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More Henkel Corporate Reporting 2014
The packaging for our consumer products fulfills many different functions: It ensures the hygiene and intactness of the products, protects them from external influences, provides space for necessary consumer information and often plays an important role in the purchasing decision through attractive packaging design and shelf appeal. In order to minimize the volume of waste, our packaging developers work constantly to design smart packaging that uses the least amount of material possible, and incorporates materials that can be recycled in public recycling systems.
Throughout the company, we follow three basic principles – prevention, reduction, recycling. We specified these in more detail in 2011 and defined comprehensive targets for the end of 2015.
In line with our goal to use 100-percent recycled packaging material by the end of 2015, we conducted a survey for the suppliers that make up 90 percent of our sales volume in order to find out what criteria their paper and boxes fulfill. 94 percent of those asked participated in the survey, giving us information about the origin and quality of the paper and/or boxes they supply. The results showed that 98 percent of the surveyed volume can be categorized as noncritical.
We also asked if our suppliers could guarantee that 100 percent of the material they deliver meets our criteria, meaning that the entire percentage of their paper and boxes are made of recycled material. Or, if the supplier uses fresh fibers, that these are sourced from sustainable forests. 89 percent of those surveyed were able to confirm this. We have also added a clause to our contract specifications that stipulates that future suppliers only deliver materials that meet our criteria.
The highly concentrated formulation saves both water and material. With its transparent bottle, improved design and choice of label, this packaging type is also easier to recycle. The material of which the bottle is made already contains 25 percent recycled PET.
In 2014, the Beauty Care business unit began switching to thinner shrink films for secondary packs in a pilot project at the Wassertrüdingen factory. Reducing the film thickness from 35 to 25 micrometers results in CO2 savings of around 530 metric tons, which is equivalent to a 30-percent reduction
In collaboration with Interseroh, Henkel has developed its first products incorporating recycled plastics. The housing of the Pritt Glue Roller and Pritt Correction Roller features a rear wall made of Procyclen, a multi-award-winning synthetic material. Glue roller relies on recycled material.
The packaging of our branded consumer products becomes household waste after use. Our packaging developers strive continuously to use less material without compromising on quality and stability. In Germany alone, we have thus been able to halve the volume of our packaging material since the 1980s.
Laundry detergents and household cleaners, as well as cosmetics and toiletries, pass into sewage systems after use. They are formulated by Henkel so that their use will not impact on the aquatic environment. Wastewater from industrial applications is pre-treated using state-of-the-art technology to remove harmful substances and professionally disposed of.
Transport packages are developed so that pallets and containers can be optimally packed. The requirements of transport safety and transport capacity utilization impose limits on reductions in transport and secondary packaging. The packaging materials we use must be sturdy in order to ensure that our products are not damaged during transport, and that our trucks and freight cars can be optimally loaded in terms of volume and weight.
For our industrial customers, we offer multi-use systems such as reusable transport containers and secondary packaging. One example is the return program for plastic containers (totes) used to transport industrial adhesives in the USA. Henkel established this program in 2010 in collaboration with the National Container Group (NCG). In keeping with the concept of “smarter packaging,” we offer ready-for-sale Dial hand soaps with displays on pallets and no secondary packaging.