Global Challenges and Opportunities

Pollution, population growth, poverty: Our planet faces some big challenges – and innovative products and technologies can provide a solution by improving quality of life while consuming less resources.

Global supply chains, digital media and connected devices are making our planet feel smaller and smaller. However, they can sometimes also make the world’s challenges seem bigger than ever. While the middle class is growing worldwide, many people are still living in poverty, working in poor conditions and struggling to build a future for themselves. Alongside this, the global population is expected to reach 9 billion by 2050 and humankind’s environmental footprint is already larger than our planet’s resources can sustain. That’s why it’s so important to create shared value – through innovative products and technologies that improve quality of life for people and communities, while also cutting the amount of resources consumed when making and using products.

End poverty, ensure prosperity and protect the planet

Developing tomorrow’s sustainable solutions requires active collaboration today. This spirit of collaboration is at the heart of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) introduced by the United Nations in September 2015. These goals create a common understanding of how governments, civil society and businesses can join forces to drive progress toward ending poverty, ensuring prosperity and protecting the planet. The SDGs clearly state the challenges that need to be addressed in order to drive progress toward sustainable development.

Henkel Sustainability Manifesto

We are living and working in ever changing times. Our mission to tackle environmental, social and political challenges has never been clearer.

We need to drive transformational impact for the good of generations.
 

At Henkel, we’re committed to leadership in sustainability. Due to our long history of promoting sustainable development, as well as our broad product portfolio and presence in diverse markets, we can make a contribution to almost all of the 17 SDGs. We’re actively supporting the achievement of these goals and continuously review the targets and initiatives within our own sustainability approach to ensure they reflect the priorities set out by the SDGs.

What role do global businesses play?

Companies are in a strong position to create shared value. Alongside payments in the form of salaries and taxes, businesses contribute to promoting economic and social development as employers, purchasers and investors. They can also accelerate the transformation to a sustainable economy by creating innovative technologies and products. Imagine the resources that could be saved if every product in every home used less energy or water. Or imagine the reduction in CO2 emissions if every vehicle on the planet was lighter and used less fuel. Resource-efficient solutions can improve the balance between the economic, ecological and social needs of people and the planet – and open up pathways to a sustainable future.

Along global value chains

Businesses are also partnering with governments and non-governmental organizations to support projects that improve income opportunities for people who come into contact with their supply chains – wherever they are in the world. The international development organization Solidaridad, for example, is teaming up with companies to support smallholder farmers of crops like oil palm. This empowers farmers to increase productivity and meet rising expectations for safety and environmental sustainability. It also ensures employment stability and improves livelihoods for workers and their families.