Production and logistics planning depends on the products being transported. For bulkier products, we reduce transport mileage and environmental impact by operating regional production sites. Compact products make fewer demands on transport, so we produce them centrally whenever possible. Meanwhile, many industrial adhesives are produced close to customers’ production sites.
Emissions reduction initiatives
We optimize our logistics operations in order to reduce transport emissions. We position warehouses and distribution centers to minimize the distance between our sites and our customers. Wherever possible, we combine shipments between individual sites and warehouses.
In 2014, Laundry & Home Care replaced four distribution centers with a high-bay storage facility in Düsseldorf in order to reduce transport mileage and energy needs. The new central warehouse is situated directly next to production, thus eliminating supply shipments and cutting the tonkilometers traveled to customers by 20 percent. Laundry & Home Care also worked with suppliers to upgrade transportation vehicles to more efficient emissions standards.
Beauty Care is working with retailers and suppliers to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. In France, for example, Beauty Care launched a pilot project with customers to deliver products on cardboard pallets instead of wood pallets.
Adhesive Technologies is consolidating customer deliveries in Western Europe to reduce the number of truckloads shipped as well as carbon dioxide emissions. In 2015, our Electronics business will begin replacing Styrofoam coolers used to transport heat-sensitive products with reusable, thermal containers. The new containers reduce the carbon footprint by 75 percent and waste per container by 95 percent.
Overall picture: our operational carbon footprint in 2014
Requirements on logistics partners
We take efficiency as well as environmental and safety performance into account when choosing our transport partners. Relevant criteria have been a part of our request for proposal process and tenders for the purchase of logistics services since 2010. These include energy-saving targets, measures for modernizing vehicle fleets, and investments in programs that optimize routes and record emissions.
Additional measures to improve the impacts of logistics and transport:
- We have enhanced efforts, which began in 2010, to shift the transport of cosmetics in the German market from road to rail. For example, for the transport of an important raw material between Düsseldorf and our plant in Wassertrüdingen, Beauty Care switched from truck to rail in 2013, thereby reducing CO2 emissions by 270 metric tons per year.
- Intermodal transport: Since 2008, we have been working with European logistics partners to gradually build up our intermodal transport routes.
- Efforts to position suppliers “wall to wall” with our own factories helps to avoid transport. This applies especially to the relocation of production facilities for packaging materials directly at our sites. Examples include our sites in Hazelton, Pennsylvania, USA, and Levice, Slovenia, where manufacturers of plastic packages have set up their operations directly alongside our factories or those of our toll and contract manufacturers. Similarly, co-packaging of our laundry detergents for Eastern European has also been taking place directly at our central warehouse in Vienna, Austria, since 2011.
- We are upgrading to more efficient logistics equipment, for example by replacing some diesel-powered forklifts with electric ones.
Synergies / cooperation
- Expansion of pooling activities, i.e. targeted grouping of transports and storage of similar product categories together with those of other suppliers at the same logistics service provider's facilities. This generates synergistic effects in storage, order picking and transportation, thus ensuring that only fully loaded trucks travel to the central warehouses of our customers, while significantly reducing the number of empty runs. Henkel has already implemented such pooling strategies in Belgium, the Czech Republic, the UK, and the Scandinavian countries.
- Centrally coordinated logistics purchasing and grouping of the transport consignments of neighboring Henkel sites increases shipment weight and therefore truck capacity utilization. For example, in 2013, the Adhesive Technologies business unit built a central warehouse in Rotterdam where all products for transport to Africa and the Middle East can be collected to ensure optimal capacity utilization of transport units.
- We aim to cooperate with our retail partners to identify potential for improvements, and therefore participate in initiatives such as the European Efficient Consumer Response initiative.
- Together with the logistics service provider Cretschmar Cargo, Henkel Beauty Care in Germany is working to make its logistics operations greener. By upgrading the fleet and training drivers to drive efficiently, it is possible to reduce CO2 emissions by about 20 percent compared to the prior year.
- Capacity utilization of trucks (e.g. consolidating deliveries to the same destination) is also a major lever for reducing carbon emissions. By analyzing orders it has been possible to increase capacity utilization by up to 25 percent.
- Product optimization in terms of weight and volume, provided this is possible without compromising the performance, convenience and stability of the packaging. Concentrates and lighter packages reduce transport weight and hence carbon emissions. Example: switching U.S. liquid laundry detergent brand Purex to a concentrate. Result: avoidance of about 17,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions from transport operations per year thanks to reduced product volume.
- The introduction of a review stage in marketing decision-making processes reduces complexity in our product ranges. For example, the use of base formulations and similar packaging materials for different brands and countries has resulted in less material usage and less waste, as well as reducing the tonnage transported.
Business travel / company car fleet
- Thanks to technical advancement, the definition of country-specific reference vehicles, and the creation of CO2 limits for new car orders, we have continually reduced the carbon emissions per kilometer of newly registered company cars in recent years.
- For the Infrastructure Services department of the Düsseldorf site, seven utility vehicles with electric drives were purchased in mid-2012. Due to the combined heat and power design of the Henkel power plant at the site, the carbon emissions, resulting from energy generation to charge the vehicle batteries, are just 40 grams per kilometer – compared with 80 grams per kilometer for electricity from the public grid, or 120 to 180 grams per kilometer for gasoline engines.
- Since 2010, the total monthly costs of a car have been broken down into the company fraction and the employee's own contribution. By increasing the transparency of the fuel costs incurred every month, we want to encourage our employees to drive more efficiently.
- Guidelines for replacing business and airline travel by video and telephone conferencing.
Adhesive Technologies launched the “Go Safe with Henkel” road safety campaign to curb traffic-related accidents in India. The campaign raises awareness of safe driving and encourages Henkel’s logistics partners to follow strict guidelines on driving practices, vehicle conditions and safety equipment. The campaign will be rolled out in other countries in 2015.