When a young Welshman by the name of Herbert Evans first arrived in Johannesburg in 1889 he probably would never have believed that in 2014 a company would exist that traces its history back well over a century. It was however the young Mr Evans who introduced the production of floor polish, carriage varnish and ready-mixed tinted paints to the country of South Africa.
In the years that followed, Herbert Evans & Co. would go on to expand rapidly, while at the same time developing an unmatched reputation for innovation, quality and customer service. The success of Herbert Evans and his company was not lost on others, specifically Solly Rudner, an individual who would go on to cultivate a similar reputation with Chrome Chemicals, a company which manufactured Plascon Paint, and other products.
The Plascon Paint brand would in fact go on to become so popular that its success led to the creation of a whole new business entity, Plascon Paints and Chemical Industries, in 1945. Within 25 years of the new entity being established it has become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Barsab, the mining services group co-owned by SAB and Thomas Barlow & Sons Ltd. A year after this, in 1970, Plascon Paints and Chemical Industries would embark on a highly anticipated merger with the aforementioned Herbert Evans & Co to form Plascon Evans.
Most recently, in 2012, the company was formally renamed Kansai Plascon following a merger with Japanese company Kansai Paint, the world’s sixth largest coatings company. Today the company continues to drive innovation and excellence in the retail, trade, industrial and furniture coatings markets in South and Southern Africa, all while championing the Plascon brand. It does so from its three strategically placed manufacturing sites in Mobeni, KwaZulu-Natal, Luiperdsvlei in Krugersdorp, and Epping in Cape Town.
Kansai Plascon prides itself on the fact that it appreciates that a person’s home is their greatest investment and that maintaining it can be an expensive business. Nevertheless it is an investment that ensures that one’s home retains its long term value. With this in mind the company guarantees that when a customer uses its any of its seven premium quality paint brands, Double Velvet, Cashmere, Velvaglo, Bathrooms and Kitchens, Wall and All, Micatex and Nuroof Cool, they end up with the finest finish and long lasting results.
Kansai Plascon's seven year Quality Guarantee pledge on these premium brands proves that the use of higher quality paint reduces the overall cost of coating over time by around 50 percent when factoring in the paint and labour costs of having to repaint sooner with lesser quality paints. Plascon wholeheartedly believes that its technically advanced products, coupled with thorough surface preparation and correct application, will leave one’s home protected and looking beautiful for longer.
Equal pride within the company stems from its South African heritage and with this comes a strong sense of social responsibility. Kansai Plascon is actively committed to investing in local communities and upliftment programmes across the country, as well as providing ongoing employee education on environmental and health issues.
In addition to supplying paint and in some cases, funding, to various schools, children's homes, orphanages and crèches, the company’s involvement with the free CID University in Johannesburg has helped to train and employ many students to carry out building and maintenance work on the campus. Kansai Plascon is also a member of Business and Arts South Africa, an organisation dedicated to ensuring the sustainability of arts across the region, and one of its employees assists directly with their mentoring programme.
Other important foundations and agencies including The Wilderness Leadership Foundation, Endangered Wildlife Trust, and the SPCA have also received assistance from Plascon. In East London there even exists what the company describes as a “a very grateful” penguin called Molly, who, thanks to Plascon's sponsorship after she was rescued from an oil spill, enjoys a happy, healthy life at the local aquarium.
Kansai Plascon also accepts and acknowledges its responsibility towards the encouraging of a culture that is dedicated to progressive and sustainable solutions. Green, the company claims, is not just a colour in its mind. Rather what Green represents is a commitment to implementing environmentally considerate practices in every aspect of its business.
Striving to inspire more ecological considerate decisions, the company has responded to the challenge by innovating unparalleled sustainable solutions based on the three key pillars of compliance, sustainability, and products.
Kansai Plascon has successfully implemented Environmental Management Systems in each of its South African manufacturing plants, and attained ISO 1 4001 certification at all of them, while it has also continued to develop and implement ground-breaking environmental processes to ensure that its future remain sustainable. Lastly, the company continues to pioneer the use of environmentally sensitive products, all the while without compromising the exceptional standards and performance that it has become so well known for.
Written by Will Daynes, research by Vincent Kielty