“In 2016, we improved our performance in the field of sustainability once again and achieved tangible results. Our efforts to increase our sustainability are also reflected by the outstanding results we achieved in major international ratings and indices,” said Kathrin Menges, Executive Vice President Human Resources and Chairwoman of the Sustainability Council at Henkel.
“We want to make a contribution to achieving the international community’s global sustainability and climate protection goals. To do so, we will drive sustainability along our entire value chain,” said Kathrin Menges. “We have set ambitious goals and want to contribute even more to social progress.”
Creating sustainable value
Achieving more with less: That is the goal of Henkel’s long-term sustainability strategy. Henkel wants to create sustainable value – for customers and consumers, as well as for society at large. At the same time, the company intends to significantly improve its use of resources: Henkel wants to triple its efficiency in this regard by the year 2030.
In the past financial year, the company has once again made tangible progress towards reaching its interim targets for 2020 (base year 2010):
- Energy consumption and CO2 emissions (per ton of product) decreased by 22 percent (target for 2020: a 30-percent reduction).
- The volume of generated waste (per ton of product) was reduced by 26 percent (target for 2020: a 30-percent reduction).
- Water consumption (per ton of product) sank by 23 percent (target for 2020: a 30-percent reduction).
- Occupational safety (per million hours worked) was improved by 17 percent (target for 2020: a 40-percent increase).
- Net sales (per ton of product) rose by 8 percent (target for 2020: a 22-percent increase).
Overall, Henkel has already been able to improve the relation between the value it created and the environmental footprint this generated by 42 percent compared to the base year 2010. By 2020, the company plans to increase its resource efficiency by 75 percent.
Leading positions in ratings and indices confirmed
Henkel’s sustainable business practices and efforts also impressed sustainability experts, rating agencies and capital markets: Henkel features in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI World), the FTSE4Good, the STOXX Global ESG Leaders, the Euronext Vigeo World 120, the Global Challenges Index and the MSCI World ESG Index, to name just a few. The company also occupies 15th place among the “Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations” according to the media and investment consulting firm Corporate Knights. In the ratings of Oekom Research and Sustainalytics, Henkel was recognized as the leading company in its sector.
“Our employees play a decisive role in the progress we make”
To reinforce its leading position in the field of sustainability going forward, Henkel has defined a clear set of priorities: In addition to further strengthening the foundation through even more efficient sustainable business practices, the company aims to boost its employees’ engagement to the issue of sustainability. “Our employees play a decisive role in the additional progress we manage to make in the field of sustainability,” said Kathrin Menges. “To date, over 10,000 employees have already completed training courses to become sustainability ambassadors and acquire the necessary knowledge to convince their colleagues, suppliers, customers or even children in schools of the importance of sustainable action. We are very proud of their high level of dedication and want to continue supporting and building on it. Our goal is for all Henkel employees to become ambassadors and active advocates for more sustainability.”
Another of Henkel’s priorities is to maximize its impact on sustainable action. By 2030, the company aims to reduce the carbon footprint of its own production by 75 percent. “We will only reach these ambitious goals, however, if we make changes and achieve progress along the entire value chain – from our suppliers all the way to our customers,” said Kathrin Menges. For instance, Henkel has set itself the goal of helping its customers and consumers save 50 million metric tons of CO2 by the year 2020. The group’s targeted support for social progress will focus particularly on further improving income opportunities, development opportunities for women and girls as well as social standards for workers in the company’s supply chains.
Comprehensive digital reporting
Henkel’s annual Sustainability Report is the main source of information regarding the company’s sustainability goals and performance. Last year, Henkel published its 25th Sustainability Report in print and digital form and announced that it would now make all further reporting on the subject available exclusively in digital form going forward – as an interactive PDF with plenty of links, detailed information and high user-friendliness thanks to easy navigation, as well as in a more compact format for a broader target group. Together with the Annual Report published simultaneously, it provides comprehensive reporting from the business, environmental and social perspectives.