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Life cycle thinking drives innovation at Sherwin-Williams


Circular Economy Partnership with Knoll Drives Innovation and Sustainability

Knoll, Inc. and Sherwin-Williams have come together to create a sustainability partnership to leverage our Powdura® ECO powder coatings, the first powder coating on the market that utilizes recycled plastic. Knoll – known for creating inspiring workplaces – has utilized powder coatings on its office furniture since the 1980s. However, with the advances in modern powder coating technology over the last 10 years, Knoll became increasingly interested in furthering its use of powder products.


“We were intrigued by this technological advancement,” said Linwood Rohrbach, Knoll Quality Engineer. “After reviewing a series of trials and environmental upsides of the Powdura ECO product line, there was no question that we would partner with Sherwin-Williams on this initiative.”


“For Sherwin-Williams, Powdura ECO has been a major sustainability win,” says Tabitha McLeish, Sherwin-Williams Global Marketing Director – Powder. “We are diverting plastic from landfills and reusing it in our product,” she said. Comprised of 25% pre-consumer recycled plastic, each pound of Powdura ECO polyester TGIC/TGIC-free product contains the equivalent of sixteen, 16-ounce recycled plastic bottles.


Knoll’s commitment to continuous improvement drove it to explore ways to implement new innovations in its processes. “We have a track record of material and process innovation that we incorporate into our product development process,” said Gary Bockol, Knoll Senior Director, Procurement & Strategic Sourcing. “We are committed to environmental stewardship and helping our customers meet their sustainability goals.”


The Knoll track record of innovation is something that Sherwin-Williams knew ahead of the partnership, and it was a driving force behind the two companies coming together. With the collaboration in full swing, Sherwin-Williams is eager to continue innovating alongside Knoll. “We knew Knoll had a strong sustainability story, meaning this collaboration would be mutually beneficial in terms of a substantial focus on the environment,” said McLeish.

This story is featured in the Sherwin-Williams 2021 Sustainability Report.