Franklin Paint Company Recognized for Environmental Leadership
Contact: Karen Angelo at 978-430-6303, Karen@turi.org.
April 14, 2015, Franklin, Mass. -- The Toxics Use Reduction Act (TURA) program and state legislators today presented Franklin Paint Company with an award in recognition of the company’s environmental leadership.
One of nine companies across Massachusetts being recognized as a “TURA 25th Anniversary Leader,” Franklin Paint Company, an employer of 28 people and manufacturer of more than 2 million gallons of traffic and field marking paint per year, has eliminated use of xylene and methanol. It has also reduced use of three other chemicals below reporting thresholds while increasing paint production. By finding safer materials and reformulating products, the company has reduced use of lead by more than 100,000 pounds, chromium compounds by 100,000 pounds, and toluene by 500,000 pounds.
Co-owners Larry Boise and Stephen Schultz, who purchased the company in 2013, are committed to continuing the company’s legacy of finding safer alternatives that work for their customers. Boise was the company’s Toxics Use Reduction Planner when the TURA law was enacted 25 years ago.
“The TURA law ended up being a blessing in disguise,” said Boise, President and CEO of Franklin Paint Company. “In the early years of TURA, we went through the planning process, worked with the Office of Technical Assistance and we haven’t stopped the process of improvement. We do this work because it’s the right thing to do for our workers, the community and the environment.”
Adoption of safer substitutes has made it possible for the company to promote its products as a greener alternative when compared to its competitors, receiving positive responses from customers.
“Not only are our formulations safer and better for the environment, our customers tell us that the products work better,” said Schultz, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Franklin Paint Company. “Our paint is less abrasive, making it easier to flow through the machines. Contractors tell us that they finish on time and on budget because they don’t need to stop and clean or replace filters.”
The company has been working with the state’s Office of Technical Assistance (OTA) since the early 1990s to find safer formulations, develop emergency contingency plans and improve worker health.
“Franklin Paint is one of those companies that we only needed to point in a certain direction and then they made significant improvements,” said Rick Reibstein, OTA Environmental Analyst and Policy and Outreach Manager. “Since we first met with them in the early 1990’s, they have always taken good ideas and run with them. They fully deserve the credit they are receiving today for continually making their facility and products safer.”
Read more about their accomplishments in the Franklin Paint Company case study.
The awards and facility tours taking place from March through May showcase environmental accomplishments—reducing the use of toxic chemicals, reducing waste and conserving energy and water—since the Toxics Use Reduction Act was enacted into law by the Massachusetts legislature in 1989.
About the Toxics Use Reduction Act Program
The Toxics Use Reduction Act does not restrict chemical use but requires companies to evaluate toxic chemical use, submit usage reports to the state and assess the implications of reducing use by making process changes or switching to safer alternatives. Data show that Massachusetts companies continue to make progress in reducing toxic chemical use and waste: between 2000 and 2012, companies reduced use by 23 percent, waste by 42 percent and on-site releases by 73 percent.
Celebrating 25 Years
Twenty-five years ago, the Massachusetts legislature passed landmark legislation—the Toxics Use Reduction Act (TURA). Today, the TURA Program is considered a model environmental policy by other states and countries. The three agencies below have provided training, grants, technical assistance and support to help companies reduce toxic chemical use and costs, improve health and safety and compete globally as more international regulations restrict the use of toxic substances.
- Toxics Use Reduction Institute (TURI) at the University of Massachusetts Lowell. Provides education, training, and grants for Massachusetts industry and communities; sponsors research and demonstration sites on safer materials and technologies; provides policy analysis; and manages the TURA Science Advisory Board.
- Office of Technical Assistance & Technology (OTA). A non-regulatory agency within the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs that provides free, confidential, on-site technical and compliance consultations to Massachusetts businesses and institutions.
- Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP). Certifies Toxics Use Reduction (TUR) Planners, receives and reviews toxics use reports submitted by companies, provides guidance, takes enforcement actions, and collects chemical use data and makes it available to the public.