Sustainability runs at the very heart of AkzoNobel’s portfolio and operations. Its pioneering coatings are designed as environmentally conscious and long-lasting solutions for its customers, with circularity, carbon emissions and a broader focus on community in mind.

AkzoNobel Wood Finishes recently launched a campaign centred on strengthening the environmental performance of its EMEA customers. Its core message – “it all adds up” – conveys the incremental benefits of small adjustments to products and processes. 

Beyond its innovative product portfolio, AkzoNobel Wood Finishes’ expertise extends to analysing systems and processes to maximise efficiency, productivity and, of course, sustainable practices. This specialist knowledge and experience is channelled into three central pillars which underpin the campaign as a whole. 

“Taking the lead” focuses on AkzoNobel Wood Finishes’ own efforts to reduce its carbon footprint across its value chain by 50% by 2030.

“Exploring new options” examines business’s ongoing investments in making solutions more sustainable through extending the life of products, reducing waste and maintenance needs and saving energy throughout the value chain. 

Lastly, “Sharing responsibility” shines a light on AkzoNobel Wood Finishes’ value-led approach to helping customers identify opportunities to reduce their carbon footprint and make their businesses more sustainable. Take for example using LEDs, rather than traditional lamps, when curing wood coatings, which can reduce energy consumption by up to 50%.

Here, we speak with AkzoNobel’s Sales Manager South West Europe, Jaap van ‘t Klooster, and Product Marketing Director, Sarah Skinner, to find out more about the campaign, and the difference it might make to furniture and joinery manufacturers ...


Most of us appreciate that sustainability is high on the agenda – can you give insight as to how AkzoNobel Wood Finishes’ campaign came to life? 

We wanted to raise awareness of AkzoNobel Wood Finishes’ position as the partner of choice when it comes to driving sustainability for customers in the wood coatings industry. We want customers to think of us as the first-choice supplier that can help them become more sustainable and meet their ESG targets.

How do you feel furniture and joinery manufacturers in the UK might respond? 

We believe furniture and joinery manufacturers will appreciate the opportunity to learn more about the holistic approach that AkzoNobel has towards sustainability. It’s a topic that’s high on the corporate agenda. We’re happy to showcase our performance in this area and share the proof points of what we do across different areas of sustainability.

It hopefully gives our customers more knowledge and insights into how they can strengthen their sustainability agenda and how we can work together to achieve their goals.

Sustainability is an increasingly important topic, not only for the furniture and joinery sectors, but for the whole of our society. We’re always looking to extend our sustainable furniture and joinery portfolio. Sustainability aspects are part of every scoping for new product offers we develop. We are building on this as a key offer going forward, not only for the furniture industry, but more widely for wood coatings. 

“Our sustainability strategy focuses on three key themes: climate change, circularity, and health and wellbeing”

What’s the longer-term sustainability vision for the business?

At AkzoNobel Wood Finishes, we’ve made it our business to deliver the sustainable and innovative solutions that our customers, communities – and the planet – are increasingly relying on. Collaborating with customers, suppliers, academia and other stakeholders is fundamental to what we want to achieve. It’s about pushing boundaries and finding inventive ways to collectively make a positive contribution to an ever-changing world.

Our sustainability strategy focuses on three key themes: climate change, circularity, and health and wellbeing. In practical terms, our targets for 2030 include:

  • 50% less carbon emissions in our operations and across value chain
  • 100% circular use of materials in own operations driven by reduce, reuse, recycle
  • 50% of revenue from sustainable solutions
  • >100,000 members of local communities empowered with new skills

How will AkzoNobel Wood Finishes’ ‘it all adds up’ message be communicated to UK furniture and joinery manufacturers? 

We will be working hard over the next months and years to communicate our ‘it all adds up’ message to the markets we operate in. 

There is no single strategy for achieving this. We’ll do so through our sales and technical teams, by attending relevant fairs and events, through digital tools and resources, as well as through our social media channels.  


What do you feel are the most important elements of AkzoNobel Wood Finishes’ ‘it all adds up’ campaign? 

The campaign goes beyond just coatings; our ambition is to be partners for our customers. Many businesses care about their sustainability performance and want to do more for sustainability, but they aren’t sure how. We want to show them how we can work with them to facilitate change holistically and with accountability – from their production to the products and services they offer customers. We can help them lead the change and provide guidance on how, by working together, we can enhance the sustainability of our businesses and our industry.

What areas within AkzoNobel Wood Finishes’ growing expertise in sustainability are having the most impact?  

We see sustainability as a holistic topic where every action counts, no matter how small, and they all add up to positive change. Within a diverse market, different actions will have different impacts for customers and industries. AkzoNobel Wood Finishes need to be a partner for our customers, so we can support them in understanding and implementing the sustainability solutions that are most appropriate – and effective – for their business.

“It’s important for AkzoNobel to be a partner for our customers, so we can support them in understanding and implementing the sustainability solutions that are most appropriate – and effective – for their business”

On the ground, how is AkzoNobel Wood Finishes going to be part of the agenda for positive sustainability change that is required of UK furniture and joinery manufacturers? 

This is where we need to rely on our technical and sales team to create change together with our customers. We will continue to share our message, provide ideas and practical solutions to enhance sustainability, and develop innovative, sustainability-focused products. 

The challenge for the industry as a whole, not only in the UK but across the globe, is to leverage such opportunities to transform how sustainability is understood and applied in the furniture and joinery sector.

With AkzoNobel Wood Finishes’ many newly developed products, how can you help your customers with potential application issues? 

Our technical and sales teams are dedicated to supporting our customers to resolve any uncertainties over products, systems or applications. We have a well-recognised team of specialists who can advise on precisely these kinds of issues, not only for newly developed products, but also for our existing portfolio and services.