content-header-image

Frequently Asked Questions

On this page, we have collected frequently asked questions and answers related to Tikkurila Group’s sustainability approach.

SUSTAINABILITY AS PART OF TIKKURILA'S BUSINESS

Is responsibility and sustainable development important for Tikkurila?

Responsible business is a prerequisite of Tikkurila operations and sustainable development is integrated into Tikkurila strategy. Through high-quality products and services and our professional expertise, we protect the environment, enhance the sustainability of building stock and infrastructure, and make spaces more beautiful, thus having a positive impact on the living environment and people’s well-being. For decades, Tikkurila has persistently developed and promoted high-quality surface treatment solutions that are safe for both people and the environment. Throughout our operations, quality, durability and safety are our guiding principles.

We want to ensure that our operations comply with the norms and standards of international and national responsible business, and that we work with business partners who share similar values. 

Tikkurila’s Corporate Responsibility program “A Colorful Tomorrow” provides Tikkurila with a framework for responsible and sustainable development. We promote sustainable development and take environmental, financial and social aspects into account in our daily work as well as in our strategic business development and in strengthening our market position.

How is Tikkurila developing the responsibility and sustainability of its business operations? 

As part the company’s strategy work, we have defined concrete sustainability customer promises, which guide the company sustainability initiatives and support the business development from the sustainability point-of-view.

The sustainability promises are

  • We drive our portfolio towards maximized performance with minimum environmental impact.
  • We improve and protect air quality with our products and professional services.
  • We drive at better resource efficiency with quality, safety and durability on top of our minds. 
  • We are a responsible and active partner in our communities.
Who is responsible for sustainable development at Tikkurila?

The Group Management Team has the overall responsibility for the company's corporate responsibility performance within the framework agreed upon by the Board of Directors. The management of each country and function is responsible for the local and function-specific implementation, monitoring and reporting of sustainability issues based on the Group and local agenda.

In addition to the work carried out in Tikkurila’s operating countries and functions, the corporate responsibility manager is in charge of responsible business development on the group-level and reports to the Group Communications Director. The head of legal and Internal Audit supervises the compliance of operations and adherence to ethical standards with regards to, for example, human rights, bribery and corruption. 

Early 2018, a Group-level sustainable development team was established. The team will be responsible for supporting Tikkurila’s business, steering the development of new products and services that are safe for the environment and health, and promoting sales, marketing and communications. 
 

What are the environmental impacts of Tikkurila’s operations?

The main environmental effects of paint during its life cycle have been identified as raw materials and packaging materials production, energy used during the manufacturing of the product, emissions and wastes generated during the manufacture, as well as the distribution of raw materials, packaging materials and finished products, compounds evaporating (VOC emissions) from the paint during painting and drying, and the disposal of paint waste.

How is Tikkurila reducing the environmental impacts of its operations and products?

Tikkurila aims to continuously minimize the environmental impact of its operations and products, for instance, by developing products that extend the service life of the painted item and allow for longer maintenance painting intervals. Furthermore, we promote the use of water-borne products, and select the options which burden the environment less, whenever it is technically and financially possible. We also work to develop resource efficiency of our production processes by minimizing loss and increasing the reuse of waste.

In 2017, share of water-borne products in production was 75%. In 2017, 85% of decorative paints in sales were water-borne products. 

How does painting contribute to sustainable development?

Without protection, our cities and houses along our home streets would deteriorate, and without colors, our homes and environments would look bleak. Painting has a positive effect on our surroundings and its aesthetics. Paints make our living environment more beautiful and increase our well-being in a number of ways. Paints also protect surfaces from premature ageing, rotting, rust and corrosion. A longer service life reduces the load on the environment and creates savings in costs and natural resources, since structures do not have to be replaced so often. Surface treatment can also make surfaces more hygienic and easier to clean, increase water vapor permeability, and improve fire-retardation and water and chemical resistance.

GENERAL INFORMATION ABOUT PAINTS

Which eco-labels are granted to paints?

Paints are awarded with international eco-labels (the Nordic Swan Ecolabel, EU Ecolabel) and national allergy and asthma labels or M1 classification measuring compounds emitted into the air from building materials for interior use. Tikkurila Group has more than 300 eco-labeled products.

The eco-labels and classifications increase the knowledge regarding environmental and health impacts of paints and their product characteristics as well as indicate the proven safety characteristics. They help and guide consumers in their purchase decisions

What is M1 certification?

Building materials for interior use, such as paints, can be classified according to the compounds they emit into the air. In Finland, the Sisäilmayhdistys association for good indoor air has published a building material classification which divides products into three classes (M1, M2, M3). The classification has also aroused interest in the other Nordic countries and in the Baltic countries. 

The M1 class is for materials that emit extremely low levels of compounds into the room space, while materials belonging to the M3 class generate the highest amounts of emissions. Materials that have not been tested do not belong to any class. M1 certification is granted by the Finnish Building Information Foundation to products that have been examined by an accredited testing laboratory and have undergone an organoleptic assessment. Many of Tikkurila’s products are M1-certified.
 

