Henkel’s vision to become climate positive in its operations by 2030 begins with a strong focus on the company’s production sites.
Northampton, MA –News Direct– Henkel
Quality products and innovative solutions have made Henkel a major player in the global adhesives market. As more and more consumers and industrialists focus on creating a more sustainable environment now and for future generations, a quality product is simply not enough. In today’s environment (literally and figuratively), a company cannot be a product leader without being a sustainability leader.
Henkel’s commitment to maximizing value and minimizing environmental impact dates back to Fritz Henkel, who founded the company in 1876. Throughout its long history, Henkel has developed innovative products and manufacturing processes that save resources and reduce waste.
Today, Henkel focuses its sustainability efforts, which include more than 30 years of reporting and progress, on three key areas: circular economy, positive climate and social progress. Henkel’s vision of becoming a positive climate in our operations by 2030 starts with a strong focus on the company’s production sites.
“Our production facilities play a key role in our efforts to become climate positive,” said Christof Becker, vice president of operations and adhesive supply chain, Americas. “Sustainability is not a proposition. We are committed to reducing our environmental footprint while creating more value for our customers, consumers, our business and the communities where we operate.
Sustainability is inseparable from product quality. This means weaving environmental considerations into the fabric of daily operations.
“To remain a market leader, we must consider both the quality of our products and the impact of our products,” said Ron Marshalik, engineering manager for adhesives operations, North America. . “We need to ask ourselves, ‘Are we developing products that align with our sustainability goals? Are we producing them sustainably? Do our products help our customers and end consumers reduce their carbon footprint? »
Sustainability must be integrated throughout the product life cycle. It starts with the adhesive formulations developed by Henkel and extends through engineering, production processes and packaging.
Strategy in action
The Adhesive Technologies business unit has adopted Henkel’s ambitious goal to reduce the carbon footprint of its production facilities by 65% by 2025.*
Henkel continuously assesses and improves its energy efficiency and aims to source 100% electricity from renewable sources by 2030*. Henkel North America has already achieved this goal by hedging 100% of purchased power for US generation with a large-scale virtual power purchase agreement for a new wind farm in Bee County, Texas.
As a large consumer of electricity, gas and water, Henkel is always looking for ways to operate its manufacturing sites more efficiently. Upgrading old equipment with new, high-efficiency technology allows the business to do more with less.
For example, Henkel’s Cannon Falls, Minnesota plant recently replaced two standard oxidizers used to treat emissions with a regenerative thermal oxidizer that boasts 95% thermal efficiency. This is equivalent to carbon dioxide emission reductions from eliminating 250,000 gallons of gasoline.
The Cannon Falls facility is currently replacing several individual chillers with a single closed-loop water recirculation system that reduces water consumption by up to 796,000 gallons per year. The system, which uses outdoor air temperature at the cold Minnesota site, has reduced the plant’s annual electricity consumption by more than one million kilowatt hours per year.
This progress is only possible with the help of an engaged workforce and a culture of empowerment. From sustainability workshops to employee feedback programs, Henkel leverages the unique perspective of production employees to improve operational efficiency.
“Our employees understand our manufacturing processes better than anyone,” says Paul Sambanis, sustainability and environmental manager for adhesives operations in North America. “At Henkel, we are committed to giving employees a voice, listening to them, and helping move viable suggestions forward.”
At Henkel’s Cleveland, Ohio plant, employee feedback has led to a plan to replace three water ring vacuum pumps with dry rotary units, which will cut water consumption in half. , saving more than 400,000 gallons of city water each year.
Other sites have tackled the energy waste that occurs when motors run at full speed even when production has slowed down. For example, the Warren, Michigan team added variable frequency drives to air compressors and as a result reduced the electricity consumption of their air compressors by 50%.
At some sites, maintenance employees use ultrasonic measuring devices to perform vibration analysis that detects leaks in air compressors, which once repaired generate significant energy savings.
Create a ripple effect
As the company strives to achieve its ambitious sustainability goals, it wants to enable customers and consumers to achieve theirs as well.
In the automotive industry, for example, Henkel’s award-winning next-generation metal pre-treatment process dramatically reduces the automaker’s carbon footprint. Pre-treatment also allows automakers to introduce up to 100% aluminum to vehicle bodies, improving fuel efficiency, benefiting consumers and the environment.
Watch the video animation illustrating Henkel’s next-generation metal pretreatment process.
Breakthroughs like these are possible when Henkel delivers its signature sustainability innovations.
“Henkel’s long-standing commitment to sustainability and our innovation capabilities give us and our customers an added edge,” says Becker. “The challenge now is to accelerate our progress and expand the delivery of more sustainable solutions, resources and processes. We must all act with a sense of urgency today to create a better tomorrow.
Similar efforts are underway in the Henkel Laundry & Home Care and Beauty Care businesses to support the company’s sustainability strategy in North America and achieve the region’s sustainability goals.
*Note: compared to
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