AkzoNobel Extends Emission Goals to Partners


Global coatings company AkzoNobel recently announced carbon reduction targets for its full value chain—billing itself as “the first paints and coatings company to follow up on its commitment to sustainability targets.”

AkzoNobel’s target is to reduce carbon emissions for the whole value chain by 42% by 2030 (from a baseline of 2020). This will apply to the company’s own operations, as well as its customers and suppliers.

Currently being officially validated by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi), the company says that the target will further sharpen and accelerate the company’s vision for its “People. Planet. Paint.” approach to sustainable business, which was launched in 2019.

“Setting a target like this really matters,” said AkzoNobel CEO, Thierry Vanlancker. “It’s a clear signal that we’re preparing to mobilize our teams globally and take stronger action to tackle climate change. We need to act fast and focus on collaboration and innovation. When push comes to shove, there are those who contribute towards a zero-carbon future and those who don't. We’re determined to do all we can and set the example by being the frontrunner in our industry.” 

The company notes that it has made strides in other goals, such as having 100% renewable electricity in the company’s operations by 2030. It also pointed to Vanlancker being a member of the European CEO Alliance—a cross-industry partnership designed to help fight climate change, build economic resilience and make a success of the EU Green Deal.

“To achieve our carbon reduction target, we have to look further than our own operations,” continued Vanlancker. “So, we’ll be encouraging all our value chain partners to transition to lower/zero carbon alternatives. I also encourage our peers to commit to the SBTi, announce their own targets and join us in setting the right example in our industry.”

Recent Sustainability Moves

Speaking of the electricity initiative, last month, AkoNobel’s sustainability goal of cutting carbon emissions in half by 2030 achieved a new milestone as plans for two more major projects were being finalized in China that will install 8,000 solar panels at company plants.

Reportedly, more than 5,000 panels are slated for AkzoNobel’s Shanghai site while 3,000 panels are slated for Guangzhou—both decorative paints locations.

“Increasing the amount of renewable energy we use is a key part of our ‘People. Planet. Paint.’ approach to doing business more sustainably,” said Wijnand Bruinsma, AkzoNobel’s Program Manager for Sustainability. “The new installations will make an important contribution to our ongoing sustainability achievements in China and will help drive us towards our overall goal of moving to 100% renewable electricity by 2030.”

These new systems will become the primary source of power for their respective locations, generating around 1.66 million KWh in Shanghai and 1 million KWh in Guangzhou.

“We’re excited to see these two projects successfully come to life,” said Mark Kwok, Director of AkzoNobel’s Decorative Paints business in China/North Asia. “Sustainability is at the core of everything we do, whether that means improving the eco-footprint of our sites or addressing the environmental needs of our local customers and communities at large.”

Kwok notes that there are plans to add even more panels to facilities Changzhou, Langfang and Chengdu, in particular.

The company also reported that, at the end of 2020, AkzoNobel’s total share of renewable electricity use was 40%, with 34 locations and 12 countries already using 100% renewable electricity.

The last project update from AkzoNobel came at the end of November, which reported that more than 3,000 panels had been added at sites in Garcia, Mexico (1,650 panels) and Barcelona, Spain (1,600).

“We’re already using renewable electricity at 33 of our locations in eight countries and have installed solar panels at 14 facilities,” said Bruinsma  at the time.

“The latest two projects will make an important contribution to our continuing efforts to significantly increase these numbers as we strive to achieve our ambition of cutting our emissions by 50% by 2030.”

The installation in Barcelona is slated to generate 15% of the site’s overall energy consumption and joins two other AkzoNobel locations in Spain where solar panels have already been installed—Vilafranca, and Vallirana.

Covering more than 5,300 square meters of space, the Garcia installation is set to generate 82% of energy requirements—making the site almost self-dependent—and it will eventually produce more energy than it normally consumes, according to AkzoNobel.

"We’re very happy to see this project come to life,” says Garcia Site Manager, Juan Francisco Garcia. “Initiatives such as this will help Mexico contribute to the company’s ambition to become carbon neutral and use 100% renewable energy. It’s very much aligned with our People. Planet Paint. approach and is a visible sign of positivity in these challenging times.”


Tagged categories: AkzoNobel; Asia Pacific; Business matters; EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa); Good Technical Practice; Latin America; North America; Solar energy; Sustainability; Z-Continents

Join the Conversation:

Sign in to our community to add your comments.