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More Henkel Corporate Reporting 2014
Henkel is committed to responsible management of raw materials, and especially the conservation of natural resources and biodiversity. We use ingredients based on renewable raw materials to optimize the overall characteristics of our products, wherever this is compatible with environmental, economic and social considerations. Renewable raw materials are already key ingredients in many of our products, such as soaps, shampoos, glue sticks and wallpapering adhesives.
100 Percent of the surfactants used in laundry and home care products are readily biodegradable.
Renewable raw materials are historically one of the major sources of raw materials for detergents and household cleaners. For centuries, soap – which has traditionally been used to wash laundry as well as for personal hygiene – has been made from vegetable or animal oils and fats. Today most detergents and household cleaners consist of a large number of ingredients, each with its own special function.
Most bulk ingredients of detergents and household cleaners are inorganic and cannot be replaced by ingredients based on renewable raw materials. Surfactants are an important exception. They consist of a lipophilic – fat-loving – part, which is obtained from vegetable or mineral oils, and a hydrophilic – water-loving – part, which is usually based on mineral oil or is inorganic. Surfactants that consist only of renewable raw materials, such as alkyl polyglycosides, are the exception.
To achieve the best possible washing performance, we use a mixture of different surfactants. In more than half of them, the lipophilic part is based on renewable raw materials – a result of our many years of experience with ingredients based on renewable oils and fats such as palm kernel oil, which can only be used for industrial purposes. The proportion of renewable raw materials in surfactants for our detergents and household cleaners is about 30 percent. The other 70 percent are accounted for by inorganic and mineral-oil-based ingredients.
94 percent of the ingredients in the soaps and body washes of our Dial Naturals line in the USA are derived from renewable raw materials, and they are readily biodegradable.
In the cosmetics sector, nature-based raw materials are used in all product groups. We refer to the use of individual nature-based active ingredients or fragrances in our products if these are associated with specific properties – for example, the care properties of shea butter and yogurt or the soothing effect of aloe vera.
Furthermore, we are working to increase the proportion of ingredients based on renewable raw materials in our cosmetic products, wherever this is both possible and appropriate. If mineral-oil-based ingredients in a formulation are replaced by starch-based ones, this increases the overall proportion of renewable raw materials and helps to conserve fossil resources. Regarding ingredients based on both renewable raw materials and mineral oil, only the renewable fraction is taken into account. Wherever possible, we calculate the percentage of renewable raw materials referred to the dry weight of our products. In certain markets and product categories, it is common practice to include the water contained in the formulation in the calculation as well. More than two-thirds of the ingredients of the product formulations of our soaps, shampoos and shower gels are now based on renewable raw materials. The use of ingredients obtained from renewable raw materials is also on the rise in styling products. For example, thickener systems derived from mineral oils (polyacrylates) are being replaced by starch- and cellulose-based systems.
We are also committed to ecological and social considerations when we purchase renewable raw materials. We increasingly use ingredients from controlled organic crops in our formulations.
In the year 2000, we switched our Pritt Stick to a formulation based on renewable raw materials, which now account for 90 percent of its dry weight.
Renewable raw materials such as starch, cellulose, dextrins and proteins are used in many consumer and craftsmen adhesives and in industrial adhesives for a wide range of applications. For example, we utilize renewable raw materials in glue sticks, wallpaper pastes, and packaging adhesives. Bottle labeling adhesives contain as much as 45 percent.
We are aware of our responsibility regarding the purchase and use of ingredients based on renewable raw materials. We are therefore promoting sustainable palm oil production with our partners along the entire value chain. We have adopted the goal of ensuring “zero net deforestation by 2020.” This means that palm and palm kernel oil that we use should not contribute to deforestation of primary or secondary forests with significant ecological value. That includes peat lands and other areas with “high carbon stock.” We seek to drive physical progress in the palm and palm kernel oil supply chain, so as to prevent deforestation. In doing so, we have come to the conclusion that purchasing Book & Claim certificates only will not be sufficient to achieve this ambition.
Together with our partners, we are working to establish full traceability of palm and palm kernel oils used in ingredients for our products, such as surfactants, by 2020. We aim to ensure that all palm and palm kernel oil that we purchase is being cultivated sustainably. An additional goal is to increase the supply of sustainable oil available on the market by a volume equal to Henkel’s demand in 2020.