Building a culture of sustainability over 20 years.


  • (EC-07-18) Paints

The Challenge

Resene is one of the first companies to hold an Eco Choice Aotearoa label. Marketing Manager Karen Warman says Resene saw Eco Choice as a standard to work toward.

Although the Resene team had started to look closely at their product ingredients way back when, the team faced the challenge of not having a clear guideline or standard to use.

Karen says “We had developed some low VOC (volatile organic compounds), low odour products, so we were already doing the work but we wanted a guideline we could use and trust.”


The Solution

Resene is a leader in environmental sustainability and has always strived to achieve a high standard.

When the business began developing their sustainable paint products, they sought guidelines that assess the overall environmental impact of their products against comprehensive pre-established criteria.

They wanted clear guidelines that could act as checklist to “back up” their process. The Eco Choice paint specification was an established framework that would validate the work Resene was already doing.

The paint specification considers the source or the raw materials and whether any metals or metal compounds are used in the manufacture of licensed paint. Paints must not exceed certain Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) levels.

It also requires the licensee to have effective waste and energy management policies, procedures or programmes in place.

In addition, it looks at packaging and whether information is clear and readily available to consumers for each paint product.

The Eco Choice paint specification also requires licensees to actively participate in a product stewardship scheme. 

Karen says, “You always think you are on the right track, but it’s good to have a look beyond the business to see what standards are available.”

She says that Eco Choice being backed up by the government was a good thing.

“The specifications are substantial, above board and they’ve done the research. There’s nothing like Eco Choice. It’s a solid gold standard.”

The Benefits

This year will mark Resene’s 20th Anniversary as an Eco Choice licensee and the company is proud to reach the milestone.

Over the years, Resene has continued to raise the bar with initiatives such as its paint recovery programme, Resene PaintWise, which has prompted other companies to step up their game.

Resene has actively promoted its Eco Choice licence and it became an integral part of the company. This proactive approach put pressure on other companies to consider what they put in their paint.

Karen’s advice to new licensees is to leverage their label to their competitive advantage.

“It’s the effort you put into it; it is living it and building a culture around it. It is not about ticking a box. It has to become to part of what you do. It’s about the long term.”

Karen says the family-owned business is an Eco Choice licensee because it cares about doing the right thing.

“Resene is in it for the long haul; it’s about what will we leave for our kids and grandkids. Eco Choice fits right in with our values,” she says.


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Resene is New Zealand's largest privately-owned and operated paint manufacturing company. It produces both decorative and protective coatings for residential, commercial and industrial needs.

The company, established in 1946, is today an international company with manufacturing operations in Australia and Fiji and local production plants in Lower Hutt and Upper Hutt. Resene also exports paint and colour technology to offshore markets.

As well as Eco Choice Resene has actively worked with environmentally focused programmes, such as the Green Building Council (founding member), Homestar and the Sustainable Business Network.

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