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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.
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.
At Henkel, the safety and health of employees, neighbors, customers and consumers has always been a toppriority. 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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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. We reached our targets for 2011 to 2015, improving the relationship between the value we create and our environmental footprint by 38 percent overall, and there was an efficiency increase of 42 percent by 2016. On the way to achieving our long-term goal of “Factor 3”, we also want to improve our performance further in these areas in the coming years. To help us achieve this, we have defined new medium-term targets:
We concentrate our activities on six focal areas that reflect the key challenges of sustainable development as they relate to our operations. To successfully implement our strategy and reach our targets, we want to strengthen our foundation, boost the engagement of our employees and maximize our impact.
To reach our long-term goal of becoming three times more efficient by 2030 (“Factor 3”), we had set ourselves concrete Interim targets for 2020 (base year: 2010). Here is the current status:
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.