Product stewardship is the responsible management of the health, safety and environmental aspects of a product throughout its lifecycle. At AkzoNobel, we’ve incorporated product stewardship into our Health, Safety, Environment and Security agenda and have made a commitment to control hazardous substances used in our products, and to replace materials with unacceptable risk. This commitment will ensure that our products can continue to be used by all stakeholders in a safe and cost-effective manner.
Product stewardship cannot be carried out by a specific department. At AkzoNobel, our product stewardship activities reflect true collaboration across all functions – from innovating new technologies, developing new products, carefully selecting our raw material suppliers, manufacturing scale-up and marketing products in the right way, all the way through to delivering to our customers for use and beyond, at end-of-life re-use or recycling.
Our proactive approach has reduced the use of specific harmful substances in our products in advance of legislation, and prevented new harmful substances from being introduced into our business. It enables us to take a leading position in sustainable product stewardship and supports us in our ambition to develop and introduce sustainable solutions to the market.
We have four programs that ensure product stewardship is considered at all stages of the product lifecycle:
- Priority Substance Program
- Sustainable Product Portfolio Assessment (SPPA)
- Customer-Focused Product Stewardship (CFPS)
- Product Stewardship Continuous Improvement Tool (PSCIT)
1. Priority Substance Program
This program forms the basis of our commitment to controlling the use of hazardous substances in our products. We use it to continuously assess substances for human hazards, environmental hazards and societal concerns.
Based on these assessments, substances are classified as a priority substance and an evaluation process commences.
Substances where safer alternatives are available, or where risk assessment cannot support safe use, are removed from AkzoNobel products within specific timeframes, frequently ahead of any external legislation.
2. Sustainable Product Portfolio Assessment (SPPA)
In order to effectively manage our product portfolio, stay ahead of legislation and enhance the positive sustainability benefits of our products, the output of the Priority Substance Program and our eco-premium solutions has been consolidated into a new product portfolio management tool, the Sustainable Product Portfolio Assessment (SPPA).
The SPPA has been designed to categorize all products that we make and sell into one of three categories, according to their positive or negative sustainability signals.
Sustainable solutions – products that bring sustainability advantages to our customers.
Performers – products that have no immediate positive or negative sustainability indicators.
Transitioners – products that have known sustainability issues.
3. Customer-Focused Product Stewardship (CFPS)
It’s not enough to have a clear commitment on product stewardship. It’s vital that our customers also share in that ambition to make it work.
Through customer-focused product stewardship activities, we work with like-minded customers to share and align our product stewardship and sustainability ambitions in order to improve the safety and sustainability of the products used.
4. Product Stewardship Continuous Improvement Tool (PSCIT)
Understanding the strengths and weaknesses of product stewardship activities in our organization enables us to focus on areas of improvements and enhance our strengths. We do this by assessing the maturity of product stewardship management across the whole value chain in all our businesses, using the Product Stewardship Continuous Improvement Tool (PSCIT).
The PSCIT is a self-assessment based on industry best practice from the American Chemical Council Responsible Care® program and the CEFIC Coatings Care® program.