03/13/2008, Düsseldorf / Germany
Energy consumption down 21 percent, water consumption down 15 percent, and waste down 32 percent – profit and sales up. These are three results of Henkel’s sustainability performance over the past five years, as presented today at a Sustainability Press Conference. By the year 2012, Henkel intends to reduce its energy consumption by another 15 percent, and achieve further reductions of 10 percent in water consumption and waste generation, per metric ton of output in each case. Using its laundry and homecare products as examples, Henkel also demonstrated how these can help to save energy, for instance by washing laundry at temperatures as low as 20 degrees Celsius.
“Many rankings and awards acknowledge us as a global leader in sustainability and corporate social responsibility,” said Ulrich Lehner, Chairman of the Management Board of Henkel KGaA, at a press conference held in Düsseldorf today. “And because we embraced these ideals many decades ago, we are in fact already working on solutions to the problems of our age, such as the growing threat of climate change. With this in mind, we are consistently optimizing all of our brands and technologies in three phases of their life cycle: research and development, production, and use.” The use of Henkel adhesives helps to make modern cars lighter to reduce fuel consumption and carbon dioxide emissions. And modern laundry detergents and cleaning products from Henkel perform excellently even at low temperatures, enabling households to lower their energy consumption. “These are just some examples of many smart solutions from Henkel,” said Lehner. “But,” he added, “the impact of such innovations ultimately depends on the collective responsibility of individuals, with each person making a conscious decision to buy the more sustainable alternative.”
The current sustainability performance figures for 2003 to 2007 show that Henkel is making excellent progress in sustainability and corporate social responsibility. And that ecological and socially responsible behavior also pays from an economic point of view. Over the past five years, energy consumption has been reduced by 21 percent, water consumption by 15 percent, and waste generation by 32 percent. Thanks to the savings in energy consumption, the associated carbon dioxide emissions decreased by 15 percent as well. Occupational accidents even went down by 72 percent. During the same five-year period, sales grew by 39 percent and profit by 61 percent.
Based on the considerable progress achieved over the past 10 years, Wolfgang Gawrisch, Chief Technology Officer (CTO) Research/Technology and Chairman of the Henkel Sustainability Council, announced new, ambitious corporate targets: “Taking 2007 as the base line, over the next five years we intend to reduce energy consumption by another 15 percent, water consumption by another 10 percent, and waste generation by another 10 percent, per metric ton of output in each case.” Concerning occupational accidents, Gawrisch added: “We shall, of course, continue to strive to achieve zero occupational accidents. Our interim target for 2012 is a further reduction of 20 percent in occupational accidents.”
Also central to Henkel’s commitment, Gawrisch continued, are the principles that all new products contribute to sustainable development in at least one focal area, all employees receive training and continuing education to ensure that they are appropriately qualified for their tasks, and that all strategic suppliers satisfy our expectations with regard to corporate ethics.
The way Henkel puts its sustainability strategy into practice was demonstrated by Friedrich Stara, Executive Vice President Laundry & Home Care. Using laundry and homecare products as examples, he explained what sustainability throughout the value chain means. A life cycle assessment analyzing the energy and water consumption associated with Persil Megaperls shows that most energy and water is consumed during the use phase. Over the past thirty years, Henkel has succeeded in dramatically reducing the laundry detergent dosage, water consumption and electricity consumption per wash cycle. This improvement in the performance of laundry detergents benefits both consumers and the environment. Stara referred here to the premium laundry detergent Persil, which now offers best Persil cleanliness at a washing temperature of just 20 degrees Celsius (i.e. cold wash). This enables consumers to save even more energy and thus reduce CO2 emissions.
In the course of 2008, the new logo “Quality & Responsibility” will be introduced worldwide on all Laundry & Home Care product packs. By adding the dimension of ‘Responsibility’ to our promise of ‘Quality from Henkel,’ we are making a clear statement: Responsibility toward consumers, the environment and society as a whole is just as important to us as our promise of quality. We have exercised this responsibility throughout our more than 130-year history, and will continue to do so in the future,” said Stara.
Henkel is part of society and sees itself as a “good citizen.” The Company engages with society in activities extending beyond its direct business interests. Henkel Smile provides the umbrella for these activities, which have been structured around three core elements: Make an Impact on Tomorrow (MIT) – employee engagement; Henkel Friendship Initiative (HFI) – emergency fund; and Social Partnerships – corporate and brand engagement. In the area of employee engagement, for example, Henkel has been supporting the volunteer work of its employees and retirees for 10 years. Over this period, a total of 5,875 MIT projects worldwide have received support from Henkel.
Another example is the brand engagement of Persil. To mark the 100th birthday of Persil in 2007, the brand launched “Project Futurino” to support children’s and youth projects throughout Germany. Through this campaign, Persil provided a total of one million euros to help 197 non-profit projects involving more than 40,000 children and young people. The response to this initiative was so positive that the campaign is being continued in 2008. The main emphasis now is on finding projects that help children to learn more about the environment, develop an awareness of nature and the fascinating experiences it has to offer, and so to understand why it is important to protect the environment.
This information contains forward-looking statements which are based on the current estimates and assumptions made by the corporate management of Henkel KGaA. Forward-looking statements are characterized by the use of words such as expect, intend, plan, predict, assume, believe, estimate, anticipate, etc. Such statements are not to be understood as in any way guaranteeing that those expectations will turn out to be accurate. Future performance and the results actually achieved by Henkel KGaA and its affiliated companies depend on a number of risks and uncertainties and may therefore differ materially from the forward-looking statements. Many of these factors are outside Henkel's control and cannot be accurately estimated in advance, such as the future economic environment and the actions of competitors and others involved in the marketplace. Henkel neither plans nor undertakes to update any forward-looking statements.
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