Note 18: Raw materials efficiency

Material efficiency

We are maximizing our conversion of raw materials into final product by solving the root cause of the losses. This will not only reduce the waste, but will also, for example, decrease COD and the carbon related to our raw materials upstream.A variety of projects was initiated:

At Decorative Paints, a material efficiency program was started, focusing on a better conversion of raw materials into final product

  • Performance Coatings started a global material efficiency program for all businesses focusing on yield improvement in production. A wide variety of smaller projects has resulted in savings of more than €10 million and this will continue in 2016. Examples of this type of project are a powder fines recycling system for a continuously operating powder coatings production line, reducing the size of a pump, piping and a filter-housing used for filling and using compressed air to empty mills for liquid coatings
  • Specialty Chemicals started a program to identify opportunities on material efficiency. Seven sites were selected and held workshops, when opportunities were identified to increase the material efficiency, with a potential saving of more than €1 million

Raw material flow in kilotons

Environment – Raw material flow (graphic)Environment – Raw material flow (graphic)


Effective waste management helps to increase raw material efficiency in our manufacturing operations, while reducing both our environmental footprint and costs. We have moved our focus from managing/reducing total waste to eliminating waste by increasing material efficiency. We are still moving towards eliminating hazardous waste to landfill. The exception is asbestos waste – mainly from demolishing old equipment and buildings – where the preferred current safe disposal route is properly designed landfill facilities.

  • Total waste per ton of production generated and leaving our sites was up by 5 percent to 9.0 kg/ton. The total waste volume increased to 155 kilotons, an increase of 4 percent
  • Incidental activities at some sites led to a one-off waste increase of 6 kilotons
  • Hazardous waste per ton of production decreased by 1 percent to 3.3 kg/ton
  • Although waste went up, many projects are in place to reduce waste. One of these involves the conversion of one of our Rotterdam waste streams (a filter aid) into a product which can now be sold to the paper industry, where it can be used without modification

Total waste in kilotons

Environment – Total waste (bar chart)Environment – Total waste (bar chart)

Waste means any substance or object arising from our routine operations which we discard or intend to discard, or we are required to discard.

Total waste per Business Area








In kilotons







Decorative Paints







Performance Coatings







Specialty Chemicals







Hazardous waste in kilotons

Environment – Hazardous waste (bar chart)Environment – Hazardous waste (bar chart)

Hazardous waste is waste that is classified and regulated as such according to the national, state or local legislation in place.