AkzoNobel Leads the Way for Sustainability and Diversity

A few days ago I participated as a panelist in AkzoNobel’s second annual Sustainability Leadership Symposium moderated by Deborah Steketee, Ph.D. of the Center for Sustainability at Aquinas College in Grand Rapids MI.  The participants, representing multiple stakeholders in the collision repair industry, were brought together to discuss ways to embrace sustainable practices and share ideas to shape the industry’s future direction.  My fellow panelists were Mike Shesterkin of AkzoNobel (the symposium host), Randy Hanson of Allstate, Susanna Gotsch of CCC Information Services, Lee Broughton and Mary Mahoney of Enterprise Holdings (Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Alamo and National brands), Michael LeVasseur of Keenan Auto Body and Carl Vincenti of Oka’s Auto Body. 

 

It may be difficult to imagine collision repair operating in a way that could be labeled as sustainable.  That’s precisely why AkzoNobel, a Global Fortune 500 and the largest paint company in the world is changing its products and practices and raising industry awareness.    As with the building industry, collision repair consists of a fractured system of diverse businesses ranging from large insurance providers and car rental companies to family run body shops. Each has its own set of priorities, challenges and opportunities.  AkzoNobel’s waterborne paint has shifted many repair shops away from the high VOC solvent-based paints of the past.  Allstate has led the way for many years to promote safe driving.  Enterprise Holdings, the largest owner of passenger vehicles in the world, increases their fleet of with alternative fuel, electric and hybrid cars, builds new LEED-certified facilities and a commitment to plant 50 million trees. The company’s 20/20 Vision to reduce energy costs and energy use by 20% will save them $50 million.   I was particularly impressed by The Enterprise Institute for Renewable Fuels, which conducts research and for development alternative fuels. 

 

The night before the symposium, I presented the keynote address, “Sustainability…the Era We Live in Now,” before Mike Shesterkin, Manager of Sustainability and Business Process Improvement for AkzoNobel Aerospace and Automotive Coating - Americas, presented sustainability awards to Enterprise Holdings, Oka’s Auto Body and Keenan Auto Body. AkzoNobel’s FIT (Focus, Innovation, Talent) Sustainability Award was established three years ago to recognize companies who were leading the way in sustainable business practices. In addition to the FIT awards, AkzoNobel recognized three women leaders succeeding in the traditionally male-dominated collision repair business. For 14 years the company has promoted diversity and leadership through their “Most Influential Women” awards.  This year’s winners were Cathy S. Mills, Executive Director, Florida Auto Body Collision Alliance, Kim Parson, owner of Automotive Collision Technologies Inc. in Maryland and Kim Roberts, Marketing Manager for Fix Auto Ltd. in Ontario.  

 

Sustainability might be at its infancy in collision repair, but there are many dedicated people committed to figuring out innovative solutions through cross-industry collaboration. “Corporate sustainability is at its core, a long-term commitment to implementing business practices that meet today’s needs for profitability, personnel development and environmental stewardship; yet at the same time keeps a focused eye on the impact these decisions will have on the future,” said Mike Shesterkin, of AkzoNobel Automotive & Aerospace Coatings Americas. “The 2012 winners of the FIT Sustainability award have all taken different approaches to achieving this goal, but collectively share in the passion and pursuit of global sustainability, with leadership that has paved the way for others to follow.” 

 

About AkzoNobel

AkzoNobel is the world’s largest paints and coatings company and a major producer of specialty chemicals. The Amsterdam-based Global Fortune 500 company employs over 55,000 people in more than 80 countries and has been ranked as a sustainability leader on the Dow Jones Sustainability Index.  Learn more about AkzoNobel’s sustainability efforts at http://www.akzonobel.com/sustainability/

 

View a video of Enterprise Holdings’ sustainability commitment at http://www.drivingfutures.com/foresight/#the-big-picture|ltbox

 

AkzoNobel Names 2012 FIT Sustainability Award Winners:

http://www.fenderbender.com/FenderBender/May-2012/AkzoNobel-names-2012-FIT-Sustainability-award-winners/

Home Page Teaser: 
A few days ago I participated as a panelist in AkzoNobel’s second annual Sustainability Leadership Symposium, moderated by Deborah Steketee, Ph.D. of the Center for Sustainability at Aquinas College in Grand Rapids MI. The participants, representing multiple stakeholders in the collision repair industry, were brought together to discuss ways to embrace sustainable practices and share ideas to shape the industry’s future direction.

Comments

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
Image CAPTCHA
Enter the characters shown in the image.
By submitting this form, you accept the Mollom privacy policy.