Building the heritage of sustainable products

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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 serious questions were being raised about the road to progress. A number of the solutions being provided by businesses were clearly unsustainable, involving the waste of precious resources and the creation of pollution. Increasingly, governments and consumers were seeing the need to conserve scarce resources and to find more sustainable patterns of growth. This case study highlights the importance of providing sustainable solutions – showing how Akzo Nobel is providing a sustainable solution through its wood coatings for windows. This is much more in tune with current environmental thinking than PVC-u double-glazed windows which have been so popular in recent decades Akzo Nobel’s origins date back to the 1770s. It is now a multi-national, multi-product firm and the world’s leading producer of all kinds of coatings, i.e. paints, finishes, stains, printing inks and adhesives. Based in…

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