RAW MATERIALS

What raw materials are included in paints?

Paint typically consists of binders, pigments and fillers, solvents or water, and the so-called additives. When developing new paint, the raw materials are chosen for the compatibility with the object to be painted. The mixing ratio varies depending on the type of paint.

The choice of raw materials plays an important role in the environmental impact, quality and safety of the products. The most significant impacts on the environment result from the production of raw materials, for instance titanium dioxide and fillers, and the release of solvents during the application of solvent-borne paints.

DEVELOPMENT AND MANUFACTURE OF PAINTS

Where are Tikkurila paints developed and produced?

Tikkurila's product development sites are located in Finland, Poland, Russia, Sweden, Estonia and Denmark. 

Tikkurila has 11 paint manufacturing units to produce various paints and coatings. The factories are located in Finland, Sweden, Russia, Estonia, Denmark, Kazakhstan and Germany. In addition, the Group purchases painting related merchandising from external cooperation partners that are sold further.

How many employees work in production?

Approximately half of Tikkurila’s personnel work in the supply chain (production, sourcing, logistics and HSEQ). At the end of 2017, Tikkurila Group employed 3,037 (2016: 3,033) people in 14 countries. 

How many employees work in research and development?

At the end of 2017, Research and Development employed 193 (191) people. 

Are Tikkurila operations certified?

Tikkurila's objective is to create independently audited and certified quality, environmental, and safety management systems for each of its production sites. Currently, 11 of our 12 production sites have a certified quality management system (ISO 9001), 10 have a certified environmental management system (ISO 14001) and 7 have a certified health and safety management system (OHSAS 18001). 

Tikkurila's operations and operational systems, and their compliance with the requirements, are assessed and monitored in various reviews and due diligence evaluations. In addition to external audits and certification organizations, the Group HSE function sets targets, audits the company's various sites, gives recommendations and follows up on the local development work with regards to health, safety and environmental issues.

Are Tikkurila’s products and raw materials tested on animals?

Tikkurila does not test its products on animals. 

The animal testing of chemicals is regulated in the EU REACH directive, which strives for better chemical safety whilst at the same time for avoiding unnecessary animal testing. To secure the user safety, the substances used for instance in paints are tested on animals on behalf of the manufacturer. Alternative testing methods are being developed. Animal testing of chemicals is the last resort. Chemical manufacturers carry out new tests only when they have exhausted all other relevant and available data sources. The European Chemical Agency (ECHA) gives guidance and grants the permissions for animal testing of chemicals.

ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION

What are the negative impacts of paint factories and how those are taken into consideration?

The main environmental effects of paint production are energy used during the manufacturing of the product, emissions and wastes generated during the manufacture, as well as the distribution of raw materials, packaging materials and finished products.

We aim to be more energy efficient and increase the use of renewable energy, reduce the VOC and CO2 emission of production as well as decrease the amount of waste and increase the share of recyclable waste. 

Tikkurila aims to reduce the environmental impact of logistics by choosing environmentally friendly logistics, centralizing transportation and improving transportation safety and efficiency. Moreover, we pay attention to optimizing cargoes and transportation routes, and to the loading of vehicles.

Where are the greenhouse emissions generated in paint production?

The most significant direct greenhouse emissions in paint production are generated by burning fuel for heating and internal transport as well as in the production of solvent-borne paints caused by inert cases and by burning the volatile organic compounds.
 

SUPPLIER MANAGEMENT

Where does Tikkurila purchase its raw materials and packaging materials?

The Tikkurila Group has approximately 500 local and international raw material and packaging material suppliers. More than 90% of the raw materials and packaging materials for Tikkurila's units in the EU are bought from the EU region. In Russia, more than 60% of all raw materials and packaging materials are bought from local suppliers.

How does Tikkurila ensure the responsibility of its suppliers? 

We only cooperate with suppliers that have been approved by our principles for supplier collaboration and make a group-level agreement with our most significant suppliers. By the end of 2017, 43 (2016: 39) % of raw material and packaging material purchases were covered with the Group agreement. 

Our principles, based on our values, Code of Conduct and Corporate Responsibility program, for supplier collaboration define our expectations with regards to quality, safety and the environment as well as to procurement matters from the selection and assessment of suppliers to the continuous improvement of the cooperation.

Tikkurila monitors and assesses the supplier collaboration on a regular basis through evaluation and auditing processes. During 2013–2017, Tikkurila has audited 35 suppliers. The audits and evaluations look into the suppliers’ order, delivery and production processes, quality control measures, environmental and safety protocol as well as the suppliers’ social responsibility and ethical business practices, such as their practices with regard to human rights, bribery and anti-corruption.

To enhance and follow-up sustainable chemicals management, the Tikkurila Supplier guidelines set principles for the supplier cooperation. According to these guidelines, Tikkurila expects its suppliers to work actively on removing raw materials that are hazardous to the environment or health and minimizing the environmental impact of their operations in the whole supply chain, including packaging and transports.