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2019 at a glance

As Henkel presents its financial figures for fiscal 2019, we look at the topics that inspired us last year.

2019 was another exciting year for Henkel: We hold leading positions in many markets and categories, and strive to offer innovations that make life easier, safer and better for our customers and consumers worlwide. This is why we further strengthened our investments in innovation, marketing and digitalization across the company. We also continued to invest in the expansion and upgrading of manufacturing sites and innovation centers in 2019. Together with our more than 52,000 employees, we create sustainable value and address global challenges. Topics like climate change, plastic and human rights are integral parts of our sustainability strategy and are now more relevant than ever. We can only succeed in overcoming these challenges if we are open to change, take advantage of opportunities, and continue to further delevop our company. Find out what inspired us in 2019 and check out the projects we implemented to ensure a successful future for our company.

Download the Henkel Annual Report 2019

How we shape our future

Innovation is part of our company strategy. Henkel holds leading positions in many markets and categories because we continuously develop and improve our products, services and processes. For example, our industrial adhesives contribute to making airplanes lighter and safer. In order to solve problems with new technologies and products, we follow the latest trends in society and engage in dialog to understand the needs of our customers. It is important for us to reflect on a wide range of impulses and to stay one step ahead of the market.

High-impact solutions for the aerospace industry

Global air traffic is increasing year by year, and so is the demand from aircraft manufacturers for innovative solutions that enable lightweight construction and reduce fuel consumption. Henkel responded to this increasing demand in 2019 by investing around 35 million euros in a new European production facility for aerospace applications in Montornès del Vallès, Spain.

Natural Beauty

There is increasing demand from our customers and consumers for hair and skin care products that are based on natural ingredients from renewable sources. In response to this global trend, we have added several new products and innovations to our portfolio. For example, with body and haircare products from Nature Box and N.A.E., as well as the premium brand Authentic Beauty Concept, which we developed together with professional hairdressers.

Persil innovations

More performance through innovation

112 years old, but always modern – our iconic Persil brand is constantly reinventing itself. Innovative technologies and formulations have enabled Persil to evolve into a top international brand with a presence in more than 50 markets around the globe. The most recent innovation: Persil Discs with four chambers. Each pre-dosed disc combines powerful stain removal, long-lasting freshness, superior fabric care and deep cleaning. This makes laundry easier than ever.

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Investing in the future

Investments secure our future. Major projects in 2019 included the construction of a new production site for electronic adhesives in South Korea and a new production facility for aerospace applications in Spain, as well as investment in the digital eSalon.com business model in the USA.

How we drive digital transformation

The future is now. Buzzwords like digitalization, artificial intelligence and 5G are coming to life and influencing processes – as well as corporate culture. Henkel is using these new opportunities to be better, faster and more sustainable. With that in mind, we are learning from start-up companies and engaging in dialog with young entrepreneurs around the world.

Transforming our lives at high speed

The next generation of mobile network is going to revolutionize our world. It will enable traffic lights to interact with cars and cell phones to talk to the gadgets in our houses – but this futuristic vision will only be possible if there are game-changing innovations for transmitting and processing data. That’s why companies like Henkel are exploring cutting-edge solutions to bring the fully connected world to life.

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The importance of a digital backbone

Everybody wants more. And they also want less. More quality and productivity, with less waste and a smaller environmental footprint. This paradox is at the heart of a growing trend for state-of-the-art solutions that revolutionize the way companies are run. Digital backbones collect data from production sites around the world, as well as from every stage in the value chain.

Corporate Office

Fit for the digital future

How do I get into the Internet of Things? Can it rain from a digital storage cloud? And are influencers contagious? With the Digital Upskilling initiative launched in 2019, Henkel wants to bring all employees worldwide up to a shared level of understanding and give them the digital skills they need for the future at an early stage.

How we put sustainability into practice

The economy always has an impact on the environment and society. As a company, we have taken this responsibility seriously throughout our history. That’s why we are committed to resource efficiency and sustainable value creation around the world and across all of our business units. In 2019, global sustainability challenges like climate change, plastic and human rights moved to the center of public attention. Our stakeholders' interest in our performance and progress increased substantially. This confirms our strong commitment and motivates us to further accelerate our efforts.

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Developing sustainable packaging

Dealing with plastic waste is a challenge that the whole world is facing. We are aware of our responsibility to help find solutions for sustainable packaging. As part of our commitment to the concept of a circular economy, we are purchasing increasing volumes of material from sustainable sources and introducing smart packaging designs to further close the loop. We also engage in global partnerships, for example, by working with the social enterprise Plastic Bank to promote plastic waste collection in developing countries.

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Becoming climate-positive

By 2050, the world's population is expected to rise to more than nine billion. To ensure that we can live in tune with the resources of our planet in the future, Henkel is pursuing the vision of becoming a climate-positive company by 2040.

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Inspiring the next generation

In 2019, Henkel partnered with Children’s City to open a Forscherwelt (Researchers’ World) in Dubai. The new, purpose-built science center is the first of its kind in the Middle East and is the largest Forscherwelt anywhere in the world. ‘Forscherwelt’ is an international initiative launched by Henkel in 2011 to encourage children to explore the fun and excitement in science. More than 44,000 children across the world have already taken part in Forscherwelt initiatives.

How we collaborate

An international and diverse environment where around 52,000 employees across more than 75 countries perform exciting jobs that enable them to develop entrepreneurial spirit and take full responsibility for their own projects – that is what working at Henkel is all about. For us, transformation and New Work are not only about redesigning our offices: In 2019, we further developed our leadership culture, creating a space in which every employee has more freedom to make decisions, implement ideas and give open feedback.

New Work

What sounds like a new lifestyle trend is actually a paradigm-shifting concept for the world of work. New Work is more digital, more flexible and more collaborative. Job applicants and employees are demanding more freedom to decide where, when and how much they work, while companies are devising new strategies to recruit and retain the best people in their field.

The Fiscal Year 2019 at a glance

1 Adjusted for one-time changes/gains and restructuring expenses.
2 Proposal to shareholders for the Annual General Meeting on April 20, 2020.

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