03/22/2007, Düsseldorf / Germany


Making sustainability happen together

Reduced occupational accidents, energy, emissions / Multi-faceted social commitment

72 percent less occupational accidents, 27 percent lower energy consumption, and 21 percent lower carbon dioxide emissions – with a concurrent increase of 66 percent in production volume: These are just three of the good results in Henkel’s sustainability performance in the 2002 to 2006 period. The Sustainability Report 2006 presented today additionally documents how Henkel helps to conserve resources with its brands and technologies – from production through use to disposal. And Henkel employees and pensioners attending the Round Table of the Make an Impact on Tomorrow (MIT) Initiative reported on their volunteer work in social projects.

“Only if we all act responsibly will we be able to achieve true sustainability.” This is the key message of the new Henkel Sustainability Report that the Company presented today at a press conference in Düsseldorf.

“Sustainability and social responsibility cannot be left solely to the endeavors of individual persons or companies. We must all play our part – every employee and every member of society,“ said Prof. Dr. Ulrich Lehner, Chairman of the Management Board of Henkel KGaA. “By choosing to buy Henkel products, customers and consumers show that they acknowledge and appreciate the efforts that Henkel makes to achieve sustainability.“ The crucial factor, said Lehner, was how a company behaved in generating its profits, and whether it could be seen to be conducting its business in a responsible manner – throughout the entire process chain.

Lehner praised the many different kinds of volunteer work done by Company employees and pensioners. Through the Make an Impact on Tomorrow (MIT) Initiative founded in 1998 Henkel has already assisted 4,574 MIT projects in 105 countries, including 1,125 children’s projects. “More than half of all MIT projects that our employees and pensioners support are carried out in developing and emerging economies,” reported Lehner.

Dr. Wolfgang Gawrisch, Chief Technology Officer (CTO) and Chairman of the Henkel Sustainability Council, presented the sustainability performance from 2002 to 2006. An especially satisfying result was that occupational accidents were substantially reduced – by 72 percent – over the past five years. And the environmental indicators (per metric ton of production volume) also showed significant improvements – while sales grew by 32 percent and profit (EBIT) by 61 percent:

  • 59 percent less heavy metals,
  • 30 percent less waste,
  • 27 percent lower energy consumption,
  • 26 percent lower sulfur dioxide emissions,
  • 21 percent lower carbon dioxide emission,
  • 18 percent lower wastewater load, and
  • 8 percent lower water consumption.

The only increase over the past five years was a 14-percent rise in emissions of volatile organic compounds, which was mainly due to acquisitions. Measures to reduce these emissions are already being implemented.

Taking a comprehensive approach to responsibility, Henkel examines its products in all phases of their life cycle: research and development, raw materials, production, logistics, use and disposal. Referring to the life cycle analysis of an automatic dishwashing detergent, Gawrisch explained that most energy and water are consumed during the use phase – that is to say, when the dishwasher is running. “One of the key tasks of the product developers is, therefore, to improve the effectiveness of the detergents at lower temperatures and with smaller volumes of water,” said Gawrisch. Somat 7 with its detergent booster and low temperature activator is an example of an innovation in this area.

Further product examples are presented in Henkel’s new Sustainability Report.

Trust as a success factor for customer loyalty

At the sustainability press conference, sustainability expert Dr. Allen White, Vice President of the Tellus Institute in Boston, Massachusetts, USA, outlined the regional challenges in the USA. “Especially for companies with strong lines of personal and home care products, a business where competition is intense and alternatives are plentiful, trust is central to customer loyalty.” Among the prominent issues for those doing business in the USA, White named transparency, product safety, job quality and security, the transformation of business models from product to services, and the Millennium Development Goals of the United Nations.

Corporate Citizenship

Corporate Citizenship at Henkel.