Laundry & Home Care

Innovations with a reduced footprint

Our consumers expect products to satisfy the criteria of quality, environmental compatibility and social responsibility in equal measure. And this is also our aim. Our brands combine excellent performance with responsibility toward people and the environment. We view this combination as the driver for innovations and the basis for our future competitiveness. The principle is applied as early as the product development stage. Each new product must make an additional contribution in at least one of our six focal areas. In research collaborations, we are working toward developing sustainable innovations even more quickly in the future and ensuring that our products will have the same outstanding quality worldwide.

Focus on the use phase

An important objective of our strategy is fostering sustainable, resource-conserving consumption. Our products are the key here. They are used daily in millions of households and often require water and energy to do their job. We thus concentrate on developing products that enable the efficient use of resources such as energy and water. Through targeted communication we also try to promote responsible use of the products. This is especially important because as much as 70 percent of the ecological footprint of our products is generated during their use. Current examples of energy-efficient products are Somat 10 and our low-temperature laundry detergents. Persil Megaperls and Purex Cold Water, for instance, are laundry detergents that deliver their full cleaning power even at low washing temperatures. Washing at 30 degrees Celsius reduces carbon emissions in the use phase by more than 65 percent as compared with washing at 60 degrees Celsius. One example of the efficient use of materials are the Mega-Caps, the pre-dosed liquid laundry detergent concentrates we launched in 2011, that were further developed in 2012 into Persil Duo Caps.

Besides developing better products and solutions, we want to make it easier for consumers to make responsible purchasing decisions. Through targeted communication on the internet, we point out the advantages of our products. We also encourage resource-efficient use by means of our resource calculators for laundry at and for dishwashing at

Pril Econometro

Due to the improved solubility of the Pril 10 tabs distributed in Italy, the active ingredients are released more quickly in the dishwasher. This improvement significantly boosts dishwashing performance in low-temperature cycles. At consumers can estimate the energy used by a dishwashing cycle and calculate possible savings in energy and money.

Bref / WC Frisch Power Active

With its four active pearls and its patent-pending technology, Bref Power Active– known in Germany under the brand name WC Frisch Kraft-Aktiv, ensures a thoroughly cleaned toilet.

The toilet rim block already combines powerful cleaning action with responsibility toward the consumer and the environment in more than 40 countries. WC Frisch Kraft-Aktiv is the first and only toilet rim block product to come with a child-proof holder. The amount of plastic material used in the product packaging has been reduced by 55 percent. The product also contributes to resource conservation, as the energy required to manufacture it has been cut by 20 percent.

Strong partnership with retailers

Cooperation with our retail partners was a priority for us in 2012. Retail chains like Rewe, dm, Carrefour and Walmart are important partners for Henkel on the road to more sustainable consumption. They provide us with excellent platforms for informing consumers about more sustainable products and how to use them in an environmentally responsible way.

As one example of these activities, Henkel took part in the third Sustainability Week of the Rewe Group. In direct talks with the various stakeholders at the forum, Henkel was able to discuss solutions that can lead to greater sustainability. Henkel began an education partnership with the German drugstore chain dm in September 2012. At “event stations” in dm drugstore markets, trainees from both companies conduct easily understandable experiments to demonstrate sustainability.

Perwoll with “Re-new effect”

The innovative formulations of the laundry detergents with “Re-new effect” for black, colored or white delicate fabrics are sold under the Perwoll, Fewa, Mir Couleurs, Micolor and MAS Color brands. Used by consumers all over Europe and Latin America, their special anti-pilling technology results in significantly smoother fibers, thus producing better light reflection and glowing colors. The novel formula not only cleans delicate garments, but provides care and protection to the fibers as well, while also acting directly to prevent roughening and graying. By further optimizing the selection of raw materials, we have been able to make another contribution to resource conservation and helped to reduce carbon footprints.

