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Quick Facts
HeadquartersAmsterdam, the Netherlands
Year of Origin1994
Reported emissions (All Scopes)14.7 Megatons of CO2 (2021)
NCI assessmentModerate
Total Revenue9.6 billion EUR
Stock ExchangeBijv. Amsterdam
Key PeopleThierry Vanlancker (CEO) Nils Smedegaard Andersen (Chairman)
Number of Employees32,800
  • Dulux
  • Sikkens
  • Interpon
  • International

AkzoNobel N.V., stylized as AkzoNobel, is a Dutch multinational company manufacturing paint and performance coating. The company has a long history of merges and divestments and was founded in 1994 when Akzo (a Dutch chemicals company) and Nobel (a Swedish chemicals and weapons manufacturer famous for being majority owned by Alfred Nobel) merged. AkzoNobel is headquartered in Amsterdam, the Netherlands and has activities in over 150 countries, employing about 32,800 people.[1] It is the fifth largest paint and coating company worldwide.[2] In 2021, AkzoNobel had a revenue of 9.6 billion euros of which 3.8 billion was profit.[3]

Company Structure

AkzoNobel's company management is organized under Dutch law in a two-tier system, comprised of a board of management and a supervisory board.

Board of Management
Name[4] Function Remuneration x1000 EUR[5]
Thierry Vanlancker CEO 6,271 EUR
Maarten de Vries CFO 2,583 EUR
Supervisory Board[6]
Name Function Remuneration x1000 EUR[7]
Nils Smedegaard Andersen Chairman Supervisory Board 172.5
Bryon Grote Deputy Chairman Supervisory Board 120.5
Dick Sluimers Chairman Remuneration Committee 100.0
Jolanda Poots-Bijl Member Supervisory Board 100.0
Dr. Pamela Kirby Member Supervisory Board 95.0
Patrick Thomas Member Supervisory Board 102.5


AkzoNobel has PricewaterhouseCoopers Accountants N.V. as an external accountant.

In 2021, the accountant reports that:

The ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, combined with several extreme weather events early in the year, caused disruption across the company's incoming supply chains.[8]

By doing so, they indirectly assess the climate crisis as a risk, considering that the above-mentioned occurrence resulted in costs increases. However, PricewaterhouseCoopers Accountants continue that despite AkzoNobel N.V. evaluating the risks of climate change on water scarcity, flooding and weather events, the accountancy itself concluded that "the impact of climate change is not considered a key audit matter".

Main Activities

The main activities of AkzoNobel are the production and selling of decorative paints, industrial coatings, automotive and specialty coatings, marine and protective coatings and powdered coatings. Their activities are distributed under a large number of brands and subsidiaries active all over the world.[9] Some big names include Dulux, International, Sikkens and Interpon.

AkzoNobel has its common shares listed on Euronext Amsterdam and is listed in the AEX index. The majority of its shareholders are from the UK and US.[10]


AkzoNobel does not have royal status.[11] The company did not recieve NOW support from the Dutch government.[12]

Paris Agreement until Today

In the latest annual report (2021) AkzoNobel has given an update on the process made by the end of 2021.

the progress so far:[13]

  • 21% carbon reduction in its own operations (versus 2018)
  • 59% circular waste
  • 45% renewable electricity use
  • 1% energy reduction (versus 2018)
  • 30% of water intensive sites reusing water

Financial Results since 2015

Financial situation
Year Revenue Net profit Dividend
2015[14] 14.859 billion EUR 1.060 billion EUR 0.222 billion EUR
2016[15] 9.434 billion EUR 0.616 billion EUR 0.239 billion EUR
2017[15] 9.61 billion EUR 0.511 billion EUR 1.287 billion EUR
2018[16] 9.256 billion EUR 0.455 billion EUR 0.390 billion EUR
2019[16] 9.276 billion EUR 0.555 billion EUR 1.423 billion EUR
2020[17] 8.530 billion EUR 0.678 billion EUR 0.366 billion EUR
2021[17] 9.587 billion EUR 0.859 billion EUR 0.365 billion EUR

In 2018, the Specialty Chemicals Division was sold to the Carlyle Group and GIC. The divestment resulted in an extra profit of 6.274 billion EUR so the profit from continuing operations in 2018 amounted to 0.455 billion EUR.[16]

Current Emissions

Total emissions in Megatonnes of CO2 (2021)[18]
Scope 1 Scope 2 Scope 3
0.06 Megatonnes of CO2 0.17 Megatonnes of CO2 14.5 Megatonnes of CO2 [19]

The majority of their emissions are caused by scope 3 downstream, which include the emission released in for instance usage, and scope 3 upstream, which includes everything released in for instance the extraction of raw materials. AkzoNobel fails to be incredibly transparent on the breakdown of scope 3 emissions in respective categories.[20] Instead, it only focused on the categories purchased goods and services, application and use of our products, and end-of-life, which are only 3 out 13 scope 3 emission categories.[21]

Climate Policy and Plans

AkzoNobel has set as their target to reduce carbon emissions from their own operations and total value chain by 50% by 2030 (baseline 2018) and claims to align their sustainability ambitions with the Paris agreement. By 2030 it aims to run their operations on 100% renewable energy.[22] By 2050 the target is to reduce their carbon emissions with 100%.[23] Whether their 2050 ambition includes their scope 3 emissions is not clear.

