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Henkel Adhesive Technologies

Henkel Adhesive Technologies

Sustainable hygiene production process

Optimizing sustainability in processes includes lower energy, less waste, less material for reduced transport, and resource efficiency.
5 min.

The fact that sustainability is also playing an increasingly important role in the personal hygiene sector is well known by now - as is the fact that there are several ways to make hygiene products more sustainable. After diving deeper into the topics of sustainable design of hygiene products and the use of natural materials in the production of sustainable hygiene products, we now focus on sustainable production processes. The manufacturing process plays an important role in achieving sustainability goals.

We all benefit from a more sustainable production process: our customers, consumers, and the environment alike. And there are several areas in which the production processes offer potential for improvement:

  • Carbon footprint: Optimization and reduction of both energy usage and CO2 emissions are crucial to move towards more sustainable operations
  • Resource efficiency: "More with less" and a conscious use of the world's limited resources are key aspects
  • Waste reduction: First target is to reduce waste in production processes. Thereafter a second life for the waste generated should be a clear mission.

No matter whether production of baby diapers, femcare or adult incontinence products: The choice of the right adhesives can have a significant positive impact on processes and production conditions!

Adhesive as enabler for sustainable hygiene products: Life Cycle Analysis quantifies the impact in a standardized way

To evaluate the positive impact of the right adhesives on the eco-balance of sustainable hygiene products, Henkel conducts standardized Life Cycle Assessments (LCA) that cover all environmental impacts during production, use phase and disposal as well as the associated upstream and downstream processes (e.g. production of raw materials).

Impacts include all environmentally relevant withdrawals from the environment (e.g. bio-mass, crude oil) and emissions into the environment (e.g. waste, carbon dioxide emissions).

illustration of a diaper lifecycle

Overview of improvement opportunities for the production process of sustainable hygiene products

As explained earlier, carbon footprint reduction, better resource efficiency and waste reduction are three main drivers for more sustainable production processes. Concretely, Henkel adhesives bring a positive impact in following six optimization opportunities:

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Resource efficiency by stronger bonding with less adhesives

Adhesives that ensure improved mileage contribute to more efficient operations

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Less material, less transportation

Less material means less weight during transport and thus less CO2 emissions

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Energy Reduction with Easyflow® melt-on-demand adhesive

Auto-feeding and melting on demand means less energy consumption in the melting process

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Energy Reduction with low-temperature adhesives

Lower processing temperatures save energy and reduce the ecological footprint

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Waste reduction with optimized adhesives packaging

Reusable containers or big bags save packaging waste and offer additional benefits

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Process optimization with TCS support

Our TCS teams optimize process and production lines which leads to a positive impact on several aspects of sustainability

Hot melt adhesives selection: Key to produce sustainable hygiene products

The right hot melt adhesive cannot only fulfill the most demanding bonding tasks when it comes to a product design with natural materials, it can have an impact on the sustainable footprint of a production process as well.