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In close cooperation with the furnishings company Ahrend, the coating manufacturer PPG has developed a new powder coating that is not damaging to the environment. Wet paints for office furniture had already been replaced by powder coatings, and with the latest generation of powder coatings the so-called 'red substances' have now been replaced with particles that are not harmful to either people or the environment. "It's revolutionary," says Gerard Huiskes, Manager of Innovation at Ahrend.
Ahrend's chairs, tables and cupboards are all powder coated. "It looks great, it protects the furniture and it is extremely easy to clean," says Huiskes.
However, within the framework of its far-reaching C2C policy, Ahrend wanted to move further ahead in making these paints more sustainable. "We saw opportunities for further improvements," says Huiskes, "one of which was to optimise the composition of the powder coatings, and we identified a variety of harmful components to be eliminated from the existing formula."
Quality and safety
The so-called 'red substances' have now been replaced, making the paint safe for both people and the environment. PPG has altered the formula and ensured that the new powder can be processed on an industrial level. Moreover, the paint continues to satisfy all other quality requirements, including scratch resistance, radiance and colour fastness.
Ahrend is fully committed to achieve close-loop manufacturing by 2020. Huiskes explains: "This revolutionary powder coating marks the next step in fully recycling all our materials, safely and continuously".
PPG and Ahrend will present the new paint at the Cradle to Cradle Café, to be held on 8 March 2012 in the Koninklijke Ahrend flagship store.
Cradle to Cradle (C2C)
Ahrend is famous for its Cradle to Cradle philosophy, which covers production techniques in which no waste products are dumped or incinerated. Materials and products must either be biodegradable or serve as nourishment, get a second life or serve as a raw material (in the 'technosphere') for a new product.
The C2C Café
The Cradle to Cradle Café was launched in 2009 through the mutual efforts of the companies Koninklijke Ahrend, Desso, Interwand and Koninklijke Mosa. These companies develop and manufacture their products following C2C principles, and they joined forces to further disseminate the Cradle to Cradle philosophy. One of the venues used to advance the C2C principles is the Cradle to Cradle Café, a series of short seminars featuring a variety of speakers on a wide range of current Cradle to Cradle topics.
Koninklijke Ahrend NV creates inspiring and stimulating working, learning and living environments in which people are the central focus. Ahrend has more than 100 years experience as a provider of ergonomic functional design products and specialises in sustainable smarter working. Ahrend is a market leader in the Benelux and (through its subsidiary, Techo) in Central and Eastern Europe. Ahrend also has a strong presence in the United Kingdom, Germany, Spain, Russia, the United Arab Emirates. Working through partnerships, Ahrend supplies, installs and maintains furniture around the world.
PPG Industries is a market leader in the field of industrial paints, and one of the many applications for these paints is in the furniture industry. PPG aims to become the world's leading coatings and speciality products and services company, serving customers in construction, consumer products and industrial and transportation markets. PPG has manufacturing facilities and equity affiliates in more than 60 countries around the globe. The company focuses on aviation, construction, the automotive industry and shipping, amongst others. It is headquartered in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in the US.