The purpose of the Together for Sustainability program, or TfS, is to develop and implement a global audit program to assess and improve sustainability practices within the supply chains of the chemical industry.

The TfS initiative involves independent experts carrying out assessments and audits of suppliers, avoiding the need for each of the members to conduct their own. Results and scorecard ratings are then shared within TfS on a Web-based collaborative platform.

"We already carry out extensive sustainability assessments in our own supply chains," explained Ton Geurts, AkzoNobel's chief procurement officer. "But by integrating TfS into our existing strategy we will enhance our current processes and further improve the quality of our supply chains for the benefit of our customers." 

David Allen, AkzoNobel's head of integrated supply chain said the move will not only help the company strengthen its risk management processes and prioritize improvement areas, but it will also make AkzoNobel's supply chains more robust. "It will furthermore build on our number one ranking in the Materials industry group on the Dow Jones Sustainability Index and and enable us to expand more effectively in emerging markets," he added.  

AkzoNobel joins forces with the six existing members of TfS – BASF, Bayer, Evonik Industries, Henkel, LANXESS and Solvay – with the aim of building on established principles such as the United Nations Global Compact and the Responsible Care Global Charter. Other benefits of membership include quality assurance, a reduction in the bureaucratic burden for suppliers and the lowering of risks in relation to sustainability requirements.