Sustainability Heroes: Henkel employees embody commitment to promote circular economy
A circular economy is a model of production and consumption, which involves sharing, reusing, repairing, refurbishing and recycling existing materials and products for as long as possible, aiming at tackling global challenges like climate change, biodiversity loss, waste, and pollution.
This idea is at the heart of the circular economy model: A way of thinking that seeks to gather materials after they have been used and process them so they can be reused or recycled over and over again. This eliminates waste and reduces the environmental impact of packaging – as long as strong recycling and waste management systems are in place.
At Henkel, we recycle. This is a commitment woven into our sustainability fabric and our employees lead the charge in highlighting that.
Manager – Shopper Solutions, Walmart Laundry + Sustainability
Elizabeth Arredondo is one of those employees. In 2018 Elizabeth received her M.S. in biology and MBA, obtaining a graduate certificate in sustainability from the University of Arkansas. This certificate introduced her to classes about the changing environment and gave her a better understanding of the gravity of climate change, which fueled a passion for the environment and an urgency for engaging businesses to help solve the crisis.
While completing her MBA, Elizabeth joined Henkel and was able to couple her passion for sustainability with an organization leading the charge as pioneers at heart for the good of generations. She now helps lead work for an employee resource group focused on sustainability initiatives called the employee Sustainability Action Team (eSAT), encouraging & educating employees on their sustainability journey.
“Engaging with employees through the eSAT has been such a rewarding experience, and one that gives me hope for the world moving forward. There is such a hunger among employees for information on both how to live more sustainably in our personal lives and how to decrease our negative impact in day-to-day business decisions,” said Elizabeth.
“By giving employees opportunities to learn and engage through speakers and events, as well as platforms to share their knowledge with each other, the eSAT is helping drive the culture of sustainability within Henkel. The stronger the passion for sustainability we build with our employees, the more lasting change Henkel can create,” she added.
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Associate Brand Manager, Dial Bar Soap. Henkel Beauty Care
Like Elizabeth, if you have a passion for sustainability there may be a place for you in the company. Shaping that path and finding that place for employees is a journey, one Molly Bombonato took in 2020 when she joined as an intern and now works full time on the Dial brand and is engaged with the brand’s sustainability efforts.
“It is so interesting to speak to the wonderful engineers and scientists directly involved in designing the packaging and formulas for our products and to pick their brain about our sustainability initiatives. I am excited to have the opportunity to work with these passionate Henkel employees who are creating the solutions for these challenges.”
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Director of International Business Development and Sustainability
Robert Anson, a veteran of Henkel for 22 years and current Director of International Business Development and Sustainability for Henkel North America, can attest to the longstanding commitment Henkel has placed on sustainability.
About 10 years ago, Robert took on the informal role of sustainability champion at Henkel, in addition to his formal role in sales, representing the sales organization in partnership with Henkel’s Research & Development (R&D) colleagues and other internal sustainability experts, targeting the relationship with key retailers. Robert eventually found himself exploring the intersection of sales and sustainability which is now further enhanced by his role within a newly formed sustainability team, “The Aspen Group”: working with his colleagues to develop sustainable solutions; educating and engaging employees around the world; and, ultimately, helping the consumer-packaged goods (CPG) industry make everyday products more sustainable.
Long before “sustainability” became a buzz word, it was simply a way of doing business at Henkel. Early in its nearly 145-year history, Henkel developed new, more sustainable production processes and products with a focus on environmental awareness. 2021 marks Henkel’s 30th year anniversary of Sustainability reporting further highlighting the company’s progress and commitment.
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Molly Bombonato, Robert Anson and Elizabeth Arredondo couple their passion for sustainability with the work they do as Henkel employees.
To this day, Henkel employees continue to participate in environmental awareness events. One such event is the #trashfighters event. #trashfighters is a global Henkel initiative to raise awareness of the fight against plastic waste. Henkel employees take action by organizing clean-up events in parks, beaches, and local neighborhoods.
Whether its “Waste Warriors”, #trashfighters “or “Sustainability Heroes”, Henkel employees like Elizabeth, Robert, Molly and many others lead the charge in being always on, owning the idea of being pioneers for the good of generations. Sustainability is how they seek to achieve it.