Emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases are responsible for climate change and global warming. Limiting these emissions is one of the biggest challenges humankind has ever faced.
A few degrees might not sound like much, but it makes a big difference to the future of our planet. To limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius by 2050 – and meet the commitment made in the United Nations’ Paris Agreement on climate change – we need to reduce carbon dioxide emissions rapidly. Achieving this ambitious target will only be possible if governments and companies embrace this challenge as an opportunity to drive innovation and explore visionary ideas.
Committed to climate protection
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 and across our entire value chain. It is relevant for us from two perspectives: One is the potential impact of our business activities on the global greenhouse gas balance, and the other is the potential impact of climate change on our business activities. 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 here by focusing on our own sites, which we can influence directly. We plan to achieve a reduction in the carbon footprint of our production. We will achieve this by continuously improving our energy efficiency and by increasingly making use of power, especially electricity, generated by renewable sources.
Our Ambition 2030+:
We aim for climate-positive operations by 2030
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 forward our ambition for 2040 by ten years: By 2030, we aim to achieve a climate-positive carbon footprint for our production sites (Scope 1 and 2).
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 2010. We are taking steps to cut energy consumption at all of our sites worldwide, including designing sustainable factories, improving our energy efficiency and switching to renewable energy. Therefore, we strive towards our existing goal of sourcing 100 percent of the electricity we purchase for production from renewable sources by 2030.
To become climate-positive in our own operations, we are planning to replace the fuels we need to generate thermal energy at our sites with CO2 -free alternatives such as biogas or biomass by no later than 2030. In line with our ambition, 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.
We will set a Net-Zero pathway for our emissions along the value chain
In addition to our activities at our own sites, we want to leverage our influence on areas of our value chain that are particularly relevant to CO2 emissions (Scope 3). Therefore, we want to reduce the footprint of the raw materials and packaging that we use by 30 percent by 2030 compared to a 2017 baseline. One component of this is our packaging strategy, as CO2 emissions can be reduced by using recycled material, for example.
In addition, we derived specific emission reduction targets, which were approved by the Science Based Targets initiative as consistent with levels required to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius.
Building on our existing SBTi targets for 2030 and following our ambition to become climate-positive in our own operations by 2030, we will consider the global Corporate Net-Zero Standard on how to set a pathway for our Scope 3 emissions. The standard was launched by the SBTi in 2021 to provide clear guidance, criteria and recommendations companies need to set science-based net-zero targets in line with a 1.5°C future.
Helping customers and consumers reduce CO2 emissions
Our products are used in millions of households and industrial processes every day. Accordingly, our goal is to work with our customers, consumers and suppliers to save 100 million metric tons of CO2 over the ten-year period from 2016 to 2025. To achieve this, we have developed a CO2 savings portfolio that can be used as a basis for quantifying the exact contributions made by products to avoid emissions (Scope 4).
We aim to help our customers and consumers save CO2 – for example by washing at lower temperatures or by switching to haircare products that do not need to be rinsed out and so do not require water to be heated up. Small changes in everyday life can make a big difference and can have a positive effect on the climate.
To motivate consumers to do their laundry in an environmentally compatible way, Henkel Consumer Brands developed a special logo with the slogan “be sustainable – wash cold.” It is placed on our laundry detergent packaging and aims to encourage consumers to save energy when doing their laundry.
Henkel Consumer Brands has launched the “BeSmarter” initiative for our beauty care products. Next to the focus on recycling the initiative puts a particular focus on water as a resource. Thereby, a goal is to create consumer awareness about the responsible use of water as an important resource. Using less hot water also results in less CO2 emissions.
We support our industrial customers with solutions for lightweight automotive designs. This includes pretreatments for metal surfaces that make it possible to combine steel and aluminum, as well as liquid soundproofing and 3D reinforcement technologies. These solutions all contribute to weight reduction in the chassis and increase fuel efficiency.