Adding color to people’s lives

Marking a decade of transforming local communities with 'Let’s Colour'

It’s ten years since we first launched our global “Let’s Colour” initiative. It was introduced to show how the power of paint can transform lives by uplifting communities, changing behavior and making living spaces more fun, livable and enjoyable. In recent years, it has also been expanded to include training and development of the more vulnerable people in our society.

It all started with the transformation of the Bixiga community in São Paulo, Brazil. Since then, “Let’s Colour” has touched people and communities all over the world. 

So far, more than 2,200 projects have been staged in 46 countries. We’ve donated in excess of 1.3 million liters of paint to positively impact the lives of over 81 million people. And our own colleagues have played a big role as well, with more than 12,000 AkzoNobel volunteers joining in all the amazing activities that have taken place.

The “Let’s Colour” program is built on a triple foundation of adding something to the communities we live in, creating employee engagement and building our brands. It’s also a fantastically visual expression of the company’s “People. Planet. Paint.” approach to sustainability. It perfectly illustrates how we can empower people and make a positive contribution to the world with our products, while also reducing our impact on the planet.

Training is another important elemeent of our “Let’s Colour” projects as we try to equip local people with the skills to develop their own employment prospects. So far, more than 48,000 people have received training through the initiative. 

It’s certainly been an exciting first decade, one which has enabled us to help children, families and communities in need by creating happy homes where they can flourish. Stand-out examples include the rainbow makeover of Kuşadası in Turkey, the transformation of unused urban locations into sporting spaces in Brazil, the revamp of the Sekanak Riverside in Palembang Indonesia, and a full make-over of the old town of Beja in Tunisia. 

Commenting on the transformation of the hilltop neighborhood of Kuşadası, local Mayor Özer Kayalı said: “This is a crucial location for us, as it’s the first place seen by tourists when they arrive at Kuşadası port. It makes for a striking panorama, which is why we believe this project will make a great contribution to our community.” 

Adds David Menko, Chief Marketing Officer at AkzoNobel: “We’re delighted that our passion for paint is helping to uplift local communities, empower people and create happy homes all over the world. It makes us really proud when we see the meaningful impact our products are making by bringing color to local communities that need it most.

“This colorful journey has made us excited to see what happens next and we can't wait to add color to even more lives, because paint has more power than we think.” 

Watch the video below to experience ten years of “Let’s Colour” in one minute, or visit letscolourproject.com for more information.