Manufacturers’ Imperative to Combat Climate Change
Reducing emissions, developing sustainable solutions, and leveraging renewable energy are among the steps that manufacturers can take to change the trajectory of climate change.
Science-Based Emissions Reduction Targets
Business leaders must take immediate action to slow the trajectory of climate change. Committing to science-based emissions reduction targets is a pivotal step in this journey. Such targets ensure that companies align their actions with established climate science data to define and transparently report against their decarbonization strategy.
By integrating these targets into their business strategies, companies can encourage the development and use of low-carbon technologies and foster accountability across the value chain. These types of public commitments send a clear message that companies are determined to take clear, measurable action.
Developing Sustainable Solutions
By improving the durability of assets, the coatings industry plays an important role in extending product lifecycles, while preserving resources for generations to come. Coatings manufacturers must leverage this as a strategic advantage and prioritize the continued development of industry-leading sustainable solutions to meet the needs of customers in the building industry.
By improving the durability of assets, the coatings industry plays an important role in extending product lifecycles, while preserving resources for generations to come. First and foremost, it’s important for manufacturers to leverage recycled content, biogenic or chemical recycled content. By placing emphasis on circularity and reusing and recycling, we can significantly reduce environmental impacts, and offer sustainably advantaged solutions to customers, ultimately supporting their sustainability efforts.
Secondly, building developers are often required to meet green building standards — and paints and coatings can play a vital part in supporting this goal. Coatings are used extensively in the building and construction market for protective and decorative purposes on the building itself and as part of components or machinery installed in the building.
It is pivotal to take a multi-faceted approach to sustainability and product stewardship. At PPG, we developed a comprehensive and multi-variable methodology, which was informed by the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) and further tailored to meet our specific value chain demands. The assessment methodology includes the introduction of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UNSDGs) and industry best practices, to designate which of our product lines are sustainably advantaged.
Equally as important, building material manufacturers must leverage data to produce declarations that support the requirements of green building schemes. These include the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) certification, and the WELL BUILDING STANDARD® certification.
Building material manufacturers must leverage data to produce declarations that support the requirements of green building schemes. In addition, life cycle assessments enable the development of environmental product declarations (EPDs), which declare the environmental impact of the product over its life cycle. To support LEED material reporting, it is important for manufacturers to generate health product declarations (HPDs), which outline the substances present and indicate the results of screening these substances against the HPD priority hazard lists and the GREENSCREEN FOR SAFER CHEMICALS® designation.
As well as supporting the requirements of green construction schemes, assessments and certifications enable users to make informed choices on the products they choose in relation to the chemicals used, the impact on indoor air quality, and the broader environmental impact.
Leveraging Renewable Energy to Reduce Carbon Emissions
Beyond product offerings for customers, it is essential to leverage a strong renewable energy strategy to accelerate the reduction of carbon emissions within your own operations. Companies should seize the opportunity to lower their carbon footprint and reap long-term benefits. By investing in renewable energy solutions, implementing energy efficient projects, and engaging the right partners, we can enhance operational excellence and reduce emissions across the value chain. Taking advantage of clean energy offerings is a powerful way for business leaders to reshape the trajectory of climate change.
Every touchpoint along the value chain has a responsibility to support a more sustainable future. Climate change poses systemic risks that affect communities, ecosystems, and economies on a global scale. The global paints and coatings industry should continually seek to use resources more efficiently and develop value-added sustainable solutions to support customers’ sustainability objectives. The coatings industry is critical in contributing to building a better future for customers, suppliers, and communities.
Companies must prioritize sustainability as a driver of their overarching corporate strategy and engage their workforce to support the journey. To address these challenges, companies must prioritize sustainability as a driver of their overarching corporate strategy and engage their workforce to support the journey. Beyond involving employees as allies, business leaders should collaborate with local communities and governments to support climate resilience efforts. This can involve investing in research and development for sustainable solutions, funding infrastructure improvements, supporting educational programming that helps grow the next-generation workforce, and advocating for policies that prioritize climate action. By assuming a proactive role, companies can make a meaningful, measurable impact.
The urgency of addressing climate change cannot be overstated. Business leaders must do more to change the trajectory of climate change by committing to science-based emissions reduction targets, investing in clean energy solutions, implementing energy-efficient projects, and mitigating the broader impacts of climate change. By heeding these calls to action, companies can become agents of change and pave the way toward a sustainable and prosperous future for all. Together, we can rise to the challenge and reshape the course of our planet’s destiny.
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