Arnhem, the Netherlands, April 11, 2006 – Akzo Nobel today published its 2005 Corporate Social Responsibility Report. The Report, which gives details of a steadily improving sustainability performance worldwide, highlights the company’s strong progress in reducing its environmental impact, particularly in the area of energy consumption.
Akzo Nobel’s Energy Efficiency Program and climate strategy has seen the company slash its energy consumption by almost a fifth since the reference year of 1990, leading to annual savings of around EUR 90 million. This has been achieved through a variety of measures—notably the construction of Combined Heat and Power (cogeneration) plants—preventing the release of three million tons of CO2 into the atmosphere (equivalent to the energy used annually by 1.2 million west European households).
Akzo Nobel CEO Hans Wijers said: “Our goal is to further embed corporate social responsibility in the heart of our business processes. We can see that it pays off, the evidence is strong. This 2005 Report is proof that CSR is a fundamental value driver for our company. It is about balancing short and long-term interests, and about building trust among all stakeholders."
The 2005 Report—which is also available in a clickable format on the company’s corporate website—includes hard data on the company’s performance in a number of key areas such as energy efficiency, product stewardship and business integrity, and includes colorful examples of how Akzo Nobel is contributing to improving society around the world. Overall, the Report gives an accurate picture of performance and identifies both strengths and weaknesses, including an overview of all serious incidents.
Added Toon Wilderbeek, Board Member responsible for Pharma and CSR: “The Report provides strong data on our environmental performance and illustrates the progress we have made in this field. This achievement would not have been possible without the energetic involvement and commitment of all our employees, who are keen to contribute in whatever way they can.”
Akzo Nobel’s ultimate aim is to achieve zero incidents and accidents and minimize emissions to water and air. “A tall order, but the only acceptable objective,” said Akzo Nobel’s Corporate CSR Director, André Veneman. “We’ve been as transparent as we can be in this Report, which we hope will prompt even greater openness. Take our efforts to eradicate improper conduct. We hope they will encourage any employee who may have concerns about how this company is being run to come forward.”
With strong data from all the company’s processes coming in and a growing understanding of what is expected from CSR among Akzo Nobel’s workforce, the company expects future reporting to become even more comprehensive and business critical. All businesses are required to monitor progress and have set ambitious targets.
Last year, Akzo Nobel was listed on the Dow Jones Sustainability Index for the first time and—since March, 2006—is also listed on the comparable FTSE4Good sustainability index. Both are a clear signal to the financial community of the company’s commitment to further build its leadership position in sustainability.