Note 9: Programs
Connecting with the communities close to our locations and supporting their development is an essential part of the identity of our company. We revitalized our Community Program during 2018 to better reflect our passion for paint and proud people. The new-look program works with common global criteria and guidance to make it easier to set up and run projects, which bring combined benefits to our communities, our employees and our brands.
In 2018, 49 Community Program projects took place in 29 locations across 16 countries, with a 35% increase in employee participation and almost five times higher community outreach than in 2017.
We believe in the power of paint to transform lives by uplifting communities and making spaces more fun, liveable and enjoyable. Our global “Let’s Colour” program continues to develop and support projects which add color to people’s lives. In 2018, we carried out 65 “Let’s Colour” projects across 23 countries, which involved nearly 1,500 AkzoNobel volunteers. We donated 192,000 liters of paint for the renovation of community living spaces, benefiting millions of people.
We continued to be a strategic partner of SOS Children’s Villages and, as part of their YouthCan! platform, we helped to create more employment opportunities for young people at risk around the world. Through our “Let’s Colour” programs and professional painter academies, we gave training to almost 1,000 young people in various aspects of painting, entrepreneurship and soft skills. We also activated “Let’s Colour” SOS Children’s Villages programs across ten countries, and expect to include up to 15 countries in 2019.