Examples of prevention
Henkel
Prevention action: 
Better suitability for group packaging or logistics
Product category: 
Detergents and cleaning products
Four times more washing doses per truck

For the last twenty years, the Henkel Group has been increasing the concentration of its detergent products, including those under the Persil and Dixan brands. Today, its packets contain up to 100 washing doses. The Group transports four times more washing doses per truck load and has halved its packaging waste for an identical number of washing cycles.

Concentrated formula for Dixan and Persil

The Henkel Group manufactures and distributes numerous brands of detergent products, glues, cosmetics and body care products. It initiated its first packaging reduction programme in the early nineties. At that time, Henkel was also marketing its first concentrated detergent products under the Dixan 2000, Persil Super and Megapearls brands. ‘The trend for concentrated products has continued relentlessly. The drawers of today’s washing machines wouldn’t be large enough to contain the powder volumes of twenty years ago,’ says Jannick Clinkemalie, Head R&D Laundry and Home Care, Henkel France-Benelux.

CO2 emissions reduced fourfold

‘Concentrating our powders and liquid detergents is in line with two of our targets: to make life easier for consumers and to act in favour of the environment,’ adds Jannick Clinkemalie. ‘It also enables us to reduce costs and, most importantly, emissions related to transport. The one-litre bottles of our ‘3x concentrated’ liquid products, for instance, enable us to transport four times more washing doses per pallet. CO2 emissions related to transport are, therefore, reduced fourfold.’

More doses per packet

A concentrated product implies less packaging. At Henkel, the quantity of packaging has halved for an identical number of washing cycles. ‘For a long time, standard boxes contained 25 washing doses. By reducing the product volume per washing cycle, our packs became much smaller… to such an extent that some consumers felt they were paying more for less product. So we reverted to a larger format and increased the number of washing doses per pack. Today, our largest packs provide enough content for up to 100 washing cycles.’

Good to remember

  • Henkel continues to concentrate its detergent products, a process started twenty years ago.
  • When it comes to superconcentrated liquid detergents, the Group transports four times more washing doses per truck load, and half the quantity of packaging
  • The Group attaches great importance to the information provided to consumers, as well as to the acceptance of its products.

 

How Henkel optimizes the concentration of its detergent products

Step 1 : play with the chemistry of raw materials

To concentrate a detergent product, Henkel exploits not only the chemistry of raw materials but also the interaction. In addition, it ‘plays’ with the nature and quantity of surface active agents, anti-limestone agents, whitening agents, sequestering agents and enzymes.

 

 

 

 Step 2 : adapt the packaging

Detergent packaging interacts with the surface active agents. As a result, it must comply with specific resistance parameters, although it does not necessarily need to be strengthened. Polyethylene and polypropylene packaging interacts the least with surface active agents.
 

 Step 3 : inform the consumer

Ensuring the best use of concentrated detergent products requires a programme to sensitize and inform consumers. At Henkel, this programme focuses on three aspects: appropriate dosing, correct filling of the machine and efficient washing - even at low temperatures. These various instructions are indicated on the packaging labels.

Offering concentrated detergent products enables us to meet market demand and at the same time reduce our transport and packaging volumes.

Jannick Clinkemalie, Head R&D Laundry and Home Care, Henkel France-Benelux

 

Henkel and the environment

Henkel actively engages in corporate social responsibility projects: s’engage activement dans des projets de corporate social responsibility:

  • Launch of a CO2 emission reduction programme for the Group’s manufacturing sites through lower energy consumption. Between 2003 and 2007, Henkel reduced the energy consumption of its manufacturing sites by 21% per ton and CO2 emissions by 15%.  
  • Adhesion to the Round table for Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO). This project aims to ensure that the oil from palm stones used to produce detergents comes from certified plantations. These must, among other things, adequately remunerate cultivators, not use any pesticides and not deforest any tropical forests.

 

You too can increase the success of your concentrated products 

A few tips from Henkel:

  • Consumer acceptance is essential for the commercial success of a concentrated product. Make sure that consumers are informed as clearly as possible. 
  • Clear information is also essential to ensure consumers use the correct dosage
  • Even for concentrated products, always consider the environmental effects on the entire chain: adaptations to the manufacturing process, chemical formula, packaging recyclability…