How we look after the environment

Using the power of art to enhance the education of children in remote areas of China (photo)

We’re using the power of art to enhance the education of children in remote areas of China. It’s all part of our latest China Student Sustainability Awards program and involves student volunteers from 20 renowned universities connecting with young people in 31 isolated communities.

Doing more with less remains one of the most pressing societal challenges. At AkzoNobel, we continue to create more value from fewer resources, minimizing our environmental impact across the value chain.

We strive to achieve leading performance in our operations and manage the environmental impact of our sites through our Resource Productivity program.

More than 98% of our value chain comes from our suppliers and the use of our products by customers. We have improved the measurement of our Scope 3 value chain emissions – and tailored it to a focused paints and coatings company. This provided us with a new baseline for 2018. Our 2019 value chain emissions (Scope 1, 2 and 3) were 14.6 million tons of CO2(e) in 2019, 3% lower than the previous year.

We continue to work with our suppliers to minimize the environmental impact of raw materials we source. Environmental protection is one of the four innovation priorities of our Paint the Future ecosystem, which was launched in the first half of 2019 and was followed a few months later by a dedicated supplier event.

Many of our sustainable solutions (see Note 1) deliver customer benefits while having a positive impact on the environment, such as water-based products with no emissions, paint that makes buildings more energy efficient and coatings that can reduce a ship’s fuel consumption.

In addition, focusing across the value chain offers many opportunities to optimize material use and limit environmental impact. Circularity is more than only promoting the recycling of paints and coatings. It means finding alternative sources for our raw materials, as well as extending the functionality of the materials in paints and coatings after their use. One of the focus areas of our Paint the Future initiative is circular solutions, allowing us to benefit from the innovative ideas of startups to further our ambitions towards a .

We continue to monitor risks and opportunities related to climate change and the transition towards a circular economy, as recommended by the Taskforce for Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD). We partnered with industry peers and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) to develop guidelines for TCFD implementation as they relate to our sector. To clarify our adoption of these recommendations, we provide an index table of the TCFD recommendations on our website.

We’re aware that climate change may have a future impact on our business, as it may lead to more frequent and extreme weather events, resulting in supply chain disruption and changing market dynamics. In addition, it may also result in a global price on carbon and increased prices for raw materials. We’re already taking steps to address this, for example by adopting an internal carbon price for large investment decisions, introducing sustainable portfolio management to develop low-carbon and more circular solutions and making the circular economy a key element of our Paint the Future startup challenge.

Carbon footprint

The carbon footprint is the total amount of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions caused during a defined period of the product lifecycle. It is expressed in terms of the amount of carbon dioxide equivalents CO2(e) emitted.


Volatile organic compounds.

Circular economy

An economic system which is restorative and regenerative by design, and which aims to keep products, components and materials at their highest utility and value at all times, distinguishing between technical and biological cycles.