Earth-Friendly Products for a Healthier Workplace


Ghent’s Stance on Sustainability

Being kind to the earth and your health—while also looking great. Now, that's true beauty. And that's the idea behind our water-based paint. In enclosed office spaces, it means less off-gassing. Offices can be rife with VOCs from carpeting, office supplies, and more. Third party sustainability certification ensures you're giving your employees fresh air to breathe and a safer work setting. One of the many ways we strive to provide better-for-you products is with the components we choose to produce our products, like choosing water-based paint on our glassboards. 

As the world becomes more aware of the impact of human actions on the environment, the use of sustainable products has become more prevalent in many industries. In this article, we will explore the advantages of choosing sustainably certified products, the difference between water-based paint and oil-based paint, and why water-based paint is a more sustainable choice.


Water-Based Paint vs. Oil-Based Paint

The primary difference between water-based paint and oil-based paint is the solvent used to thin the paint. Oil-based paint uses a solvent such as mineral spirits or turpentine, while water-based paint uses water. The solvent is necessary to thin the paint and allow it to spread evenly over the surface. However, oil-based paint solvents are much harsher on the environment than water-based paint solvents. Oil-based paint solvents emit volatile organic compounds (VOCs) into the air, which can cause respiratory problems and contribute to air pollution. VOCs are also a significant contributor to the formation of smog, which can have serious health consequences. Water-based paint, on the other hand, has a much lower VOC content and does not emit harmful fumes into the air. This makes it a safer choice for both the environment and the people working with the paint.



Sustainability Advantages of Water-Based Paint

The sustainability benefits of water-based paint extend beyond its low VOC content. In comparison to oil-based paint, water-based paint necessitates less energy during its production. This stems from the fact that the manufacturing process for water-based paint is simpler and doesn't involve high temperatures or toxic solvents. Furthermore, water-based paint is more convenient to clean up than its oil-based counterpart. The cleanup of oil-based paint entails the use of harsh solvents for brushes and spills, posing potential harm to the environment. In contrast, water-based paint can be easily cleaned using simple soap and water, thereby establishing itself as a more environmentally conscious alternative.


The Relationship Between BIFMA’s LEVEL® Certification and LEED

BIFMA’s LEVEL® certification is designed to help consumers identify products that have a reduced environmental impact. LEVEL® certification evaluates products based on their sustainability in six categories: product innovation, energy and carbon, water, health and environment, social responsibility, and product performance. Auditors evaluate both the product and the manufacturer across those categories to determine if a product can carry the coveted LEVEL® certification. The end-to-end process ensures the product is good both for the employees manufacturing it as well as those that will use it daily. 

LEVEL certification is closely related to LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design), a certification program for buildings that promotes sustainability in the construction and operation of buildings. Buildings can earn LEED certification by meeting specific criteria in areas such as energy efficiency, water conservation, and indoor air quality. Using LEVEL certified products can help buildings earn LEED certification and promote sustainability in the built environment.

Water-based paint is a more sustainable choice than oil-based paint for several reasons. It has a lower VOC content, requires less energy to produce, and is easier to clean up. Because Ghent prioritizes using sustainable materials in the production of its products like Glassboards, we’ve created a product that meets the strict LEVEL® 2 certification, which in turn can help buildings earn LEED certification and promote sustainability in the built environment. Water-based paint is used on our full line of glassboards for vibrant, long-lasting colors. Our EZ Mobile Glassboards, Aria and Harmony lines, and Stroll Mobile glassboards, all feature the same painting process and are produced in the same facility. As people become more aware of the impact of their actions on the environment, the use of sustainable products will continue to grow. For those in education, healthcare, and hospitality industries, it is essential to consider the advantages of choosing sustainably produced products . For Ghent, we know beauty comes not just from fantastic design but doing the right thing, too.


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