Royal Talens attaches great importance to sustainable business and has undertaken a variety of measures to help protect the environment. We also aim to reduce our ecological footprint for the future. We are achieving this in several ways such as lowering electricity consumption (-2% per year), decreasing transport mileage, and reducing (packaging) materials and waste. In addition, we are striving to use more sustainable energy sources and packaging materials, such as cardboard and bioplastics.
Royal Talens is committed to reducing its energy consumption and to making it more sustainable.
We aim to reduce electricity consumption by 2% each year (10% less in 2024 than in 2019). We are replacing our lights with LED lights, several of which are equipped with motion sensors. The new warehouse management system in the distribution centre ensures that robots can pick more efficiently and use less electricity.
In 2018, Royal Talens invested in 780 solar panels, the largest solar panel park in Apeldoorn. In 2018, these panels generated 167 MWh of sustainable solar energy (from March). That represents a reduction of 652,956 kg of CO2, which is equal to the annual consumption of 194 petrol vehicles driving 15,000 kilometres in 1 year.
Royal Talens has been promoting electric driving since 2015 with 6 charging points for electric cars. We aim to fully convert our passenger vehicle fleet to electric and hybrid cars by 2024. In 2019 we will start a feasibility study focused on replacing diesel lorries with electric ones. In addition, our employees are encouraged to come to work by bicycle or train thanks to our convenient location nearby the Central Station and the modern bicycle parking facility available to our employees.
Lower gas consumption
To lower gas consumption, the production temperature and the heating curve for the central heating system have both been reduced by 2 degrees. In addition, the skylights in the production halls have been replaced with alternatives that are transparent and better insulated.
Transport and logistics
We are continuously striving to reduce our transport-related CO2 impact. We are achieving this by minimising transport mileage and maximising the filling levels of our lorries. Our own drivers are trained in "The New Driving" programme (Dutch: Het nieuwe rijden), to help minimise fuel consumption. We also examine the environmental performance of our suppliers.
Transport with a focus on the environment
Royal Talens has selected a limited number of preferred suppliers and partners for its inbound cargo and outbound distribution activities. The environment is an important component in the selection of our suppliers, with a focus on continued CO2 reductions. At a minimum, transporters are expected to achieve objectives that are equal to those laid out by the EU climate agreements. We require our logistics service providers to have implemented an environmental policy that can be demonstrated by an ISO 14001 certification or a verifiable, equally effective alternative.
Less transport, less CO2
In 2013, Royal Talens was one of the first Dutch companies to close its factory in China and bring production back to the Netherlands. Better management, consistent quality and a lower impact on the environment through decreased transport (Royal Talens turnover is mostly in Europe) were decisive factors in bringing production back.
Royal Talens closed its distribution centre in Bergen op Zoom (185 kilometres from Apeldoorn) in 2018 and relocated it next to the central distribution centre in Apeldoorn. This allows us to efficiently organise supplier transport and to consolidate distribution to our mutual customers. This translates into a stark reduction in mileage and CO2 emissions.
In order to further limit the impact of freight transport on CO2 levels, we are increasingly sourcing raw materials, packaging materials and products closer to our factories and distribution centres in the Netherlands, Denmark and Spain. We have launched campaigns that are aimed at acquiring more raw materials, packaging and products from the Netherlands or Europe over the coming years.
Materials and Waste
In order to limit the impact on the environment, when developing our products, we carefully examine ways of avoiding unnecessary packaging materials and of reducing production waste as much as possible. We use sustainable FSC certified paper and wood, recycled materials and glass instead of plastic as much as possible.
Reuse of transport packaging
Whenever possible, we use standard blue crates for deliveries to our distribution centres in order to minimise the use of additional boxes as transport packaging. The same applies to our external packers. These crates are returned to the producer at the end of their useful life and recycled into new raw materials. Our deliveries to our DC (distribution centre) in North America are in cardboard boxes, which are used again for shipments to American customers.
FSC® quality mark
At Royal Talens, sustainable production goes further than safe, environmentally conscious choices for responsible components and careful waste separation. It also means taking care of the environment and our surroundings. For that reason, Royal Talens is increasingly using sustainably grown wood that bears the FSC quality mark to produce its wooden products such as easels, stretched canvas, brushes, and paint and pencil boxes. Our range of paper pads is also largely made from wood fibres originating from wood that has been grown sustainably and that bears the FSC quality mark.
This wood complies with the guidelines of the Forest Stewardship Council®. This organisation sets global standards for responsible forest management, carefully considering the interests of people, the environment and the economy. For every tree that is cut down, a new tree is planted, helping to prevent deforestation.
