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Corporate Reporting 2015

Henkel Corporate Reporting 2015

More Henkel Corporate Reporting 2015

Sustainability Report 2015

Henkel Sustainability Report 2015

Facts and Figures 2015

Henkel Facts and Figures 2015

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Henkel Corporate Report 2015

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Sustainability Report 2015

Packaging and disposal

Smart packaging solutions

Henkel packaging footprint 2015

The packaging for our consumer products fulfills many different functions: It ensures the hygiene and intactness of the products, protects them from external influences, provides space for necessary consumer information and often plays an important role in the purchasing decision through attractive packaging design and shelf appeal. In order to minimize the volume of waste, our packaging developers work constantly to design smart packaging that uses the least amount of material possible, and incorporates materials that can be recycled in public recycling systems.

In defining our targets for 2020, we also set targets for packaging. These include a reduction in packaging weight of 20 percent per sales unit as well as increasing the proportion of recycled PET (polyethylene terephthalate) in bottles and recycled aluminum in cans. Additionally, we want to reach more than 300 million consumers through more targeted information on recycling.

Throughout the company, we follow three basic principles – prevention, reduction, recycling. We specified these principles in our focus fields “less packaging and waste,” “better packaging” and “enabling the circular economy.”

In defining our new interim packaging targets for 2020, we concentrated on specific action priorities, building on the progress we made through 2015:

  • All business units are working to reduce packaging weight. Our targets for 2020 include a reduction in packaging weight of 20 percent per sales unit (base year 2010).
  • By 2020, we want to increase the proportion of recycled PET (polyethylene terephthalate) in bottles and recycled aluminum in cans.
    • Cans: We want to increase the use of recycled aluminum to 9 percent
    • Bottles: Our goal is to increase the amount of recycled PET in our bottle portfolio in Europe to 33 percent
  • Additionally, we want to reach more than 300 million consumers through more targeted information on recycling.

Status of our 2015 targets for reducing the packaging footprint for consumer products

1. Avoidance of packaging waste by developing packaging solutions that perform better while using the least possible material

Reducing the amount of packaging material or avoiding it altogether is the best approach to minimize waste and environmental impacts. If not essential, we therefore aim not to use any packaging material at all.

We continuously strive to minimize the amount of packaging material throughout the entire product life cycle without compromising on quality, performance and hygiene of our products. The form of packaging is designed to require only the essential amount of material to deliver the performance promised to consumers. To achieve this, our Packaging Engineers work closely together with all partners in the packaging value chain to use leading edge design techniques, modern production technologies and advanced materials. Our packaging experts collaborate continuously with external researchers to develop new packaging formats that require less material to deliver the same quality and value to consumers.

One example is the redesigning of the primary packaging of the Loctite SF 7850 hand cleanser. The redesign made it possible to save 24 percent CO2 and 18 percent weight per bottle.

Another example from our Beauty Care business is the development of an improved conditioner sachet for our hair coloring products. By reducing the thickness of the foil material, we have been able to reduce the amount of aluminum contained in the packaging by 25 percent. This made it possible to reduce the weight per sachet by 5 percent and the CO2 footprint by 25 percent.

2. Use of 100 percent recyclable packaging materials by 2015 – for markets with regional collection and recycling systems

As most of the packaging of our consumer products ends up as household waste after use, our packaging developers seek for intelligent packaging designs which reduce the volume of packaging waste for consumers. To create closed-loop systems, the materials of our primary, secondary and tertiary packaging should become a resource for recycling, reuse or energy recovery after its original use.

We therefore focus on using packaging materials for which public recycling systems exist / that are compatible with respective regional collection and recycling systems. Henkel supports local collection systems, e.g. the “green dot,” so that our customers can recycle packaging more easily. In general, we focus on mono-materials which make these materials more efficient in the recycling stream.

Additionally, we inform customers and consumers about the recyclability of the materials used. We label all packaging accordingly to indicate the main materials used and their recyclability. We also work closely together with our suppliers and industrial partners to reduce the amount of secondary packaging by offering returnable packaging systems, e.g. in the form of reusable transport containers.

In addition we have placed a focus on the use of recycled material.

In 2015, Henkel Laundry & Home Care introduced polyethyleneterephthalate (PET) bottles from the Eco-Bottle series, which are made from 100-percent recycled PET materials. These bottles also fulfilled all of the required optical and mechanical specifications. As a result, up to 500 metric tons of new PET goods can be saved each year.

3. By 2015, use of 100 percent recycled paper and board materials or – where necessary – use of fresh fibers sourced 100 percent from sustainably managed forests

We believe that recycled materials will play a key role as raw material sources in the future, together with materials from renewable resources. Our selection of raw materials for packaging therefore aims at using the highest amount of reusable and recycled materials possible, without compromising the excellent quality of our products.

Paper-based packagings offer a variety of advantages. They are the most versatile of packs in design, both structurally and graphically, and are used for an extremely wide range of products. In addition, they are convenient to handle in production, distribution and merchandising, as they have a high material strength. They are cost effective and very often considered as an environmentally compatible alternative by consumers. The great advantage of paper-based packaging material is that it can be recycled and therefore plays a very important role for our primary, secondary and tertiary packaging.

We source the paper packaging materials for our entire product portfolio either from recycled sources or – when fresh fiber materials are necessary – from sustainably managed forests. In order to do this, we closely work together with our suppliers.