The “Re-new effect” assures optimal color reflection, rejuvenating faded synthetic and natural textiles. The fine-pored foam also cushions garments against mechanical action inside the washing machine drum. The effects are evident after just a few washes. The colors of faded garments begin to regain their intensity. In addition, the formula of these laundry detergents protects delicate fabrics against further yellowing and graying. This helps to prolong the life cycle of garments, especially those that are washed frequently.

Further development of the A.I.S.E. Charter for Sustainable Cleaning

In 2005, Henkel became the first company to fulfill the criteria of the A.I.S.E. Charter for Sustainable Cleaning. More than 194 companies have now joined this initiative. All companies that sign the Charter pledge to continuously improve their processes and to report annually on their economic, environmental and social advances, using defined indicators. Together, these indicators now reflect more than 85 percent of the European tonnage of laundry and home care products.

As part of its further development, the A.I.S.E. Charter was expanded in 2010 to include the dimension of products. It is now possible to show not only that a product was manufactured by a company with sustainable business practices, but that it has a progressive sustainability profile itself. In the laundry detergents category, for example, four criteria are of particular importance: environmental safety of the ingredients; resource efficiency with regard to dosage and packaging materials; washing performance at low temperatures; and consumer information.

Only products that satisfy all of the defined requirements may communicate this to consumers on their packaging by means of a new A.I.S.E. Charter logo introduced in July 2011. These include our liquid and powder laundry detergents and our fabric softeners.

Responsible management of raw materials

Henkel has been using ingredients based on renewable raw materials for decades. In 2012, the share of washing active substances – surfactants – in our laundry detergents and household cleaners consisted to more than 30 percent of renewable raw materials. This is clearly above the average in the laundry and home care industry as a whole.

We are aware of our responsibility regarding the purchase and use of these raw materials. We have therefore been participating in the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) since 2003, actively working to encourage the sustainable production of palm oil and palm kernel oil. We also promote improved cultivation conditions for other alternative plant-based oils, such as coconut oils, in the countries in which they are produced.

For our laundry detergents and household cleaners, 100 percent of the palm oil and palm kernel oil supplied as raw materials for direct and indirect use in our products was already covered by RSPO certificates in 2012. The Laundry & Home Care business sector has thus achieved the Henkel target ahead of schedule.

Innovations for laundry detergents of the future

Laundry & Home Care cooperates with research establishments and other enterprises in order to be involved at a very early stage in the development of new products. Since 2012, we have been collaborating with the 4SC Discovery company to identify new, innovative laundry detergent ingredients. Laundry & Home Care presents annual awards to honor the most sustainable innovations by its cooperation partners: In 2012, Novozymes received the Best Innovation Contributor Award for sustainable enzyme compounds which deliver better product performance at low temperatures. Monosol was also recognized with a Sustainability Award for the development and supply of the water-soluble films for the Mega-Caps and for its collaborative efforts in determining the carbon footprint.

“Our program for sustainability ambassadors helps our people to understand sustainability even better, to experience it on a personal level, and to integrate it into their daily activities.”

Bruno Piacenza
Bruno Piacenza
Executive Vice President Laundry & Home Care
A.I.S.E. Charter Logo

Since July 2011, Henkel has been using the A.I.S.E. Charter logo in its product communication.

Henkel Sustainability#Master – Persil Duo-Caps compared with Persil liquid laundry detergent bottle

Henkel launched its two-chamber liquid laundry detergent capsules in 2012. The pre-dosed Duo Caps have a 100 percent water soluble and biodegradable film. The ingredients are in two separate chambers, so that they are protected and stable until needed. This means that they can produce outstanding washing results, even at low temperatures. The pre-dosed detergent with its practically waterless formulation is extremely easy to handle, prevents overdosing, and requires 70 percent less packaging. The product thus contributes to resource conservation and reduces the carbon footprint by about 15 percent. The following matrix shows the improvements of the Duo Caps sustainability profile.

Henkel Sustainability#Master – Persil Duo-Caps compared with Persil liquid laundry detergent bottle

Last updated: March 6, 2013