Recycling scheme clinches Green Apple award for Crown Paints

Liz Hickson and Brian Widdop of Crown Paints with the Green Apple award.

Crown Paints has been presented with another major environmental award in recognition of a recycling scheme providing a colourful boost to community projects.

The company’s ‘Kick Out The Can’ initiative was launched earlier this year in a bid to encourage the re-use of unwanted paint and to mark the company’s sponsorship of Climate Week 2013.

Now the scheme has won a Silver award at the prestigious Green Apple awards for Environmental Best Practice 2013. Brian Widdop and Liz Hickson, of Crown Paints were presented with the prize in a ceremony at the House of Commons in London on November 11th.

It is the second award in a matter of weeks for the recycling project, which also won the ‘Contribution to the Community’ prize at the Lancashire Business Environment Awards, organised by the environmental regeneration organisation, Newground.

Liz Hickson, Marketing Director of Crown Paints, said: “It’s very exciting for us as a company to be presented with such prestigious awards.

“Our Kick Out The Can initiative achieved some fantastic results, so to receive recognition like this is the icing on the cake.

“We had 5,000 tins of surplus paint returned from our network of Crown Decorating Centres across England, Scotland and Wales and we’d like to thank all those people who supported the scheme.

“Working with social enterprise Nimtech at our headquarters in Darwen, Lancashire, the paint was reprocessed and then distributed to community projects.

“The unwanted paint has helped to rejuvenate park benches, brighten up gardens, sheds and workshops at a number of community projects – and is even educating young people as part of a scheme offering building and construction skills.”

The Green Apple awards, first launched in 1994, are organised by The Green Organisation – an environmental group dedicated to recognising, rewarding and promoting environmental best practice around the world.

Taking a sustainable approach to business has already earned a string of awards for Crown Paints.

The company was named a UK national champion in the European Business Awards 2013/2014 and was also awarded Green Manufacturer of the Year earlier this year in the ‘Made In The North West’ awards.

Crown won its first Green Apple award, for its action to cut greenhouse gas emissions, back in 2011.

‘Kick Out The Can’ is part of an ongoing programme of activity, developed to put Crown Paints in the top tier of sustainable businesses in the UK.

In 2008, the company launched ‘Earthbalance®’ a dedicated sustainability programme, featuring an ambitious, long-term target to drive down Crown’s greenhouse gas emissions, with the target of a 10 per cent reduction by 2015 – and 25 per cent by 2020.

These two targets are in addition to a sustainability target of zero waste to landfill, originally targeted for December 2012 – which was achieved more than 12 months ahead of schedule.

Brian Widdop, Technical Director at Crown Paints said: “We see sustainability as a mission for the entire organisation – and it’s something all our staff take personally. It’s not just about filling a market niche; it’s about changing the way we do business.

“Our focus is to minimise energy, reduce, re-use or recycle waste wherever feasible and develop across the company products and processes with the lowest possible ecological impact.

“All this is undertaken with an absolute commitment not to affect our products’ performance adversely.

“For example, we have placed significant investment and deployment of resources into carbon footprinting – measuring the carbon footprint of every product we manufacture.  The process places Crown as the only coatings manufacturer in the UK to have calculated the footprint of every one of its products individually. Very few companies in the UK and even Europe have this level of knowledge across their product range.

“However this only represents the start of our sustainability journey as other impact categories such as water footprinting and acidification potential will be addressed going forward.”


About Crown Paints:

  • Crown Paints is owned by Danish decorative and protective coatings company Hempel, who employ over 5,000 people and operate in more than 80 countries.
  • Crown Paints is the Holder of the Royal Warrant by Appointment to Her Majesty the Queen, as Manufacturers of Paints.
  • Over 1,250 employees work for Crown Paints, which is based in Darwen in Lancashire, with manufacturing sites in Darwen and Hull, which operate to ISO 9001 accredited quality management system and ISO 14001 environmental management system.
  • The company has a network of 134 Crown Decorating Centres spread throughout the UK (inc Northern Ireland) and the Republic of Ireland.
  • Crown Paints serves every sector of the decorative coatings market, promoting its market-leading paint and woodcare brands – Crown, Sandtex, Permoglaze, Macpherson, Sadolin and Berger – to consumer and professional audiences alike, as well as key export markets.
  • Crown Paints has been making paint for over 200 years.
  • Crown Paints is committed to delivering its sustainability targets and its work in this field has been recognised at several regional and national awards. The company is also able to measure the carbon footprint of all of its products and has met its targets of achieving zero waste to landfill.

Press release prepared by Jane Shepherd, Shepherd PR Limited, 01335 368020, email