Henkel North American facilities contributing to sustainability goals

Across our North American manufacturing portfolio, Henkel is committed to bolstering sustainability progress. Individual facilities have been working to identify water conservation, energy reduction, waste elimination, and circular economy opportunities.

Sustainability Apr 17, 2023
Employee operates machinery to weigh and sort materials

Henkel’s 2030+ Sustainability Ambition Framework was designed with the goal of driving change toward a regenerative planet, thriving communities, and our actions as a trusted partner to our stakeholders. In the past year, we have made significant progress toward a more sustainable product portfolio and achieving a climate-positive carbon footprint by expanding renewable resources and energies.

Across our North American manufacturing portfolio, Henkel is committed to bolstering this progress. Individual facilities have been working to identify water conservation, energy reduction, waste elimination, and circular economy opportunities, in addition to ongoing investment in production efficiency with state-of-the-art equipment. Read on for details of sustainability projects that have been successfully completed in our Adhesive Technology facilities in Brandon, SD, Warren, MI, Cannon Falls, MN, and Mentor, OH. We will be sharing additional examples from our HCB facilities in a later story.

Brandon, South Dakota’s Drum Kitting Process

The Brandon facility has improved their drum kitting process, replacing pail liners and bonnets with reusable drums and automating portions of a previously manual process. The site is now more efficient in the filling of drums with powder materials, reducing nearly 10 tons of waste each year by eliminating approximately 75,000 5-gallon pail liners and bonnets from the process. This project has reinforced Henkel’s commitment to supporting the circular economy by reducing single-use plastics in the manufacturing process, while also positively impacting the site’s safety performance and increasing the plant’s efficiency.

Employee operates machinery to weigh and sort materials

An operator uses the new drum kitting process, which employs drum-tipping equipment to weigh up material and dramatically reduces manual handling of the powders.

Warren, Michigan’s Reverse Osmosis Process

The Warren facility was challenged with identifying a way to integrate previously unused water from the region’s Reverse Osmosis (RO) filtration process into the plant’s water stream, while maintaining commitments to quality and meeting customer expectations. The team redesigned the system for incoming water to take advantage of a new RO unit, allowing for the capture and reuse of around 1.4 million gallons of usable rejected water from the treatment process, eliminating it from storm drains. The new design also digitalized the connection of the new units to a central control system, allowing online monitoring of the energy consumption and water flows visible at various locations in the plant, contributing to the improvement of overall efficiency in the process.

Facility employees stand in front of newly installed reverse osmosis unit

Project team members in front of the plant’s new Reverse Osmosis unit.

Cannon Falls, Minnesota’s Chiller Replacement Project

The Cannon Falls facility has replaced multiple individual chillers with a single, closed-loop water recirculation system that reduces water and electricity usage. Prior to this project, water would pass through the chillers where the water would be used and then sent to the sanitary sewer. The installation of the new chiller system leverages the cooler outside air temperature at the Minnesota site to reduce annual electricity usage by more than 1 million kilowatt-hours per year. Since the project’s completion, water and wastewater discharge has decreased by 95%, aligning with Henkel’s commitment to reduce natural resource and energy consumption.  

Large water recirculation machines newly installed outside of manufacturing facility.

Cannon Falls’ new water recirculation system that reduces water consumption and electricity usage throughout their operation.

Mentor Ohio’s Make-Up Air Unit Project

Air unit installed into a manufacturing facility's ceiling vaults.

One of Mentor’s new air units, installed and functional within the plant.

When the Mentor plant identified a need to for a more energy efficient way to utilize and turn over air from outside the building, including heating during the winter months, the team commenced a project to replace three older air handling units. The newer, 30% more efficient units save on the amount of natural gas used and reduce the amount of carbon dioxide generated.

This eco-friendly project reduces the plant’s carbon footprint and reserves fuel while maintaining the air turnover rate required in the plant.

Mentor, Ohio’s White Pigment Dispersion Raw Material Packaging Change Project

Large white plastic drum in metal caging, stacked among others in a manufacturing facility.

One of Mentor’s new 275-gallon totes used for a high-volume raw material, stacked among others at the plant.

Along with the air unit project, the Mentor plant also initiated a project in partnership with the product development team to increase process efficiency, eliminate waste, and improve plant safety by adjusting the packaging used for a high-volume raw material.

A switch from 5-gallon metal pails to 275-gallon totes has reduced the plant’s use and disposal of metal pails by 8,400 per year. This shift naturally promotes a circular economy and eliminates waste while increasing the efficiency of the process and providing ergonomic benefits for employee safety.

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Throughout our history, we have developed innovative products, optimized our production processes to conserve natural resources and reduce wastes, and have built relationships with the communities we are active in and our partners.