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More Henkel Corporate Reporting 2015
Another important objective is fostering sustainable, resource-conserving consumption. Our products are the key here. They are used daily in millions of households and often require water and energy. As much as 80 percent of the environmental footprint of our products is generated during their use. This is why we concentrate on developing products that enable the efficient use of resources such as energy and water.
By using targeted information for consumers, we work to promote responsible-minded behavior while using our products. Through specific communication appropriate for the target group, including on the internet, we point out the advantages of our products while encouraging resource-efficient use. One example of this is our Persil resource calculator for laundry.
We also work hand in hand with our retail partners to advocate sustainable consumption. The Carrefour supermarket chain, for example, teamed up with Henkel employees in November 2015 to inform consumers in the Middle East about sustainable lifestyles as well as laundry and home care products.
The innovation rate at the Laundry & Home Care business unit lies at more than 45 percent. In other words, the business unit generates more than 45 percent of its sales with products that have been on the market for less than three years. Moreover, Henkel has been using ingredients based on renewable raw materials for decades. In 2015, around 25 percent of the organic ingredients in our laundry detergents and household cleaners were derived from renewable raw materials. In addition, by comparison with the previous year, we were able to reduce the carbon footprint of our annual raw material input by 6 percent relative to total sales.
In its innovation management, Laundry & Home Care is focusing increasingly on collaborative research and open innovation, harnessing the capabilities of external innovation partners such as universities, research institutes, suppliers and customers. In order to understand precisely what customers and consumers need and develop first-class innovations, collaboration often begins before the actual product development phase does.
As one example of this, Henkel is collaborating with the Rhenish-Westphalian Technical University (RWTH) in Aachen, Germany, to research and develop the laundry and home care products of the future. The new cooperation concept is called “ Henkel Innovation Campus for Advanced Sustainable Technologies” – or HICAST, for short. Here, chemists and biotechnologists are working in interdisciplinary teams on breakthrough innovations.
In cooperation with its strategic partner Novozymes, Henkel has succeeded in developing new, powerful enzymes as the basis for a new generation of innovative formulations. These also laid the foundation for the successful introduction of our premium laundry detergents under the Persil ProClean brand in the USA. Specifically tailored to the needs of the market there, the patent-pending high-performance formulas develop their full cleaning action even at low temperatures. This performance is also delivered by our Persil Power-Mix Caps. These pre-dosed powder-gel capsules unite for the first time the product benefits of a concentrated gel with the whitening-power technology of a powder. This protects laundry especially well against graying.
Many of our laundry detergent products can be used even at low temperatures – with first-class performance – and thus help to reduce CO2 emissions. If, for example, all machine washes with Henkel products for colored laundry and synthetic textiles were to be washed at 30 instead of 40 degrees Celsius, this would have the potential to avoid around two million metric tons of CO2 every year. This corresponds to the amount of CO2 taken up every year by more than 40 million trees.
Thanks to Dylon, fabrics can be dyed or their colors revived very easily at home.
Under the Dylon brand, we offer textile dyes for dyeing fabrics or reviving their color when washing them either in the machine or by hand. A powerful dye technology makes it possible to give fabrics a completely new look quickly and easily. Dylon thus helps to prolong the life cycle of fabrics while reducing their footprint. The sustainability benefit lies primarily in reducing the use of water. More than 85 percent of this is accounted for by the water-intensive farming of cotton, above all for irrigation of the cotton fields. Dyeing a pair of jeans with Dylon uses at least 100 times less water than is needed to produce a new pair. That means annual savings of a total of 80 billion liters of water, or the equivalent of the amount of drinking water consumed per person each year by up to 3.9 million people in typical cotton-growing regions.
Some insects, such as mosquitoes, are not simply a nuisance; they can also transmit dangerous diseases. The acquisition of the research laboratory for insect control in Barcelona, Spain, in 2014 further expanded the technological expertise of the Laundry & Home Care business unit in the domain of insect repellents. With ZenSect anti-mosquito sticks, our researchers have achieved a first by developing a highly effective mosquito repellent for the European market that is based on a completely new principle. The active agent is derived from natural ingredients and mimics the action of crop plants. It acts on the sensory centers of the insects and suppresses their urge to bite.
Since 2005, when Henkel became the first company to fulfill the criteria of the A.I.S.E. Charter for Sustainable Cleaning, more than 200 other companies have committed to the Charter. All companies that sign the Charter pledge to continuously improve their processes and to report annually on their economic, environmental and social advances, using defined indicators.
As part of its further development, the A.I.S.E. Charter was expanded in 2010 to include the key dimension of products. Since then, it has become possible to show not only that a product was manufactured by a company with sustainable business practices, but also that the product itself has an advanced sustainability profile. In the laundry detergents category, for example, four criteria are of particular importance: environmental safety of the ingredients; resource efficiency with regard to dosage and packaging materials; washing performance at low temperatures; and consumer information. Products that satisfy all of the defined requirements may communicate this to consumers on their packaging by means of a new A.I.S.E. Charter logo introduced in 2011. Our liquid and powder laundry detergents, fabric softeners, automatic dishwashing products, all-purpose cleaners and special spray cleaning products are now all qualified to bear the logo. Criteria for hand dishwashing liquids and toilet cleaners were additionally finalized in 2015.
Since 2014, Henkel has been supporting the Europe-wide A.I.S.E. online education initiative “Keep Caps from Kids.” A video and a website tell viewers why it is so important to keep liquid detergent capsules out of the reach of children. The www.keepcapsfromkids.eu site also provides tips on how to use liquid laundry detergent capsules safely. This online education campaign supplements the voluntary initiative “A.I.S.E. Product Stewardship Programme for Liquid Laundry Detergent Capsules.” To add to this, Henkel has offered to make its own knowledge on how to manufacture caps with increased child safety available free of charge to the entire industry worldwide. This involves incorporating a bitter-tasting substance in the soluble film packaging. In the USA, Henkel supports the online education initiative launched in 2014 by the industry association American Cleaning Institute, “Take the pledge – be the key to a safe laundry room and routine,” which can be found at
In the laundry aids category, we introduced color run prevention sheets under the Colour Catcher brand in 2015 following the acquisition of the Spotless Group. These sheets offer anti-transfer protection when washing mixed color wash loads. Fabrics with different colors that used to have to be washed separately can now be washed together in one machine load. On average, each sheet eliminates one wash cycle. In terms of environmental footprint, this means above all savings in the areas of energy, water, and materials and waste. The Colour Catcher sheets are made of cellulose. They are FSC-certified and can be composted after use. The matrix shows all the hot spots in this product category. These are the fields with the greatest relevance for sustainability.