The FSC quality mark is supported worldwide by all major environmental and development organisations, trade unions and international businesses. FSC is the only organisation with a consistent independent standard and certification system that can be applied worldwide for all types of forests and plantations. Being awarded the quality mark is no easy process. Obtaining the quality mark means meeting strict criteria and implementing them throughout the organisation. Every year, Royal Talens undergoes an assessment by the FSC as to whether our working methods are in line with requirements.
Reuse of soft pastel waste
No waste is generated during the production of Rembrandt and Van Gogh soft pastels, and all materials are used. Any residual soft pastel material that is generated during production is sorted by colour and reused to produce new pastels.
How do you deal with leftover paint and empty packaging?
It is best to use up all the paint in tubes, jars and bottles. This will leave you with an empty package that can be disposed of in household waste receptacles.
If there is any leftover paint in the packaging or on your palette that can no longer be used, then you can do the following to help protect the environment:
- Find a jar that closes properly and place a label on it with the text, “Paint waste”
- Put all unused paint in that jar
- Always make sure the lid is tightly screwed on the jar
- When the jar is full, take it to a collection point for small chemical waste
Packaging containing unused (wet) paint should never be disposed of in household waste receptacles.
Impact of packaging size on the environment
You can help prevent waste and unnecessary disposal of unused paint by choosing the right packaging. This will depend on the experience you have with painting and the period of time in which you use the paint. Buying large jars of acrylic paint certainly has its advantages, but if you have little experience, it is easy to contaminate the contents with brushes or painting knives that are soiled. There is a good chance that the paint will no longer be usable within a short period of time, creating unnecessary waste.
The paint also must be stored in an appropriate location. Paint lasts longer if it is not exposed to extreme temperatures. Keep paint away from sunlight and other sources of heat and protect it from frost. Ensure that the packaging is properly sealed after use: thoroughly clean the thread of the tube or jar after use and before screwing the cap back on.
Waste and Wastewater
Waste is generated and unused paint comes into contact with water both during production and while painting. It is important to know what you can do to help protect the environment as much as possible.
Important tips for dealing with paint.
One important way in which paint impacts the environment happens during or after the painting process. It is also important to protect the environment when cleaning your brushes. Follow the steps below:
- Use a kitchen roll to clean the paint from your brush as thoroughly as possible. Then put the used kitchen roll in the jar containing leftover paint.
- When it comes to non-water-soluble paint, such as conventional oil or alkyd paint, a solvent can be used to clean your brush (for example white spirit) in a jar that seals well. The solvent can be used for a long time if the jar is properly closed. Make sure to add a label with the text "Turpentine" and if possible, you can also include the appropriate safety label. Safety first! After some time, take the closed jar to a collection point for small chemical waste.
- When it comes to water-soluble paint, first clean the brush as thoroughly as possible by shaking off the paint residue from the bristles in a jar of water with a bit of washing-up liquid. The brush can then be cleaned under the tap. The jar of water can also be used several times. Over time, the paint residue will sink down and the water can then be carefully poured off. You can collect the paint residue in the paint waste jar.
Even with water-soluble paint such as water colours, gouache and acrylic colours, you should never simply clean the brush under the tap or remove the paint residue in the sink.
Small chemical waste
Used up solvents, products containing solvent, and unused paint are all chemical waste. You can help protect the environment by not throwing it away with the household waste, but by collecting it and handing it in to a collection point for small chemical waste. Rinsing it down the sink is always harmful to the environment.
Cobra. Solvent-free painting with oil colours
Royal Talens is a pioneer in the field of oil paint with its Cobra water mixable oil colours that allow you to paint without solvents. You can dilute these pure, professional and study quality oil colours in water, and the brushes can be cleaned with soap and water. There is no longer any need to use harmful solvents that may end up in wastewater. Painting with Cobra is also better for your health.
Environmentally friendly treatment plant
The production of various paint types and quantities also involves a lot of cleaning activities. With an eye to protecting the environment, virtually all our paint boilers and machine parts are cleaned using water and soap instead of solvents. Since the paint particles are too fine to be filtered out from the water directly, Royal Talens uses a different, smarter method. An ingenious system is used to separate the solid particles from the water. An extensive drainage system runs under the factory. All of the drains flow into a large 80 cubic metre basin that holds all of the wastewater from the factory. A “flocculation process” (the addition of certain chemicals) causes the paint particles to clump together and sink to the bottom. We press this wastewater through a filtering machine, which then leaves only a "cake" of solid particles. This cake is disposed as chemical waste. The filtered water that remains complies with the standards of the water authorities and is allowed into the sewage.