05/20/2009, Düsseldorf

 

Henkel and Terra Activ each garner 2009 Plus X Award

 

Henkel recognized for ecological commitment

For more than 133 years, Henkel has been combining leading brand performance with responsibility toward people and the environment. In Cologne on May 19, Henkel received the 2009 Plus X Award – conferred as part of a major European technology competition – for its standing as an “Ecologically Committed Company”. Also recognized were the company’s new liquid laundry detergents marketed under the Terra Activ brand.

At the Plus X awards ceremony held in Cologne, Germany – the culmination of a major pan-European technology competition – Henkel received recognition as an "Ecologically Committed Company”, a title conferred for the first time this year. The jury also singled out Henkel’s new Terra Activ range of detergents for a Plus X accolade. “We are delighted to see our efforts in this field so widely recognized. This award is, above all, a commendation for our customers. It is they who, with each purchase, vote in favor of the quality from Henkel, a quality derived from our 130-plus years of commitment to solidly integrating performance with sustainability”, commented Ernst Primosch, Corporate Vice President and Head of both Corporate Communications and CSR/Sustainability Management at Henkel, who received the award on Henkel’s behalf.

Sustainability as a motor for innovation
Sustainability is part of Henkel’s core DNA, and a decisive factor for maintaining success in a competitive market environment. It is also a motor for innovation: In 2008, Henkel launched a broad-based and globally aligned sustainability initiative, e.g. for its laundry and home care products, under the slogan “Quality & Responsibility”. “By offering excellent product performance based on sustainability, and therefore providing consumers with recognized value added , Henkel has set a new and innovative quality standard,” explains Christian-André Weinberger, Corporate Senior Vice President, Global Chief Marketing Officer and Chief Sustainability Officer in Henkel’s Laundry & Home Care business sector.

Henkel has generally committed to ensuring that all its new products will make a contribution to sustainable development in at least one of its declared focal areas: “Energy and Climate”, “Water and Wastewater”, “Materials and Waste”, “Health and Safety”, and “Social Progress”.  And this concept has already been firmly anchored in the company’s innovation process.

The latest example of this approach is embodied in the Terra Activ brand: In October 2008, Henkel launched under this label a range of household cleaners of which the ingredients are, on average, 85 percent derived from renewable raw materials. Also in the case of the liquid laundry detergents from Terra Activ, introduced in April 2009, the essential appeal lies in the optimum balance offered, with high environmental compatibility combining with good performance.

Over 60 percent of the surfactants – i.e. the wash-active substances – used in Terra Activ laundry detergents are likewise based on renewable raw materials. At the same time, these products generate high levels of laundry power to give the wash a sparkling cleanliness – achieved at just 20 degrees Celsius. “Only if the laundry is clean after the washing process can there be any payoff from an environmentally aware approach," explains Thomas Tönnesmann, Marketing Manager for Henkel’s laundry and home care products in Germany.

Through these developments, the company is able to satisfy key consumer demands while making a valuable contribution to sustainable development. That is why Henkel received not only the “Ecologically Committed Company” accolade but also a special award for its new Terra Activ laundry detergents.

Decades of engagement
For many years now, assessing the direct environmental impact caused by processes and products has been standard practice at Henkel. Examples of the company’s ecological engagement include over 50 years of monitoring the waters of the river Rhine and the computation of ecobalances. A current case in point is Henkel’s participation in Germany’s “Product Carbon Footprint” pilot project. The aim here is to actively promote the development of reliable methods capable of generating transparent and comparable results for determining the full gamut of climate-relevant emissions.

A further instance is Henkel’s involvement in the Roundtable for Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO). The objectives of the RSPO are to promote the sustainable production of palm and palm kernel oil and to establish a certification and marketing model for palm and palm kernel oil obtained through sustainable cultivation methods. As the first company in the world, Henkel has purchased palm kernel oil certificates for the products of its Terra Activ range. Hence, Henkel has adopted a pioneering role in helping to ensure that palm kernel oil from sustainably managed palm forests is incorporated into the supply chain for the production of surfactants.

Henkel’s record on sustainability and corporate social responsibility has already gained an excellent standing in various national and international rankings and ratings.  Published in mid May, the Investis ranking of the websites belonging to the companies listed in the DAX30 and MDAX indexes put Henkel in first place in the CSR/Sustainability category.  And this year, for the second time running, the Ethisphere Institute and Forbes Magazine, both of the USA, have included Henkel in their list of the “World’s Most Ethical Companies”. In the latest ranking of the “World’s Most Admired Companies” by the renowned US business magazine Fortune, Henkel took first place among Germany’s corporations, and second place in the global “Soaps and Cosmetics” category. Moreover, in a new sustainability study published at the beginning of 2009, Zürcher Kantonalbank named Henkel as the only company in the household products sector deserving of the highest possible AAA score. This rating relates to the overall performance of a company with respect to social and environmental issues. In December 2008 Henkel was also recognized as “Germany’s Most Sustainable Brand” at the German Sustainability Congress.

Henkel provides extensive information on sustainability and corporate social responsibility, plus all the relevant rankings and ratings, on its website www.henkel.com/sustainability.

Henkel AG & Co. KGaA
Chief Communications Officer
Ernst Primosch, Corporate Vice President