Dr. Roger Jakeman is AkzoNobel’s Chief Technology Officer, responsible for the company’s research and development activities.
He also drives the paint and coatings manufacturer’s innovation and sustainability agenda with the Paint the Future Collaborative
Sustainability Challenge, in which business partners jointly develop approaches to protect the climate.
Carina Kraft is Head of Sustainability at BYK. Together with her team, she supports colleagues in their efforts to make processes
and products more sustainable.
What role do companies like AkzoNobel and BYK play in making the world more sustainable?
DR. ROGER JAKEMAN: The interesting thing about the coatings industry is that it has such a broad scope – so whether we’re protecting and enhancing the phone in your hands, the buildings you live and work in, or the rovers exploring distant frontiers on Mars, we at AkzoNobel are always finding innovative and exciting ways to make products more sustainable and longer lasting. And this, of course, applies to BYK too – because we use your products to make ours.
CARINA KRAFT: Our additives can be found in hundreds of value chains. As a company, BYK is therefore in a position to create sustainable value through its own innovative solutions – for customers, the environment, and future generations. We accept this responsibility and as a result are already shaping tomorrow today.
Why is it important to work together along the entire value chain?
DR. ROGER JAKEMAN: It’s about pushing boundaries and finding inventive ways to collectively make a positive contribution to an ever-changing world. Look at AkzoNobel – up to 98% of the carbon in our value chain can be ascribed to up- and downstream activities. We need to collaborate in order to make an impact.
CARINA KRAFT: Sustainability is a complex issue. So, continuous exchange along the supply chain is needed. One example of this is the idea behind the concept of Portfolio Sustainability Assessment, a methodology that assesses the sustainability of a product, depending on the area in which it is used. The results enable us to further improve our product portfolio.
Why is constant dialog key to driving innovation to achieve sustainability?
CARINA KRAFT: By entering into dialog with our partners, we can speed up the time-consuming process of developing new products because then we can take feedback into account at an early stage of the research process. This gives us the opportunity to more quickly find effective solutions that help us achieve climate targets.
DR. ROGER JAKEMAN: We all have ambitious targets when it comes to addressing climate change, but we won’t achieve them in isolation. It’s about dialog and working together, being bold, anticipating future needs, and leading from the front – even if sometimes the conversations are difficult. People are the driving force behind
rethinking what’s possible.
What are the most important challenges that BYK and AkzoNobel need to address together?
DR. ROGER JAKEMAN: We’re in an exciting period of transformation. BYK is a key and major supplier, so it’s definitely about your products and their carbon footprint. However, more importantly overall, it’s what we can do together to help other actors in the value chain reduce their own footprint. Therefore, we want to spend our time with reliable suppliers with the same vision as us. I am looking forward to continuing our very solid partnership with BYK.
CARINA KRAFT: The time we spend on intensive collaboration on joint projects is time well spent. Within the framework of AkzoNobel’s Paint the Future Collaborative Sustainability Challenge, for example, I made many additional valuable contacts. We are already looking forward to continuing the challenge.