Henkel unveils new sustainability goals after surging past interim targets

Persil, Schwarzkopf shampoo and Pritt Stick manufacturer Henkel has unveiled a multitude of new sustainability goals after reaching and surpassing a variety of interim targets that form the foundation of its Sustainability Strategy for 2030.

With the original 2010 goal of tripling profits arising from products for every tonne of carbon produced in mind, the German consumer chemicals company has developed ambitious new targets for 2020 after all interim goals for 2015 across five target categories were reached.

Henkel had originally aimed to reduce energy use, water use and waste produced by 15% by 2015, but the group’s latest sustainability report revals that each of these targets were surpassed.

Energy efficiency was improved by 18%, while water use and waste volume were reduced by 23% and 17% respectively. Meanwhile, occupational safety increased by 33% per million of hours worked against a 20% target, while sales per tonne of product reached 11% against a 10% target.

Overall, Henkel improved its created value and environmental footprint correlation by 38%, with sales reaching €18.1bn for 2015.

“2015 was an important year for Henkel: We met the interim targets for the first five years of our long-term Sustainability Strategy for 2030,” the group’s executive vice president of human resources Kathrin Menges said.

“But we are not stopping now; we are already thinking a step ahead. In order to continue to drive sustainability, we have developed new ambitious targets for 2020 and defined additional areas for action along the entire value chain.”

With the targets hit, Henkel has pledged to ramp up its sustainability efforts in an attempt to improve its created value to environmental footprint correlation by 75% against the 2010 baseline.

Water, energy and waste reduction targets have also been revised to reach 30% by 2020 with net sales and safety occupation targets increased to 22% and 40% respectively. Since the introduction of these targets, more than 7,000 tonnes of CO2 have been avoided just by incorporating recycled polyethylene in packaging.

Sustainability Ambassadors

As part of the group’s Sustainability Strategy for 2030, Henkel has also introduced a behaviour change and training platform for its staff. Henkel employees receive training that encourages them to share the importance of sustainability to others, especially young children.

Since 2012 around 6,200 Henkel employees have become ‘Sustainability Ambassadors’ and their lessons as part of the programme have reached more than 63,000 school children across 43 countries.

Matt Mace

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