Management of hazardous substances

AkzoNobel has a company-wide commitment to manage hazardous substances in its products to ensure safe use. This includes reduction, restriction and phase-out when they can be substituted with safer and sustainable alternatives.

How do we do it?

Our Priority Substance Management process takes a systematic approach to the identification, review and management of hazardous substances used in our products. Priority substances are identified for review by scoring hazardous substances based on their human and environmental hazards and where societal concern exists over their use. Those with higher scores are designated as priority substances and are reviewed by our experts. Where a safer and effective alternative exists, priority substances are substituted with less hazardous materials. If substitution is not possible, a full risk assessment is carried out using techniques from the REACH Regulation. Only when safe use of a priority substance can be demonstrated, can it remain in use in AkzoNobel products.

In 2016 we updated the scoring methodology used in the prioritization process, taking into account recent scientific developments and public concerns over hazardous substances. During 2017, we continued with the second phase of the program, where we reviewed and managed a further 17 substances. Eight of these were prohibited and nine substances were restricted only to uses proven to be safe, bringing the total number of prohibitions to 80 and restrictions to 169 since the program was started in 2011.

Our priority substance process is embedded into key business processes (e.g. raw material introduction), underpinning our commitments.