Building the heritage of sustainable products
An Akzo Nobel case study

Page 1: Introduction

The second half of the twentieth century was one of unprecedented growth in living standards for many in the Western world.  People were able to enjoy a wider range of products offering them technologically advanced solutions to their needs – more comfortable homes, a wider range of easy-to-cook foodstuffs, entertainment at home, and so on. However, by the closing decades of the century...
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Page 2: The historical perspective

During the 1990s there was increasing governmental and environmental pressure on the UK’s construction companies to address construction procurement methods and efficiency and engage in more sustainable practices. This took place against a background of global concern about causing irreparable damage to the planet’s resource base. The construction industry must think carefully about...
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Page 3: A whole cost approach

In order to ensure its future as a building and design material, it is in Akzo Nobel’s interests as a coatings manufacturer to invest in raising awareness of timber, in particular timber that will require treatment and/or decoration. Positive promotion of timber is required not only within the building and design industry, but also within the minds of the general public. When compared with...
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Page 4: Identifying the challenge

A key business tool for planning an appropriate strategy for an organisation is a SWOT analysis which identifies the internal strengths and weaknesses of a company and/or its products and the external opportunities and threats facing the organisation. In developing a Joinery Strategy for its Woodcare Division, business planners at Akzo Nobel needed to look carefully at the key elements in the...
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Page 5: The strategy

All successful business organisations have a strategy, i.e. a long-term plan which sets out the key objective of the organisation over a period of time (usually about five years). Akzo Nobel’s key objective is: 'Through the development of our Joinery brands, establish/extended maintenance programmes based upon the specifications of Sikkens and Sadolin Joinery and Woodcare products, to...
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Page 6: Conclusion

Through maintaining confidence in the heritage of timber and high quality timber coatings, Akzo Nobel has developed a strategy which has turned potential weaknesses into strengths and threats into opportunities. Today we are seeing a fundamental change in attitudes towards the way in which we value the environment and how we use resources. The quick-fix days of PVC-u windows are hopefully behind...
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