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closing the green loop

From Habitat magazine - issue 14

It’s all very well selecting eco-friendly products but they also need to be installed in the right way. That’s why Resene created Eco.Decorator.

Vince and Victoria Troake
Eco.Decorators Vince and Victoria Troake see the scheme as a great complement to their business. Visit

Being green is something Resene has worked hard at for many decades: introducing waterborne paint to Australasia in the 1950s; offering an extensive range of Environmental Choice-approved paints in the mid 1990s; reducing solvent levels by more than 90% and launching the world-first innovative PaintWise scheme to recycle or responsibly dispose of unwanted paint and paint containers.

Now Resene has taken its eco promise one step further with the introduction of a new initiative called Eco.Decorator. Established in late 2008, the scheme is a response to Resene’s drive for complete product stewardship, says John Gerondis, Resene’s national sales manager. Eco.Decorator has been devised to ensure that those using Resene products do so in an eco-friendly manner from the start of the project to its completion.

“We can make our products as sustainable as possible – and that’s an area where Resene has a very high profile – but to complete the loop we need to make sure the people applying them are doing it in a way that also respects the environment,” says John.

Two years on, and Resene now has 100 Eco.Decorators involved in the scheme. John hopes that number will at least double by the end of 2011.

Not just anyone can be an Eco.Decorator. Painting contractors must be invited to join, and Resene selects only those who can demonstrate an ongoing commitment to environmentally responsible, quality-focused practices. Assessment for membership in the programme includes rigorous evaluation of a company’s sustainable work practices, waste management, project plans and project signoff processes.

One company which has made the grade and is enjoying being part of the scheme is Troake Group. The Auckland-based contractor specialises in ceilings and interior systems for residential and commercial buildings. Troake Group was invited to join the initiative in mid 2009 after attending a Resene seminar.

“We’re a pretty green company and Eco.Decorator fitted in nicely with our marketing,” says Troake’s operations manager, Kevin Stuchbury. “Our systems complemented the scheme that Resene had in place. We recycle, not only all our unused paint, but all our paint tins too, and Eco.Decorator dovetailed nicely with what we do.”

Troake continues to hold Gold Level Enviro-Mark New Zealand certification and recently won the Massey University Excellence in Sustainability award at the North Shore Business Awards in Auckland. Director Vince Troake believes that Troake’s involvement in Eco.Decorator contributed to this win.

“Participating in Eco.Decorator is quite a stringent process,” he says. “But that adds to the value, and helps us secure work not only with organisations such as ACC or government departments, but also with homeowners who see us in the Resene Eco.Decorator list and hear about us through Resene ColorShops. It’s a good system and I’m looking forward to seeing how it progresses.”

John Gerondis says that the response to the Eco.Decorator programme from both homeowners and architectural professionals has been very positive. “It’s still a very new initiative, but we already have a lot of support.”

Eco.Decorator – the facts

words: Deirdre Coleman
picture: Mark Heaslip

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