In Materials Performance and Protection, we launched new products to replace competitors' more hazardous alternatives in the paint and coatings and the leather markets. We applied for and were granted patents for many of these innovative technologies in 2017.
Proxel Spektra™ Preservative is our new MIT-free product launched in Europe in 2017, which was developed to address the growing regulatory concerns surrounding the use of MIT as a preservative. It offers robust, long term, in-can protection of our customers’ coatings products.
Innovative development work is ongoing in the fields of architectural coatings, marine anti-fouling coatings, composites and others. We are also creating new business models to bring value to our customers through unique service offerings and formulation expertise.
In 2017 our Wood Protection unit also aligned our business models as we completed a further stage in the integration of the Zelam and Diacon businesses, both acquired in 2015.
Initiatives in 2017 included the “Why Wood?" campaign, which highlights the benefits of wood versus alternative materials, in particular its renewability and sustainability. Our preservative products enable long-term protection for wood and wood products used in outdoor applications, which significantly extends their useful life and enhances the sustainability of wood-based materials.
In the reporting year, we introduced glue-line insecticide additive technologies used in protection of engineered wood products in North America, Russia and New Zealand. We also launched new anti-sapstain application and monitoring technologies in New Zealand, Australia, the United States and South America; and we introduced new wood preservative products in Russia, Brazil and China.