In 2015, we conducted a survey with the suppliers that make up 90 percent of our sales volume in order to find out if the material they deliver meets our criteria that 100 percent of their paper and boxes are made from recycled material. In the event that fresh fibers are used, the supplier must source these from sustainable forests. Around 97 percent of those surveyed were able to confirm this. We continue to be committed to ensuring the use of 100 percent recycled paper and board materials. As a signatory to Consumer Goods Forum initiative to fight global deforestation and protect biodiversity, Henkel is committed to taking individual and joint action to stop global deforestation and achieve the goal of zero net deforestation by 2020.

4. Continuous appraisal of the ecological and economic feasibility of using bioplastics based on renewable raw materials that do not compete with the food industry

We believe that – together with recycled materials – materials from renewable sources will play a key role in the future. We work to continuously increase the amount of packaging materials from renewable sources, where this is technically feasible and materials can be sourced sustainably, i.e. their production does not lead to negative impacts on natural ecosystems or to competition with agricultural land use.

The most widely established packaging materials from renewable resources today are paper and carton-based packages. We continuously strive to increase the usage of these materials (see also objective 3). In addition, we test and evaluate new packaging materials such as bioplastics. Recently, polymers derived from renewable resources instead of crude oil have become available for the FMCG market. The polymers in these plastic materials are based on raw materials derived from plants, such as sugar cane or corn. They are in many ways considered to be more environmentally compatible than conventional plastics. Provided they deliver the same technical performance as conventional polymers, they can constitute a good alternative and offer attractive economic advantages in the long term.

We work together with external partners, universities, material suppliers and converters to identify possible bio-based materials and are committed to driving their development forward. Together, we evaluate any possible options to use biopolymers as packaging materials, from the technical, commercial and ecological perspective. We use LCA studies to confirm the lower environmental impact compared to crude-oil based materials.

5. Monitoring developments in biodegradable plastics; active search for suitable materials and potential uses

Biodegradable plastics can either be based 100% on renewable raw materials or on a combination of these with mineral-oil-based materials. In ideal circumstances, the plant-based materials are produced by organic farming methods, thus allowing them to be broken down into natural constituents again.

Unfortunately, biodegradable plastics have not yet been able to satisfy the high standards we set for our packaging materials in terms of reliable product protection, quality, consumer appeal, and value. One problem is their limited durability. For our consumer products, we have to guarantee a shelf-life of several years in addition to the period after opening. This cannot be achieved with the biodegradable plastics that are currently available. Technical aspects, such as moldability and stability also need to be improved. In addition, some materials are not compatible with existing recycling systems.

Nevertheless, we continuously monitor developments in this sector and are actively searching for suitable materials and potential uses.

6. Where technically feasible, complete elimination of PVC as a packaging material by 2015. We only use PVC materials in a few exceptional cases today. They account for less than one percent of our worldwide packaging expenditures

PVC (polyvinylchloride) is often considered as a substance of concern as in some countries it is not collected via official recycling systems but destroyed without using industrial incinerators. This could generate emissions which potentially harm the environment and human health.

Henkel began to minimize the use of PVC in packaging in the 1990s. Currently, we use PVC materials only in a few exceptional cases where we have not found viable alternatives yet. They account for less than one percent of our worldwide packaging expenditures. Our Packaging Engineers are working closely together with our packaging suppliers to find alternative materials.

By the end of 2015, we had eliminated PVC in our technology portfolio where technical feasible. We continue to find solutions, where – in selected cases – the elimination currently is not possible. We are still working toward a complete elimination of PVC as packaging material.

Examples of sustainability in our packaging development

100 percent recycled

In 2015, Henkel introduced polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottles from the Eco-Bottle series, which are made from 100-percent recycled PET materials. These bottles also fulfilled all of the required optical and mechanical specifications. As a result, up to 500 metric tons of new PET goods can be saved each year.

25 percent less aluminum

As part of our continuous packaging optimization efforts, we have developed an improved conditioner sachet for our hair coloring products. By reducing the thickness of the foil material, we have been able to reduce the amount of aluminum contained in the packaging by 25 percent. This made it possible to reduce the weight per sachet by 5 percent and the CO2 footprint by 25 percent.

New design for Loctite SF 7850

Redesigning of the primary packaging of the Loctite SF 7850 hand cleanser has made it possible to save 24 percent CO2 and 18 percent weight per bottle. The new design of the 3-liter bottle (on the left; previous on the right) not only contributes to a more sustainable packaging solution, but also helps to save costs.

Packaging waste and waste disposal

The packaging of our branded consumer products becomes household waste after use. Our packaging developers strive continuously to use less material without compromising on quality and stability. In Germany alone, we have thus been able to halve the volume of our packaging material since the 1980s.

Laundry detergents and household cleaners, as well as cosmetics and toiletries, pass into sewage systems after use. They are formulated by Henkel so that their use will not impact on the aquatic environment. Wastewater from industrial applications is pre-treated using state-of-the-art technology to remove harmful substances and professionally disposed of.

Transport packages

Transport packages are developed so that pallets and containers can be optimally packed. The requirements of transport safety and transport capacity utilization impose limits on reductions in transport and secondary packaging. The packaging materials we use must be sturdy in order to ensure that our products are not damaged during transport, and that our trucks and freight cars can be optimally loaded in terms of volume and weight.

For our industrial customers, we offer multi-use systems such as reusable transport containers and secondary packaging. One example is the return program for plastic containers (totes) used to transport industrial adhesives in the USA. Henkel established this program in 2010 in collaboration with the National Container Group (NCG). In keeping with the concept of “smarter packaging,” we offer ready-for-sale Dial hand soaps with displays on pallets and no secondary packaging.