Interview with Mark Parker, President and CEO of Royal Coatings, Inc.: Improving Social and Environmental Impacts


We want to know more about Royal Coatings! Please tell us a little bit about your company, and what’s on your plate right now both as a business and as a member of the sustainability conscious New Orleans community.

Royal Coatings is a manufacturer of industrial paints and coatings located just outside of New Orleans. We are a global company that sells to industries such as marine, infrastructure, transportation and OEM. We are currently seeing a considerable amount and interest in the west coast markets for sustainable alternatives to existing products. I just came back from a massive LEED building project in Santa Monica which was constructed with our paints and coatings. While our company was founded on manufacturing healthier alternatives, we know it’s a continuous improvement process and there is much more we can do. Working with Life City has brought to our attention local resources that we previously did not know existed. We have multiple local projects and opportunities ongoing as a result of this relationship.

What are some of your proudest moments as President + CEO of Royal Coatings?

I always try to reflect on the recipe for our success in various markets and projects and I always come back to a common theme…the employees. We were recently awarded a substantial contract after 3 years of perseverance that involved a considerable amount of dedication from our entire team. I’m proud of this team.

How does Royal Coatings go about improving your social and environmental impacts?

From a sales perspective we target markets where our technology will improve productivity, lessen the burden of regulatory compliance and make the work environment safer for employees. This approach by default always has a positive impact on the environment. From a consumer perspective we are constantly engaged in sourcing healthier raw materials and generating less waste.

What partnerships have you formed in order to leverage sustainable impact as a company?

Through the help of Life City we have ongoing projects with local universities, recycling companies and health & Safety consultants to just name a few.

If you had a magic wand to change one thing that would make it easier for your company or other New Orleans businesses to go green, what would that thing be?

The culture. People have the misconception that healthier products are always more expensive. In some cases, yes but we are very competitive to our less healthy counterparts in more than one industry. Buyers need to look beyond the basic material cost and consider ancillary costs such as regulatory, insurance, preventative maintenance and hazardous waste disposal.

What advice would you give to other businesses who are trying to improve their internal practices to benefit their city and state?

Dedicate some serious resources to the tasks because the benefits will outweigh the cost. We started out slow and cautious until we drew a direct line from sustainability to sales. Our growth curve right now is the steepest it has been in the last 15 years.

Anything else you would like to tell our community of Green Card members and Green Businesses such as upcoming events or promotions they should look out for?

Continue to help each other out and support one another’s businesses. I have spent a considerable amount of time on the west coast promoting our company and I can tell you this is a movement that will continue to spread.