Henkel reaches first sustainability targets ahead of schedule

By Andrew MCDOUGALL contact

- Last updated on GMT

Kathrin Menges highlights Henkel's 'significant progress' in reaching its sustainability targets.
Kathrin Menges highlights Henkel's 'significant progress' in reaching its sustainability targets.

Related tags: Organic growth

Henkel is the latest manufacturer to report good news regarding sustainability as it announces that it has reached its first targets ahead of schedule.

The Germany-based company came up with its strategy in 2012 with the long-term goal of achieving more with less and increasing resource efficiency by a factor of 3 by 2030.

The idea was to improve the relationship between the value it creates and its environmental footprint by 30%for the five years from 2011 to 2015, and the firm says it is currently ahead of schedule.

“Henkel’s clear Sustainability Strategy has proven highly effective, enabling us to reach four out of five interim targets one year ahead of schedule,”​ says Kathrin Menges, Executive Vice President Human Resources and Chair of Henkel’s Sustainability Council.

“Our employees play a key role in achieving these successes and we will continue to rely on their commitment and expertise to drive further progress.”

Significant progress

It was the end of last year that Henkel reported significant progress, with improvements of 20% in energy efficiency, 19% in water use, 18% in waste volume (22% excluding construction and demolition waste) and 25% in occupational safety.

This was in thanks to the company’s ‘Sustainability Ambassadors’ program, which gives employees a clear understanding of sustainability, which was expanded in 2014.

Now, Henkel says it is looking to improve its performance again in 2015 and is working on defining new interim targets for 2020.

Sales expectations

The sustainability news comes just as the company reported that sales in the fiscal year 2014 were slightly higher than in the previous year.

Adjusted for negative foreign exchange effects of 4.0%, sales improved by 4.4%, with sales in the Beauty Care business unit growing organically by 2.0%.

“2014 was a successful year for Henkel. In a challenging and very competitive market environment we achieved our financial targets and made very good progress in implementing our strategy 2016,”​ says Henkel CEO Kasper Rorsted.

“All three business units contributed with profitable organic growth to our good performance. The emerging markets were once again the main growth drivers for Henkel, with very strong organic sales growth of almost 8 percent. But also in mature markets, organic sales were up slightly.”

Looking ahead, Rorsted comments that the economic environment remains challenging and very volatile, with the Russia-Ukraine conflict expected o slow down sales in Eastern Europe as well as further pressure on the Russian economy and currency.

“We will continue to adapt our processes and structures, making us more flexible and efficient. We are focused on implementing our strategy in order to reach our ambitious financial targets for 2016,”​ he adds.

Related topics: Business & Financial

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