Since 2018 the emissions of their own operations (scope 1 and 2) have decreased by 21% and their scope 3 emissions by about 10.5%.

AkzoNobel has listed a couple of strategies to reduce their carbon footprint of their own operations. First of all the company is investing in solar panels to be able to run their operations with renewable energy. So far it total share of renewable electricity use is 45% globally as they have installed solar panels at 23 different sites.[24] However, as the company admits, solar generated electricity will not be sufficient on itself cover its total electricity consumption needs.

The second strategy is to lower energy consumption, aiming for a 30% reduction by 2030 (baseline 2018).[25] For their scope 3 emissions, which account for about 98% of their total emissions, AkzoNobel has not put forward any strategies to lower their carbon emissions.

NewClimate Institute (NCI) Report

AkzoNobel scores moderately on transparency and moderately on integrity.[26]

Despite providing insight into the level of scope 3 emissions (both downstream and upstream), AkzoNobel fails to provide comprehensive insight into the breakdown of scope 3 emissions in the multiple categories, and it excludes certain scope 3 emission sources without being transparent on the reasoning behind that choice. AkzoNobel can also improve their transparency regarding their interim targets regarding emissions reduction. There is also a lack of explicit details when it comes to the scope, timeline and estimated emissions reduction potential in AkzoNobel's initiatives and projects. There also is not any sufficient data accessible on the effectiveness of AkzoNobel's internal carbon price.

With regards to integrity, the NewClimate Institute points out that AkzoNobel discloses limited information on the "procurement constructs for renewable energy and electricity". In other words, although AkzoNobel says that some of its business sites are equipped with solar panels, it is unclear whether these completely supply the sites' demands. Additionally, AkzoNobel does not specify why it considers its 2050 carbon neutrality goal to be in line with the Paris Agreement’s goals.

Due Diligence

Due Diligence

Child Labor

In the extrapolation of mica, child labor is very prevalent.[27] According to research by Terre des Hommes and SOMO, there is a clear indication that industries and companies who use Indian mica contribute directly to the worst forms of child labor.[28] AkzoNobel is one such company.

In response to that research paper, AkzoNobel released a human rights position paper in which they stated that they would collaborate with Terre des Hommes and SOMO to eradicate child labor in their supply chain.[29] In 2021, AkzoNobel formalized their membership of the Responsible Mica Initiative.[30]

However, according to AkzoNobel's own due diligence research into 'several raw material supply chains that are considered high risk in terms of impacting human rights, particularly with regard to health and safety, working conditions and under-age labor' they found that some additional raw materials to be wary of its origin are barite, cobalt dryers, copper, cotton linters, palm oil, talc and tin.[31] In the 2021 annual report, AkzoNobel established that they had surveyed all suppliers that either directly or indirectly supplied them those materials. By the end of the year, they had received a 85% response rate. They intend to build upon these responses and set up new actions, such as planning mine audits where insufficient controls seem to be in place.[32] Whether these actions will be enough to eradicate both child labor and modern day slavery in their supply chains is unknown.

Scandals and controversies

AkzoNobel sued over Dutch pollution claims

Back in 2004, the Dutch ministry said it would continue a court case against national chemical group AkzoNobel.[33] This court statement came in response to 15 polluted areas.

This was not the last time that AkzoNobel was found guilty of polluting. In 2017, there was a leakage close to AkzoNobel's salt factory in Hengelo.[34]

Once more in 2022 there were concerns regarding the amount of pollution left behind by AkzoNobel on their industry plant in Deventer.[35]

Corporate Income Tax controversy

Up until 2019 AkzoNobel was exempt from having to pay any income tax (Dutch: winstbelasting of vennootschapsbelasting).[36] This because they, like other Dutch multinationals such as Shell and Phillips, extract the losses made abroad from the profits made in the Netherlands. So, despite the fact that AkzoNobel makes money in the Netherlands, and potentially even profits, their balance sheet does not showcase this as they account for losses made in other countries.[37]

This realization led to a lot of frustration amongst the public and certain political parties such as GroenLinks.[38] Starting 2021, multinationals are no longer allowed to extract losses from outside of the EU from their profits made in the Netherlands. Additionally, losses made in the EU itself are only extractable for the following three years. From that point onwards, this will no longer be allowed either.[39] Simultaneously, the G7 (an informal grouping of seven of the world's advanced economies) are striving to set up a coherent international standard for income tax levels, so that multinationals can no longer flee to so-called "tax havens".[40]

AkzoNobel reached a secret settlement with employee for mercury poisoning

In 2016, word broke out that two years prior, AkzoNobel reached a secret settlement of thousands of euros regarding a personal injury caused at the factory.[41] The employee in question had been poisoned by mercury, one of the chemicals present at the site. Doctors confirmed this.[42] Despite attempts to keep it quiet, the story was picked up after a moving box with personal affects was found in the proximity of the factory.


