Please accept our cookies to get the best experience of our website.
There are some features that may not work without cookies.
To find out more about the cookies we use, visit our . Cookie information page

Accept Decline
Corporate Reporting 2014

Henkel Corporate Reporting 2014

More Henkel Corporate Reporting 2014

Sustainability Report 2014

Henkel Sustainability Report 2014

Facts and Figures 2014

Henkel Facts and Figures 2014

Corporate Report 2014

Henkel Corporate Report 2014

Henkel app

Henkel app
Sustainability Report 2014

History of sustainability at Henkel

Henkel’s sustainability strategy has continuously evolved. When Fritz Henkel started his detergent business in 1876, his vision was to make people’s lives easier, better and more beautiful. From the very beginning, Henkel has taken responsibility for its employees, neighbors and the community. In 1912, a first-aid center was set up at the plant and a full-time nurse was hired. Since 1927, Henkel continuously improved its occupational safety through systematic accident prevention. The introduction in 1959 of regular ecological quality checks for detergents and household cleaners was one of the first steps to make sure that products and production had no harmful effect on the environment. In 1991, Henkel was one of the first companies to sign the Business Charter for Sustainable Development of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC). Today, worldwide management systems for safety, health, and environment are in place, and the concept of sustainability is firmly anchored in Henkel’s corporate policy.

Milestones of sustainability orientation


Fritz Henkel founded Henkel & Cie in Aachen; workforce: 3 employees; manufacture of the first product named “Universal Laundry Detergent” based on sodium silicate.


First successful brands for home laundering in Germany: Henkel’s “Bleich-Soda” (bleaching soda), a powdered mix of soda and sodium silicate.


Relocation of the company from Aachen to Düsseldorf-Flingern. Fritz Henkel arranges for office workers to receive free copies of the Düsseldorfer Stadtanzeiger (a local newspaper) to keep them up to date with current affairs.


Free midday meal for employees every day, construction of the first company apartments for employees.


Persil was developed as the first self-acting laundry detergent. It relieved housewives of the laborious rubbing by hand and the attendant wear and tear on the fabric.


Sport and games areas were provided for use during breaks.


A first-aid center was set up at the plant and a full-time nurse was hired.


Henkel employees elected their first representative body (workers’ council).


Henkel became the first company in the chemical industry in Germany to employ a safety engineer, who was responsible for planned accident prevention. Alongside his safety tasks, he sought to improve conditions of work.


A welfare station was established on the site to offer advice to mothers, as well as care for infants and medical examinations for children.


Since 1927, systematic accident prevention work had reduced the number of accidents per 100 employees per year from 10 to 4.


Organization of a plant kindergarten as well as a site medical service staffed by volunteers.


Introduction of regular ecological quality checks for detergents and household cleaners.


Launch of the solvent-free Pritt glue stick and Persil 70. The enzyme-containing Persil 70 was given the claim “biologically active.”


Setting up of the central department for environmental and consumer protection.


Launch of Proxidan – the first branded laundry detergent with reduced phosphate content.


Management Principles (since 1996: Guidelines for Teamwork and Leadership).


The first in-vitro tests were carried out in place of animal testing. Energy saving campaign as a consequence of the second oil crisis.


The first Fritz Henkel Awards for Innovation were presented to employees.


Principles of Environmental and Consumer Protection (since 1995: Principles and Objectives of Environmental Protection and Safety).


Launch of phosphate-free Persil in Germany.


Environmental protection is included as one of the aims in Henkel’s corporate guidelines.


Systematic environmental protection training courses for all employees of Henkel KGaA.


Establishment of a works agreement on “Family and Work” between Henkel KGaA and the Works Council.


Signing of the Business Charter for Sustainable Development of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC).


Publication of the first Environment Report.


Corporate mission: Competitive advantages through eco leadership.


Publication of Guidelines for Teamwork and Leadership, which are binding for all Henkel employees worldwide.


Introduction of integrated management systems, binding company-wide SHE standards for safety, health and environment, and launch of worldwide SHE audits.


Founding of a central “SHE Coordination Circle” to accompany the implementation of the globally applicable SHE Standards.


Founding of the MIT Initiative (Make an Impact on Tomorrow) to support social volunteering by Henkel employees.


Introduction of Code of Conduct and Business Ethics.


The “SHE Coordination Circle” becomes the Henkel Sustainability Council as global Steering Committee chaired by the CEO.


The Henkel Environment Report is supplemented by social and corporate responsibility topics and becomes the Sustainability Report.


To mark the 125th anniversary of Henkel, support provided for 125 country projects.


Declaration of participation in the United Nations Global Compact.


Grouping of worldwide social responsibility activities under the umbrella of Henkel Smile.


Introduction of Code of Corporate Sustainability.


Henkel is the first company to sign the “Charter for Sustainable Cleaning” of the International Association for Soaps, Detergents and Maintenance Products (A.I.S.E.).


SHE standards supplemented by social standards and purchasing guidelines throughout the company.


Definition of the five Henkel focal areas of sustainable development and introduction of corporate sustainability objectives for 2012.


Henkel participates in a pilot project on “product carbon footprints” in Germany.


Introduction of global policy on “Diversity & Inclusion.”


Introduction of the “Representation of Interest in Public Affairs” standard. Redefined Vision and Values as a contribution to Henkel’s “winning culture.”


“Fritz Henkel Stiftung” foundation now provides the umbrella for all social engagement activities.

Sustainability Strategy 2030


Together for Sustainability
Henkel and five other companies in the chemical industry established an initiative entitled “Together for Sustainability – The Chemical Initiative for Sustainable Supply Chains.”


Sustainability Ambassador program
Henkel has trained around 1,500 employees as sustainability ambassadors and taught more than 15,000 children in 25 countries around the world.


Stakeholder survey
We conducted a systematic survey with stakeholders in important markets to learn about their expectations regarding sustainable business models. The findings are helping us take our strategy forward.