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Note 6: Product stewardship


Our ambition is to be in the top quartile of companies in our peer group for product stewardship. Based on the product stewardship objectives included on our HSE Agenda 2011–2015, our focus has been on HSE Common Platform programs during 2012.

Priority substance management

We have identified a list of 146 priority substances by scoring all hazardous substances used in AkzoNobel products and processes. Scores are allocated to substances on the basis of their human and environmental hazard (under the GHS system) and where societal concern exists over their use. Substances with higher scores are designated as AkzoNobel priority substances and are subject to review by our experts.

Where possible, priority substances are removed from our products and substituted with more sustainable materials.

Where possible, priority substances are removed from our products and substituted with more sustainable materials. If this is not possible, a full review of the substance is performed following state-of-the-art risk assessment techniques from the EU REACH regulations. Only when safe use of a priority substance can be demonstrated is it allowed for use in our products and processes.

In 2012, we set a target to review and risk manage 40 percent, or 58, of our priority substances. We achieved this objective and 40 priority substances will no longer be permitted for use in AkzoNobel products and will be removed or substituted with more sustainable alternatives. An example of a group of priority substances to be phased out is a group of seven phthalates used in coatings as plasticisers, where there are concerns over their toxicity. This group of phthalates will be phased out and substituted with more sustainable alternatives from the end of 2014.

Going forward, our target is to review and risk manage all our priority substances by 2015, with 60 percent complete by the end 2013 and 80 percent by the end of 2014.

Distribution incidents

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2009

 

2010

 

2011

 

2012

Road

 

44

 

82

 

67

 

44

Sea

 

7

 

5

 

3

 

2

Rail

 

1

 

4

 

10

 

0

Air

 

0

 

0

 

0

 

0

Total

 

52

 

91

 

80

 

46

Product distribution

We insist that our products are transported and distributed safely by our contractors, so we audit their performance and monitor and record incidents involving distribution of our products. In 2012, we prepared a comprehensive guidance note for our businesses to raise the profile of safe product distribution, which included a risk management tool. During the year, a significant drop in these incidents was observed.

Product stewardship summaries

We continue to develop product stewardship summaries on a voluntary basis for the substances we manufacture under the Responsible Care® initiative. These documents communicate hazards and give advice to customers on the safe use of our products. In 2012, more than 100 substance summaries were posted on the website of the American Chemicals Council (ACC) and International Council of Chemical Associations (ICCA).

Regulatory affairs

In addition to complying with regulations that impact on our products and processes, we carefully monitor changes and prepare ourselves for new regulations that will affect our businesses. In 2012, our primary activities included:

REACH

We are on schedule to submit dossiers for registration of AkzoNobel substances in June 2013 in accordance with the REACH regulations. We have also continued to provide additional information and answer questions from the authorities on registration dossiers for substances registered in 2010.

Classification and labelling of AkzoNobel products

Through the introduction and use of common software in our chemicals and coatings businesses, we are harmonizing the way product material safety data sheets are generated. We are on schedule with implementation of the Global Harmonized System (GHS) for labelling of chemical substances and products.

Advocacy

We are active in industry associations at a local, regional and global level. Our aim is to establish equitable and sustainable standards in our industry that protect human health and the environment. Participation in this way also gives us an opportunity to engage in a dialog with regulators before changes in new rules impacting our products are finalized.

For example, in China we provided advice to Chinese government officials drafting the Chinese Green Label standard for antifouling paints through our participation in the Association of International Chemical Manufacturers in China (AICM) and the International Paint and Printing Ink Council (IPPIC). We also assisted the Chinese authorities in the development of a new national standard for transportation of organic peroxides to optimize safe transport of these substances in China.

We continue to promote harmonization between countries and the implementation of changes in chemical substance regulations through our representatives in trade associations such as the International Council of Chemical Associations (ICCA).

High production volume (HPV) program

In 2012, we continued to participate in the extended HPV program, a voluntary industry initiative to ensure sufficient data is available to assess the hazards of substances. Working through the American Chemicals Council (ACC), we ensured appropriate information and data were generated and supplied to the US government. We will continue to participate in this work.

The aim of our Product Stewardship program is not only to comply with all rules and regulations that impact on our products, but to also, where possible, go beyond legislation. By working in this way, we promote a high level of sustainability, human and environmental safety and make sure our products are future-proof in advance of legislative change.

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