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Sustainable Palm (Kernel) Oil

Henkel wants to drive progress toward sustainable palm oil and palm kernel oil – and make a positive impact on both the environment and the people affected.

  • Sustainable sourcing of palm (kernel) oil
  • Collaboration in palm oil industry
  • Our goals

At Henkel, we recognize our responsibilities regarding the purchase and use of ingredients based on renewable raw materials. As part of this responsibility, we strive to ensure that all of the materials related to palm oil and palm kernel oil that we buy and use in our products are produced through sustainable practices. By 2020, for example, we aim to ensure that the palm materials we use do not contribute to deforestation of primary or secondary forests with significant ecological value – including peat lands and High Carbon Stock forests. Alongside environmental considerations, we place a strong focus on the rights of people who work in the palm oil industry or live in communities directly impacted by its activities. Our approach aims to drive physical progress toward sustainable palm oil and palm kernel oil – and make a positive impact on both the environment and the people affected by the industry. We are therefore focusing on targets covering Mass Balance certification, traceability, and projects that support smallholder farmers.

Our purchase of palm oil-related materials accounts for less than 0.2 percent of the palm oil and palm kernel oil produced worldwide. The majority of this is palm kernel oil, which forms the basis of the surfactants that we use in our detergent and cosmetic products. These materials are at the end of a long and often complex supply chain: For this reason, Henkel is committed to driving progress toward achieving sustainable practices right across the palm oil industry – along the value chain.

Collaboration with representatives from across the sector is at the heart of our approach to supporting sustainable palm oil and palm kernel oil. Through partnerships, projects and dialog, we are able to engage with key players ranging from plantations, smallholder farmers and palm oil mills through to governments, non-governmental organizations and suppliers. These activities enable us to strengthen the impact of our contribution to sustainable practices in the palm oil industry. They also provide opportunities to gain valuable insights into changing industry developments and new scientific findings.

We have set three palm oil goals that we believe address key priorities for the successful transformation of the palm oil industry, and target the specific challenges where we are able to make our strongest possible contribution. The targets for 2020 are:

Cover 100% of our demand with Mass Balance certified oils: All palm and palm kernel oil used in our products should be derived from sustainably cultivated sources in line with the RSPO’s Mass Balance model in 2020. In 2018, around 65 percent of the oil and derivatives used in our products was certified according to this model.

Establish full traceability of palm oil and palm kernel oil used in our products: By the year 2020, we aim to be able to trace the palm oil, palm kernel oil and derivatives we buy to known sources – first to the mill and then to the plantation. We have made great progress in this respect. We have held discussions with all relevant suppliers focusing on how to reach our goals and have stated our expectations clearly and comprehensively through related training materials. As a result of our efforts we were able to trace around 60 percent of the palm-based materials we used back to the mill for the year 2018. A list of our palm-based supplier portfolio is available here.

Increase the supply of sustainable palm oil and palm kernel oil by a volume equal to Henkel’s global demand: We aim to increase the availability of sustainable palm oil and palm kernel oil on the market through collaborative projects that enable small farmers to certify their crops as sustainable, increase productivity and improve their livelihoods. By September 2016, we had already confirmed partnerships that increased the supply of sustainable palm oil and palm kernel oil on the global market by a volume equal to our total expected demand for these materials in 2016 – with more projects planned worldwide. Additional projects were added in 2017 and are planned for the next few years.