Color me renewable

Everyone knows the Colormaker Industries building in Orchard Road. You can’t miss it. The huge mural by local artist Miguel Gonzalez covers two sides of the building in a kaleidoscope of colours celebrating the range of eco-friendly paint and coatings used for murals, signs, artworks, pool coatings and textiles around the world.

By artist Miguel Gonzalez, using Colormaker’s Permaplastik scenic paint

But take a look at the roof and you see a different kind of kaleidoscope, a massive array of 356 solar panels.

Colormaker roof
356 panels

Investing in solar was something of a dream come true for me. We wanted to go as big as we could for the roof area and Australian Solar Designs recommended a 356 panel installation. It was originally forecast to produce twice as much electricity as we use, or enough to power 20 homes. However, even with the recent La Ninas, our carbon abatement measures have seen our usage decrease so much that the surplus:use ratio has grown to around 2.2:1.0

Owner, David Stuart

Colormaker Industries is targeting carbon neutrality by the end of 2024, now just 800 days away. As well as installing solar panels and purchasing 100% green energy, the company has changed work practices and installed equipment to reduce energy consumption, together with specialised kit to monitor usage. It has an electric vehicle (EV) for carrying out local deliveries that is exclusively charged using its own clean solar power, its first electric forklift and a small (14+kWh) battery to avoid drawing on grid power during the evening peak. Colormaker is proud to be a Solar Champion, supporting the Solar Alliance’s vision to turn Brookvale into an urban renewable energy zone.You can read more about its commitment to reducing its environmental impact here.

The next step in Colormaker’s sustainability journey is a 144 kWh battery to store its solar power, more EVs with longer range and a greater payload capacity and another forklift truck or two . Also in the pipeline is a carbon farm where both native and other trees can be planted, plus sustainable hemp, to sequester carbon in soil to offset carbon emissions.

Our planet is very fragile and we haven’t got a moment to lose. Sustainability, indeed, regeneration, is something that we care deeply about. It’s just one step on the journey but we’re delighted that there’s a little bit of Australian sunshine in every drop [of ink] we make.

David Stuart

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