Carbon emissions in own operations

To achieve our target of reducing our in our own operations by 50% (Scope 1 and 2), we’re working on two enablers: increasing the percentage of renewable electricity to 100% and reducing the energy we consume by 30% by 2030 (versus 2018).

From an absolute reduction perspective, our combined Scope 1 and 2 reduced by 28% versus our 2018 baseline (absolute). Compared with 2021, we further reduced carbon emissions by 12% in 2022 (absolute). We’re well on track towards our 50% reduction target for 2030. From a relative perspective, our Scope 1 stayed flat since 2018, while our Scope 2 emissions reduced by 32%.

Greenhouse gas emissions (CO2)

in million tons

Health and safety – Total reportable injury rate employees including temporary workers (bar chart)

Total greenhouse gas emissions made up of direct emissions from processes and combustion at our facilities and indirect emissions from purchased energy.


Part of reducing our carbon emissions from our own operations (Scope 1 and 2) is reducing the amount of energy we consume. We’re committed to reducing our relative energy consumption by 30% by 2030 (baseline 2018) and plan to do so through an ambitious 5% relative year-over-year reduction objective.

For 2022, our absolute energy consumption reduced 7% versus 2021, while our relative energy consumption was 1% up compared with 2021, and reduced by 1% versus 2018. The pie charts below show the breakdown for our regional energy consumption.

We track the cumulative energy reduction impact of improvement projects such as shutdown management and LED installation. This helps us better understand our performance and adjust our strategy as we continue in a cycle of continuous improvement.

Despite the programs in place, achieving the 5% relative reduction target has been challenging, partly due to changes in our product and portfolio mix. For example, changes in our product portfolio mix include increased demand for products that take a higher energy intensity to produce. The current macro-economic environment has also impacted our volumes and therefore our relative energy consumption. In addition, the emission abatement systems and solvent recovery units we’re installing to reduce VOC are relatively energy intensive.

Energy use

in 1000 TJ

Health and safety – Lost time injury rate employees including temporary workers (bar chart)

The energy consumption of AkzoNobel in absolute measures and per ton of production.

While an overall relative energy consumption reduction of 5% was not achieved, we’ve implemented many energy reduction initiatives. For example, our Hull site in the UK installed CEMA lighting, which reduced the lighting system’s carbon emissions by 70%. And in France, a renewal of Montataire’s compressor room and a warehouse LED project have reduced annual electricity consumption by more than 1.8 GWh.

We’re continuing to investigate targeted investment for energy reduction programs, refine our energy monitoring management and implement a renewed governance structure.

Renewable energy

As shown in the graph below, electricity makes up the vast majority of our total energy use (81%). Of that, our total percentage of renewable electricity was 50% in 2022, well on track towards our target of 100% by 2030 and already achieving our 2025 interim target of 50%.

During 2022, we continued to install solar panels at several sites and purchase renewable electricity with certificates of origin. Generating renewable electricity on site alleviates pressure on the electricity grid and further reduces our carbon footprint. In total, 53 of our locations now use 100% renewable electricity and 26 sites are using solar panels as a supplementary source of energy.

Our Izmir powder coatings facility in Türkiye completed a major solar energy project in 2022, with more than 2,300 panels installed. Similarly, our Songjiang decorative paints facility installed over 5,000 solar panels during 2022.

Regional split energy use

in %

Health and safety – Total reportable injury rate contractors (bar chart)

Energy breakdown

in %

Health and safety – Lost time injuries contractors (bar chart)

Volatile organic compounds

The production of solvent-based paints and coatings causes emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). These emissions are included in our cradle-to-grave carbon footprint. In our own operations, we achieved a relative 7% reduction versus 2021 in VOC emissions per ton of product, and a total reduction of 45% versus the 2018 baseline.

We’re reducing emissions in two distinct ways. Firstly, we implement abatement technologies such as thermal oxidizers or activated carbon filters. Secondly, we optimize our footprint by concentrating solvent-based production in more efficient or automated factories to altogether eliminate emissions. In addition, we’re also actively working on transitioning from solvent-based to water-based solutions where possible.

Increased capacity for sustainable solutions

Safety Day – Group of people (photo)

We’ve invested in a new production line for water-based texture paints at our Songjiang site in Shanghai, China – boosting capacity for supplying more sustainable products.

The site is one of four water-based decorative paints plants in China and among our largest globally. The new 2,500 square meter facility will produce Dulux products for various markets, such as interior decoration, architecture and leisure.

Recent projects include introducing new solar energy systems and a more automated high-speed filling line.

“As our largest single country market, China has huge potential,” explains Mark Kwok, Director of Decorative Paints . “The new production line will help enhance our leading position in paints and coatings in China by expanding new markets and further driving us towards our strategic ambitions.”

China is increasingly focusing on energy conservation and emission reduction, which in turn is being reflected in the type of products customers want to buy. The production of low VOC, water-based paints will therefore need to keep expanding to meet this demand.

Carbon footprint

The total amount of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions caused during a defined period of a product’s lifecycle. It is expressed in terms of the amount of carbon dioxide equivalents CO2(e) emitted. Greenhouse gases include CO2, CO, CH4, N2O and HFCs, which have a global warming impact. We also include the impact of VOCs in our targets.


Volatile organic compounds.

Emissions and waste

We report emissions to air, land and water for those substances which may have an impact on people or the environment: CO2, NOx and SOx, VOCs, hazardous and non-hazardous waste. Definitions are in the Sustainability statements.


Volatile organic compounds.

North Asia

Includes, among others, China, Japan and South Korea.