Positivity powers NextGen Sustainability Council advocacy

Meet Tessa Slagter – as NextGen Sustainability Council Chair, she’s leading an interdisciplinary group of passionate future leaders at AkzoNobel who bring fresh perspectives on sustainable development.

In June, Tessa Slagter became the first-ever Chair of our NextGen Sustainability Council, a group of sustainability ambassadors at AkzoNobel proactively giving input, sharing ideas and expressing concerns with our full Sustainability Council.

“What makes me most proud is the enthusiasm and positive attitude of the group. Don’t all these happy faces bring a smile on your face too?”


Driving sustainable development

“With the NextGen Sustainability Council, we’re aiming to drive positive change,” says Tessa. “As a group, we bring a lot of enthusiasm and positivity to building awareness and advocating for sustainable development from a ‘younger’ perspective. We’re ready to challenge the thinking within our company and take action to raise the sustainability bar.

“In our first month, we’ve learned a lot about AkzoNobel’s ambitions and challenges. And we’ve already had an opportunity to share our first advice with the full Sustainability Council. I’m looking forward to seeing everything we can accomplish together over our 2021-2022 term.”

Why create the NextGen Sustainability Council?

Building on our centuries-long history means looking ahead – to not only face society’s challenges head-on, but also create new opportunities. That’s why we’ve formed the NextGen Sustainability Council. It’s made up of our future leaders, pioneers on our ongoing sustainability journey.

In 2020, we invited a member of YAN, our community of young professionals, to be a representative on the full Sustainability Council. The experiment was a success and now with formal representation, young professionals are able to work together with senior leaders to shape the future of our company in a meaningful way.

Tessa now has a place on the full Sustainability Council and the NextGen Sustainability Council will also have representation on our Human Rights Council.

Our approach to sustainable business is People. Planet. Paint.

Sustainability is integrated in everything we do. We strive to lead our industry by pioneering a world of possibilities to empower people and reduce our impact on the planet, while consistently innovating to deliver the most sustainable solutions for our customers. That’s why we call our approach to sustainable business “People. Planet. Paint.”

Sailboat on Sea

“Together with my husband and young daughter, I plan to sail around Denmark this summer. Living that basic life on the boat, you’re dependent on the elements. After such a trip, I always feel super energized to get back to work and do my part to ensure we make the right choices for everyone around us.”

Sustainability is part of the job

That means that sustainability isn’t just something Tessa does on the side with the NextGen Sustainability Council. It’s also part of her daily work in our global marketing team as Global Marketing Manager, responsible for the commercial business segment.

“I work on profitably increasing our market share in the commercial business segment of decorative paints,” says Tessa. “Our professional brands span a wide age group – with Sikkens dating way back to 1792 up to Coral Profissional’s launch in 2019 – and they all offer unrivalled products, tools and services in a sustainable way.

“A key element for our professional brands is sustainability. Specifiers and contractors can get a higher margin and personal recognition on sustainable and green (certified) buildings. Paint is one way we can help customers get one step closer to a green building.”

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