Measuring sustainability

At Henkel, we focus on developing various measurement methods to identify where we can have the greatest impact on sustainability in the value chain to meet the goal of optimizing our “Value” and “Footprint” dimensions. We then use the results to develop suitable improvement measures. Only by considering the entire life cycle can we ensure that the action taken will improve the overall sustainability profile of our products.

To further develop and simplify the analysis methods – including those for determining the carbon and water footprint of products – we work with external partners. For example, we take an active part in the Sustainability Consortium and the Measurement Group of the Consumer Goods Forum.

To make it possible to measure sustainability, we have developed various instruments that come together in the Henkel Sustainability#Master. We developed this tool together with the Wuppertal Institute Collaborating Center on Sustainable Consumption and Production (CSCP) in Germany and have used it in a variety of different ways to conduct dialogue with retail partners, non-governmental organizations, research institutions and other stakeholders.

At the heart of this evaluation system is a matrix that can be used to assess changes in the “Value” and “Footprint” dimensions. What are known as hot spots can be identified for every product category on the basis of scientific measurement methods, e.g. life cycle analyses and empirical data. These are the fields with the greatest relevance for sustainability — this applies to both the “Value” and the “Footprint” dimension (see graphic). The matrix can also be used to compare the sustainability profile of two products or processes, thus allowing changes to be quantified. Henkel‘s researchers use these findings for innovation and continuous product improvements.

Henkel Sustainability#Master – Matrix with hot spots in the liquid laundry detergent category

Graph Henkel Sustainability#Master
The matrix is at the heart of the Henkel-Sustainability#Masters — a tool for sustainability assessment of products and processes. The matrix is based on the individual steps of our value chain and on our six focal areas. The goal is to increase the value of the product and simultaneously reduce its footprint. Hot spots can be identified for every product category on the basis of scientific measurement methods. These are the fields with the greatest relevance to sustainability — this applies to both the upper “Value” dimension as well as the lower “Footprint” dimension.

Last updated: March 6, 2013