AkzoNobel and Solvay partner to expand sustainable raw materials in coatings

Brussels, June 5, 2013 --- AkzoNobel and Solvay have signed a three-year agreement whereby AkzoNobel will increase the use of renewable raw materials in its paints and coatings, building on an existing partnership between the two companies.

Under the terms of the deal, AkzoNobel will progressively increase the use of Solvay’s bio-based epichlorohydrin, or Epicerol®, which is already contained in many of the company’s resins for its coatings products. The agreement underlines the commitment of both parties to play a key role in sustainable development and expand the use of renewable raw materials.

Developed and patented by international chemical group Solvay, Epicerol® is the innovative process used to produce bio-based epichlorohydrin from renewable glycerol. Epicerol® has a substantially lower carbon footprint compared with most fossil-produced epichlorohydrin. By 2016, AkzoNobel aims to source 20 percent of its total epichlorohydrin demand as bio-based material.

We are very happy to extend our partnership with Solvay and take yet another step with our bio-based strategy,” said Dick Bartelse, AkzoNobel Business Unit Director of Purchasing. “We are serious about encouraging our suppliers to invest in bio-based solutions and enabling our customers to have cutting-edge, sustainable products.

Added Peter Nieuwenhuizen, AkzoNobel’s Director of Future-Proof Supply Chains: “This isn’t just about Solvay and AkzoNobel, but about working in partnership along the supply chain, including with our resin producers. It’s exciting to see how together we can make bio-based chemicals a reality for our customers.”

Jean-Luc Préat, Head of the Epicerol® business in the Solvay Emerging Biochemicals Global Business Unit, said: “This agreement illustrates the necessity of a lifecycle approach to sustainability, where all levels of the supply chain team up. This is the best way to minimize our global footprint and meet the environmental challenges our industry has to cope with. We are proud to be among the pioneers in this field together with AkzoNobel.”

New to this type of agreement is the partnership model between two chemical groups on the one hand, and their suppliers and customers on the other. It builds on a supply agreement for renewable solvents which both companies announced three months ago, with the project outlined to take more than three years of collaborative work in the value chain, starting immediately.

Epichlorohydrin is a chemical intermediate to make epoxy resins, which are base ingredients for certain coatings. AkzoNobel and Solvay will work closely with their respective suppliers and customers to facilitate the use of Epicerol® to produce AkzoNobel’s resins, and ensure this is done in a verifiable manner and according to the highest current sustainability standards. 

Akzonobel is a leading global paints and coatings company and a major producer of specialty chemicals. We supply industries and consumers worldwide with innovative products and are passionate about developing sustainable answers for our customers. Our portfolio includes well-known brands such as Dulux, Sikkens, International and Eka. Headquartered in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, we are consistently ranked as one of the leaders in the area of sustainability. With operations in more than 80 countries, our 50,000 people around the world are committed to excellence and delivering Tomorrow’s Answers Today™.

As an international chemical group, SOLVAY assists industries in finding and implementing ever more responsible and value-creating solutions. The Group is firmly committed to sustainable development and focused on innovation and operational excellence. Solvay serves diversified markets, generating 90% of its turnover in activities where it is one of the top three worldwide. The group is headquartered in Brussels, employs about 29,000 people in 55 countries and generated 12.4 billion euros in net sales in 2012. Solvay SA SOLB.BE) is listed on NYSE Euronext in Brussels and Paris (Bloomberg: SOLB.BB - Reuters: SOLBt.BR).

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