Representatives of the Dutch business community—including Akzo Nobel—local authorities, health organizations and schools recently signed a covenant designed to combat alcohol and drug use in a number of communities in the Netherlands.
The agreement—signed in Delfzijl last December—covers the Dutch communities of Eemsmond, Appingedam and Delfzijl, which over the last year have paid particular attention to the problems of drug and alcohol.
"Our communities face serious problems caused by alcohol and drug–related abuse, and all types of organizations have to deal with these problems. Yet at the same time, they all offer a part of the solution," said Rik Bijl, an Akzo Nobel health advisor based at the Arnhem HQ.
"This private/public initiative provides a mechanism for every part of the community to come together to tackle the problem head on."
The region was designated as a pilot by the Dutch government as part of a national program to prevent or curb the problems caused by alcohol and drugs. Akzo Nobel Arnhem HQ and the company’s Delfzijl plant were closely involved in designing and implementing the project because of the experience they could bring to the table in the area of alcohol and drug prevention.
The driver behind the public/private tie-up is the realization that the problems caused by alcohol and drugs affect everyone, and that they can be tackled more effectively by working together with organizations which can contribute to a solution.
Signatories to the covenant included officials from the local communities, health organizations, schools and a host of companies which have a presence in the area.