Business principles

AkzoNobel aims to do business with partners who endorse our ethical values and our social and environmental standards. Our Supplier Support Visits (SSV) program was established to verify that the business principles and practices of our critical suppliers in high growth markets comply with our vendor policy. It also helps suppliers to improve their health, safety and environment standards.

Our businesses identify critical suppliers in each region and visit them on a regular basis, the frequency defined by their performance rating provided by the SSV teams. These teams agree specific and continuous improvement programs with each supplier as appropriate and monitor progress through routine re-visits. Those suppliers either unwilling or incapable of positive progress are de-listed.

The SSV program has been a forceful and effective step towards creating a sustainable supplier base, needed for AkzoNobel’s growth in high growth markets. The 2011 program will be enhanced and include metrics to monitor the development of a maturing, sustainable supplier base in the respective region, which supports AkzoNobel’s sustainability objectives, eco-footprint initiative and the rapid growth of a high growth market supply base.

Supplier engagement








% of spend

















Non-product related.

Raw material suppliers. Vendor policy signed







NPR1 business suppliers. Vendor policy signed






Total 75

NPR1 centrally contracted suppliers. Vendor policy signed






Suppliers visited since 2007







Key supplier management

In 2010, we further developed our Key Supplier Management program. We have set up 20 long-term agreements with global, leading suppliers for in-depth cooperation on value creation and innovation. Focusing on sustainability is paramount, as it supports our CO2(e) reduction ambition and the delivery of eco-premium solutions to our customers (see Invent section).

Carbon footprint

The result of our initial calculations show that raw materials account for more than 70 percent of the AkzoNobel CO2(e) footprint (see Carbon Policy section). Together with suppliers and RD&I, we are defining projects to reduce the volume of these raw materials in product recipes. We are also working with long-term cooperations to identify alternative raw materials with a reduced carbon footprint; to investigate the use of renewable raw materials; and to study their effect on our product quality and the carbon footprint.

Car lease

The AkzoNobel target for lease cars is to achieve a weighted average of 130g CO2(e) emissions per kilometer by 2013.

CO2(e) levels in Europe for passenger cars came down from 158.8g/km to 152.4g/km, while the cars that were added to the fleet in 2010 have an average CO2(e) level of 138.5g/km. During the fourth quarter of 2010, we adapted the maximum allowances in Europe downwards by 10g/km.


We work closely with our road transport suppliers to measure their environmental performance and development. For example, we have ambitions to achieve Euro 5 level engines during 2011 and green driving training for drivers. We have started projects with suppliers on maximum payload utilization and reducing empty load journeys. In addition, we recently joined the clean shipping index to start measuring, comparing and put targets on shipping lines and their vessels.

Talent management

The AkzoNobel Procurement Academy provides standardized training for our worldwide procurement professionals. In 2010, we trained more than 250 purchasers in strategic sourcing methodology and negotiations and influencing in various parts of the world. At the end of the year, we started a new branch of the academy in China to provide this training to new hires in Mandarin. In October 2010, a global workshop took place, when 240 purchasers from 30 different countries worldwide initiated strategic learning projects.

During 2011, our executive potentials will carry out further work on learning projects, coached by senior executives from the Sourcing function. The learning projects are derived from our strategic sourcing initiatives.

A dedicated, one-week training for the executive potentials will give the AkzoNobel context for their learning path, with themes such as diversity, sustainability and innovation. The members of the global One Procurement Leadership Team were trained in executive performance to improve their creative and communication skills.


Within Sourcing, the sustainability agenda is linked to individual remuneration. Every member of the global Procurement Council has at least one sustainability target as an item in their personal targets.

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