AMSTERDAM, The Netherlands - AkzoNobel has joined the Together for Sustainability (TfS) initiative, a move that will help drive improvements throughout the company’s global supply chain.

Founded in 2011, the purpose of TfS is to develop and implement a global audit program to assess and improve sustainability practices within the supply chains of the chemical industry.

The company has joined forces with the six existing members - BASF, Bayer, Evonik Industries, Henkel, LANXESS and Solvay - with the aim of building on established principles such as the United Nations Global Compact and the Responsible Care Global Charter.

"We already carry out extensive sustainability assessments in our own supply chains," explained Ton Geurts, AkzoNobel's Chief Procurement Officer. "But by integrating TfS into our existing strategy, we will enhance our current processes and further improve the quality of our supply chains for the benefit of our customers."

The TfS initiative involves independent experts carrying out assessments and audits of suppliers, avoiding the need for each of the members to conduct their own. Results and scorecard ratings are then shared within TfS on a web-based collaborative platform.

While avoiding double audits and assessments, other benefits to the program include quality assurance, a reduction in the bureaucratic burden for suppliers and the lowering of risks in relation to sustainability requirements.