For decades now, sustainability has been fundamental to the way we want to do business. In fact, we’re always striving to do even more and go even further. Our company purpose – People. Planet. Paint. – is a comprehensive vision and commitment which extends way beyond our own operations. It’s about being a responsible global citizen, looking for solutions to help tackle key global issues and engaging in collaborative innovation throughout our value chain.
To avoid any confusion about who and what AkzoNobel is, you need to take a step back. AkzoNobel has a long and proud history. In the past, we were a paints, coatings and chemicals company. However, in 2018 the chemical division was split off (now known as Nouryon and Nobian). Since then, AkzoNobel has been a focused paints and coatings company with a completely different carbon footprint. But our ambition goes beyond that.
Following the divestment, in 2019, we reevaluated where we were and where we wanted to be when it comes to sustainability. That’s when our new vision, People. Planet. Paint., started to take shape. In 2020, we announced our ambitions for our own operations, and in 2021, we set out targets for our whole value chain (Scope 1, 2 and 3). As already announced in 2017 our long term ambition is to become carbon neutral in 2050. These ambitions include the vast majority of our Scope 3 emissions (96%).
To ensure that our sustainability targets are aligned with the Paris Agreement, we became the first paints and coatings company to ask the SBTi for validation. We were pleased to receive validation from the SBTi in August 2021 for a 1.5 degree pathway: an absolute reduction in carbon emissions of 50% by 2030 for our own operations, as well as Scope 3, on a 2018 baseline. You can find more information and read about our achievements in our 2021 annual report.
In order to achieve our Scope 3 ambitions, we’re focusing on education, innovation and collaboration. With regards to innovation, we aim to increase our sustainable solutions (products that offer a sustainability benefit to our customers). In addition, we continue to invest in collaborative innovation, which involves working closely with suppliers, customers and other partners. Some great examples of this are Paint the Future, the Chemical Building Blocks Consortium, DSGC, the CEO Alliance and our Paint the Future Collaborative Sustainability Challenge.
Collaboration, as pointed out in your letter, is essential. With our latest initiative (Paint the Future Collaborative Sustainability Challenge) we have invited partners from across the value chain to take part to develop a shared approach to tackling climate change. The participants will deep-dive into the following areas: energy transition, process efficiency, solvent emissions, and circular solutions.
We will continue to push the boundaries to remain the frontrunner in our industry when it comes to sustainability. And we will also continue to collaborate with and urge our suppliers and customers to follow this example. In the end we need to work together to make a difference.
All of the information mentioned above is publicly available on our website: www.akzonobel.com