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Derivan Sustainability Program

Derivan HealtheClean (ACN 141621169) trading as HealtheClean™. Specialise in Green, Natural and Safe Cleaning solutions for commercial and domestic application. Company formed in 2009 and is a subsidiary of Derivan (www.derivan.com.au), market leader in natural and safe Artist Acrylic Paints and Mediums.



Derivan's mission statement has been kept very simple so as to be easily understood and adhered to. We're very conscious of our environmental footprint, and plan our actions around a simple but effective creed:

Mission statement extract: "To become the leading supplier/manufacturer of artist's acrylics world-wide by providing unsurpassed quality and service ... employing environmentally sound practices both in the products and production."

In 2009. Derivan was involved in a study with the Central Queensland Local Government Association to gather information on the levels of awareness of, and willingness to participate in, recycling and other waste minimisation activities by residents within the Rockhampton and Gladstone areas.

The findings indicated that 78% respondents had a yellow lid recycling bin at home. Yellow lid bins in Queensland are suitable for collecting paper, cardboard, glass bottles, jars, aluminum and steel cans (including aerosols), juice and milk cartons, and plastic containers for recycling.

The results indicated that 59% of respondents were sure about what items could be recycled and how, although there was some confusion with items such as pizza boxes, plastic bags and drinking glasses, all of which are currently not recyclable.

While these results indicate most people understand the importance of recycling, there is still room to raise awareness. We at Derivan understand that it is equally important to encourage recycling as well as develop products that minimise waste. Therefore, we have implemented a number of recycling programs and environmentally friendly practices within our company.

We refer to this as the Derivan 3P Sustainability Program - the three P’s standing for Product, Packaging and Production.

We do everything possible to ensure that the surpassing quality of our paints doesn't come at a significant cost to the environment. Below are some of the ways that Derivan is minimising its environmental impact, and planning for a sustainable future.


No Derivan paints contain lead or chromates of any kind. Any other heavy metal elements contained in the paints are fully reacted, and as such will present no biological harm if introduced to the environment as land fill. Likewise, everyday use by artists disposing of their waste wash up water on the garden will present no biological harm. However, we would advise disposing of waste water on non-edible plants, in keeping with known best practices.


There are several steps involved in our approach to packaging. We define "containers" as those containers that come in contact with paint or paint related products, (such as jars, cans and tubes) and packaging as those products which hold the containers (such as boxes, and PET clams and boxes).

Recycling of containers for re-use by Derivan:

After research we have found that the likelihood of having paint containers returned to us for re-use was, at best, very low. The main obstacles to this strategy are:

  • That product may be kept for extended periods (literally for decades in some cases) and continues to be used in that time, so tracking and monitoring return would be a slow process, on an individual basis.
  • That products are sent all around the world and the environmental cost of returning them would far outweigh any positive effects of re-use especially taking into account the cleaning of residual contents.


Recycling of containers for re-use by Consumers:

Because of these obstacles, it was decided that the first step was to make the packaging more likely to be re-used by the consumers themselves: consumers may clean out and re-use the containers for other purposes after they have used the contents. As re-use of containers uses the least amount of resources and energy, this became a primary objective. We engaged design consultants and informally polled our customers, to arrive at the designs of our 36ml, 40ml, 50ml, 250ml and 500ml containers. We then introduced universally recyclable materials (materials that can be easily recycled at a local level, eg. PET plastics) as our next objective.

This strategy was more practical than attempting to retrieve product containers.


Recycling inward bound packaging:

Where possible, we recycle all packaging that makes up our raw material supply chain. This is done in several ways.

  • Through the use of pallecons and IBC’s (large raw material containers) which are returnable to the supplier
  • Through returning drums to the supplier (where possible) and recycling those that can't.
  • We have initiated the return to our suppliers of many of the outer cartons we receive containers in. Where this is not possible or energy efficient, they are recycled via a company who collects and collates like size boxes, and supplies them on to other companies. By sending the boxes off to be reused, less energy is consumed than if they were processed and made into new cardboard boxes. Those boxes, cardboard and paper that can't be recycled are sent for recycling by Visy.
  • As a last resort, a very small amount of cardboard may make it to landfill. To reduce the amount of cardboard going to landfill, we actively avoid “contaminating” ie paint or pigment staining the cardboard.



The Derivan Production Facility

After years on planning, Derivan moved its production facility to Rhodes in 2009, with a strong emphasis on creating an environmentally friendly factory. The features of this unique facility include:

  • Full water treatment plants to purify water before releasing to sewerage.
  • Recycled water used for cooling machines during production.
  • Factory lights with sensors that adjust to internal light conditions.
  • The majority of office lights fitted with motion sensors.
  • Air vents instead of air conditioning.
  • Manufacturing and using our own eco-friendly Health-e-clean cleaning products.
  • Ride to Work Program that contributes $500 to the purchase of a bike for employees to use as transport to and from work.
  • Worm farm and compost heap for staff kitchen waste.
  • Cardboard recycling program.
  • Use of energy efficient light bulbs.
  • Recycled paper for internal printed brochures and general office use.
  • We also encourage staff to turn off lights, use less water, recycle any waste and generally behave in an environmentally responsible manner.

Water use and efficiency:

Over the past ten years, we have reduced our water intake by more than 40% (even though production has increased four-fold). This has been managed by:

  • Improving cleaning practices
  • Recycling primary cleaning water
  • Developing in-house initiatives with our own research team (e.g. developing alternative lubricants for machines, which in turn help to make water cleaning more efficient).

We will commission a new plant in Sydney in the near future, where we hope to be running a completely “closed water system” so that all primary cleaning and wash downs will be done with recycled water. We also plan to harvest rain water, for use in toilets and clothes cleaning. At present, we recycle approx 30% of our water for cleaning. Obviously, with the re-designing of a new plant, more efficient ways of doing this will get us to our goal of 100%.

Other initiatives

  • Developing a cycle to work program/policy;
  • Use of “enviro” shower heads in showers(in new factory)
  • Reducing the use of paper in the office and then what paper that is used is recycled paper and obsolete paper is recycled


Derivan is proud of its commitment to green work practices through the 3P Sustainability Program. We believe that making quality products and running a successful business should come at minimal cost to the environment. We encourage everyone to participate in not only on our recycling programs, but also other environmentally friendly activities that can only benefit us all in the short and long term.





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