AkzoNobel may be a huge organization – but we’re still made up of people. And many of them want to do more to make a difference to the world around us. That’s why we started the AkzoNobel Community Program: to encourage employees to get involved in their local areas, and give them what they need to do it.
We're as committed to our communities as we are to our customers, shareholders and employees. That's why we launched a worldwide initiative in 2005 called the AkzoNobel Community Program. It brings together motivated employees from all over the world and gives them the means to make a real difference.
In the past nine and a half years, the Program has become firmly embedded in our worldwide organization. Over the years more than 13,500 volunteers from about 55 countries have worked on more than 2,350 projects. These vary from educating underprivileged youngsters, creating more awareness about the importance of a clean environment to supporting deprived, socially disadvantaged groups and where possible, helping them to reintegrate into society. For example, involvement in the set-up and running of soup kitchens, shelters and day care centers for the homeless, and vocational trainings for unemployed youngsters and women, are taking place on a continuous basis in various parts of the world. Safety and environment, being highly listed on the AkzoNobel agenda, also became major issues supported by the Community Program.
It also provides opportunities for employees to develop team building and leadership skills. Throughout the world, our Community Program projects have brought value, much-needed assistance and a sense of excitement to their communities.
Every year we hold a competition to find the best contribution. First prize in 2014 went to the ‘Offering disabled children the chance to earn a living’ project, a cross-BU initiative from Decorative Paints, Functional Chemicals and Powder Coatings in Langfang and Tianjin, China. Our volunteers helped the Shepherd’s Field Children’s Village where 80-100 children are housed. Employees have visited and helped the center for a number of years, but this year saw an extra-special project undertaken. A major refurbishment of the Rehabilitation and Skills Center has provided a bright, clean and safe environment where the children can learn vital skills that will help them earn a living when they are adults.