2019 Q&A with eicó founderA short interview with eicó co-founder and Managing director of eicó HK which highlights the reasons why sustainability became such a prominent part of the ethos of the company, and why its remained a principle focus since it's inception.
How would you describe the way you work with sustainability in your company today?
“eico is one of the most sustainable paint makers in the world. We as one of the few companies are looking at the processes from cradle to grave. For example we do not use fossil fuel in production. We only produce in locations where there are no water shortage and also the quality of water are very pure. That in combination means that our products will make already at production stage a significantly smaller carbon footprint than any of the providers here. The vast majority producing their products in China, where they use predominantly fossil fuel and the are tapping a water resource that is already scarce and being constantly depleted. To the degree that we most likely will in China Eastern seaboard experience a drought.
Adding to this we are also very focused on what goes in to our paint. We constantly improve and working to lessen our impact. As an example, we are soon to use food waste binders and food waste acrylics rather than what we are using today plant based products. Most of our competitors are still using petrochemical products. All the commonly known negative health related products are naturally not in any of our products. We are also APEO free as well as MI free. These are items that not a single brand here in Asia are concerned about and as far as I know none have excluded these. It is not a big surprise as here in Asia you can still buy concentrated Formaldehyde. Something that paint produced in Asia often contain. Painter add it to improve the flow and also as a mold killer. Formaldehyde has not ever been added to any eico product and never will!
As we are mainly a product providing company a lot of what we do are focused on improving our products and continuously reduce our impact. Sustainability is eternal and we can all improve.
We also promote sustainability in many different ways. Presentations in schools and work places. We support many sustainable and socially aware projects in all locations we have established. In HK we have helped Chinese International School to build a sustainable vegetable garden. We arrange beach cleaning. We collaborate with other companies that share our ethos. In short every singe aspect of what we undertake in the name of eico, according to our own eico standard, has to be sustainable and/or socially aware.
It is not a “do-good” thing. It is a all business. If companies as well as individuals ignore to change we will have nothing left. Change for the better is the only way to survive as a business.”
Tell us about your own journey within sustainability!
“Being Swedish it is really hard not to have a sustainable mind. The brainwashing that most of us been exposed to during our informative years will make an impact. I do not think standing screaming on a soap box is very effective or even very smart. You will get a following but you will not change a lot. So my journey have had very little screaming and aggressively forcing my view on my surrounding. But the road to a better way of life is nevertheless straight and focused. As a former investment banker I have had the fortune of earning some money and all of that is now spent on doing good. I have been given a chance to make a difference and I took it!”
How would you like to help make Hong Kong and the world more sustainable?
“I wish I could make enough money by selling eico products so I can focus harder and more on making a real difference. Modern life is all about how much money you have as that will dictate what you can afford to do!
But before that can happen I have more modest targets such as get all in my immediate surrounding to use a better decorative product based on knowledge about the risks and benefits. If that ends up being eico I am happy, however first and foremost I want us all to question the providers we use. By changing what we consume we can change the world. Standing on soapboxes are little bit more than self marketing!
If I can help to change the way we procure I have succeeded. It is end of the day all about knowledge. The lack and the unwillingness to obtain knowledge is what make many companies a lot of money.”
Do you have any questions for the eicó team?
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