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Henkel – Relevance Through Change

The ability to be relevant is crucial to any company around the world; relevancy cannot be achieved without remaining engaged with consumers and ensuring that products and services remain useful and in keeping with the needs of the time. German multinational company Henkel AG has products in use all around the world in many areas of society. Their ability to remain relevant is at the forefront of their operating strategy.

Henkel has been operating for over 140 years with portfolios that focus on adhesive technologies, beauty care with laundry and home care – products that are prevalent in that day-to-day lives of people all over the world. Their ability to remain relevant is driven by constant change, Henkel place great importance on the identification of upcoming trends and, through a strong culture, their powerful drive for change.

An important priority for modern businesses is the need to operate sustainably. Henkel sees sustainability as something that is in the DNA of their company and something that has been a priority for a long time. Over 60 years ago, Henkel was one of the first companies to run sustainability quality checks and, since then, have continued to work towards creating sustainable values.

In order to create meaningful and sustainable values along their entire value chain, Henkel believes that clear and transparent goals are critical. “We have defined for ourselves very ambitious goals.” Sylvie Nicol of the Henkel Management Board explained. “Towards 2030 we want to be 3 times more efficient in comparison to 2010. That means that – every year – we need to improve our efficiency by 5 to 7 percent and that comes with very precise and concise goals.”

One such goal is to become a climate positive company. To do so, Henkel intend to reduce CO2 emissions by 75% and to source electricity from exclusively renewable sources by 2030. Another goal is to completely transform their packaging where, by 2025, Henkel intends for all packaging to be recyclable, compostable or reusable. The clear nature of Henkel’s goals means that their sustainable progress will be very visible. This proves that the company’s desire to be more sustainable is not simply hype.

Over the next few decades, Henkel expects the speed of innovation to accelerate, with the demands of consumers continuing to develop. Transparency, efficiency and improvement will be key areas of focus for companies going forward. Henkel further predicts that areas like digitalization, a ‘hot issue’ of today, will be a normalised part of business.

Henkel is a company with a big present in the everyday lives of people around the globe. Their willingness to anticipate trends and make significant change to their strategies is a big reason for their continued relevance and, should this continue, they will no doubt continue as a big industry player in years to come.