FAQ

Here are some frequently asked questions, please also find our glossary at the bottom of this page.

General - Product information - Terms - Glossary

General

What is the difference between CO2 and CO2e?

It is not just CO2 that is released when burning fuel or producing raw material or products. Also other Greenhouse gases are released like Methane CH4, and Nitrogen oxides N2O etc. These gases warm our planet more than CO2 and a way of expressing this is to talk about CO2e which means emission of all Greenhouse gases not just CO2. We use CO2e in all our calculations.

Can the war in Ukraine affect availability and prices of bio-based products?

We don’t use any biobased RM from Russia or Ukraine. However, some of our European RM suppliers uses Russian gas to make their products and they will be affected. In principle it should be easier to have biobased RM since they are less dependent on fossil gas!

What benefits do I have by switching to Biobased?

There are many benefits by switching to Biobased products. Some of them are: You reduce dependency on fossil based raw materials, workers will have safer and better working conditions and you reduce the Carbon Footprint with 30-40%

How important is renewable energy/electricity vs fossil-based energy/electricity?

It is very important for your total CFP. If you are working in a country with high amount of fossil based (Coal, Oil etc) electricity in the power grid you have a very high CFP. One easy way of reducing that is to use electricity from renewable sources like Wind, Water, Solar etc.

How much is 10 metric tons of CO2e equal too?

It’s equivalent to driving 4,5 cars for one year or driving one petrol powered car 84 000 km

How much decrease in CO2 emission will these products bring to us?

We can help you calculate the decrease in CO2 emissions based on your yearly consumption of our products. Or contact your local Sherwin-Williams representative for more info.

What does plant-based mean?

It means that some of the raw materials for our resins comes from vegetables.

What does CFP mean?

CFP means Carbon Footprint which is the amount of CO2e that is released into the atmosphere because of the activities of a person, an organization or a product being made. It is expressed in kg CO2e.

Product information

Can you give an example of what renewable raw materials are used to make our Biobased products?

There is a lot of different raw materials used. Some examples are Soyabean oil, fermentation of food waste and molasses.

What difference is there between fossil-based SB, WB and UV products in CFP?

If we look at the CFP for coating 1 m2, WB reduces CO2 emission by half and UV is down to 1/3 compared to SB products. Biobased WB and UV products has even smaller CFP.

Why do the WB Bio raw materials have a lower VOC?

They are usually made with a more modern production technology which means less use of VOC and no harmful substances during manufacturing.

Is the feedstock for Biobased coming from Human food chain?

No, our suppliers guarantee that these biobased raw material does not compete with Human food chain.

Can we have Biobased for Solvent based (SB) products too?

No, we have concentrated on WB, WBUV and UV products since they have less than half the environmental impact vs Solvent based products already from the start. Making them biobased makes them additional 30-40% better in CFP. However, some SB products contain minor renewable raw materials like parts of Alkyds and Nitro cellulose. To move from SB to WB or UV is the biggest step you can take to reduce CFP.

Does Biobased have the same performance as fossil-based products regarding tests results, certificates etc?

Yes, we have more than 250 biobased products in our range right now and all of them has been verified to have the same performance as the fossil-based version. Which means there will be no issues to switch from fossil to bio.

Supply situation for Biobased products vs Fossil based products?

More and more biobased raw materials are being developed and Sherwin-Williams focusses to be at the forefront of available technology to meet market demands. SW is a very big global player and we work with suppliers worldwide. We will have the same ability to supply you also with biobased products as for ordinary fossil-based products.

Why don’t we use cradle to grave in our calculations?

We have chosen to do the calculations based on what we know and can influence. Using to grave is so much more complicated than gate since we can’t calculate how our customers will use it and what will happen when it has been sold to the end user.

What is the LCA for my product?

Our Sustainability team* can calculate the LCA for all of our products. Please contact your local Sherwin-Williams representative for more info or contact us here.

What Carbon Footprint (CFP) do our different Bio products have?

For most WB, WBUV and UV products we have seen CFP is around 30-40% lower compared to standard fossil based products. For example a typical WB lacquer has CFP xxx kg/tonne compared xxxkg/tonnee fossil based.

