The theme of 2023’s World Green Building Week is “Building the transition”. What does this mean to AkzoNobel?
Wijnand: The built environment is the largest contributing sector to energy-related carbon emissions. That’s why green buildings need to play a key role in the transition to a more sustainable future. Many of our paints and coatings contribute to making cities and communities more sustainable. We offer innovative technologies and sustainable solutions that help to decarbonize buildings, increase circularity and improve well-being. As a result, we play a big role in helping projects to achieve globally recognized green building certifications, such as LEED, BREEAM and WELL.
Can you share an example of a project where our powder coatings have been instrumental in achieving green building certification?
Jeff: A great recent example is the LEED Platinum certified Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center building in Athens, Greece. It’s an important cultural and educational hub, which includes the national library and the Greek national opera. We supplied our Interpon coatings for the steel window frames and various metallic building components, which made an important contribution to it being classified as a green building. There are also many other examples – from all over the world – of how we’re doing everything we can to help accelerate the transition to more sustainable built environments.
Can you elaborate on how we support customers by providing a more detailed understanding of the lifecycle of products used in the built environment?
Jeff: One of the things we do is create transparency around the environmental footprint of our products. We do this through what’s known as an Environmental Product Declaration (EPD). This is a verified certification which provides information to buyers about a product's impact on the environment. AkzoNobel as a whole has EPDs for more than 300 products. I’m very proud that we recently received EPD certification for our Interpon D powder coatings for a third consecutive time since 2014, setting new standards for the industry.
What other products does the company supply for buildings that offer sustainability benefits?
Wijnand: It’s a long list, but examples from some of our other businesses include Sikkens Alpha Air Clean1, which actively cleans indoor air by removing invisible pollutants; Dulux Forest Breath Anti-virus2, which helps to effectively work against certain viruses and types of bacteria; and CERAM-A-STAR 10503 for roofs, which provides exceptional durability, offers superior resistance to moisture and UV exposure, and also supports heat island reduction through its Cool Chemistry technology.
Looking ahead, what are some of the key challenges and opportunities you foresee related to building the transition in the construction industry, and how is AkzoNobel prepared to address them?
Wijnand: Towards the middle of the century, as the world’s population approaches ten billion, the global building stock is expected to double in size. It means we have a great opportunity across our businesses to contribute to more sustainable cities. Because meeting consumer demand and remaining ahead of market trends will be significant growth drivers in the market for green building materials. There’s also a major opportunity to help make the existing built environment more sustainable. The need to collaborate and innovate more is only going to increase, something we did to great effect as part of the recent ENVISION project. We worked with several other partners to develop technology that can harvest solar energy from every part of a building – not just via panels on the roof. It’s already being used on residential housing in the Netherlands, avoiding the need to use gas for heating. So there are exciting times ahead.
For more information about how we contribute to creating more green buildings, visit the dedicated section on our website.
1 Interpon D2525 Eco is available in Europe, Middle East and Africa.
2 Sikkens Alpha Air Clean is available in Europe.
3 Dulux Forest Breath Anti-virus is available in South East, South and North Asia.
4 CERAM-A-STAR 1050 is available in North America.