AkzoNobel turning potential into vivid, sustainable reality

10:57 | 20/01/2020
Pursuing its mission to create sustainable values, over recent years, AkzoNobel has placed this target at the core of its business strategy, driven by a genuine desire to make the planet greener and more liveable. Hoang Anh reports.

The world is at the start of a new decade, full of possibilities but also challenges. The accelerated urbanisation trend comes along with complex environmental issues. Global green architecture trends are forcing developing countries like Vietnam to find new and suitable solutions to keep up with the world. As an enterprise with sustainability as one of its major business principles, AkzoNobel has developed a wide range of sustainable paint products to meet customers’ needs. They have also implemented meaningful projects to innovate the country, such as the AkzoNobel Cares initiative.

akzonobel turning potential into vivid sustainable reality
Lighthouses in Vietnam were revitalised thanks to protective premium exterior paints from AkzoNobel

Promoting sustainable cities

In the last few decades, there has been a significant acceleration in urbanisation, with the number of city dwellers growing day by day. It is estimated that 70 per cent of the world population will be living in urban centres by 2050. Vietnam currently has 828 cities. The rate of the country’s urbanisation has increased rapidly, reaching 38 per cent in 2018.

For a company whose products – paints and coatings – are essential for urban buildings and infrastructure, AkzoNobel has an interest in keeping urbanisation balanced and sustainable. Besides setting up a green standard for paint products in Vietnam, the company continuously introduces high-quality and eco-friendly products to the market.

Advanced technologies that are in high esteem for their sustainable benefits such as KeepCoolTM, TimeResistTM, and Dual-TechTM are currently inherent to almost all brands in the AkzoNobel portfolio.

These technologies are contributing tremendously to energy savings, which is a key element in building smart cities. For example, KeepCoolTM technology can create striking colours while significantly increasing the amount of infrared radiation reflected by building facades. The result is that the surface can be kept five degrees cooler than without this technology, leading to a potential 10-15 per cent in energy savings for the building. This technology is an effective solution to solve the problem of energy consumption for buildings in smart cities.

Technologies are undoubtedly impressive tools, yet we still need a clear pathway to reach a sustainable future. That is why last year, AkzoNobel continued and extended its series of events and activities to promote smart cities, urban heritage preservation, and green architecture.

Pamela Phua, general director of AkzoNobel Paints Vietnam, said, “We always do our best to support the country, starting by developing our cities in a sustainable way. Through our projects and activities, we have been improving, regenerating, and energising urban communities across the world on a daily basis. We use our products and expertise to help cities deliver a stronger sense of community purpose, pride, and happiness.”

In March and April of 2019, the company stirred up the architectural and urban developer community with an international seminar on the theme of Urban Heritage Preservation. At the event, more than 450 heritage experts discussed the requirements for preservation in modern society, as well as new approaches to ensure the balance of heritage preservation and economic growth by using foreign experiences in specific cases.

Moreover, the company’s efforts were also illustrated by its participation at the third Smart City Summit 2019 in the central city of Danang, where participants shared their experience with industrial coatings and introduced their latest advanced solutions for future smart cities. In addition, AkzoNobel also took a key role in events about smart facades, and organised a talk show about key development trends.

Forging sustainable communities

Along with the strong focus on cities, AkzoNobel also supplies paint as a way of adding colour to every part of our country, including for schools, streets, and iconic landmarks.

In 2019, AkzoNobel accomplished a project under the Lighthouse Protection Campaign featuring the Vung Tau lighthouse – the most beautiful and oldest lighthouse in Vietnam. The project began in December 2018 and was completed the following month. After being repainted with one of the most premium exterior paints, the Dulux Weathershield®, the Vung Tau lighthouse is expected to maintain its performance for many more years and resist the harshest weather conditions.

Under AkzoNobel Cares, repainting projects continued to embellish ordinary streets and villages with colourful murals, conveying meaningful messages about sustainability. The new looks of Canh Duong Village in the central province of Quang Binh and the Linh Truong embankment in the central province of Thanh Hoa are also attracting tourists, which is an instrument to improve local people’s living standards. On the other hand, the company also accompanied students in the Green Summer programme to repaint walls and draw paintings to renew 60 urban alleys and old apartment buildings with more than 3,000 litres of paint.

Maintaining the inner force

“AkzoNobel wants to be sustainable not only by delivering suitable products and building the company’s business but also by working towards a sustainable economy and community for everyone. We already have sustainable products and services, and co-operate with other sectors to raise awareness about these issues. However, we think the key is in the young generation who will lead our economy in the coming years,” Phua stated at the opening ceremony of Orange ASEAN Factory 2019, a programme initiated by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands.

Following that, AkzoNobel decided to accompany Orange ASEAN Factory in the first edition in Vietnam with a hope to seeding sustainable thinking in the young generation and developing them both in knowledge and skills. During this programme, AkzoNobel’s key leaders provided participants with a tour of its factory in the southern province of Binh Duong, sharing the company’s process and experience through initiatives about sustainability.

Regarding the seeding effort, AkzoNobel is also a major sponsor who helps look for potential talents and build capacity for Vietnam’s construction industry by offering annual scholarships to architecture students throughout the country.

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