Sustainability Trends Driving Change in Heavy Industry

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Sustainability Trends Driving Change in Heavy Industry

AkzoNobel argues that heavy industry still has a vital role to play in the green economy

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Andre Veneman of AkzoNobel argues that heavy industry still has a vital role to play in the green economy

Monday, May 2, 2016 - 12:00pm

CONTENT: Article

Due to its significant resource use, its waste and emissions, heavy industry has for many years been seen as an obstacle to sustainable development. But this is not the full story. Many leading companies operating in the sector - typically utilities, oil & gas and mining firms - are starting to take sustainability seriously and build it into their everyday operations.

Having a "license to operate" in different locations throughout the world - one that expands beyond simple regulatory compliance - continues to be a major driver of progress. This is especially true considering the recent oil, mining and nuclear disasters. Safety, social and environmental concerns are critical for these large oil & gas and utility companies as they work to ensure that financial returns are long-lived.

Another significant trend is the genuine progress made in this sector beyond the traditional marketing platitudes in yearly sustainability reports. More project teams than in previous years are now charged with specific projects to reduce emissions and energy. And there are more sustainability professionals employed by these companies than ever before.

The World Business Council Sustainability Development's Vision 2050 report foresees major changes in the industrial sector. As well as a four to 10-fold improvement in the eco-efficiency of resources and materials, it is expected that closed loop processes will make landfills obsolete and cooperation across sectors will be standard practice. In addition, it is expected that companies will have effectively managed the transition toward renewable energy and found appropriate replacements for fossil fuel based raw materials.

These changes will create challenges and opportunities for all those companies operating within the sector. This includes suppliers such as AkzoNobel who have the opportunity to help industrial companies respond effectively to these trends.

At AkzoNobel we supply a huge variety of specialty chemicals and coatings for the industrial sector, and we're always looking to find new, more innovative and more sustainable ways for customers to use them.

Our protective coatings are playing a major role in the fast growing wind energy industry. In fact we have protected over 40,000 wind turbines worldwide and were responsible for coating all 175 wind turbines that make up the London Array offshore wind farm.

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Keywords: Environment | AkzoNobel | Andre Veneman | Energy | Utilities

CONTENT: Article