Sustainability is the new business motto in the modern world with products labelled ‘green’ or ‘eco-friendly’ increasingly selling in the marketplace.

But for businesses to be truly sustainable, it goes beyond manufacturing products with green characteristics.

For instance, powder coatings from AkzoNobel have strong environmental credentials with no VOCs, low waste and surprisingly low energy consumption when compared to other industrial coating systems. But it is also important for every part of the business to be sustainable.

Jaap van den Akker, HSE and Sustainability Manager explains that it’s more important to produce the right products from the chain point of view, which means looking at raw materials, energy resources, waste, how the product is used, and how it ends its life.

This makes sense not only from an environmental perspective but also for straightforward business reasons since natural resources will get increasingly scarce and thus increasingly expensive.

AkzoNobel has set itself ambitious targets including reduction of its carbon footprint by 20-25% by 2020 (based on 2009 levels), eco-efficiency assessments on investments, and a position in the top three of the Dow Jones Sustainability Index for the Chemicals sector.

Key measures taken by AkzoNobel to fulfil its sustainability targets:
  • Waste reduction by recycling unused stock and introducing new technologies to production lines that rescue 2% powder product
  • Outlets other than landfill selected for disposal of any waste that can’t be reduced or re-used on a ‘costs neutral’ basis
  • Working with suppliers of raw materials to reduce their carbon footprint
  • Moving suppliers in the longer term from petrochemicals-based resins to renewable bio-based resins
  • Seeking suppliers that have low CO2 processes for the shorter term
  • Helping customers improve their processes, especially using more efficient curing ovens or thinner film coatings
  • R&D focus on developing energy-efficient curing methods by reducing bake cycles and/or bake temperatures
AkzoNobel, a world-leading paints manufacturer offers Interpon Powder Coatings , a market-leading brand of architectural powder coatings.