Products and technologies are at the heart of everything we do. We create more value for our customers and consumers by constantly innovating to offer better performance with a reduced ecological footprint. To stand at the side of our stakeholders as a reliable partner, we aim to transform our company and our product portfolio sustainably. Thus, we strive to ensure that each new product contributes to sustainability. Our goal is to offer increasingly better solutions, products and services that also have a positive impact on the environment and society, and therefore make a positive contribution to value.
Our products & technologies
Sustainability in our Business Units
Our business units in the consumer goods and the business and industrial customer segments align their brands and technologies with the specific sustainability challenges that are most relevant for their product portfolio, and integrate sustainability more strongly into brand and business strategies.
Our business unit Consumer Brands is developing its product portfolio using resource-efficient technologies, with a particular focus on sustainable packaging solutions and optimized ingredients. It is driving the expansion of sustainable brands, and gradually transforming the entire product portfolio
with a holistic approach.
Our Adhesive Technologies business unit is developing solutions that enable our business and industry customers to advance their contribution to sustainability through a combination of technical materials expertise and science-based innovations. With our customized products, we want to help reduce emissions, increase energy and material efficiency, recycle valuable resources and improve safety during the manufacturing and use phases, as well as for end users.
Implementing our Sustainability Strategy
With our pioneering spirit, our knowledge, our products and technologies, we want to enrich and improve the lives of billions every day and shape a viable future for the next generations. In the following you find selected contributions of our products and technologies to our 2030+ Sustainability Ambition Framework:
In light of the need to reduce emissions and decarbonize the economy, we pursue the ambition of converting our production sites to a climate-positive CO2 balance by 2030.
In this regard, a significant milestone was already reached in August 2021: The Henkel Fragrance Center in Krefeld was the first Henkel site to switch its production completely to climate-neutral energy. In 2022, the Consumer Brands production in Düsseldorf and the production site in Wassertrüdingen, Bavaria, have also been converted to operate with 100 percent CO2-neutral energy. Further progress towards achieving climate-positive operations was made at our Adhesive Technologies plants in Australia, which have begun using electricity generated fully from renewable energy sources.
To continue promoting the circular economy in our business operations, we are focusing on reducing production waste and increasing recycling at our sites, as well as on innovative, intelligent and sustainable packaging concepts. In addition to new product forms and the use of recyclable and recycled plastics in our packaging, we also use refillable packaging.
We are testing a variety of approaches to meet the demand from consumers and distributors for reusable packaging and refills. These refill solutions are designed either as a home solution or for purchasing products from a refill station to fill existing packaging. Under our premium brand Authentic Beauty Concept, we are testing refill solutions for the hair salon business. With the help of the "Refill Bar”, hair salon visitors can refill their favorite products repeatedly in a bottle made of recycled material. We also offer refill solutions with refill bags and concentrates in Europe and North America, for example for our Schauma, Fa, Nature Box and Pril brands.
We also promote a circular economy by developing innovative adhesive solutions that enable recycling, repair and reuse of products and their components.
Our sustainability strategy aims to protect and restore biodiversity – with a particular focus on forests, land and water. In addition to applying these principles to the activities at our own sites, we also promote the responsible management of raw materials and the use of nature-based ingredients.
Thus, many of our consumer and industrial adhesives are based on nature-based raw materials, such as plant-based oils and their derivatives, as well as tree resin and carbohydrates like starch, sugar and cellulose. Our Pritt glue stick, for example, is formulated with 97 percent natural ingredients (including water). We also pioneer new solutions for adhesives, sealants and coatings that replace fossil raw materials with materials made from biomass. For example, we have developed a high-performance hotmelt adhesive made of over 80 percent bio-based materials and with a significantly reduced carbon footprint. We work with our suppliers to ensure sustainable sourcing of natural resources.
