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Accepting global challenges

The global challenges of sustainable development are continuing to increase as a result of world population growth, rising standards of living and consumption, and the associated use of resources. Worldwide, growth and quality of life must be decoupled from resource consumption and emissions. We recognize this challenge and take it into account in our strategy. Our contribution as a company is to develop innovative products and processes that consume fewer resources while still offering the same or better performance. This requires the concerted action and the knowledge of all participants along the value chain – from raw materials suppliers to end users.

Photo Board of Trustees of the Global Institute of Sustainability of Arizona State University

In June 2010, the Board of Trustees of the Global Institute of Sustainability of Arizona State University, USA, convened at Henkel in Düsseldorf. Experts from industry, trade, academia, and the political scene shared their views on the meeting’s topic of “Sustainability is a Global Enterprise.”

In our stakeholder dialogue, we therefore strive continuously to raise awareness of this issue among actors at all levels through our involvement in associations, working groups and at conferences, by engaging in a dialogue with politicians and nongovernmental organizations, and through product communication. In addition, we participate in national and international initiatives. Thanks to our many years of experience in sustainable business, we find we are much valued as partners in such collaborations.

Graphic Affluence and resource consumption: a double challenge
The graphic shows the position of various countries on the basis of two parameters – their United Nations Human Development Index and their ecological footprint. The challenge for the population of the countries on the horizontal axis is to improve their quality of life without similarly increasing their resource consumption. The population of the countries on the vertical axis face the task of reducing their resource consumption without having to reduce their standard of life. Since forgoing quality of life and consumption is not a realistic solution in either situation, innovation is the key to reducing resource consumption to keep it within the Earth’s ecological limits.
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