Although AkzoNobel's 2030 ambitions meet the standards of the Paris Agreement, its 2050 ambitions are not specific enough to do so since it does not specify whether the 100% reduction of emissions also includes their scope 3 emissions. Furthermore AkzoNobel does not show enough concrete plans to convincingly indicate that they will reach their targets. Although several policies are in place to reduce emissions from their own operations, with limited results, AkzoNobel has not disclosed any concrete plans to tackle their scope 3 emissions. Since their scope 3 emissions are by far the largest share of the total emissions (about 98%) it must be concluded that AkzoNobel does not have sufficient plans and strategies in place to meet their own ambitions and the targets set by the Paris Agreement. In order to commit itself to stay below the 1.5 degrees AkzoNobel needs to develop a concrete strategy to reduce their scope 3 emissions.


  1. https://report.akzonobel.com/2020/ar/servicepages/downloads/files/akzonobel-ar20-entire.pdf p. 2
  2. https://companiesmarketcap.com/paint-and-coating/largest-paint-and-coating-companies-by-market-cap/
  3. https://report.akzonobel.com/2021/ar/servicepages/downloads/files/entire-akzonobel-ar21.pdf p6
  4. https://www.akzonobel.com/en/about-us/governance-/board-of-management-and-executive-committee
  5. https://report.akzonobel.com/2021/ar/servicepages/downloads/files/entire-akzonobel-ar21.pdf p. 82
  6. https://www.akzonobel.com/en/about-us/governance-/supervisory-board#tabId=c23_text_block
  7. https://report.akzonobel.com/2021/ar/servicepages/downloads/files/entire-akzonobel-ar21.pdf p. 87
  8. AkzoNobel. Annual Report 2021, p. 137, retrieved on May 18th 2022. https://report.akzonobel.com/2021/ar/servicepages/downloads/files/entire-akzonobel-ar21.pdf
  9. https://www.akzonobel.com/content/dam/akzonobel-corporate/global/en/corporate-governance/policies---procedures/legal-entities-/List-with-AkzoNobel-Group-Companies.pdf the full list of companies belonging to AkzoNobel
  10. https://report.akzonobel.com/2020/ar/servicepages/downloads/files/akzonobel-ar20-entire.pdf p. 85
  11. https://www.koninklijkhuis.nl/onderwerpen/onderscheidingen/predicaat-koninklijk/overzicht-predicaat-koninklijk
  12. https://www.uwv.nl/overuwv/Images/uwv-register-now-vijfde-aanvraagperiode.pdf
  13. https://report.akzonobel.com/2021/ar/servicepages/downloads/files/entire-akzonobel-ar21.pdfp31
  14. https://report.akzonobel.com/2015/ar/financials/statement-of-income.html
  15. 15.0 15.1 https://report.akzonobel.com/2017/ar/financials/statement-of-income.html
  16. 16.0 16.1 16.2 https://report.akzonobel.com/2019/ar/financials/consolidated-statement-of-income.html
  17. 17.0 17.1 https://report.akzonobel.com/2021/ar/financials/consolidated-statement-of-income.html
  18. https://report.akzonobel.com/2021/ar/servicepages/downloads/files/entire-akzonobel-ar21.pdf p42
  19. https://report.akzonobel.com/2021/ar/servicepages/downloads/files/entire-akzonobel-ar21.pdf p48
  20. AkzoNobel. Annual Report 2021, p. 40, retrieved on May 13th 2022. https://report.akzonobel.com/2021/ar/servicepages/downloads/files/entire-akzonobel-ar21.pdf
  21. Yale Sustainability. Scope 3 Emissions, n.d., accessed on May 13th 2022. https://sustainability.yale.edu/priorities-progress/climate-action/greenhouse-gas-emissions/scope-3-emissions
  22. https://report.akzonobel.com/2020/ar/servicepages/downloads/files/akzonobel-ar20-entire.pdf p.30
  23. https://www.akzonobel.com/en/about-us/sustainability-/energy-use-and-renewable-electricity
  24. https://report.akzonobel.com/2021/ar/servicepages/downloads/files/entire-akzonobel-ar21.pdf p41
  25. https://report.akzonobel.com/2020/ar/servicepages/downloads/files/akzonobel-ar20-entire.pdf p.41
  26. NewClimate Institute. (2022). Evaluating corporate target setting in the Netherlands. Retrieved from https://milieudefensie.nl/actueel/onderzoek-naar-de-klimaatplannen-van-29-grote-vervuilers
