The Green Glossary

Carbon footprint

Your carbon footprint is the direct effect your actions and lifestyle have on the environment in terms of carbon dioxide emissions. It can also be applied to companies or products.

Carbon offset

A carbon offset is a credit that an individual or organization can purchase to negate a carbon footprint carbon offsetting allows you to compensate fro your unavoidable emissions by helping fund projects that deliver an equivalent CO2 saving elsewhere.

Climate change

The variation in the Earth's global climate over time. Man-made climate change is a variation directly attributable to human behaviour.

CO2 – carbon dioxide

The gas released into the atmosphere when fossil fuels are burnt. Although not the only greenhouse gas, it is considered the most important.

Embodied carbon

The measure of a product's impact on climate change based on CO2 emissions

Energy efficiency

Obtaining the same results without affecting the services provided, often achieved by technological advance. Also refers to cutting down on wasted energy. A good example is an energy efficient light bulb which produces the same amount of light as a conventional bulb but uses up to 75% less energy to do so.

Forum for the Future

Forum for the Future is a charity committed to sustainable development whose focus is on the root causes and connections between big issues such as climate change, social inequality and environmental degradation.

Greenhouse gas

A gas that absorbs infra-red radiation (ie the sun's heat and energy) in the atmosphere and therefore causing the atmosphere to warm up. Greenhouse gases include water vapour, carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O), halogenated fluorocarbons (HCFCs), ozone (O3), perfluorinated carbons (PFCs), and hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs).

Life cycle

Consecutive and inter-linked stages of a product system, from raw material acquisition or generation of natural resources to final disposal.

Lumitec technology

Unique AkzoNobel technology using highly reflective paint components that reflect substantially more light back into and around the room.

Natural paint

Paint that is claimed to be made from natural ingredients to a lesser or greater extent. Few paints are made of totally natural ingredients.

Recycled content

Packaging that contains some recovered materials. This can vary from small percentages of pre-consumer waste to large percentages of post-consumer recyclate (PCR). In general, this feature has been conveyed via consumer on-pack labelling.

Renewable energy

Energy obtained from sources that do not run out - unlike oil and coal. Examples include wood, wind, solar, geothermal, tidal and waste.


A solvent is a substance, usually a liquid, capable of dissolving another substance. In the context of paints the term usually refer to organic solvents, and waters roll as a solvent is ignored for simplicity. Solvent are usually added to paint to help the paint film form properly and sometimes to increase the open/laptime.

Steps towards Greener

'Step Towards Greener' explains our approach to sustainability. It recognises that there are no instant fixes but acknowledges that progress will be made by making many step-wise improvements to reach our sustainability goals. The way we achieve this is also important and we are committed to step towards greener with openness and honesty.


Sustainability is about creating new ways to live and prosper while ensuring an equitable, healthy future for all people and the planet. This means meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.

TiO2 – Titanium Dioxide

A white powder used as an opaque white pigment. It occurs naturally as the mineral rutile which then requires further processing.

VOC – Volatile Organic Compounds

Materials that evaporate readily from commonly occurring sources such as vehicle exhausts, cleaning agents, furniture polish and fabric softeners. These also include solvents used in coatings, as well as thinners and brush cleaners. In the presence of sunlight, these VOCs can react with nitrogen oxides to create ground level ozone and photochemical smogs. These in turn can contribute to pollution of the atmosphere.

Waste management

The collection, transport, processing and disposal of waste materials from human activity. Considering methods of waste management such as recycling minimises environmental impact and promotes sustainability.

  • The Ecosure range has been listed on the One Planet Product website. These paints have been assessed against the One Planet living principles which include carbon emissions, waste, transportation and water usage. This listing follows a detailed environmental scrutiny of both the products and the business as a supplier.


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