Page 14 - Respond 2020 Magazine
P. 14


        • 11-year member of the Dow Jones Sustainability Index                                                                                                            SUSTAINABILITY
        •  First-place ranking four of the five past years
        •   50% of products now deliver sustainability benefits to
          customers                                                                                                                                                       IS BUSINESS
        •   20% or more of our products deliver industry-leading
          sustainability benefits
        •  40% renewable energy used
        •  100% carbon-neutral target set for 2050

              ities across the world face new, interlinked   committed to applying these lessons throughout the supply
              sustainability challenges that are redefining   chain to address both energy use and air quality.
       Cthe role of private-sector business, but            We have made an ongoing commitment to invest in
        progress is being made in cleansing urban           sustainability, innovation and society as part of our vision for
        environments and supporting international           a cleaner and healthier world. The foundations of our work                                                              Our renewable energy supply strategy
        collaboration on pressing environmental issues,     are built on a review of the risks and opportunities within the                                                has three focus areas: to protect our current
        writes Pamela Phua, general director of Vietnam,    context of our key market segments to 2050.                                                                    renewable share; support cost-effective, large
        decorative paints South Asia, AkzoNobel.            This has demonstrated to us the need to leverage the latest

                                                            knowledge across science and society, identify and mitigate                                                    energy ventures; and explore commercially
        According to the UN Chronicle, energy consumption and air
                                                            our challenges, and develop strategies to make the future                                                      feasible on-site renewable energy generation.
        pollution are two of the most critical issues for the 3.5 billion                                                                                                                                                         ”
        people who live in urban communities. The World Health
        Organization calculates that nine out of 10 people around the   For example, Southeast Asia is a market experiencing robust
        world currently breathe unhealthy air, leading to pollution-  economic and population growth, which requires high levels
        related diseases that cause seven million deaths every year.   of construction to meet the demands of a new middle class
                                                            and rapid urbanisation. However, as our research identified,          coatings more than 98% of our carbon footprint comes from   Adding renewables to our profile also improves the
        When it comes to energy – most of which is still generated
                                                            this also means that there is vast opportunity to pioneer new         upstream (supplier) and downstream (customer) activities.  sustainability of our products, helping us retain and acquire
        from non-renewable sources – our cities are using more than
                                                            solutions.                                                                                                                customers and find new ways of creating value for them.
        ever before, with urban demand accounting for as much as                                                                  Upstream, we know that the emissions from raw materials
        80% of global production. At AkzoNobel, sustainability is                                                                 such as pigments, resins and solvents are our greatest   In cases of oversupply, we can use existing facilities to turn
        business and business is sustainability.            Environmental targets                                                 impact, so we have joined forces with suppliers to drive the   electricity into green hydrogen, which can be sold to produce
                                                            •  Environmental: Achieve zero carbon emissions in our own            use of bio-based materials, recycled content, or raw materials   chemicals or as a new product. The Dutch city of Groningen
        We take our responsibility to depollute the paints and
                                                             operations; source 100% renewable energy                             produced with renewable energy. We closely monitor the   is already running a pilot with two hydrogen buses, supplied
        coatings in our urban environment seriously, and we are
                                                            •  Social: Reduce use of volatile organic compounds and               cradle-to-grave life cycle of our raw materials and finished   by AkzoNobel.
                                                                                                                                  products to reduce Volatile Organic Compounds, the impact
                                                             substances                                                                                                               Renewable energy is characterised by variation in supply. As
                                                                                                                                  of transportation and other environmental fallout.
                                                            •  Economic: Achieve zero waste and 100% resource                                                                         we connect more wind parks and solar panels to our national
                                                             productivity in our operations                                       Creating better energy                              grids, these swings will only become more severe and occur
                                                                                                                                  Energy is one of our single biggest expenditures – in some   more often. Companies like AkzoNobel can play an important
                                                                                                                                  products it accounts for as much as 80% of our variable cost   role in balancing these swings, and can even use them to
                                                            A strategy for cleaner air
                                                                                                                                  and such overheads directly affect our bottom line.  create mutual benefits.
                                                            In all industries, environmental impact occurs throughout the
                                                            manufacturing process, from R&D to the ultimate application           Our renewable energy supply strategy has three focus   Invested in tomorrow
                                                            of products.                                                          areas: to protect our current renewable share; support cost-  Sustainability is not an afterthought, it is our way of doing
                                                                                                                                  effective, large energy ventures; and explore commercially   business. It is woven into our DNA and is a powerful means of
                                                            When you look at the total carbon emissions in the supply
                                                                                                                                  feasible on-site renewable energy generation.       attracting customers.
                                                            chain, it becomes clear that the key to reducing our
                                                            environmental impact is to work collaboratively.                      By investing in these areas, we are securing profitability in the   To achieve carbon neutrality by 2050, economic,
                                                                                                                                  long term. However, in finding cost-effective solutions, we   environmental and social factors are accounted for in
                                                            To lead the change, we have assembled a cohort of 4,000
                                                                                                                                  need to identify those that can withstand the test of time.  our daily work with customers, throughout the product
                                                            scientists who will work closely with our global customer
                                                                                                                                                                                      development lifecycle and across our operations, and we
                                                            base to push for new, suitable and sustainable solutions.             We have leveraged the power of energy to support our
                                                            Further, we are undertaking trials of our depolluting paint           sustainability programme and renewables now power 45%   have three specific targets in place (see previous page).
                                                            for launch in three megacities in India and Indonesia that            of our requirements, meeting our 2020 target ahead of   More than half our products provide sustainability benefits to
                                                            struggle with severe pollution issues.                                schedule. We found that in doing this we have created direct   those who use them, but often we must also engage
                                                                                                                                  benefits for our business by lowering costs and risk, and   in leading work beyond our own organisation. We have
                                                            In our work to depollute air, we can now use photocatalysis
                                                                                                                                  creating new value chains.                          allocated significant sums to the paints and coatings open
                                                            to trigger chemical reactions. In this process, photoactive
                                                                                                                                                                                      innovation platform and a small yet innovative manufacturing
                                                            titanium dioxide absorbs sunlight and reacts with oxygen and          We draw power from solar, wind, natural gas and biomass,
                                                                                                                                                                                      acquisition in the UK. To drive the next wave of sustainable
                                                            moisture to generate highly reactive free radicals, which in          through multiple suppliers, meaning we can depend on an
                                                                                                                                                                                      solutions, we will make a further investment in our innovation
                                                            turn can contribute to the abatement of noxious emissions             extremely reliable supply with low risk exposure to power
                                                            from motor vehicles, and decompose harmful gases such as              shortages, rising oil prices or changes in carbon pricing.  activities before the end of the current decade.
                                                            nitrogen oxide, sulphur dioxide and VOCs.                                                                                 By 2020, we are targeting 20% of revenue from products
                                                                                                                                  For example, we are sourcing power directly from newly
                                                                                                                                                                                      that are more sustainable than those of our competitors, and
                                                            Some impacts occur beyond the scope of our processes,                 developed wind farms, together with Google, Philips and
                                                            with our suppliers and customers. For example, in paints and          DSM in the Netherlands.                             up to 30% more efficient in resource and energy use across
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