What C14 content do our products have?

For 1k WB products we will have up to 40% C14. For WBUV we will have up to 20% and for UV it will be up to 10%. To see the exact value please look in our TDS.

Term explanation

What does cradle to gate mean?

It’s the total CFP being generated to produce a product from our Warehouse. It includes CFP from both our suppliers, that make the raw materials, and those generated from our processes.

What is LCA?

It stands for Life cycle analysis and is a method for assessing/analyzing the environmental impact associated with all stages of the life cycle of a product through its life cycle encompassing extraction and processing of the raw materials, manufacturing, distribution, use, recycling, and final disposal.

What does Mass balance (MB) mean?

Mass balance MB, It’s about mixing fossil and renewable or recycled raw materials (RMs) in a factory. Those paying for MB will get a certificate they are buying renewable RMs. Requires 3rd party audits for verification of certification. Very small amounts of C14 can be detected since it’s being distributed in everything that is being made. Only the party paying for MB will get the certificate. Same principle as Green/renewable electricity. We are not using MB right now. Only raw material with C14 that can be detected with an analysis.

What does C14 means?

Carbon 14 is an isotope of normal Carbon 12 which indicates that it is of renewable origin. Fossil based products only contain C12.

Glossary

Biobased: A product that is made of partly renewable raw materials usually vegetables.

Carbon neutrality: Means a state of net zero CO2 emissions. Can usually be achieved by a combination of Carbon offsetting and Reducing emissions.

Carbon Offsetting: A process to avoiding greenhouse gas emissions or removing CO2 from the atmosphere to make up for emissions elsewhere.

Carbon Footprint (CFP): Total greenhouse gas emissions (usually CO2 in kg) caused by a person or product etc.

Cradle to gate: It’s the total CFP being generated from our suppliers making the raw material and we make the product until it leaves our Warehouse.

Cradle to grave: A companies perspective on the environmental impact created by their products or activities from the beginning of its life cycle to its end or disposal of the product.

CO2: Carbon dioxide, a natural occurring gas that is necessary for photo synthesis when plants consume CO2. It is also the most significant long-lived Green House gas (GHG) in Earth`s atmosphere. Amount has increased significantly during last 50 years primarily from use of fossil fuels and deforestation.

CO2e: It is pronounced Carbon dioxide equivalents and takes into account all Greenhouse gases that is released. It gives a more correct view of the environmental impact of a product. We use this unit in all our calculations.

Emissions: substances usually pollutants being released into the air

Ethically sourced: Means a product or service that is obtained in an ethical way which includes decent working conditions, health and safety, good business ethics, upholding rights etc.

EU Green deal: EU Green deal that wants EU to reduce CFP by approx. 50% by 2030 and be climate neutral by 2050.

Fossil based: Products made from petrochemicals , oil and gas that has been pumped up from the ground.

Greenhouse gas (GHG): Any gas in the atmosphere that absorb and re-emits heat and thereby keeps the planet´s atmosphere warmer than it otherwise would be. Most common gas is CO2, and it is emitted when burning fossil fuels like coal, oil and gas and also emissions from human and animal activities. Other gases are

LCA: Life cycle analysis is a process of evaluating the effect a product has on the environment over the entire period of its life. Can be a product or a process.

Mass balance MB: It’s about mixing fossil and renewable or recycled raw materials (RMs) in a factory. Those paying for MB will get a certificate they are buying renewable RMs. Requires 3ed party audits for verification of certification. Very small amounts of C14 can be detected since it’s being distributed in everything that is being made. Only the party paying for MB will get the certificate. Same principle as Green/renewable electricity.

Plant based: A product that is based on Raw materials from plants which usually means vegetables that does not compete with human food chain.

Paris Agreement: It’s a worldwide agreement that was signed by 191 countries + EU in 2015 and its goal is to keep the global temp increase below 2oC

Petrochemicals: Chemicals made from Fossil oil or gas

Renewable: A natural resource that is not depleted when used

Sustainability: Sustainability means meeting our own needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs

VOC: Volatile organic compounds, usually means solvents in our industry.