AkzoNobel has collaboratively launched an innovative approach to the challenge of carbon reduction in the vehicle repair industry, alongside strategic partners from across the value chain.
A 24-hour event in Amsterdam, the Netherlands saw the formation of several high-impact exploration teams, which are focused on three key topics: energy transition, process efficiency and circular solutions.
The attendees – including representatives from Allianz, Arval, Boekhorst Autoschade, Centro Zaragoza, Den Elzen Autoschade, Europcar Mobility Group, Grupo Velasco, Toyota and The Vella Group – have agreed to join the next phase, which will move them further towards achieving their carbon reduction goals.
For example, one of the six exploration teams will attempt to optimise and adapt repair manuals for bodyshops in an effort to increase repairability and circularity. Another will look into creating an academy to train automotive and repair companies to become more sustainable.
Commenting on the event, AkzoNobel’s Commercial Director for Vehicle Refinishes EMEA, Ignacio Román Navarro, says: “We all have ambitious targets when it comes to addressing climate change, but it’s impossible for any of us to achieve them in isolation – collaboration is essential. So it’s been fantastic to see everyone come together, exchange ideas and make a real commitment to jointly explore what’s possible. I’m looking forward to seeing how we can take forward the challenges that came out of this program as we strive to collectively accelerate our sustainability journey.
“This event was a great starting point for us to work together and make a tangible impact on our goals. It’s something we simply have to do and, ideally, further along the road we’ll be able to transfer what we’re doing to other regions, so they can hold similar challenges that will make a real difference to achieving our ambitions.”
Adds Carlo van de Weijer, General Manager of Eindhoven AI Systems Institute, who was one of the event’s keynote speakers: “When confronted with big societal problems, such as reducing our carbon footprint, we must do more to innovate ourselves if we’re going to help solve these issues. It means the whole vehicle repair value chain has to put more effort into innovation. We should also remember that tomorrow’s major breakthroughs nearly always start with what first seemed like yesterday’s crazy idea.”
AkzoNobel has set science-based sustainability targets to halve its carbon emissions across the full value chain by 2030. Achieving that will rely heavily on collaborating with partners and challenging each other to find innovative ways to overcome the issues everyone is facing. According to Navarro, that’s exactly what the exploration teams will endeavor to accomplish.
“We’re off to a really encouraging start,” he continues. “The next step is our Discovery Day in April next year, where the teams will showcase potential solutions and our partners will officially sign up to be part of the implementation phase. That’s when the hard work begins – when we start doing what needs to be done to collectively reduce our carbon footprint, based on the exploration areas we’ve defined.”