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Shepherd Color’s Commitment to Sustainable Sourcing of Inorganic Color Pigments

A wide angle elevated view of an open cut mine.  An excavator scoops up dirt and ore and is about to empty it into the rear tray of the haulage truck.

Ensuring raw material suppliers are obtaining sources in a responsible way.

During the past five to six years, Shepherd Color, like many manufacturing companies worldwide, has been increasingly focused on the sourcing of materials as another critical sustainability factor.

Chris Collesel, Purchasing Manager, is responsible for purchasing raw materials, bulk chemicals, and packaging components as well as laboratory and office supplies. In that role, Collesel focuses heavily on ethical and responsible sourcing for our inorganic color pigments.

This includes all aspects of sustainability from an environmental and social impact. "It has really changed significantly over the last several years," Collesel said. "We have become more knowledgeable and more thoughtful about how we source our raw materials - not just what we make as inorganic pigment manufacturers, but what we bring in the door."

One of the highly publicized examples of sourcing involves cobalt and other minerals that come from the African region, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), which is undergoing numerous conflicts. “There’s quite a bit of focus on how cobalt is leveraged in our day-to-day lives, while potentially exploiting people in Africa through unethical mining practices,” Collesel said.

“As a result, Shepherd Color has implemented an extensive process for ensuring that raw material suppliers and its
supply chain are doing their due diligence — making sure materials aren’t obtained in a non-responsible way,” Collesel said.

"Most companies have some type of an outward facing policy or declaration about how they wish to do business and we’re a bit different than that,” he said. “Shepherd Color goes further in that it states that it will do its due diligence and do all that it can to make sure it obtains its raw materials and other supplies for inorganic color pigments through responsible means.”

“We also have a Certificate of Declaration that we expect our suppliers to sign, at least those that are involved with those products that are of a suspected conflict nature, like cobalt oxide,” he added. “We have them sign certificates that they, in fact, do their due diligence much like we do.”

“As an inorganic pigment manufacturer, Shepherd Color takes the process step further through professional third-party audits to ensure that all stages of the supply chain are engaging in ethical sourcing,” Collesel said. “We undergo these audits and expect that our suppliers either self-audit and/or have had third-party audits.”

Read more on how we source our materials by downloading the rest of this article.



Founded in 1981, The Shepherd Color Company produces a wide range of high-performance Complex Inorganic Color
Pigments (CICPs) are used in a variety of industries. These pigments are an extraordinary class of inorganic pigments
that offer stable, long-lasting color for many applications.

They have unbeatable weatherability, heat and chemical resistance, are non-warping and easy to disperse. More Expertise. Better Performance. Best Value. That’s Shepherd Color.