Product Stewardship

Product Stewardship is one of the cornerstones of sustainable business, and is therefore incorporated into the company’s HSE and operational eco-efficiency agenda. Our definition of Product Stewardship is “The responsible management of the health, safety and environmental aspects of a product throughout its lifecycle” (AkzoNobel Directive 13.6). It is a commitment to gain better control over hazardous substances in our products and to replace materials with unacceptable risk. This will ensure that our materials and products can continue to be used by all stakeholders in a safe and cost effective manner.

  • Out targets in this field are:

  • Providing information to stakeholders about the health and safety aspects of products;

  • Providing guidelines for safe transport and handling during storage, application and use of products;

  • Commitment to evaluate the use of hazardous raw materials and to take action to ensure they are used safely;

  • To eliminate products and processes that are harmful to safety, health and/or the environment;

  • To assess all “priority substances” used by AkzoNobel, using modern risk assessment techniques, and to take all actions required to ensure safe use by 2015.

The overall accountability for product stewardship lies with business management. A PS&RA leadership team sets the policies and directions (‘’the what’’) and a PS&RA working group deals with the implementation (‘’the how’’).
A REACH Leadership Team, comprised of business focal points and corporate staff, has been established to steer the REACH implementation process within the company (REACH stands for European legislation for Registration, Evaluation and Authorization of Chemicals). This team focuses on key issues such as protecting intellectual property rights, legal compliance, interpreting legal requirements for contracts/agreements with external parties and streamlining supply chain processes involving purchasing managers worldwide.

AkzoNobel adheres to the following principles with regard to Product Stewardship:

AkzoNobel’s chemical businesses adhere to the principles of Responsible Care®. This is the chemical industry’s global voluntary initiative under which companies, through their national associations, work together to continuously improve their health, safety and environmental performance, and to communicate with stakeholders about their products and processes.

AkzoNobel’s Decorative Paints and Performance Coatings businesses adhere to the principles of Coatings Care®. This is the preeminent environmental health and safety management program for coatings manufacturers around the world. It is being actively implemented by paint, printing ink and adhesives companies in more than 10 countries. These companies are making effective use of the Coatings Care® programs and resource materials, all of which are aimed at providing business value while enhancing health, safety and environmental performance.

AkzoNobel has an HSE audit mechanism in place which requires every manufacturing site to be audited by a group of qualified Corporate HSE auditors. This happens every three or five years, depending on the inherent hazard levels of the sites. While there are nine elements in the audit protocol, one of the elements is for product stewardship which contains 43 criteria. Each element is scored based on the criteria during the audit in order to evaluate the level of management maturity and to create opportunities for improving the site

Among the most important legislations for chemicals and coatings companies are REACH, the European legislation for Registration, Evaluation and Authorization of Chemicals, and the EU VOC 2010 directive. By adjusting their product portfolios, our businesses have taken action to comply with these emerging regulations well in advance. In the long run, the costs of compliance – for REACH in the area of €120 million – are expected to be more than offset by new business opportunities.

Eco premium solutions

AkzoNobel’s eco-premium solutions program, which focuses on the development of products with lower toxicity, improved energy efficiency, use of natural resources/raw materials, reduced emissions waste, land use and risks (e.g. of accidents) is the logical next step in product stewardship.



Our key biocide suppliers conduct plant hygiene audits and hence reduce the amount of biocides used. Also, together with our key biocide suppliers, we are studying the efficiency and application of slow release biocides to protect our paints. The goal is to optimize and use less fungicides and algaecides.


Our Marine and Protective Coatings business has pioneered the use of non-stick foul release coatings in the marine industry which do not rely on the use of biocides to prevent fouling of ships’ hulls. In addition, the coating is so smooth that these products have been shown to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from ships by up to 9 percent.

In the US, we worked with our Industrial Coatings business to conduct a workplace formaldehyde monitoring study. This confirmed low exposure potential to formaldehyde and safe use in the workplace.

AkzoNobel successfully submitted dossiers for its substances which required registration by the 2010 deadline and are now working to register substances that require submission by June 2013 – the next key milestone under REACH. The team is now considering the IT structure needed for successful management of the REACH aspects of our value chains.



Our REACH supplier brochures can be downloaded in several languages:


English, Dutch, German, French, Swedish, Italian, Spanish.

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