Page 15 - Respond 2020 Magazine
P. 15


 • 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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