Author:
Organization Name:
Ecolour
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Level of Shared Value:
Initiative/ Project Description:

Ecolour is an Australian based manufacturer of premium quality, non-toxic paint that is now distributed across the country. We take waste engine oil (collected in waste stations around the country) and turn it into paint. This waste oil would otherwise be used as a fuel and burnt (releasing masses of toxic fumes into the atmosphere), but Ecolour prevents this from happening. As a result, all our products are certifed carbon neutral.

Ecolour’s product range is highly innovative, we have managed to create a product that is non-toxic and provides a superior finish. Unlike some “natural paint” offerings, Ecolour products can be tinted to any colour from any colour chart. Because we are 100% toxin free (and don’t have that nasty paint smell) there is no need to vacate adjoining spaces during application. You can also reoccupy the room straight away without needing to let it air out. There is no additional cost associated with using Ecolour (pricing is the same as for the major brands) and it has been very popular for use in hospitals, schools, hotels and a range of other commercial and residential environments.

Social Results:

The Carbon Reduction Institute has calculated that 2.9 kg of CO2e are released per litre of oil used as a fuel. At current volumes of paint Ecolour sold that equates to approximately 3-4 ton CO2e per year. In addition to the environmental benefits, Ecolour is also generating much better health outcomes. Regular paints contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs), nasty toxins that cause a range of health issues from headaches to asthma to cancer (the World Health Organisation identifies painting as a high risk occupation because of repeated exposure to these toxins and the resulting high rate of lung and bladder cancer in painters). Even the “low VOC” ranges of the major brands contain around 7.5% VOC (and in the USA, paint can claim to be "zero-VOC" if it is less than 5% VOC). However all Ecolour products are 100% VOC free (and therefore don’t have that nasty paint smell), meaning they won't do any harm to painters or those occupying painted spaces. 

Business Results:

Ecolour is actively seeking to improve the air quality in living and working environments around the country. Highlighting these benefits to potential customers has been a key part of our expansion strategy. Ecolour is already having an impact, the use of our products recently helped Grocon (a major Australian property developer) to secure an important sustainability award in 2014: http://www.thefifthestate.com.au/archives/65394/.

The paints and surface coverings market in Australia is worth around AUD$3bil annually (US$100bil globally). Six years after launching, Ecolour is gaining significant traction in the domestic market (currently achieving a seven figure turnover). We have a factory in Byron Bay, a trade store in Melbourne, stockists in Queensland, and we deliver direct to site Australia wide. With significant plans for further expansion nationally and internationally over the coming years, Ecolour is well positioned to become a significant success story and demonstrate that manufacturing can have a future in Australia.