Established in 1982, RSL boasts one of the most comprehensive ranges of industrial coatings and screeds in Europe.
Resin coatings and screeds are vital to protect and preserve items such as floors and walls, and RSL’s products are used across a huge range of sectors, including industrial, retail, aerospace, food and drink, pharmaceutical and healthcare.
However, environmental concerns mean that traditional coatings are coming under increasing scrutiny.
Generally the solvents used in most resin coatings contain Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), which are harmful to the environment and contribute to air pollution.
RSL has long been committed to reducing VOC usage across its whole product range. It has already received industry-wide recognition for its work, with managing director, Ivy Wroe, winning the prestigious SME Dahrendorf Responsible Capitalism Award in 2016.
“As a relatively small manufacturer, it’s often difficult to keep up with product innovation, let alone drive it, but at RSL, that’s exactly what we’re doing”, said Ivy.
“We are now being seen as industry innovators within the resin systems marketplace. Being naturally concerned for the environment, environmental impact and sustainability is key to our decision making process.”
RSL’s most exciting innovation to date is a range of water-based resin floor coatings and finishes that take VOC ratings to a ground-breaking low while retaining ‘pot life’, a key barrier to developers elsewhere in the sector.
Getting to market
To identify routes to market for the product range, RSL worked closely with Claire Scott, environmental business advisor at the Business Growth Hub.
As the Elladur range can meet the demand of top-end environmental specifications for buildings, RSL is now targeting customers that require products which improve BREEAM ratings.
A high BREEAM rating is frequently a critical component when firms are bidding for construction work, with many large commercial and public sector organisations having explicit BREEAM requirements in their procurement strategies.
The Hub also helped RSL to identify and implement a range of resource efficiency measures on-site, including simple actions to reduce heating and waste costs which are already making savings.
RSL's industry leadership on innovation and sustainability is one of the reasons it joined the Sherwin-Williams family in May 2016.
“Sherwin-Williams were highly impressed with our history of innovation and our environmentally forward-thinking approach. Most importantly, they buy into and share our belief that sustainability and commercial success go hand-in-hand”, Ivy said.
“Our future with Sherwin-Williams is very bright – it will give us a strong brand presence for our products in Europe within the next two years and the advice and knowledge we’ve received from Claire through the Business Growth Hub has been hugely helpful in getting us to this stage.”
Claire Scott added: “RSL’s story shows that innovation-focused SMEs can lead the way in their industry and attract the interest of the world’s biggest companies.
“The eco-credentials of their products are central to their success, while their efforts to maximise efficiency in their manufacturing processes will ensure they keep costs and impact on the environment as low as possible."