ARNHEM, The Netherlands - Akzo Nobel said it has joined the United Nations' Global Compact, an initiative designed to promote responsible global development and good corporate citizenship worldwide. The company said the action further strengthens its commitment to corporate social responsibility.

Launched in 2000 by U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan, the Global Compact challenges business leaders to embrace and enact a set of core principles addressing human rights, labor standards, environmental protection and measures against bribery. The Compact's core objective is to build a more sustainable and inclusive global economy.

Akzo Nobel CEO Hans Wijers said that by signing on to the Global Compact, "We have embraced the corporate social responsibility process to bring structure and transparency into activities we have been carrying out for a long time. This next step will allow us to participate in a more focused way in finding solutions to the challenges of globalization."

Separately, Akzo Nobel said it is further strengthening its non-financial reporting procedures by adopting nine new key indicators in the areas of health and safety in the workplace and environmental performance. Beginning in 2005, the company's performance in those areas will be detailed in its Annual Report.