Since 2016, the Schwarzkopf Million Chances initiative has been supporting girls and women in becoming more self-confident and building a successful future for themselves. The initiative supports aid projects worldwide, often in cooperation with independent organizations such as Plan International Deutschland e.V. in Colombia, Egypt and China. Since the initiative was launched, we have been able to provide assistance to a total of around 138,300 people. In addition, the Schwarzkopf Million Chances Award is presented annually to honor non-profit projects for their outstanding commitment to supporting girls and women.
We support lifelong learning and education both in our company and in our communities. Since 2010, Schwarzkopf Professional has been working with non-profit organizations to offer young adults the opportunity to obtain training in basic hairdressing techniques and the basics of setting up a hair salon business so that they can establish livelihoods.
The volunteer efforts of hairstylists and employees have made it possible to train over 2,700 young adults in more than 30 countries, including Cambodia, Colombia, India, Lebanon and South Africa.
Another example is the Pritt “We craft for children” initiative. .Since its launch in 1969, the Pritt brand has supported the development of the motor and creative skills of children via handicrafts at school and in everyday life. For many years, Henkel has been committed to numerous educational projects worldwide with its global We craft for children initiative, in cooperation with a large number of non-profit organizations. In 2022, Pritt partnered with five non-profit organizations in Germany, Italy, Turkey, Brazil and Mexico that focus on improving learning conditions and the quality of education in schools in crisis and war zones. A total of 50,000 euros was donated to these five non-profits.
Our partnership with the social enterprise Plastic Bank contributes to both our commitment to prevent plastic waste in nature while at the same time improving living conditions for people in poverty.
Plastic Bank iis building recycling ecosystems and formalize infrastructures in countries that lack adequate waste management infrastructure. Collectors receive compensation for the materials they collect, which helps them meet the basic needs of their families – including food, cooking fuel such as charcoal for preparing daily meals, and paying for schooling or health insurance. The plastic collected is reprocessed as Social Plastic®, which can be used again in products and packaging as part of a closed-loop supply chain.
Henkel already uses Social Plastic® in a number of its packaging products. For example, Nature Box is the first cosmetics brand worldwide to use Social Plastic® as a packaging material for its entire bottle portfolio. All bottle bodies are made of 100 percent Social Plastic®. The PET bottles of the Pro Nature product range are also made from 100 percent recycled plastic, up to 50 percent of which is Social Plastic®.
Excellent quality and performance are the central value propositions for our brands and technologies, and create the foundation for our business success. Products that combine high performance with a reduced environmental footprint are key factors for successful future-oriented business development.
In partnership with BASF, Henkel will replace fossil carbon feedstock with renewable feedstock over the next four years using BASF’s certified biomass balance approach. This applies to most of Henkel's consumer goods products manufactured in Europe. As a result, core brands like Persil, Pril, Fa and Schauma will come with a reduced carbon footprint. In 2021, there was already a successful pilot project with Henkel's cleaning and detergent brand Love Nature, transforming vegan biomass form agricultural waste into active ingredients.
To pioneer in transparency we are part of Catena-X, a pan-European network that aims to standardize the methodology for calculating footprints and the associated data exchange for all participants in the automotive value chain.
In addition, Henkel and 35 other cosmetics and personal care companies have joined forces to form the Eco Beauty Score Consortium in September 2021. The goal is to develop an industry-wide system for assessing the environmental impact of cosmetic products to make it easier for consumers to make sustainable shopping decisions. This approach, which is based on the latest research, is designed to take into account the entire product life cycle. We also have plans to create a database of standard cosmetic ingredients and their environmental impact.
In collaboration with our partners, we aim to maximize the impact of our sustainability activities by driving sustainability in our value chains and beyond.
Together with the development organization Solidaridad, brands such as Nature Box have been involved in smallholder projects since 2013 to produce sustainable palm oil. The focus is on training in best practice approaches, including climate- friendly agriculture, along with exerting an influence on policy and involving stakeholders. By the end of 2022, around 38,500 smallholders have been reached on some 347,000 hectares under cultivation.