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Soy Paint Meets New LEED Standards


In an effort to grow demand for U.S. soybeans, the soy checkoff partnered with Sherwin-Williams to develop paints made from soybean oil and recycled plastic bottles. The paints won the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s 2011 Presidential Green Chemistry Award for reducing volatile organic compounds (VOCs) by 60 percent, making them safer to use.

Recently, the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) rating system used for coating solutions issued more stringent requirements. One product that meets the new requirements is Sherwin-Williams ProClassic® Waterbased Acrylic Alkyd Interior Paint, which contains soy. This could increase demand for this paint and the soybean oil used to create it.

“This partnership is about driving innovation and utilizing a renewable raw material,” says Steve Revnew, vice president of product innovation for Sherwin-Williams. “Soy is an excellent product to use because it’s a renewable resource and can help create an environmentally responsible formulation.”

Sherwin-Williams’ use of soy in coatings is one example of its commitment in leading sustainability efforts through the development of technology that meets or exceeds LEED standards.

These renewable and sustainable attributes continue to expand industrial uses for soy. In addition to recent product developments, the checkoff is currently sponsoring Sherwin-Williams research for the development of new soy-based coatings.

Domestic use of U.S. soybean oil in industrial applications recently hit a record high of 1.5 billion pounds, or the oil from 122 million bushels of soybeans, in the 2011-12 marketing year. Ten years ago, the industrial market used 736 million pounds of soybean oil, or the oil from 63 million bushels of soybeans.

In addition to paints, soy can be found in many products, including turf, insulation, candles and plastics — it’s the miracle bean. To learn more about products that contain soy, flip through the Soy Products Guide.

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