Caring for society and the communities in which we operate is a vital part of our global activity. Through the social projects we run under the AkzoNobel Cares banner, our AkzoNobel volunteers work closely with partners around the world to help transform communities and make a positive impact. We aim to initiate more than 1,000 projects through AkzoNobel Cares and train more than 35,000 people in the community between 2020 and 2025.
AkzoNobel Cares is focused on uplifting and renovating communities through our “Let’s Colour” initiative, as well as educating, mentoring and training future generations, unlocking possibilities for people who need them most.
In 2021, we staged 182 projects and trained 11,193 people in the community in various disciplines, such as painting, entrepreneurship and soft skills.
Through our “Let’s Colour” program, we continued to transform lives by revitalizing communities and making living spaces more liveable and inspiring. In 2021, we donated 237,000 liters of paint to renovate community living spaces in 31 countries, with more than 1,100 employees volunteering their time. In one of the projects, we used the transformative power of paint to help residents of Manavgat in Turkey rebuild their lives after the area was devastated by forest fires. In the US, we added color and revived the downtown area of Nashville, Tennessee, following the extensive damage caused by the Christmas Day explosion in 2020 (see the Bringing light to the darkness case study).
SOS Children’s Villages
We also continued our partnership with SOS Children’s Villages for a fifth year. As a member of the YouthCan! platform, we helped to create more employment opportunities for 2,236 young people at risk by providing training in painting and offering soft skills programs, mentor and traineeships. The living spaces for SOS beneficiaries were also renewed and improved. In addition, we welcomed four more countries to our global partnership, bringing the total number of countries involved to 23.
Through our Education Fund, we continued to support Plan International’s gender-transformative STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) education in rural China. AkzoNobel colleagues participated in online sessions with the students, enabling them to benefit from insights and experiences they wouldn’t gain at school. The girls in particular were able to meet female role models, who gave them extra motivation to pursue a career of their own choosing.
In India, we continued to run the AkzoNobel Paint Academy in four cities, offering skills development to young people in need. Once the training is completed, participants will have opportunities to gain employment with paint contractors and automotive body shops. During 2021, we also continued to promote diversity and inclusion focused skill training to disadvantaged groups and sections of society in order to help bridge inequality. For example, we gave training to women and found them jobs as painters. Another project involved training prisoners and inmates of juvenile homes, with a number of them having gone on to start new careers as painters.