Headquartered in Germany with its US-based subsidiary located in Rocky Hill, Connecticut, Henkel is NERC’s newest Advisory Member. The company’s global footprint encompasses 52,000 employees from 124 countries in both developed and emerging economies. In the US alone, Henkel employs over 8,000 employees at approximately 60 sites.
Henkel operates three primary business units:
- Adhesive Technologies, whose adhesives, sealants and functional coatings supply four business areas: Automotive and Metals; Electronics and Industrials; Packaging and Consumer Goods; and Craftsmen, Construction and Professional.
- Beauty Care, which is active in the Consumer Goods business with Hair Cosmetics, Body Care, Skin Care and Oral Care, as well as the Professional business.
- Laundry & Home Care. “The Laundry & Home Care business unit is the cornerstone of Henkel’s success story,” the company’s website states. “In 1876, the company’s first product was a laundry detergent based on sodium silicate.” The unit’s product portfolio includes laundry detergents, laundry additives, dishwashing, hard surface cleaners, toilet care, and insect control products.
Obviously, with such an extensive portfolio of products, Henkel is one of many corporations grappling with the issue of sustainable packaging. Adhering to the basic tenets of the circular economy—eliminate waste and pollution; circulate products and materials; and regenerate nature—the company’s sustainable packaging strategy “focuses on including materials from sustainable sources and using a smart design to close the loop – for the benefit of people and the planet.” Henkel’s goals for packaging by 2025 are:
- 100 percent of Henkel’s packaging will be designed for recycling or reuse.
- Reduce the amount of virgin plastics from fossil sources in consumer products by 50 percent.
- Support waste collection and recycling initiatives by investing in innovative solutions and technologies to promote closed-loop recycling.
Henkel’s sustainable packaging strategy is but one part of wider sustainability commitments. The company’s 2030+ Sustainability Ambition Framework rests on the following foundations:
- Regenerative Planet, focusing on climate change mitigation measures, a functional circular economy and the protection of nature and biodiversity. The company intends to transform its processes, products and use of raw materials in the direction of a resource-efficient, carbon-neutral future.
- Thriving Communities, through diversity and inclusion, education, and well-being.
- Trusted Partner, by driving performance and systems change with integrity through values-based culture, deep rooting in science and passion for technology.
According to Jillaine Dellis, Vice President, Sustainability and Industry Affairs, “Sustainability is deeply anchored in our business strategy and alive in our purpose. With that foundation, our sustainable transformation continues!”
Henkel has also designed Researchers’ World, an out-of-school learning environment for children ages eight to ten, focusing on using scientific methods, critical testing, analysis, interpretation of data, science, and creativity.
Recently, Henkel earned the Leaping Bunny seal of approval from Cruelty Free International for ending animal testing of its Dial line of products.
NERC enthusiastically welcomes Henkel to its community of Advisory Members, where it joins a large community that believes in circularity and an environmentally sustainable economy. We look forward to collaborating on issues involving sustainability and the circular economy, and anticipate an important voice added to our recently launched Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DE&I) initiative.