Endless possibilities

Paul Suff reports on how imagination and ambition are helping paint and chemicals firm AkzoNobel to do more by using less

Planet Possible is the name of AkzoNobel’s approach to sustainability and is about doing more with less. André Veneman, corporate director for sustainability, health, safety and environment, says the strategy is based on identifying opportunities where others see only challenges. ‘Limited resources don’t have to limit our vision or ambition,’ he says.

The sustainability targets of the Dutch-owned paint, coatings and chemicals company reflect its determination to increasingly operate within the planet’s boundaries. ‘We look at how global trends will impact our businesses and our customers,’ Veneman says. ‘There will be nine billion people sharing the planet by 2050. Some 70% will live in cities and many of them will be middle class. There will be an enormous strain on natural resources, so we have reviewed our business risks and opportunities against these trends and have started making products that create more value with less. That focus will strengthen over time.’

In the short-term, AkzoNobel is aiming for 20% of its revenue by 2020 to be generated from products – known as eco-premium solutions – that are more sustainable for its customers than those of its competitors. ‘It requires us to work together with our customers and suppliers to develop solutions that create ...

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