Life Cycle Thinking
At Sherwin-Williams, we provide solutions that protect our customers’ assets and our communities. Our paint and coatings help preserve the structures and products to which they are applied, resulting in reduced life cycle impacts and costs for our customers. We have a rigorous life cycle assessment (LCA) program, which plays an important role in measuring the potential environmental impacts of our existing products and developing additional “sustainably advantaged products.”
Our Approach to Life Cycle Assessment
Our LCA process starts with deciding how a particular product will be evaluated and how its sustainability attributes will be studied. The LCA evaluates factors such as raw material consumption, distribution to retail centers, customer travel to purchase and apply the coating, usage considerations and packaging. Subsequently, we develop an EPD, which standardizes environmental impact information to provide transparency regarding the product’s environmental footprint and eligibility for credit in green building programs such as LEED®. EPDs are an important tool to help specifiers and users compare various products.
Life cycle thinking enables us to consider and quantify impacts throughout our value chain – from raw material extraction to product disposal at end-use. We consider what improvements we can make on our own and what might be possible by collaborating with our suppliers, distributors and customers. Life cycle thinking helps us better understand the systems and variables that impact our products and the environments in which they are produced and used.