Nov 21, 2014 Düsseldorf / Germany
Enhancing Energy Efficiency
Climate change is among the biggest global challenges of our time. Hence Henkel has defined “Energy & Climate” as one of the six focal areas of its sustainability strategy, with a clear efficiency target: to reduce energy consumption per production unit by 15 percent by 2015 (base year: 2010). The introduction of energy-efficient products and technologies and the continuous improvement of production processes are all playing a key role in the achievement of this goal.
In order to halt climate change, economic growth and quality of life need to be decoupled from resource consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. Henkel focuses on the efficient provision and usage of energy to reduce the energy consumption attributable to its global business activities and thus avoid greenhouse gas emissions from the outset. Aside from the development of more energy-efficient products and technologies, the company has also prioritized ongoing optimization of its production processes. Over the last ten years, from 2003 to 2013, Henkel has succeeded in reducing its energy consumption by 44 percent through this approach.
Sustainable integrated concept
In recent years, Henkel Laundry & Home Care has initiated a large number of optimization programs to improve energy efficiency as part of a strategic commitment to sustainable production. In the interim, all its production sites and head offices have been certified in accordance with the international energy management standard ISO 50001. In addition to this, the production facility completed in Körösladány, Hungary, in 2012 was also certified under the LEED scheme (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design). This confirms that national standards (e.g. for health and environmental protection) have been surpassed and that the facility satisfies demanding international requirements for sustainable building.
With overall responsibility for the sites operated by the Laundry & Home Care business unit, Henkel is constantly working on improving energy efficiency with concepts that offer a holistic approach to the issue. The central objective is replacing existing processes with less energy-intensive technologies. Scorecards are also used to specify the targets and actions required at site level, and to measure the level of success achieved in each case. Furthermore, a process-specific, internet-based energy measurement system enables the energy consumption of all sites to be monitored in real time and variances from strict setpoints and reference values to be immediately detected and rectified. “Constant consumption tracking, comparison with our target values and benchmarking across all our facilities help us to speed up the process of continuous improvement – as one can see from our sustainability record,” says Dr. Dirk Holbach, Head of Supply Chain Management, Henkel Laundry & Home Care.
Exhausting energy-saving potential
This year, the Berlin-based executive networking organization Econique honored Henkel Laundry & Home Care with the Energy Masters Award in recognition of its commitment to climate protection. The business unit’s first place in the “Integrated Concepts” category was attributable to, among other things, a heat recovery project implemented at its Kruševac site in Serbia. Here, waste process heat that was previously unused is now being recovered for central heating, hot water provision and the production process. The results are impressive: In terms of energy recovery and efficiency alone, the business unit can look forward to annual savings of two million euros worldwide against an investment of around eight million euros. With output at its current level, this also means a cut in CO2 emissions of around 20,000 metric tons per year.