  27. Hans Nauta. Dit glanzende materiaal wordt door kinderarbeid gewonnen, en zit overal in, published on April 7th 2018, and accessed on April 20th 2022. https://www.trouw.nl/nieuws/dit-glanzende-materiaal-wordt-door-kinderarbeid-gewonnen-en-zit-overal-in~bdd02031/
  28. Irene Schipper and Roberta Cowan, Global Mica Mining: and the impact on children's rights, published in March 2018 and accessed on April 20th 2022. https://www.datocms-assets.com/22233/1590502430-terre-des-hommes-global-mica-mining-research.pdf
  29. AkzoNobel. Human Rights Position Paper, p. 3, published on February 2017, and retrieved on April 24th 2022.
  30. AkzoNobel. AkzoNobel formalizes membership of Responsible Mica Initiative, published on October 13 2021, and accessed on April 24th 2022.
  31. AkzoNobel. Annual Report 2017,p. 186, accessed on April 20th 2022. https://www.annualreports.com/HostedData/AnnualReportArchive/a/OTC_AKZOF_2017.pdf
  32. AkzoNobel. Human Rights, accessed on April 25th 2022. https://report.akzonobel.com/2021/ar/servicepages/search.php?q=talc&pageID=60730
  33. Reuters. Akzo Nobel sued over Dutch pollution claims, published on February 18th 2019, and accessed on April 15th 2022. https://www.business-humanrights.org/en/latest-news/akzo-nobel-sued-over-dutch-pollution-claims/
  34. Bert Hellegers. Verantwaardiging om nieuwe vervuiling Akzo in bodem Hengelo, published on July 25th 2017, and accessed on April 15th 2022. https://www.tubantia.nl/hengelo/verontwaardiging-om-nieuwe-vervuiling-akzo-in-bodem-hengelo~aaa2f70d/
  35. Castor van Dillen. Zorgen in Tweede Kamer over vervuiling Akzo-terrein in Deventer: 'Troep opruimen zonder belastinggeld', published on January 28th 2022, accessed on April 20th 2022. https://www.destentor.nl/deventer/zorgen-in-tweede-kamer-over-vervuiling-akzo-terrein-in-deventer-troep-opruimen-zonder-belastinggeld-br~a0359b9d/?referrer=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.google.com%2F
  36. NOS Nieuws. Ook Philips betaalt geen winstbelasting in Nederland, Akzo waarschijnlijk ook niet, published on May 29th 2019, and accessed on April 15th 2022. https://nos.nl/artikel/2286869-ook-philips-betaalt-geen-winstbelasting-in-nederland-akzo-waarschijnlijk-ook-niet
  37. Laurens Berentsen. Belastingsdebat draait uit op de vraag of Nederland wel multinationals wil hebben, published on May 29th 2019, and accessed on April 15th 2022. https://fd.nl/economie-politiek/1303287/belastingdebat-draait-uit-op-vraag-of-nederland-wel-multinationals-wil-hebben-qod2cawxZcGG
  38. RTL Nieuws. Shell, Philips en AkzoNobel onder vuur in de kamer over belastingsafdracht, published on May 29 2019, and accessed on April 15th 2022. https://www.rtlnieuws.nl/economie/artikel/4728856/hoorzitting-de-kamer-over-de-belastingafdracht-van-multinationals
  39. Tobias den Hartog. Multiational moet vanaf 2021 ook gewoon belasting betalen, published on September 12th 2019, and accessed on April 15th 2022. https://www.parool.nl/nederland/multinational-moet-vanaf-2021-ook-gewoon-belasting-betalen~bf19b61f/
  40. Chris Koenis. Minstens 15 procent winstbelasting voor multinationals, gaat dat wel werken?, published on June 7th 2021, accessed April 15th 2022. https://www.rtlnieuws.nl/economie/artikel/5234711/g7-internationale-winstbelasting-15-procent-multinationals
  41. FD. AkzoNobel trof geheime schikking van enkele tonnen met werknemer, published on April 13th 2016, and accessed on April 15th 2022. https://fd.nl/ondernemen/1147329/akzonobel-trof-geheime-schikking-van-enkele-tonnen-met-werknemer-rod2cawxZcGG
  42. Tubantia. Zieke monteur AkzoNobel in Hengelo vocht 10 jaar voor schadevergoeding, published on April 13th 2016, and accessed on April 15th 2022.https://www.tubantia.nl/nieuws/zieke-monteur-akzonobel-in-hengelo-vocht-10-jaar-voor-schadevergoeding~ac20f297/