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Achieving more with less is the goal of Henkel's sustainability strategy.
Creating more value for our customers and consumers, for the communities we operate in, and for the company – while reducing our environmental footprint at the same time. This is the idea at the heart of our sustainability strategy and its related ambitious targets.
For a long time, growth and resource consumption seemed to go hand in hand and impossible to attain one without the other. Whenever population and living standards increased, it meant using up more and more of the earth's resources. With expected population to grow to about nine billion people by the year 2050, this trend will not change anytime soon. Resource consumption will accelerate in the coming decades as natural resources such as fossil fuels or water are consumed much faster than the planet can keep producing them.
While these developments are challenges for the future, they also offer great potential: Innovating and achieving more with less will be a key to becoming sustainable. We need solutions that allow people to live a good life yet use less and less materials. This idea is at the heart of Henkel's sustainability strategy, as we strive to find new ways of growing and improving quality of life without using up more resources. We want to improve our products and solutions through innovations and smart thinking – to create more value at a reduced ecological footprint.
We concentrate our activities along the value chain on six focal areas that reflect the challenges of sustainable development as they relate to our operations. Innovating and achieving more with less will be a key to a sustainable development that does not sacrifice people’s quality of life. To drive progress along the entire value chain through our products and technologies, we concentrate on a fixed set of areas that summarize the challenges as they relate to our operations. We have subdivided these focal areas into two dimensions: “more value” and “reduced footprint”. In order to successfully establish our strategy and reach our goals, both of these dimensions must be ever-present in the minds and day-to-day actions of our employees and mirrored in our business processes.
Our focal areas are divided into two dimensions: “more value” and “reduced footprint.” We aim to increase the value we create in the areas of “social progress”, “safety and health” and “performance”. In the areas “energy & climate”, “materials & waste” and “water & wastewater”, we aim to further reduce the resources we use and hence the ecological footprint of our operations and products.
To reach our goal of becoming three times more efficient by 2030, we will have to improve our efficiency by an average of 5 to 6 percent each year. For the five years from 2011 to 2015, we had set ourselves concrete interim targets aiming to increase efficiency by 30 percent.
Chaired by a Management Board member and reflecting all areas of the company, the Sustainability Council steers our global sustainability activities as a central decision-making body. Its members represent the business units and corporate functions responsible for putting our sustainability strategy into operational action.