AkzoNobel Reveals Carbon Goals

FRIDAY, MARCH 31, 2017

Amsterdam's global coatings giant says it wants to be carbon-neutral in the next three decades, amid plans to split off a business unit.

AkzoNobel, which is the world’s second-largest coatings company by sales, announced the initiative Monday (March 27), noting that 40 percent of the energy it uses currently is generated via renewable means. AkzoNobel says that in 2016, half of its sites improved their energy footprint.

AkzoNobel plans to be completely carbon-neutral by 2050, moving to 100 percent renewable sources of energy.

"Our ambition to eliminate carbon emissions and use 100 percent renewable energy by 2050 demonstrates our clear and unwavering commitment to sustainability," said AkzoNobel CEO Ton Büchner.

"We continue to identify areas of opportunity which will drive us forward and help reduce our industry's dependence on fossil fuels. This new vision for 2050 will propel us further along that path, while enabling us to make a measurable contribution to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals." 

Most Ambitious Energy Plan

The new goal is the most ambitious set forward by a major paints and coatings manufacturer in terms of renewable energy, though other large coatings firms have plans in place to reduce energy usage.

Ton Buchner

In rejecting PPG's second offer to acquire AkzoNobel, CEO Ton Büchner said the proposal did not adequately address concerns about sustainability.

PPG, the world’s largest coatings manufacturer, includes among its sustainability goals reducing energy intensity by 1.5 percent each year and reducing greenhouse gas emissions by the same measure. It exceeded both goals between the baseline years of 2012 and 2015.

And The Sherwin-Williams Company reduced its energy intensity by nearly 14 percent from 2007 to 2015, in accordance with its sustainability goals.

Last week, in rejecting a second merger offer from PPG, AkzoNobel’s Büchner expressed concerns about differences in the cultures of the two companies, including in relation to sustainability, arguing that the offer did “not meaningfully address our concerns regarding community contribution and sustainability and the significant culture gap between both companies.”

Plan to Split Company Moves Forward

On Tuesday (March 28), AkzoNobel announced that it would hold an investor update on April 19, outlining “plans for the creation of two focused businesses and enhanced long-term value creation.” The briefing will update shareholders on a plan, first revealed after PPG’s first offer for the company, to split AkzoNobel’s Specialty Chemicals business off into a separate entity.

The revelation that the company is moving forward with the planned split comes as PPG and some AkzoNobel shareholders have been pressuring the company to engage in talks regarding the proposed acquisition by PPG.

PPG CEO Michael McGarry told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Tuesday that while there were no plans for a hostile takeover bid, he is “not taking any options off the table.”


Tagged categories: AkzoNobel; Coatings manufacturers; Energy efficiency; Environmental Protection; Good Technical Practice; Mergers; PPG; Sustainability

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