People and communities all around the world beneﬁt from the programs running under our AkzoNobel Cares umbrella, including “Let’s Colour”, the Pintuco Foundation, SOS Children’s Villages and the Education Fund. Local volunteers from AkzoNobel work closely with partners to transform communities and make a positive impact. Overall, we aim to empower more than 100,000 members of local communities with new skills between 2020 and 2030, through more than 2,000 projects. We’ve changed our ambition from 35,000 by 2025 to align the time horizon with our other key sustainability ambitions.
Our main social programs focus on inspiring, uplifting and renovating communities through our “Let’s Colour” initiative. We also educate, mentor and train future generations, unlocking possibilities for people who need them most. In 2022, we staged 239 projects and trained 24,225 people in painting, entrepreneurship, professional skills and soft skills. The Grupo Orbis acquisition added ten projects in 2022 (around 4% of the total) and 1,666 people trained (around 7%).
Our global “Let’s Colour” initiative is all about adding color to people’s lives. We believe in the power of paint to transform lives by uplifting communities, changing behavior and making living spaces more fun, livable and enjoyable. In 2022, we donated more than 170,000 liters of paint to renovate community living spaces in 32 countries, with more than 1,650 employees volunteering their time. A great example of “Let’s Colour” in 2022 was our project to re-energize Jodhpur, the Blue City, in India. See the case study Out of the blue to learn more.
SOS Children’s Villages
This year we celebrated the fifth year of our global partnership with SOS Children’s Villages. As a member of the Global YouthCan! network, we work together to advance the employability of young people at risk. Through our painter academies and by offering soft skills training, entrepreneurship programs, mentoring and traineeships, we empowered around 2,550 young people with new skills in 2022. Our paint was also used to refresh living spaces for children growing up in family-like care. We welcomed Germany to our global partnership, bringing the total to 24 countries involved so far.
Our joint Education Fund, of which we share the board with our partner Plan International Netherlands, has been in a transition year between 2021’s STEM project in China and the one we’ve just started in Delhi, India. The Saksham project will share vocational skills in collaboration with our AkzoNobel Paint Academy. The first batch of trainees started in December. They’ve been given the chance to attend the Paint Academy, where they’ll gain the specialist skills they need to start careers as painters.
Local AkzoNobel Cares programs
We continued to run the AkzoNobel Paint Academy in nine cities in India, offering skills development to young people in need and opening the door for participants to gain employment with paint applicators. Recognizing that some people – such as those from the LGBTI+ community – often lack access to these opportunities, we continued to promote diversity and inclusion focused skill training in 2022 to help bridge inequality. Several programs focused on giving youth rehabilitating from drug use and prison inmates new skills for their future. And to further help provide dignified livelihood to young people, AkzoNobel collaborated with the Responsible Mica Initiative (RMI) to give vocational skills training in painting. This included training nearly 200 Indian girls and boys in the mica-dependent communities of Jharkhand and Bihar.
As of this year, the Pintuco Foundation is also contributing to the AkzoNobel Cares program. This Colombia-based non-profit entity of Grupo Orbis and Pintuco is, much like “Let’s Colour”, transforming lives with color and offering (skills) training opportunities for people in local communities. The social projects are developed through alliances with public and private organizations.