Henkel to cut carbon emissions and use more bio-plastics

Henkel, the major chemical and consumer goods firm behind brands including Schwarzkopf, Right Guard and Syoss, has announced ambitious new sustainability targets.

In its 29th Sustainability Report, Henkel outlined its performance and progress in all areas of sustainability and also presented its strategic framework for the future. By 2030, Henkel aims to become three times more efficient in its business activities compared to its environmental footprint in the base year 2010. This is the cornerstone of the firm’s sustainability strategy. By the end of 2019, Henkel already increased its total efficiency by 56% compared to 2010.

The company already achieved three of its 2020 targets ahead of time. Its carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions were reduced by 31% and waste-per-ton of product was cut by 40%. Henkel also improved its occupational health and safety by 42% and water consumption per ton of product was cut by 28% compared to 2020.

“Our commitment to sustainability has been an integral part of our corporate culture for decades,” said Henkel CEO Carsten Knobel. “While we are working with determination to deliver on the targets we defined for 2020, we are stepping up our goals for the future with new milestones to actively contribute to climate protection, a circular economy and social progress. Sustainability is firmly embedded in our new strategic framework, as one of the drivers of competitive edge.”

Sylvie Nicol, member of the Henkel management board responsible for human resources and sustainability, added: “The next five years will be decisive, both on a global level and for us as a company. We need to make sure that we are on the right track to limit global warming and deliver on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.”

Reducing CO2 emissions

Henkel aims to become a climate-positive company by 2040 and to reduce the carbon footprint of its production by 65% by 2025. The company will improve its energy efficiency by using electricity from renewable sources, aiming to convert all remaining fossil fuels used in production to climate-neutral alternatives and supply surplus carbon-neutral energy to third parties.

Nicol said: “With our vision to become a climate-positive company by 2040, we explicitly go one step further than becoming carbon-neutral and demonstrate Henkel’s commitment to be a leader in sustainability. We want to drive progress in our own operations and work with our partners along the value chain to jointly contribute to protecting our planet.

Packaging targets

To promote a circular economy, Henkel will also strengthen its efforts with more ambitious sustainable packaging targets for 2025. These include: making all of Henkel’s packaging recyclable or reusable; cutting fossil plastics by 50% and increasing the use of bio-based plastics; preventing waste from being disposed in the environment by supporting waste collection and recycling initiatives and investing in innovative solutions to promote closed-loop recycling. At the end of 2019, 85% of Henkel’s packaging was recyclable or reusable.

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