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More Henkel Corporate Reporting 2014
University scientists Professor Dr. Ulrich Schwaneberg and Dr. Ljubica Vojcic (right) from the RWTH Aachen are researching enzymes of the future together with Henkel biotechnologist Dr. Daniela Herbst. Powerful enzymes have recently also been incorporated into hand dishwashing liquids such as Pril.
In collaboration with the Rhenish-Westphalian Technical University (RWTH) in Aachen, Germany, Henkel is working to research and develop the laundry and home care products of the future.
The aim of this cooperation is to develop products that are even more resource efficient and perform better than ever before. The new cooperation concept is called “Henkel Innovation Campus for Advanced Sustainable Technologies” – or HICAST, for short.
Henkel is investing several million euros in this interdisciplinary collaboration with four professors from the fields of chemistry and biotechnology. The scope is to investigate new and sustainable basic raw materials and develop completely new active substances. This includes new enzymes. Powerful enzymes boost the cleaning performance of laundry detergents, automatic dishwashing detergents, and, most recently, hand dishwashing liquids, particularly at low temperatures. Often, they can reduce the need for classic ingredients such as surfactants. This makes it possible to achieve significant cuts in energy and resource use.
The Innovation Campus is an example of the wide-ranging, intensive collaboration that Henkel engages in with external partners.
of the surfactants used in our laundry and home care products are readily biodegradable. Henkel began conducting experiments to research the biodegradability of surfactants as far back as the 1950s.
metric tons of carbon emissions are saved every year in the production of our hand dishwashing liquid Pril. We owe this to powerful enzymes and the steps we take to optimize product formulas.
is how many collaborative programs Laundry & Home Care is working on with universities and research institutes around the world. These include renowned establishments such as the Max Planck Society, the Fraunhofer Society and Columbia University in New York, USA.
Dr. Michael Dreja, Research and Development at Laundry & Home Care, explains the background of the research cooperation with RWTH Aachen.
Our innovations combine a clear sustainability profile with more value for our consumers.
Our consumers expect products to satisfy the criteria of quality, environmental compatibility and social responsibility in equal measure. These expectations mirror our own ambition. We view this combination as the driver for innovations and the basis for our future competitiveness. Laundry & Home Care’s research and development strategy therefore unites innovation and sustainability to provide resource-efficient technologies and products. Each new product must make a contribution to sustainability in at least one of our six focal areas: performance; social progress; safety and health; energy and climate; water and wastewater; and materials and waste. Through increasing use of “smart” raw materials, we are continuously optimizing the carbon footprint of the materials we use.