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Henkel Sustainability Report: Water Consumption Cut 2.5%

Chemical manufacturing company Henkel reduced its water consumption by almost 2.5 percent and cut its wastewater production by over 3.75 percent year-on-year, according to the company’s latest sustainability report.

In 2011, Henkel used 7.9 million m3 of water and produced 3.6 million m3 of wastewater. These metrics dropped to 7.7 million m3 and 3.45 million m3 in 2012, the report shows. The company is aiming to reduce its water consumption by 15 percent between 2010 and 2015. to date it has reduced water consumption just shy of 11 percent since 2010. Since 2001 the company has reduced its water consumption by 44 percent, the report, which covers fiscal 2012, says.

An innovation used to cut the company’s wastewater is the automatic barrel washing unit and a pipe cleaning system. The production site using this facility, which produces cosmetic products for the Americas, has been singled out as a best practice leader in recognition of its wastewater achievements, Henkel says.

Henkel’s Salamanca, Mexico, adhesives site now uses all of its wastewater in the cooling tower. This helped lower water consumption at the facility by 35 percent.

The company’s energy usage decreased around 1 percent year-on-year, from 2,220,00 MWh in 2011 to 2,197,000 in 2012. The company’s production volume has increased 0.5 percent in that time. The company is aiming to reduce its energy use by 15 percent between 2010 and 2015. To date the company has cut this metric by just under 10 percent since 2010. Henkel has reduced its energy use by 43 percent since 2001, the report says.

Henkel’s Laundry & Home Care business sector launched an optimization program to reduce energy use in 2012. As part of the process, the sector was externally certified in the course of matrix certification to ISO 50001, the international standard for energy management. Some 15 of the company’s 28 production sites and the corporate steering unit of the business sector were already successfully certified to this standard in 2012. All other production sites will follow by the end of 2013, the report says.

Other examples of energy efficiency include six of Henkel’s Beauty Care sector facilities also being certified to ISO 50001 standard. Furthermore, The company’s St. Louis, Mo., laundry detergent site reduced its energy usage by 5 percent by optimizing its compressed air system. This included installation of a highly efficient air compressor with speed control and inspections to reduce losses in the compressed air system.

Henkel’s Ratibor, Poland laundry detergent site recovers the waste heat emitted from its sulfonation system in the spray tower which is used to produce powder detergents. This made it possible to reduce the energy consumption of the spray tower by 20 percent.

The company’s carbon dioxide emissions fell marginally over the course of the year from 652,000 metric tons in 2011 to 651,000 metric tons ion 2012. Roughly half of the company’s emissions come from purchased electricity, the other half come from Henkel’s operations. The company has a goal of cutting its carbon emissions by 15 percent between 2010 and 2015. To date it has cut its emissions over 13 percent.

On top of its 2015 targets the company has an overall goal of tripling its efficiency by 2030 over 2012 levels. Henkel says that it is important to note that there is more than one road to its 2030 goal of “Factor 3”: the company can either triple the its production while leaving the footprint at the same level. Or it could reduce the footprint down to one third of today while delivering the same value. In many cases, Henkel says it will approach from both sides, reducing input and improving output at the same time. Either way, the net result should be to use one third of the resources needed today for each Euro it generates.

The report was compiled in accordance with the Global Reporting Initiative G3 guidelines. Henkel has self-assessed the report at application level “B.”

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