Sustainability Report 2013

Adhesive Technologies

Creating more value for customers

Henkel is the global leader in adhesives, sealants and functional coatings. The Adhesive Technologies business unit is constantly extending its leading position. Sustainability is integrated into every step of product development. Customers everywhere in the world can use customized solutions to increase their added value relative to their environmental footprint.

Adhesive Technologies uses its in-depth industry knowledge to help increase efficiency along the entire value chain. This approach is an integral part of our long-term goal of tripling our efficiency by 2030. We can draw on more than 90 years of experience in developing adhesives. Our broad portfolio of technologies reduces energy consumption, CO2 emissions, and waste generated during production and use of a wide variety of products, ranging from packaging, books and mobile telephones through to automobiles and airplanes.

“Close cooperation with our customers and partners helps us offer customized and sustainable solutions.”

Jan-Dirk Auris
Executive Vice President
Adhesive Technologies

Sustainability drives innovation

As our new adhesives plant in China shows, sustainability is inseparably linked with innovation and efficiency. For example, the factory only uses half as much water as a conventional production plant because it reuses condensed water from production processes (see: Sustainable production).

We also continuously optimize our products and technologies to provide leading performance with best-in-class features for environmental protection, consumer protection, and health and safety.

Around 1,600 technical experts in our innovation centers worldwide show customers the high performance and sustainability offered by our solutions every day. The new innovation center in Pune, India, for example, combines global and local expertise by working with more than 800 automotive suppliers. It has product testing facilities that can be adjusted to reflect the specific requirements of our customers, enabling tailor-made solutions to be developed on site.

Innovative technologies are also used in the electronics sector to make numerous improvements to mobile phones, tablets, flat-screen televisions and many other electronic devices we use in our daily lives.

For example, mobile electronic devices are becoming smaller, thinner, and more powerful – and produce more heat as a result. The new patentpending thermal conduction foil introduced in Loctite’s TAF series (Thermal Absorbing Film) reduces processor and case temperatures by more than 3 degrees Celsius. This improves performance and user comfort, while expanding the range of design possibilities for new devices. It is also an example of how the innovative solutions we provide are one step ahead of the current market requirements.

Food Safe Packaging Portal Europe

Henkel’s adhesives experts hold live regularly internet “webinars” on the current state of research and development of safe food packaging on the new Food Safe Packaging Portal Europe knowledge platform.

Partnering for sustainable solutions

We work with strong partners to introduce efficient solutions that reduce the environmental footprint along the entire value chain. This places the focus on our customers, helping them achieve their own sustainability goals.

Our partnership with Nordson Corporation, a leading manufacturer of precision dispensing systems for adhesives based in the USA, is one example. We work with Nordson to develop optimized machinery for the packaging industry and adhesive solutions tailored to this equipment, thereby enabling our customers to reduce energy costs and resource consumption.

Our partnership with KraussMaffei, a leading manufacturer of equipment for producing and processing adhesives, allows Henkel’s customers to reduce their environmental footprint. Henkel and KraussMaffei have developed a process for manufacturing the composite components that are increasingly being used in auto body manufacture. Using light, high-strength (i.e. resilient) structural components reduces vehicle weight, making an appreciable reduction in CO2 emissions.

Henkel also provides Peterson Manufacturing with significant added value. The vehicle lighting manufacturer is located in Missouri, USA, and uses Loctite Multicore HF 212 halogen and leadfree solder paste for circuit boards in LED lighting products. These act as carriers for electronic components. The innovative high-performance formulation means that significantly less solder paste is needed when circuit boards are printed, thereby reducing costs. Henkel ensures that all of its solder pastes meet demanding standards while simultaneously reducing the environmental footprint.

Safety is top priority

The health and safety of our customers and consumers is a top priority for us. We work constantly around the globe to set new standards with our solutions. Food safety, for example, is very important to consumers. That is why we have developed the Food Safe Packaging Portal Europe, a knowledge platform for people responsible for food safety, quality managers, packaging developers, and buyers. The online portal provides important information and extensive advice on adhesives for food-safe packaging, including live “webinars,” studies, videos, and a glossary.

Our analysis unit carries out production and quality control tests on adhesives for food-safe packaging. This unit is recognized as a scientifically independent and accredited testing institute, and tests packaging materials submitted for analysis by customers, as well as those from Henkel.

Global leader through innovation

The new generation of low temperature hotmelt adhesives also represents an advance in terms of sustainability. The Technomelt Supra 100 Cool hotmelt packaging adhesive, for example, can reduce energy use by up to 50 percent compared to conventional hotmelt adhesives.

In the area of building technology, we offer multilayer thermal insulation systems for insulating all types of building exteriors. Ceresit products are mutually compatible and lower building energy use – and our customers’ energy costs – by up to 50 percent. Mutual compatibility of the products ensures easy application and modern design, together with long life and high performance.

Ceresit CM 120 EcoFlex tile adhesive is another example. It is based on an innovative hybrid technology using a variety of binding agents. The tile adhesive dries quickly and is nearly temperature-independent. In addition, its low-cement formulation halves its CO2 footprint compared with conventional tile adhesives.

Transparency through life cycle assessments

As the global leader in adhesives, we are aware of our responsibility and want to demonstrate our progress in sustainability in a transparent manner. The expert knowledge of our research and development staff and the use of life cycle assessments help us to identify many possibilities for improving our product portfolio. In addition to the composition and production of our solutions, we also take into account customer use and customer production processes. We use the Henkel Sustainability#Master® matrix ( see Measuring sustainability) to assess the sustainability of a product category based on our value chains and six focal areas.

Henkel Sustainability#Master® – Two-step process (compared to zinc phosphating)

Henkel-Sustainability#Master® Two-step process

The Henkel Sustainability#Master® shows the sustainability profile of the innovative two-step process for auto body surface treatment. Under the brand name Bonderite, this solution provides advantages in a number of categories compared to zinc phosphating. Dividing the pre-treatment of the aluminum and steel components into two separate steps enables bodies to be manufactured with a high aluminum content. This reduces the weight of the car and therefore saves fuel. The process is very resource-efficient since fewer chemicals are used, which means that less waste is generated and less time is required to maintain the equipment. In addition, less energy is used due to the lower bath temperature.

Advice, training, and dialog

Our understanding of quality does not end with the sale of high-performance products. We also provide advice and service to our customers all over the world. This allows us to maintain a continuous dialog with our customers and teach them how to use our products and technologies safely and efficiently. We also feel a responsibility to make them aware of the issue of sustainability.

Our General Industry business conducts customer workshops on the maintenance, repair, and servicing of production equipment. Maintenance technicians are given information on the most frequent maintenance problems and their solutions, so they can prevent component and equipment failures. This improves occupational health and safety and makes workflows more efficient.