AkzoNobel commits to carbon neutrality by 2050

AkzoNobel has today (27 March) become the first paint and coatings manufacturer to pledge to become carbon neutral and use 100% renewable energy by 2050.

Best known for the Dulux brand paint, AkzoNobel aims to build on a sustainability agenda which has seen its share of renewable energy rise to 40%, with almost half of the firm’s global sites having improved their energy footprint last year.

“Our ambition to eliminate carbon emissions and use 100% renewable energy by 2050 demonstrates our clear and unwavering commitment to sustainability,” AkzoNobel’s chief executive Ton Büchner said.

“We continue to identify areas of opportunity which will drive us forward and help reduce our industry’s dependence on fossil fuels. This new vision for 2050 will propel us further along that path, while enabling us to make a measurable contribution to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).”  

Painting a sustainable future

The commitment will be applied throughout the Netherlands-based firm’s entire supply chain, helping AkzoNobel to continue to reduce its overall carbon emissions, which fell from 27m tonnes in 2013 to 24m tonnes in 2016.

The company offers innovative products and services that enables clients in industry sectors such as building, infrastructure and transportation to reduce their energy use and carbon impact. For instance, AkzNobel recently created an industry-first carbon credit scheme, aimed at financially rewarding shipping vessel operators for emitting less CO2.

Last week, it was reported that an innovative range of biocide-free marine coatings had enabled shipping vessels to achieve fuel savings totalling $3bn, since the technology was first introduced 21 year ago. More than 5,500 vessels have been coated with AkzoNobel’s Intersleek range, which has helped ship owners save 10m tonnes of fuel and 32m tonnes of CO2.

The new range has seen AkzoNobel become the first coatings company to introduce anti-fouling coatings based on Lanion technology. The patented technology uses bio-renewable materials to deliver “enhanced vessel performance” that reduces drag while lowering emissions and fuel consumption.

Commenting on today’s announcement, AkzoNobel’s corporate director of sustainability André Veneman said: “Our pathway to renewable energy means going beyond the immediate business, working with others to create a wider change in society. That’s the pathway we want to speed up. Partnerships will play a key role and we are at the forefront of working together with others to help the world move towards renewable energy quicker.”

In addition to its strong carbon reduction commitment, Akzonobel also pledges to sit at the forefront of the paint industry’s transition to a circular economy. Late last year, the firm unveiled an innovative not-for-profit paint remanufacturing facility in North West England, as part of an ambition to produce 100,000 litres of remanufactured paint by the end of 2017.

George Ogleby

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