Apr 21, 2015  Toluca / Mexico

Sustainable production in Mexico

Doubling capacity while reducing environmental output

Henkel’s sustainability strategy is to achieve more with less: to create more value for its customers and consumers, the communities it operates in, and the company – at a reduced environmental footprint. This is apparent with Project Xina, a 27 million euro expansion project named for a volcano near its Toluca production site in Mexico. Project Xina will simultaneously double the capacity and reduce the environmental impact of Henkel’s largest detergent production site in Latin America.

Jordi Cruz (Left), SHEQ Latin America Manager, and Jose Luis Romero Mejia, Sulfonation Operator,

Jordi Cruz (Left), SHEQ Latin America Manager, and Jose Luis Romero Mejia, Sulfonation Operator, examine the new heat recovery system’s contribution to more efficient production in Toluca, Mexico.

Project Xina will modernize technologies, double the production area, and make logistics more efficient. Several upgrades completed in 2014 are already reducing the plant’s environmental footprint. For example, a new heat recovery system was installed to save energy. The new system uses waste heat from a sulfonation plant to preheat the air for spray-drying powder detergents.

Henkel also introduced a two-step reverse osmosis process to reduce wastewater from liquid detergent production and increase the yield of recycled water. With the first measures in place, annual energy consumption has decreased by 13 percent per ton of product, water consumption has decreased by 14 percent per ton of product, and waste generation has decreased by 19 percent per ton of product. The expansion has taken place without disrupting ongoing production and without a single lost-time accident – an accident causing an employee to miss work – in 2014. Additional efficiency gains are expected once all measures are fully implemented in 2015.

Once the project is complete, Toluca will be Henkel’s largest detergent production site outside of Henkel’s Düsseldorf headquarters and will enable it to produce powder and liquid detergents efficiently for the fast-growing Latin American market. The modern factory will also serve as a sustainability and safety benchmark for the entire group.

Henkel has been in Mexico since 1959 and currently has more than 1,300 employees working in its corporate headquarters in Interlomas, as well as at its production sites in Ecatepec, Salamanca, Monterrey, and Toluca. Henkel also has distribution centers in Parque Toluca 2000 and Vallejo.

Have a look at the 2014 Sustainability Report online for more information on sustainability at Henkel.

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