Results of our audit program

We carry out regular audits at our production and administration sites and, increasingly, at our subcontractors and logistics centers to verify compliance with our codes and standards. The audits are a key instrument for identifying risks and potential improvements, with the aim of making Henkel's operations even better, more efficient and safer. In 2011, we conducted 62 audits. In the course of the audits, a total of 1,586 corrective actions were agreed upon. A main focus in 2011 was on purchasing and on the interfaces between our affiliated companies and our shared service centers.

We audited the safety, health and environment (SHE) standards at 35 sites and subsequently initiated 256 optimization measures. These included the mandatory labeling of raw materials and other materials, storage procedures, and rapid access to escape doors.

Maintenance of our Social Standards and our Diversity & Inclusion Policy was an integral part of the audits carried out at 18 sites in China, the Czech Republic, France, India, Indonesia, Iran, the Philippines, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Thailand, and the USA.

All audit results, including the monitoring of our SHE and Social Standards, are included in the Internal Audit department's annual compliance report to the Henkel Management Board.

Antitrust infringements in the laundry detergents market

Henkel is involved in proceedings being conducted by several European antitrust authorities. These relate to antitrust infringements dating back more than ten years in some cases. Where Henkel itself detected infringements in the course of its own audits, these were reported immediately to the competent authorities. In all of the proceedings, Henkel has actively cooperated with the authorities concerned.

In response to these incidents, we have already instituted far-reaching measures over the past years to investigate antitrust infringements and to prevent their occurrence in the future. In 2007, for example, we merged the previously decentralized departments into one central compliance organization with global responsibility. At the same time, our internal reporting and complaints channels were augmented by a compliance hotline, which was set up to enable employees to report infringements of our codes and standards. It is run by an independent external provider and is currently available in 73 countries.

In our internal audits, we have placed greater emphasis on the topic of compliance and expanded the training program accordingly – particularly for the areas of marketing and sales, where antitrust law is of special relevance. In 2011, we again trained some 800 employees in seminars on this subject.

Last updated: March 8, 2012