Our Plants Operate with 100% Renewable Electricity

How do we approach fighting climate change at Henkel?

Climate change is one of the major global challenges of our time. We are committed to the 1.5-degree target of the Paris Climate Agreement. We take climate change and its impacts into account as part of our sustainability and risk management approach, and across our entire value chain. In the context of our sustainability strategy, we consider our direct and indirect CO2 emissions and their potential impact on the climate. We are starting by focusing on our own sites, which we can influence directly. We plan to achieve a reduction in the carbon footprint in our production. 

What are the concrete actions we are taking to reduce Henkel's carbon footprint? 

To do this, we are planning to replace the fuels we need to generate the thermal energy we require at our sites with CO2-free alternatives such as biogas or biomass by no later than 2030. We continue to strive towards our existing goal of sourcing 100 percent of the electricity we purchase for production from renewable sources by 2030. 

In parallel, we also want to constantly improve our energy efficiency. In line with our vision, the sites will become climate-positive in terms of their carbon balance when surplus CO2-free energy that Henkel does not need for its own purposes is supplied to third parties. Along the journey toward this goal, we are still pursuing our target of making a 65-percent reduction in the carbon footprint of our production sites by 2025 compared to the base year of 2010.

What is our sustainability vision at Henkel?

We are always exploring ways to achieve climate neutrality faster for selected sites. Based on our progress in these areas and the experience we have gained, we have decided to bring our goal for 2040 forward by ten years: By 2030, we intend to achieve a climate-positive carbon footprint for our production sites.

What does it actually mean to become CO2 neutral? 

Here, we should differentiate between CO2 neutral production and the site being CO2 neutral as a whole. While CO2 neutral production would mean using renewable energy for production processes, as explained, there are processes beyond mixing-filling (production) in a typical factory, that require energy and generate CO2. So, the ultimate goal is to reduce emissions in all those processes carried out within the production site's borders. Then, you can take a look at the remaining energy you need and see how you can purchase it from renewable sources and/or generate renewable energy on site. Decarbonising all CO2 sources, converting your energy use into renewable for all the activities within the plant borders, all make the site a CO2 neutral plant.

How are we approaching the task of making our production CO2 neutral within our facilities?

First, let's have a look at what kind of activities production plants carry out:
The most important place to start is the mixing/filling units, which sometimes includes in-house bottle blowing, storage units, laboratories, management buildings, canteens, sanitary rooms, workhouses, engineering rooms, other supportive services, and also in-house logistics operations.

All activities need different types of energy like electrical power for mixing & filling lines, moving equipment, laboratories and for cooling and lighting, but then thermal energy (gas) for heating certain processes and buildings and diesel for internal traffic/trucks etc.

All activities start with one basic and important step which is to increase the efficiency in the process and the equipment, reduce the amount of energy required and thus reduce CO2 before continuing with the decarbonisation of the energy.

The next step is sourcing and generating renewable energy. Once whole activities are decarbonised, the factory can reach net zero, in other words it becomes CO2-neutral. If the grid is also provided with carbon-free energy that Henkel does not need for its own purposes for the use/benefit of 3rd parties, then you exceed the threshold of net zero and become CO2-positive (as a factory).