Note 11: Programs
With 60% of our products connected to infrastructure, transportation and living, AkzoNobel is a key player in the process of ongoing urban transformation.
During 2017, we carried out 332 (2016: 307) social projects with a total budget spend of about €3 million (2016: €4 million). In total, 4,821 (2016: 6,480) AkzoNobel volunteers supported the projects with 33,873 (2016: 44,498) volunteer hours. Our products also provide a meaningful contribution to society – we supplied 148,237 (2016: 173,334) liters of paint for our social projects during the year. We could not have done this alone, so we set up strategic partnerships at a cost of around €1.5 million to help amplify our efforts.
Our global “Let’s Colour” program is an active expression of our belief in the power of paint to improve people’s lives.
During 2017, we launched two new NGO partnerships. AkzoNobel and SOS Children’s Villages joined forces to use education and renovation to drive a positive impact on youth unemployment. The partnership aims to reach the young people of SOS Children’s Villages with our “Let’s Colour” program and professional training through the company’s painter academies around the world. The partnership kicked off with four countries in 2017 (Brazil, Indonesia, Nigeria and South Africa) and will expand to include six new countries in 2018.
Meanwhile, people living in more than 23 countries around the world have benefited from the partnership between AkzoNobel and global peace movement MasterPeace. This involved painting 141 “Let’s Colour” Walls of Connection, transforming them into bridges that connect people. The walls were painted in 31 cities, in collaboration with 399 artists and 5,259 people involved in the painting process, including 259 AkzoNobel volunteers.
In 2017, our employees took part in a total of 185 (2016: 99) “Let’s Colour” projects.
Every year, millions of liters of perfectly good paint are thrown away. The average household has 17 tins of paint sitting in garages or sheds, whereas potentially up to 65% of it could be good enough for reuse. Our Community RePaint initiative works across the Netherlands, Belgium and the UK, collecting leftover reusable paint and re-distributing it to communities, charities and people in need.
Employability is recognized as being a main driver for strong communities. This is something we are addressing in the UK, where there are massive skills shortages in the housing industry. Launched in 2016 and based at our site in Slough, the Dulux Academy is helping to address this shortage by upskilling decorators and training those new to the industry. Since opening, more than 3,000 individuals have been trained, which means the Dulux Academy is on track to train 10,000 decorators and apprentices by 2020. Building on this success, in September we opened a second Dulux Academy in the UK, based at our new paint plant in Ashington.
Since it started in 2005, AkzoNobel’s Community Program has enabled thousands of employees around the world to contribute to society in a meaningful way. It encourages them to give hands-on support to sustainable projects, for which the program provides financial assistance.
Cumulative Community Program involvement
Cumulative data, since 2005