Launched in July 2000 by U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan, the Global Compact challenges business leaders to embrace and enact a set of core principles covering human rights, labor standards, environmental protection and measures against bribery. Under the Compact, businesses are brought together with U.N. bodies, international labor groups, non-governmental organizations and other interested parties in a partnership to build a more sustainable and inclusive global economy.
“By signing on to the U.N. Global Compact we pledge our support to the core principles laid down in the Compact,” said Hans Wijers, Akzo Nobel’s CEO, who is also Chairman of the Company’s CSR Council. “We have embraced the Corporate Social Responsibility process to bring structure and transparency into activities we have been carrying out for a long time. This next step will allow us to participate in a more focused way in finding solutions to the challenges of globalization.”
Akzo Nobel is joining forces with companies from all regions of the world whose aim is to advance responsible corporate citizenship. Many international labor and civil society organizations have also signed up to the Global Compact. The initiative relies on voluntary codes of public accountability and transparency on the part of business, labor and civil society. All signatories to the Global Compact commit themselves to reporting annually to Kofi Annan’s office on progress in the ten Compact Principles of social responsibility.
New performance indicators for non-financial reporting
Akzo Nobel is also further strengthening its non-financial reporting by adopting nine new key performance indicators. Three new parameters have been created in the area of health and safety in the workplace, including the safety conditions of employees from outside the company working on company premises. In addition, Akzo Nobel will report on achievements in safety including the number of serious accidents.
Five of the new parameters cover environmental performance. These include three relating to energy consumption, which respond to worldwide concerns about the efficient use of energy resources and global warming and climate change.
From 2005 onwards, the performance of these parameters will be reported in the Annual Report.
“Akzo Nobel is making another step forward on reporting about non-financial performance,” said André Veneman, Director of CSR and HSE. “The new indicators, typically from the field of health, safety and environment, are important both to our businesses and to society as a whole. For example, we acknowledge that safe working conditions are as important for our contractors as for our own employees. By focusing on our energy efficiency, we respond to societal concerns about climate change. Now that the new parameters will form the basis for performance measurement in these areas at all Akzo Nobel sites, they will involve all employees worldwide. We are determined to continuously improve our performance, which includes involvement of all employees, since we know that this ultimately depends on the support and engagement of people at every level in the Company.”
Information on Akzo Nobel’s Corporate Social Responsibility is available on the Company’s corporate website at www.akzonobel.com/socialresponsibility/.