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Dutch consumers and painters are least concerned with sustainability

Sustainability is a hot topic in society as a whole, and has a major impact on developments in the overall economy. Top-down pressure demanding more sustainable and environment-friendly options is for instance evident in governments signing the Paris Climate Agreement. Meanwhile, overall awareness causes the rise of responsible consumerism, a bottom-up demand for more sustainable products and options, a sentiment even resulting in people standing up and taking part in significant demonstrations for a brighter, greener and more sustainable future.

Development of sustainability

This trend towards sustainability was apparent before in many sectors, including the construction sector, but languished a bit during the crisis years. After the financial crisis, as the economy got stronger and consumers’ budgets grew, sustainability got more important again. Currently, when designing buildings and choosing materials, sustainability is becoming an increasingly important factor in the construction market.

Paint market

In many countries, sustainability is gaining importance in the paint market as well, a market inherently associated with chemicals. That is why USP Marketing Consultancy has been monitoring this sustainability trend for the Painter Insight Monitor. The results of the 2019 Painter Insight Monitor, for which professional painters from eight European countries were interviewed, show that the trend towards sustainability, and the demand for sustainable products, differs very much per country.


As can be seen in the image, a majority of clients ask professional painters to use environment-friendly paint products in five of the eight European countries involved in our study, namely in France, Germany Spain, Poland and Italy. When we asked painters whether they pay attention to eco-labels of painting products, the same five countries stood out. Similar results were seen when asking more specific questions, for instance about the usage of solvent-free or preservative-free paints. Again, a higher demand from clients for these more sustainable products correlated with painters paying more attention to their usage. Overall, this paints a clear picture of a high demand of clients for sustainable products causing painters to pay more attention to eco-labels, using more solvent-free paints, and putting more emphasis on sustainability as a whole.

Low demand for environmentally friendly paint products

When it comes to sustainability, what stands out is the runt of the litter, the three countries in which demand for environment-friendly paint products is lower. Evidently, in Belgium, the United Kingdom and the Netherlands, demand for environment-friendly paints is not that high, resulting in painters paying less attention to eco-labels in the same three countries, especially in the Netherlands. When focusing on the usage of more specific products like solvent-free and preservative-free paints, it seems that the Dutch customers are not very demanding, but that the Dutch painters actually take the initiative and pay more attention.

Painter Insight Monitor 2019

Despite these efforts, and given the overall rise of responsible consumerism and focus on sustainability, it cannot be denied that Dutch consumers and painters are lagging behind the rest of the European countries and seem less concerned, whereas France is in the lead. For more country-specific insights in trend developments in the paint market, USP Marketing Consultancy refers you to the 2019 Painter Insight Monitor.