‘Green’ paint to reduce emissions of the final product

ICA Group’s colors, formulated with waste materials that are not competitive with food, are in line with the latest green policies, which are able to reduce emissions of volatile organic compounds and CO2.

The sustainability of a product also depends on the choice of paint used for its coloring. ICA Group, a leading company in the production of innovative and eco-sustainable paints for wood and glass, has for 50 years conducted research aimed at innovation to achieve colors formulated with renewable materials. Thanks to the certifications and sustainability reflected in the chemical-physical performance, these paints for furniture contribute to LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) credits and have achieved Environmental Claim Validation (ECV) by UL, a world leader in product certification, able to guarantee fast access to the global market thanks to its reputation and proven global applications.

ICA Group has called them ‘BIO paint’. They are formulated with raw materials from recycled materials and with production phases with a lower environmental impact, compared to traditional paints for wood and glass. A water-based formulation that makes the production cycle virtuous, a crucial and characteristic factor in the chemical sector where oil derivatives are usually masters: by avoiding the use of oil, carbon dioxide emissions are reduced and improved. consumer. Contrary to many people’s beliefs, the choice of organic raw materials not only respects the environment, but guarantees performance that is able to establish new quality standards for the industry thanks to hardness, chemical resistance, light resistance, industrial workability, faster drying and greater anti yellowing ability. “As a chemical company, we propose ourselves to the world of furniture and design – he declares Emanuele Gelosa, Marketing & Sales Director ICA Group – with a product that can make the difference and have a strong impact on the final product, which is then proposed to the consumer. As a chemical product, we must ensure that it is used in the healthiest way, also with respect for the worker in the production and use phase; we believe that what is used must come from a supply chain that is as sustainable as possible. We have a research and development office inside the company, which since the 1980s has been working and thinking about the topic of water-based paints, which is able to lower the content of volatile compounds. When you ‘smell’ a piece of furniture and have the feeling of smelling ‘new’, it is in fact solvents that evaporate, which is certainly not an optimal choice, especially when the paints in question have been used to make furniture. for children, or for the kitchen environment. The focal point of our choice – he continues – lies in the containment of VOC emissions, components that represent the biggest cause of indoor pollution and that depend on the solvents of the paint used. Over the past six years, we have increasingly explored the possibility of using non-fossil paints not derived from petroleum. “The results of this research, conducted internally, led to the collection of Bio Coatings, with components, “We have established strict guidelines and certified our products and offer our partners organic paints that have the same performance as traditional paints”.

In its continuous collaboration with architects, designers and furniture manufacturers, ICA Group emphasizes the importance of the strategic choice of a paint that plays a far more important role in the entire production cycle than is perceived. “Using a ‘bio’ component – explains Gelosa – reduces CO2 emissions in the production chain, and this can be quantified in a clear and transparent way through a simulator that we have made available to everyone on our website. It is a calculator: If I paint a door, a chair or a kitchen wall element, it is calculated by inserting simple data how much you save in terms of emission compared to a regular paint. This is tangible and useful data. Many consumers still do not understand which “a crucial role a paint can play and how important a choice can be. From a strategic point of view, a company that chooses organic paints can achieve LEED points and promote its product in a sustainable way, thus lowering the product’s CO2 footprint”. A complex message to communicate and to be perceived, which is why the company has long ago initiated a strategic collaboration with reference actors in the design world with a view to a communication aimed at the supply chain. “Downstream, we work with manufacturers and painters, but upstream, our interlocutors are architects, contractors, designers, art directors, who often do not take paint into account when making a project or product concept, thinking that the reference number only takes the manufacturer. “Instead, from the very first stages of the concept, the real difference can be made, also from a sustainability point of view”. Since last year, ICA Group, in order to work on this awareness-raising problem, has entered into a close and fruitful collaboration with One Works, an international design and consulting company based in Milan, which operates with an approach where transport infrastructure technology, urban planning and commercial real estate integrated with the architecture. On the occasion of Fuorisalone 2021, Lifelab Discovery, the permanent showroom for ICA Group, was inaugurated at headquarters via Sciesa of One Work. Giulio De Carli, Founder and Managing Partner of One Works, has joined our Board of Directors – comments Gelosa – along with Eleonora Rizzutto, Chief Ethics & Compliance Officer, Director Corporate Sustainability & Responsibility of Bulgari and Sustainable Development Director for LVMH Italy; company in the chemical sector, we have decided to open our board of directors to two actors outside the sector, but it is crucial and very helpful to be able to convey our message so that it then penetrates their respective sectors of origin “.

When one thinks of organic and organic products, the final consumer’s first thought often goes to the price, and the choice often falls on more competitive products in this sense. But if you think about organic paints, Gelosa explains, “they have a final price that varies between 8 and 15% more than a traditional product. If we analyze this difference from the point of view of the final consumer, the increase does not significantly affect the price of a design product or a furniture system. Let’s take an example: if I buy a kitchen, the paint used corresponds to about 1% of all the components needed to make it. The cost difference is therefore practically irrelevant “. On the other hand, if we analyze this price increase from the point of view of the company’s customer, the manufacturer can use the virtuous choice of organic paints as a tool and argument to his advantage: it becomes a valuable marketing tool, from communicating in the best way to sell.

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