Product Innovations

With our products and technologies, we want to create more value for our customers and consumers by constantly innovating to offer better performance with a reduced environmental footprint.

The Henkel focal areas have been systematically anchored into our innovation process since 2008.  This means, our innovation process employs a variety of tools to systematically analyze, measure and evaluate our products. For the product categories, sustainability topics and metrics are considered accordingly in the innovation process. Our researchers have to identify the points in the value chain and the strategic areas in which the product offers concrete advantages. Each product receives a separate sustainability profile based on this data. To make it easier to optimize our products during the development phase, we integrate the environmental profiles of potential raw ingredients and packaging materials into the information systems of our product and packaging development teams. This allows the footprint of a new formulation to be calculated as early as the development phase.

With the help of life cycle analyses and the knowledge they have acquired during many years of work on sustainability, our experts analyze the complete life cycle of our products. Only by considering the entire life cycle can we ensure that the action taken will improve the overall sustainability profile of our products. As early as the product development phase we can assess what environmental impacts occur, to what extent, and in which phase of a product’s life. Building on these results, improvement measures can then be applied where they are most needed and can be most efficiently implemented. 

In preparing life cycle analyses, we use our own primary data as well as specific data from our suppliers, customers and other partners along the supply chain. We make use of reliable and specific databases for secondary data, such as certain emission factors or average values. One example is Carbon Minds, a chemical-specific database for raw materials. To further develop metrics and indicators, we collaborate with external partners on topics such as product carbon footprints and water footprints. We also involved in international initiatives such as “The Sustainability Consortium” and the Consumer Goods Forum's Measurement Group. In addition, we participate in technicalinitiatives, such as Together for Sustainability, Catena-X, A.I.S.E., the Eco Beauty Score Consortium and the Renewable Carbon Initiative. The aim is to standardize and harmonize the methodology for calculating product lifecycle appraisals, improve data quality, integrate supplier-specific data and primary data, and drive digital data exchange. For this reason, Henkel participates in pilot projects in the USA and Europe with the aim of driving forward the development of a reliable and internationally harmonized method of determining product life cycle analyses.

Our business units in consumer goods markets, as well as those that serve business and industrial customers align their brands and technologies with the specific sustainability challenges that are most relevant for their product portfolio. They also integrate sustainability strongly into brand and business strategies. Sustainability is a key element of the business units’ innovation strategies.

Since the beginning of 2023, Consumer Brands has been the multi-category platform for our consumer brands and corresponding businesses. Our common goal is to transform our product portfolio, while taking our customers and consumers with us on this journey. We place a particular focus on innovation, as well as further developing our approach to sustainable packaging and sustainable ingredients. This aspiration includes our consumer brands in hair & body care and laundry & home care.

Our Adhesive Technologies business unit is developing solutions that enable our business and industry customers to make a greater contribution to sustainability through a combination of technical materials expertise and science-based innovations. With our customized solutions, we want to enable emission reduction, increased energy and material efficiency, recycling of valuable resources and improved safety during the manufacturing and use phases, as well as for end users.