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Note 7: Product stewardship

Product safety/stewardship encompasses all product aspects of undertaking business in a socially aware, environmentally sound and ethical manner.


Distribution of product is one facet of product stewardship. Our aim is to eliminate incidents associated with the distribution of our product by ensuring that our contracted distribution companies have high safety standards in place and by auditing their performance.

Distribution incidents


















































Product stewardship

Product stewardship has been incorporated into the company’s HSE and operational eco-efficiency agenda for 2011–2015, with a clear direction for building a comprehensive product safety platform, based on:

  • A clear definition of the methods and controls required to safeguard the correct use of materials with intrinsic hazards
  • Prioritization of substances by incorporating the requirements of the UN Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling (GHS)
  • Management of these priority substances, including phase-out if required. This has led to the phasing out of some materials including lead compounds. The product stewardship and regulatory affairs community works closely with Research, Development and Innovation (RD&I) to establish suitable alternatives

We have established an initiative to assess all priority substances used by AkzoNobel, throughout their lifecycle, by 2015. In 2011, a number of materials were assessed. This commitment to better controlling or replacing materials with unsuitable risk will ensure that our material and products can continue to be used by all stakeholders in a safe and cost effective manner. This work is carried out by a dedicated team of professionals, who ensure the product stewardship agenda is firmly established in our business culture. A better understanding of information related to our materials and products is also showing benefits in terms of portfolio management. Greater harmonization of our systems across businesses not only minimizes costs, but also leads to consistent data use.

Our key biocide suppliers conduct plant hygiene audits and hence reduce the amount of biocides used. Also, together with our key biocide suppliers, we are studying the efficacy and application of slow release biocides to protect our paints, the goal being to apply less fungicides and algaecides.

Regulatory affairs

We continue to devote considerable resources to meet our legal obligations and ensure we can continue manufacturing and marketing our products in all countries where we operate. Our current priority activities include:

  • Within Europe, to meet our obligations under Phase II of the EU REACH requirements in mid-2013
  • Developing more harmonized substance classifications. This is resource consuming, but we see the benefits to manufacturers and users in establishing correct, meaningful and harmonized classifications
  • Continuing to support the High Production Volume (HPV) program in the US and to ensure we meet any subsequent regulatory requirements
  • Supporting the voluntary production of product stewardship summaries for all our substances under the Responsible Care® program
  • Continuing with several advocacy initiatives to promote a more harmonized way of introducing chemical legislation. Initiatives in China, the US, Malaysia, Taiwan, Japan and South Korea have been beneficial. Support for global initiatives through various trade associations and the International Council of Chemical Associations (ICCA) will also continue

In addition to legal requirements, we continuously strive to ensure that our products are developed, manufactured and marketed in a manner which supports their long-term sustainability. We will drive for more sustainable alternatives, the minimization of non-renewable resources and the continuous reduction of materials with risk in use.

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