1 Dec 2022

Accelerating the reduction of CO2 emissions

Transforming sustainability at Henkel’s UK Head Office

Making a positive impact for the good of generations with renewable energy. Today, sustainability is at the heart of Henkel’s corporate strategy and pioneering spirit. Transforming the UK Head Office to use renewable energy not only helps to create a more sustainable office, but it also reduces energy costs. Victoria Hampstead talks more about putting her training as a Sustainability Pioneer into action to accelerate sustainability at the Hemel site.

As a leader in sustainability, Henkel is continuously looking at ways we can reduce our impact on the environment across the whole supply chain. From sourcing ingredients, to manufacturing and logistics, through to energy sources.

Empowering Henkel teams and pioneers to anchor sustainability at the heart of our culture and make an impact can be seen by the project to bring renewable energy to the UK Head Office, led by Victoria Hampstead, HSC Country Manager UKI. Installing nearly 300 solar panels on one building has generated 96,000kWh of electricity in its first year, which is roughly what 33 two-three person houses use in a year.

Renewable energy is a major driver in the fight against climate change. For Henkel, the switch to non-carbon energy sources is one of the main levers in our efforts to become a climate-positive company by 2040.

Victoria explains that In July 2021, the pandemic restrictions were being removed but most Henkel colleagues were still working from home. We used the opportunity to install solar panels on our Head Office building without disrupting our operations or teams. Most colleagues had no idea that the solar panels had been installed. During the short period since the panels were added, we have saved 23 tonnes of CO2 emissions - the equivalent of driving around the world 21 times and 184 mature trees to offset the CO2.

At the start of the project, it was estimated that Henkel would recoup the investment in five years. However, with the dramatic increase in electricity costs, the panels will pay back as soon as 18 months. Savings for the forthcoming year are expected to be approximately £70,000.

Creating energy from fossil fuels uses tonnes of water and is responsible for contributing to climate warming through CO2 emissions, so renewable energy such as solar panels and wind turbines are vital for companies aiming to become climate positive. Henkel’s target is to ensure that by 2030, 100% of electricity used in production sites comes from renewable sources.

Victoria said: “I’m passionate to make a difference and help accelerate Henkel’s sustainable transformation. It’s great to know these solar panels are reducing Henkel’s impact on the environment. It’s another step towards climate positivity and reduces our reliance on fossil fuels, as well as cutting our energy costs. No matter how big or small, I would encourage everyone to get involved”

Following the success of this project, Victoria is leading an initiative to consider the feasibility of extending solar energy projects to other Henkel sites in the UK and Ireland – “I hope to build on the success of the UK Head Office renewable energy project, and also look at other sustainability initiatives to support the 2030+ sustainability strategy, create value and contribute to a competitive edge.”