COLOURFUL CHEMISTRY

ECO-FRIENDLY PAINT TRENDS ARE ON THE RISE

The automotive industry continues to be at a crossroads when it comes to addressing the challenges of continuing to advance technology while also meeting sustainability expectations. Luckily, when it comes to the world of automotive paint, sustainability efforts are more than just a hue on the horizon. To do this, paint companies have invested in environmentally friendly solutions from both a manufacturing and product standpoint.

When looking at the sustainability documentation for companies such as BASF, AkzoNobel, Axalta and Sherwin-Williams, all have made environmental commitments to continuing to reduce the automotive paint industry’s carbon footprint by eliminating volatile-carbon emissions and the use of oil-based materials.

As of 2025, BASF specifically aims to process 250,000 metric tonnes of recycled waste-based raw materials annually, replacing fossil-based raw materials.

Comparatively, AkzoNobel has achieved products that contain up to 35 percent post-consumer waste paint. The company is also working in collaboration with Dutch company, Black Bear, to create an alternative to carbon black—a material that can be used in the manufacturing of powder coatings harvested from used car tires.

AkzoNobel is also continuing to work with the Dutch Advanced Research Center Chemical Building Blocks Consortium (ARC CBBC), to develop a technology to make sustainable resins using bio-based monomers, rather than the more traditional oil-based.

The future is here, and it’s earth-toned. At least, according to BASF’s most recent 2023 coatings report which revealed that the continued emergence of earthtone hues from a consumer perspective speak to an ongoing sustainable push in the world of car colours and colour systems.

While automotive paint products may continue to change, and coatings may continue to become more environmentally conscious, their purpose does not—creating a full colour spectrum of cars that consumers can’t wait to drive.

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