Media release

AkzoNobel launches 24-hour challenge to unite partners and tackle climate change

April 7, 2022

A pioneering initiative designed to collectively accelerate carbon reduction in the paints and coatings industry has been launched by AkzoNobel.

The company has invited partners from across the value chain to take part in its Collaborative Sustainability Challenge – a new Paint the Future initiative which aims to develop a shared approach to tackling climate change.

Due to be staged in May, the 24-hour event will involve senior executives and next generation leaders from a select group of partners – including suppliers and customers – who will engage in open discussions in a non-confidential environment.

The winners of the Paint the Future global startup challenge – SolCold, Aerones and SprayVision – received their awards following an intense three-day bootcamp at AkzoNobel’s headquarters in Amsterdam.

“Successfully tackling the impact of climate change is everyone’s responsibility,” says AkzoNobel CEO, Thierry Vanlancker. “Having set science-based sustainability targets to halve our carbon emissions across the full value chain by 2030, we’re fully committed to getting there. However, we know the only way for us to achieve that ambition – and play our part in limiting global warming to 1.5˚C above pre-industrial levels – is to collaborate with our partners.”

During the event, participants will deep-dive into the following areas:

  • Energy transition – Inspire partners towards decarbonizing processes and transitioning to renewable energy sources
  • Process efficiency – Increase the efficiency of material use and reduce the energy required for applying and curing paints and coatings
  • Solvent emissions – Reduce the number of solvents emitted throughout our entire value chain
  • Circular solutions – Increase the use of circular solutions in paints and coatings, both upstream and downstream

“There are unprecedented challenges we all need to overcome,” adds Klaas Kruithof, AkzoNobel’s Chief Technology Officer. “Achieving this will require collaborative innovation across the industry. We want to challenge ourselves and our partners to collectively identify opportunities in the areas we’ll be discussing, which will result in just one true winner – our planet.”

The forthcoming Collaborative Sustainability Challenge will build on the success of Paint the Future, which has already established a strong collaborative innovation ecosystem with startups, suppliers, academia and customers.

Continues Vanlancker: “Paint the Future has revolutionized innovation in the paints and coatings industry and this challenge is a natural progression, because our science-based sustainability target is clearly a driver for innovation. It’s about challenging ourselves and our partners every day to be better global citizens and protect the future of our planet – which is fundamental to our own People. Planet. Paint. approach to doing business.”

AkzoNobel’s Collaborative Sustainability Challenge is scheduled to take place in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, between May 17 and 18, 2022.

For more information about the Collaborative Sustainability Challenge, visit and follow @letspaintfuture on LinkedInFacebook and Twitter

About Paint the Future

Launched in 2019, Paint the Future is AkzoNobel’s global collaborative innovation ecosystem. It’s a bold initiative to accelerate, test, launch and scale ideas and solutions for the paints and coatings industry. Paint the Future runs a variety of programs to accelerate innovation. Initially open to startups, it was quickly expanded to embrace academia, research institutes and two large groups of suppliers. As the ecosystem continues to grow and build on the success of each program, it’s become the largest in the industry.

About AkzoNobel

We’ve been pioneering a world of possibilities to bring surfaces to life for well over 200 years. As experts in making coatings, there’s a good chance you’re only ever a few meters away from one of our products. Our world class portfolio of brands – including Dulux, International, Sikkens and Interpon – is trusted by customers around the globe. We’re active in more than 150 countries and have set our sights on becoming the global industry leader. It’s what you’d expect from the most sustainable paints company, which has been inventing the future for more than two centuries.

For more information

Simon Colvan, Regional Communications Manager - UK & Ireland

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