Product Innovations

Our products help to decouple quality of life from resource use.

  • Sustainability evaluation in the Henkel innovation process

  • Measuring, assessing and managing progress

  • Strengthening the contributions of our brands and technologies

The Henkel focal areas have been systematically anchored into our innovation process since 2008. This means that, at a given point, our researchers must demonstrate the specific advantages of their project in regard to product performance, added value for customers and consumers, and social criteria (“more value”). They also have to show how it contributes to using less resources (“reduced footprint”). For each product category and market, we examine whether we can spotlight certain product features – compatibility, packaging solution or environmental benefits – by using appropriate (environmental) labels.

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 data from our partners along the supply chain. If such data is not available, we draw on secondary data from existing databases on life cycle analyses, average values, and emission factors. To further develop metrics and indicators, we collaborate with external partners on topics such as product carbon footprints and water footprints. We also participate in international initiatives such as “The Sustainability Consortium” and the Consumer Goods Forum's Measurement Group.

We are also involved in standardizing the methodology for calculating footprints and the associated data exchange for all participants in the automotive value chain as part of the “Catena-X Automotive Network”.
In addition, we have further developed our “EasyLCA” software tool for the fast calculation of COfootprints for product formulations. This is a quick way to make the footprint of formulations transparent for decision-making processes during the product development process.

Our brands and technologies are used a million times over, every day, in households and industrial processes. For this reason, we want to expand their contributions to sustainability by focusing more strongly on pioneering innovations. In order to strengthen the part played by our products, we define brands and technologies that have the potential to make relevant contributions to meeting environmental or social challenges through groundbreaking innovations or by engaging customers and consumers. We will make more use of communication with our customers and consumers to demonstrate how our brands and technologies contribute to sustainability, where consumers can play a part, and how we can help them use resources more efficiently and reduce costs.