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More Henkel Corporate Reporting 2014
We concentrate our activities on six focal areas that summarize the main challenges of sustainable development as they relate to our operations. In each of these focal areas, we drive progress along the entire value chain through our products and technologies. We have subdivided the focal areas into two dimensions: “more value” and “reduced footprint.” In order to successfully establish our strategy and reach our goals, both of these dimensions must be ever-present in the minds and day-to-day actions of our 49,750 employees and mirrored in our business processes. We have defined three strategic principles to achieve this: products, partners and people.
Our focal areas are divided into two dimensions: “More value” and “Reduced footprint”. We aim to increase the value we create in the areas of Social Progress, Safety and Health and Performance. In the areas of Energy & Climate, Materials & Waste and Water & Wastewater, we aim to further reduce the resources we use and hence the environmental footprint of our operations and products.
Climate change is a complex environmental issue and one of the global challenges of our time. Worldwide, growth and quality of life are to be decoupled from energy consumption and climate-damaging emissions. At Henkel our focus is on the efficient provision and utilization of energy, to lower energy use of our worldwide operations and prevent greenhouse gas emissions. Oftentimes, life cycle analyses of our various product categories have shown that the manufacture of our consumer products, industrial brands and technologies is not particularly energy or greenhouse gas intensive. Instead, energy consumption and the associated carbon dioxide emissions during the use of our products are usually more significant. Therefore, we strive to create energy efficient products and technologies to also enable our consumers and customers to save energy and contribute to climate protection.
As a local employer and business partner, we make an important contribution to the social progress of society as a whole: We create jobs with fair conditions of employment, provide ongoing training for our employees and customers, and value the diversity of our workforce. We purchase goods and services, cooperate in a spirit of partnership with our suppliers, and transfer knowledge and technologies. Our products are adapted to local consumer and market conditions, in order to make the performance and quality of our products affordable and accessible to the broadest possible group of people. We also support the social involvement of our employees. In this way, we stimulate regional economic development and social equality worldwide, and contribute to increased living standards and quality of life.
High quality and excellent performance are the primary value propositions of our brands and technologies, and the basis for our economic success. Offering products that combine top performance with a reduced footprint will become important drivers for a sustainable and profitable business. Therefore, we focus on developing products that provide even better performance, e.g. in terms of quality, functionality, reliability, convenience, durability, or cost efficiency. We also enhance our value proposition towards our customers and consumers by enabling them to improve their own sustainability performance, e.g. through offering products that consume less energy or water during use and application.
At Henkel, the safety and health of employees, neighbors, customers and consumers has always been a top priority. Through continuous efforts, we strive to keep Henkel and its production sites a safe and healthy place to work. We market safe products that do not affect the health of consumers or the environment. The safety and environmental compatibility of our products and technologies conform to recognized scientific criteria and are based on assurance programs in every stage of the product life cycle. In all markets in which we operate, our detergents, household cleaners and toiletries make important contributions to hygiene and thus achieve more safety and health in the home. By providing information and advice to employees, customers, consumers and suppliers, we aim to further improve the safe and responsible production and use of our products and technologies along our value chains.
The earth’s water resources are unequally distributed and threatened by increasing pollution and overexploitation. We focus on reducing water consumption during production and use of our products and on avoiding wastewater. We strive to create water-efficient products and technologies to enable also our consumers and customers to protect water resources worldwide. This applies to household products as well as to technologies for our industrial customers. Our consumer products such as detergents, household cleaners or shampoos that pass into sewage systems after use are optimized for biodegradability so they will not impact the quality of surface waters. Wastewater from industrial applications is pretreated using state-of-the-art technology to remove harmful substances and professionally disposed of. At Henkel we have long standing experience in responsible water management. We use this know-how so that we can continue to contribute to the conservation of worldwide water resources in the future.
The global human footprint is already greater than the planet’s resources can bear. The needs of a steadily growing and affluent population are making the available resources ever scarcer. Therefore, the pressure on resources will accelerate dramatically in the coming decades. We use resource-conserving production techniques and optimize the packaging of our products to lower material consumption and waste. We use ingredients based on renewable raw materials wherever this is compatible with ecological, economic and social considerations. With the help of increasingly efficient formulations, we can reduce the necessary dosage of our products needed during use and application by our customers and consumers. Many of our products contribute to extending the service life of durable goods, thus also preserving values and resources. We thereby contribute to the worldwide conservation of resources.