AMSTERDAM — A boundary-pushing approach to hacking carbon reduction challenges has been established by AkzoNobel and partners from across the extended value chain following the company’s first-ever global Collaborative Sustainability Challenge.

During 24 hours of intense discussion at the pioneering event, which concluded on May 18, a series of high-impact exploration teams was set up. Those involved will now continue to work together in a determined effort to collectively accelerate the reduction of carbon emissions in the paints and coatings industry.

The participants — represented by senior and next-generation leaders — discussed four key areas: energy transition, process efficiency, solvent emissions and circular solutions. It resulted in 27 partners signing up, including suppliers, customers and end-users, as well as representatives from finance, government, service providers and consultancies.

For example, one of the six teams will attempt to lower the existing barriers that are preventing disruptive new process technologies. The aim is to work on current business models so that suppliers, manufacturers and applicators work together as a collaborative solutions provider.

Commenting on the highly successful event, AkzoNobel CEO Thierry Vanlancker said, “We all have ambitious targets when it comes to addressing climate change, but we won’t achieve them in isolation. So it’s fantastic to see everyone come together, exchange ideas and make a real commitment to jointly explore what’s possible as we strive to collectively accelerate our sustainability journey.”

Jan-Peter Balkenende, Chair of the Dutch Sustainable Growth Coalition and former Prime Minister of the Netherlands, attended the event and commented, “It’s been an intense but extremely productive 24 hours. We’ve witnessed the passion and creativity of a determined group of industry partners who are committed to making the necessary step changes across the value chain. By having one clear goal — working together to reduce carbon emissions — there’s a clear opportunity to take collective action and accelerate effective solutions for tackling climate change.”

AkzoNobel has set science-based sustainability targets to halve its carbon emissions across the full value chain by 2030. Achieving that ambition will rely heavily on collaborating with partners and challenging each other to find innovative ways to overcome the unprecedented challenges everyone faces. That’s exactly what the exploration teams will endeavor to accomplish.

 “We’re off to a really encouraging start,” continued Vanlancker. “What we need to do now is keep the momentum of the last 24 hours, harness all the energy and creativity and develop a networked ecosystem which will help to shape the sustainable future of our industry.”

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