Arnhem, the Netherlands, June 22, 2006 — Tens of thousands of people across the globe have benefited from an Akzo Nobel initiative which, since it was launched in June last year, has made EUR 10 million available to support deserving community projects all over the world.
The Akzo Nobel Community Program is designed to encourage employees to play a more active role in helping society by making funds available which can be used to assist worthwhile local causes. To date, more than 150 projects on all five continents have benefited from the financial and hands-on assistance it offers.
Established in 2005 with a budget of EUR 5 million (EUR 1.5 million of which was allocated to a special partnership with the Red Cross), the program—which funds sustainable projects for a maximum of three years—has already supported a wide range of worthy causes, including the setting up of a pharmacy in a deprived area of Sao Paolo, Brazil; the vaccination of more than 1,000 working horses in Romania and providing care for more than 100 mentally and physically handicapped orphans in China.
“The Community Program has enjoyed an excellent first year and is a palpable example of how passionate we are about embracing social responsibility as one of our key values,” said Akzo Nobel CEO Hans Wijers, who recently broke the ground on a new sports complex at the Kocaeli University in Turkey, which is being constructed with support from the global program after the project was initiated by employees working at the company’s Turkish Marshall Boya coatings plant.
“The skill, knowledge and hands-on involvement of our employees are vital to the Community Program’s continued success and they have been very enthusiastic about taking part,” added Wijers.
Since last year’s launch, the EUR 1.5 million donated to the Red Cross partnership has been allocated to projects in Indonesia and China. EUR 800,000 is being spent in Indonesia to improve the health and living conditions of poor families, homeless people and street children, as well as training a large number of community representatives. The other EUR 700,000 is being used to fund awareness of AIDS/HIV prevention among Chinese rural migrant workers and students.
For 2006, EUR 5 million has again been made available to Akzo Nobel employees through the global program, from which they can request funds to help make a difference in communities close to where they live and work.