and of materials for product packaging.
-Increased use of bio-renewable raw materials;
-Products with increased functionality which contribute to energy (carbon) savings or the removal of air-pollutants or bacteria.
-Products with higher life expectancy.
These solutions will be evaluated on the basis of Life Cycle improvements.