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About us

Environmental Responsibility

In today's world we are all concerned about the environment and at Winsor & Newton we think it's very important to look at how we can reduce our impact on our planet.

We are keen to play our part in society, minimising any negative impact of our activities on the environment and on the communities in which our facilities are based. We also strive to help artists reduce their impact by providing advice on the use of our products.

We are constantly investing in initiatives to improve water pollution, waste management, emissions and energy use as well as being committed to protecting natural resources.  Over the years we have achieved this in a number of ways, though we are always looking to improve and our policy will always be a work in progress.

Detail from Tomorrow's Dream by Voltaire Perez (Phillipines).
National Finalist from The Winsor & Newton Worldwide Millenium
Painting Competition.

Find out more about what we've been doing by clicking on the links below.

Our approach to manufacturing
Our approach to natural resources

Our approach to our people
How can Artists help?

Our approach to manufacturing

  • We are holders of the manufacturing environmental British Standard 14001. This is an international standard and certification for environmental systems and we are committed to achieving the targets which allows us to keep it
  • We have achieved significant improvement in reducing waste (reduction at source, alternatives to landfill and by recycling.)
  • Our factory machinery is monitored for energy usage and has been upgraded to improve efficiency.
  • We have reduced the amount of water usage in our factory and have invested in an improved effluent treatment plant. This has enabled us to recover 30% of water resulting in a saving of 1.2 million litres of water per year.
  • Our packaging recycling facility enables us to reduce landfill disposal by 180-220 tonnes per year.
  • Our office's new individual heating and cooling system has greatly reduced our energy consumption.
  • Our cadmium levels in our waste is dropping by about 80-90% year on year which is a clear reduction in our hazardous waste. This is due to improved processing, not a reduction in the use of cadmiums.

Our approach to natural resources

  • Our policy is to use suppliers who can source FSC wood for all our brush handles, easels and canvas stretchers.
  • Where this isn't possible, for technical or quality reasons, we ensure that our suppliers prove that the wood they are using is legally sourced and harvested.
  • We also ensure that we work with suppliers who have the same level of commitment to environmental issues.
  • All our natural hair products are obtained from sustainable sources and are by-products of other industries. Animals are not sourced for the sole use of our brush-making.

Our approach to our people

  • Winsor & Newton is an equal opportunities employer
  • And provides a safe and healthy environment for all its employees
  • We are all committed to reducing our impact on the environment through numerous office policies including recycling policies and water and energy reduction policies, which focus on how we use paper, lighting, temperature control and electrical appliances.
  • We give our employees the opportunity to reduce their environmental impact by providing a government-backed policy to save tax by cycling to work along with a company car policy that reduces emissions.

How can Artists help?

We know that using solvents and pigments is a natural part of being an artist and this will always be the case, especially when working with solvents and cadmium colours.

However just as we (as manufacturers) feel that we want to contribute to lessening our impact on our planet, we understand that many artists will also feel the same way and will want to do the most that they can, to do their bit for the environment.

Below are a few hints and tips that perhaps may help you, as an artist, to develop good studio practice and be a little greener:

  • Store all materials, particularly solvents tightly capped when not in use.
  • Ensure plenty of fresh air, ventilation and circulation in the place in which you paint.
  • Do not pour out more solvent than is necessary for your current painting session.
  • If you paint with oil colour, you may wish to consider Artisan Water Mixable Oil Colour which cleans up with water and avoids hazardous solvents.
  • Where possible, don't waste paint and only squeeze as much from the tube as you want to use in that session.
  • Wash your hands thoroughly at the end of your painting session.
  • Do not use excess solvent to wash colour from your hands. Use a hand cleanser like Winsor & Newton Artgel.
  • Keep artists' materials out of reach from animals, children or foodstuffs.
  • After painting, clear away all solvent and paint soaked rags and discarded palettes. Dispose of them in an airtight solvent-proof container. Alternatively, soak them in water and place them securely in a plastic bag and place outdoors in a metal dustbin, placed away from buildings.
  • If you wish to avoid using Cadmium colours in water colour, we have created a number of alternative hues which provide some of the desirable characteristics of cadmiums. For more information see our Artists' Water Colour.

For additional information on studio practice and safe use tips, see our health & safety information.

Or take a look at our Product Article on Art Materials & Environmental Legislation.

If you have any other questions about how to paint in a more environmentally friendly way, please feel free to contact us with your specific question.