We have established engagement processes and activities with many stakeholder groups, which are described in other sections of this report: ; ; ; ; . During 2010 we continued to have dialog with external stakeholders through a range of external projects and partnerships, which align with our sustainability ambitions for now and the future. We are currently setting up a small group to oversee and integrate all the stakeholder engagement processes around the sustainability aspects of our business. They will build on work carried out this year to identify the key stakeholder groups in each of our key countries.
Suppliers and sustainable trade
The first International Supply Management Congress – a joint initiative between NEVI (knowledge network for purchasing and supply management in the Netherlands), Alfa Delta Compendium, AkzoNobel, Rabobank and the Dutch Sustainable Trade Initiative (IDH) – attracted more than 1,100 participants. Speakers included leaders from sustainability organizations, NGOs and business, including our CEO Hans Wijers.
The 2010 event focused on sustainability and innovation in supply chains in a range of sectors: construction, health care, transport & logistics, process industry, manufacturing industry, food & agricultural business, financial services, and the public sector. We were able to use this event to invite suppliers, customers and other stakeholders, raising their awareness of sustainable and innovative sourcing opportunities.
Biodiversity and eco-systems
The agenda around eco-systems stewardship continues to develop within AkzoNobel.
Wood stewardship and Forest Stewardship Council
Our involvement with the Eco-system Valuation Initiative started in 2008, when we took part in the World Business Council for Sustainable Development Future Leaders Team. That program explored how the Eco-systems Services Review (ESR) assessment tool could be incorporated into corporate decision-making processes. Our Pulp and Paper Chemicals business has used the process to evaluate pulp and paper production in China and identified both risks and business opportunities to explore. They recently road tested the Corporate Eco-systems Valuation on a project evaluating alternative chemicals used in solid board production. Fresh water is one of the identified priority eco-system services for gum rosin. The results can help in managing reputational risks and opportunities and are also demonstrating company values supporting long-term business. ESR is now one of the sustainability tools available for use in the BU strategy process.
Linking with the International Year on Biodiversity, we are involved in two studies to formulate future priority and action around biodiversity, for our own sites and our supply chains.
Our Decorative Paints business in the UK is trialing a supply chain biodiversity risk assessment developed by Cranfield University School of Management. The trial includes three key suppliers representing important raw materials – titanium dioxide, filler and water. Our water supplier is also including the effect of customers’ use of water – to clean brushes and so on – in his assessment. The results indicate generally low risks, but potential additional risks for second tier suppliers. At the same time, the business has initiated a full evaluation of two AkzoNobel production sites against the UK Wildlife Trust’s biodiversity benchmark, which was set up to support the UK Biodiversity Action Plan to help increase the contribution that businesses can make towards enhancing biodiversity.
In the Netherlands, our Functional Chemicals business is working on a complementary project with Wageningen University to measure the biodiversity impact of one of our sites.
Partnerships and endorsements
We support a number of external organizations and charters to demonstrate our commitment to sustainability issues. These include the UN Global Compact – we are also an active member of the network in the Netherlands – and the Global Responsible Care Charter.
In order to contribute to, and keep up-to-date with, developments in the sustainability agenda, we continue to support the work of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), the World Resources Institute, Forum for the Future in the UK and the Conference Board.
- AkzoNobel participated in the 2010 WBCSD Future Leaders Team with the task of bringing the Council’s Vision 2050 to life
- We hosted a World Resources Institute meeting in Amsterdam to support their European program
- We have taken part in good practice sharing on linking sustainability to compensation via both a WRI Mindshare meeting and the WBCSD People Matter program
- Forum for the Future supported us to integrate sustainability aspects into our graduate development program