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Henkel Sustainability Strategy 2030

Achieving more with less is the goal of Henkel's sustainability strategy.


Creating more value for our customers and consumers, for the communities we operate in, and for the company – while reducing our environmental footprint at the same time. This is the idea at the heart of our sustainability strategy and its related ambitious targets.

For a long time, growth and resource consumption seemed to go hand in hand and impossible to attain one without the other. Whenever population and living standards increased, it meant using up more and more of the earth's resources. With expected population to grow to about nine billion people by the year 2050, this trend will not change anytime soon. Resource consumption will accelerate in the coming decades as natural resources such as fossil fuels or water are consumed much faster than the planet can keep producing them.

While these developments are challenges for the future, they also offer great potential: Innovating and achieving more with less will be a key to becoming sustainable. We need solutions that allow people to live a good life yet use less and less materials. This idea is at the heart of Henkel's sustainability strategy, as we strive to find new ways of growing and improving quality of life without using up more resources. We want to improve our products and solutions through innovations and smart thinking – to create more value at a reduced ecological footprint. 

Value & definition

Our corporate value

One of our five corporate values: We are committed to leadership in sustainability. For example, we provide products, technologies and processes that meet the highest standards. We are committed to the safety and health of our employees, the protection of the environment and the quality of life in the communities in which we operate.


In 2050, about 9 billion people live well and within the resource limits of the planet (Vision 2050 of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development).


We pioneer new solutions to sustainability challenges while continuing to shape our business responsibly and increase our economic success on the basis of a long-term goal and clear interim targets until 2020.

Becoming three times more efficient by 2030

20-year goal for 2030

Triple the value we create for the footprint made by our operations, products and services. We summarize this ambition to become three times more efficient as “Factor 3”

Factor 3

We can triple the value we create while leaving the footprint at the same level.

Or we can reduce the environmental footprint to one third of today’s level while achieving our improvement in efficiency by delivering the same value

In many cases, we will approach from both sides, reducing input and improving output at the same time.

Our contributions in six focal areas

We concentrate our activities along the value chain on six focal areas that reflect the challenges of sustainable development as they relate to our operations.Innovating and achieving more with less will be a key to a sustainable development that does not sacrifice people’s quality of life. To drive progress along the entire value chain through our products and technologies, we concentrate on a fixed set of areas that summarize the challenges as they relate to our operations.We have subdivided these focal areas into two dimensions: “more value” and “reduced footprint”. In order to successfully establish our strategy and reach our goals, both of these dimensions must be ever-present in the minds and day-to-day actions of our employees and mirrored in our business processes.

Achieving more with less

Our focal areas are divided into two dimensions: “more value” and “reduced footprint.” We aim to increase the value we create in the areas of “social progress”, “safety and health” and “performance”. In the areas “energy & climate”, “materials & waste” and “water & wastewater”, we aim to further reduce the resources we use and hence the ecological footprint of our operations and products

Social progress

As a local employer and business partner, we make an important contribution to the social progress of society as a whole: We create jobs with fair conditions of employment, provide ongoing training for our employees and customers, and value the diversity of our workforce. We purchase goods and services, cooperate in a spirit of partnership with our suppliers, and transfer knowledge and technologies. We also support the social involvement of our employees. In this way, we stimulate regional economic development and social equality worldwide.


High quality and excellent performance are the primary value propositions of our brands and technologies, and the basis for our economic success. Therefore, we focus on developing products that provide even better performance, e.g. in terms of quality, functionality, reliability, convenience, durability, or cost efficiency. We also enhance our value proposition towards our customers and consumers by enabling them to improve their own sustainability performance.

Safety and health

At Henkel, the safety and health of employees, neighbors, customers and consumers has always been a top priority. We market safe products that do not impact the health of consumers or the environment. The safety and environmental compatibility of our products and technologies conform to recognized scientific criteria and are based on assurance programs in every stage of the product life cycle

Water and wastewater

We strive to create water-efficient products and technologies to enable also our consumers and customers to protect water resources worldwide. Our consumer products such as detergents, household cleaners or shampoos that pass into sewage systems after use are optimized for biodegradability so they will not impact the quality of surface waters. Wastewater from industrial applications is pretreated using state-of-the-art technology to remove harmful substances and professionally disposed of.

Materials and waste

We use resource-conserving production techniques and optimize the packaging of our products to lower material consumption and waste. We use ingredients based on renewable raw materials wherever this is compatible with ecological, economic and social considerations. Many of our products contribute to extending the service life of durable goods, thus also preserving values and resources. We thereby contribute to the worldwide conservation of resources.

Energy and climate

At Henkel our focus is on the efficient provision and utilization of energy, to lower energy use of our worldwide operations and prevent greenhouse gas emissions. We also strive to create energy efficient products and technologies to also enable our consumers and customers to save energy and contribute to climate protection.

What we want to achieve by 2030

To reach our goal of becoming three times more efficient by 2030, we will have to improve our efficiency by an average of 5 to 6 percent each year. For the five years from 2011 to 2015, we had set ourselves concrete interim targets aiming to increase efficiency by 30 percent.


How are we implementing our strategy?

We concentrate our activities along the value chain on six focal areas that reflect the challenges of sustainable development as they relate to our operations. To successfully implement our strategy and reach our targets, we rely on our products, cooperation with our partners, and the dedication of our people.

Male and female employee are holding a presentation about Persil.


Each new product must continue to make a contribution to sustainability.

We intend to enhance the transparency on the substances used in our products and their safety on a global scale.

We want to reduce the volume of packaging relative to net sales by 20 percent.

Discussion on the initiative "Together for Sustainability"


Together with our partners, we want to improve workplace conditions for one million employees in our supply chain.

We want to help our customers and consumers to save 50 million metric tons of CO2.

We want to educate 300 million consumers about recycling options and inspire them to participate.

Three female employees are talking about sustainability in the Henkel Global Experience Center.


We want to mobilize all of our employees to continue working to advance sustainability.

Through our social engagement activities, we want to contribute to the quality of life of 10 million people.

We want to reach 200,000 children with our education initiatives.

What we have achieved

To reach our long-term goal of becoming three times more efficient by 2030 (“Factor 3”), we had set ourselves concrete interim targets for the five-year period from 2011 to 2015, which we achieved. Here is the current status:


Plus 38% overall efficiency

2015 target: +30%


11% more net sales per ton of product

2015 target: +10%


33% safer per million hours worked

2015 target: +20%


23% less water per ton of product

2015 target: -15%


17% less waste per ton of product

2015 target: -15%


18% less energy/ CO2 emissions per ton of product

2015 target: -15%

Sustainability Management

Chaired by a Management Board member and reflecting all areas of the company, the Sustainability Council steers our global sustainability activities as a central decision-making body. Its members represent the business units and corporate functions responsible for putting our sustainability strategy into operational action.