Energy and sustainability company, Schneider Electric, has been targeting net-zero CO2 emissions for 100% of its operations by 2030. Adhesives manufacturer, Henkel, has had a similar corporate goal to be climate-positive by 2030.
Last year, Schneider Electric launched The Zero Carbon Project in which the company is partnering with its top 1,000 suppliers — representing 70% of Schneider’s carbon emissions — to halve their operations’ CO2 emissions by 2025. Because Henkel is a key member of its supplier community and has demonstrated significant emission-reduction progress, Schneider Electric invited the company to share its best practices with the Zero Carbon Project participants at the recent Community Forum training series.
“Decarbonization is a fundamental part of meeting our ambitious sustainability targets,” said Ulla Hüppe, director of sustainability for Henkel’s Adhesive Technologies business unit. “We are fully committed to the Schneider Electric program, and we’re honored to have been asked to share our expertise to help other suppliers get started. Together, we can advance our positive environmental impact.”
As of 2021, Henkel’s CO2 emissions per ton of product have been reduced by 50% (vs. base year 2010), offering a model of success in sustainability.
The company has presented its achievement to other Schneider Electric suppliers, outlining detailed actions that can be implemented as part of Henkel’s four-pillar approach:
- Understand the focus area(s) and their objectives. When it comes to the environmental footprint of its operations, Henkel focuses on CO2 emission reduction, waste reduction and lower water consumption. Other long-term targets aimed at advancing Henkel’s sustainability transformation are focused on Thriving Communities (Equity, Education and Wellbeing) and Trusted Partners (Performance, Transparency, and Collaboration).
- Determine the baseline from which progress will be assessed. Henkel helped suppliers understand the starting point assessment by presenting the example of its raw material carbon footprint baseline and analysis of its CO2 reduction potential.
- Set specific targets within scopes of control. Based on Henkel’s 2030 targets, the company illustrated how it has set specific targets in certain areas, such as reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and sourcing of renewable energy.
- Implement activities and report progress. As a case-in-point, Henkel showcased the deployment of a digital backbone in Henkel’s consumer goods business, resulting in improved energy efficiency and cost savings of €8M annually.
“The catastrophic challenge that climate change presents cannot be overcome by a company’s actions alone,” said Christophe Quiquempoix, VP, Sustainable Procurement & External Manufacturing for Schneider Electric. “A company’s supply chain accounts for a much larger proportion of emissions, so engaging supplier partners is a critical step towards climate action. Energy is a major source of greenhouse gas emissions, and while we recognize that decarbonization is not easy, it’s necessary. Many of our suppliers are at different points along their sustainability journey, and with so much to be gained by sharing our experiences.”
Overall feedback about the program was exceptionally positive, reveals Quiquempoix, who acknowledges there is still much work to be done.
“No single organization has all of the answers,” he added. “Learning from each other is vital to driving active partnerships that can lead to impactful carbon footprint reductions. We are grateful for Henkel for its ongoing sustainability collaboration and leadership, and for our participating supplier partners for their engagement in the Zero Carbon Project.”