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Note 11: Climate change

The AkzoNobel Carbon Policy confirms the business opportunity and the societal imperative of managing our climate impact throughout our product chains through innovative products, technology and energy management. It sets cradle-to-gate carbon footprint intensity targets (10 percent reduction by 2015, and 20-25 percent reduction by 2020, both with a 2009 baseline) and states our ambition to control absolute emissions from our own operations no higher than 2008 levels.

We have assessed the cradle-to-gate footprint of our operations since 2009. We have now assessed 366 key value chains. This year indicates a total footprint of around 15.9 million tons of CO2(e) assessed cradle-to-gate for our ongoing businesses. There was an additional 0.35 million tons of CO2(e) in Scope 1 and 2 reported from Chemicals Pakistan (divested by year-end). As in previous years, the cradle-to-gate assessment indicated that around 70 percent was from raw materials extraction and processing (Scope 3 upstream) and under 30 percent from our own direct and indirect emissions from energy use.

  • The results of the cradle-to-gate assessments show a reduction of approximately 3 percent, from about 980 kg/ton (2009) to around 950 kg/ton in 2012 on a comparable basis. We have achieved reductions as a result of steam supplies with lower carbon footprint, reformulation of products and different product mix. However, new facilities and acquisitions in China have increased the carbon footprint
  • 2012 absolute scope 1 and 2 emissions were 4.7 million tons of CO2(e) (2008 baseline: 4.6 million)

Cradle-to-gate carbon footprint
in million tons of CO2(e)

Cradle-to-gate carbon footprint in million tons of CO2€ (bar chart)

The carbon footprint of the six main greenhouse gases is measured from cradle-to-gate based on the international Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Protocol and Lifecycle Assessment ISO 14040-44. See Assessment method on our website. The cradle-to-gate assessment excludes Chemicals Pakistan: the Performance summary includes Scope 1 and 2 emissions from this business. 2009 and 2011 cradle-to-gate data has been restated to reflect changes in raw material data.

Scope 3 upstream and downstream

This year we have assessed all Scope 3 categories according to the GHG Protocol Scope 3 standard, taking into account guidance on measurement and reporting developed by the WBCSD Chemical Sector Working Group. The results are summarized in the table and diagram on in chapter Value chain.

All Scope 3 categories million tons CO2





Included in cradle-to-gate product footprint.

More information on the assessment can be found on our corporate website.

Purchase goods and services*



Capital goods



Fuel and energy-related activities*



Upstream transportation*



Waste generated in operations*



Business travel



Employee commuting



Upstream leased assets



Downstream transportation



Processing of sold products/
Use of sold products



End of life treatments of sold products



Downstream leased assets













We continue to focus on improving the energy efficiency and managing the fuel mix of our energy intensive businesses to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and potential carbon costs. We are also committed to reducing the impact of our raw materials and developing solutions that help our customers to reduce their energy requirements.

Businesses have developed carbon management plans which identify specific improvement opportunities and programs. These plans are quantified and summarized at a company level to manage and follow up carbon reduction targets. Examples of programs in place include the following elements found in Notes 11–18 of this Report:

  • Material strategies for key raw material groups (e.g. solvents and resins)
  • Renewable raw materials
  • Energy strategy including renewable energy targets and ambitions
  • Joint activities with suppliers to reduce the footprint of key raw materials
  • Reformulations using lower footprint raw materials
  • New curing developments to reduce energy use during product application
  • Site programs to improve yields, reduce waste and improve energy efficiency

In addition to activities to reduce energy use and greenhouse gas emissions in our value chain, we participate in different business initiatives, such as the WBCSD Chemical Sector group for carbon reporting and Scope 4 emissions. Our carbon management and performance is reported through the Carbon Disclosure Project. We have also taken an active part in developing the GHG Protocol Accounting and Reporting Guidelines for product lifecycles and corporate value chains (Scope 3).

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