In AkzoNobel, we see product stewardship as “The responsible management of the health, safety and environmental aspects of a product throughout its lifecycle”. It is a commitment to maintain control over hazardous substances in our products and to replace materials with unacceptable risk. This ensures that our materials and products can continue to be used by all stakeholders in a safe and cost-effective manner to meet or exceed their needs.
The annual review of the maturity of product stewardship in AkzoNobel is carried out using the product stewardship continuous improvement tool (PSCIT), which determines how thoroughly product stewardship is embedded in our operations across the whole value chain. It is an important step to understand where our strengths and weaknesses are, enabling us to share best practices and to create specific actions with the aim of continuous improvement.
The PSCIT is a management system that allows us to differentiate from our competitors and show both internally and externally how we manage product stewardship across our value chain. It is closely aligned with industry best practice from the American Chemical Council Responsible Care® programme and the CEFIC Coatings Care® programme, as well as being recognised as best in class in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index assessment.
The PSCIT assessments are carried out at a business level, so that the results reflect the product stewardship maturity of each individual business. Once completed, the business results are collated to give an overall AkzoNobel maturity assessment.
In addition, through our award-winning Priority Substance Program, we take a proactive approach to the review and management of hazardous substances in our products and processes. Taking this approach promotes the use of safer and more sustainable products. It also means we often take action to manage potentially harmful substances in advance of legislation, future-proofing our products against changes in regulations.
AkzoNobel has presented the Priority Substances Program to stakeholders, including customers, NGOs and investor associations, and received positive feedback. It enables us to take a leading position in sustainable product stewardship and supports us in our ambition to develop and introduce eco-premium solutions into the market.