Amplifying the use of alternative raw materials

Henkel and Covestro collaborate for sustainability of engineered wood adhesives

  • Materials are key to lower carbon footprint across sectors 
  • Engineered wood adhesives from Henkel based on raw materials from Covestro used in building and construction applications 
  • Over 60% of the formulated adhesives1 are linked to bio-based feedstocks attributed via mass balance approach 

German chemical companies Henkel and Covestro join forces to foster sustainability for adhesives in load bearing timber construction. Such elements, as Cross Laminated Timber (CLT) or Glued Laminated Timber (GLT), can be found in a variety of indoor and outdoor applications of buildings, from staircases to facades to structural elements. For that purpose, materials manufacturer Covestro provides Henkel with polyurethane-based raw materials linked to bio-based feedstocks attributed via the mass balance approach. Henkel in turn uses the supplied products for its high-performance adhesive solutions. 

"Collaborations along the value chain with like-minded partners are key to enable a circular and climate neutral world. Materials play an important role for example in reducing the carbon footprint of buildings. With Henkel’s new wood adhesive based on Covestro’s ever more sustainable raw materials, we jointly contribute to the circular transformation of the construction industry", says Dr. Thomas Roemer, Head of the Coatings and Adhesives Business Entity at Covestro. 

Materials are key for sustainability of various sectors 

By enabling timber construction, load-bearing adhesives already contribute to sustainability of building structures. Since timber is a natural material, its properties inherently underly bigger variations than most synthetically produced materials. It is for example prone to deformation, inhibiting aesthetics as well as functionality, usually limiting its use in load-bearing or other demanding applications. The solution: Utilizing technologies and processes to bond different layers of wood, like cross-lamination or glue-lamination with polyurethane adhesives. Thereby it is possible to create wood panels that maintain strength, form and functionality over time. By increasing the use of alternative raw materials, the carbon footprint of such material can further be improved. 

"This is another step towards an ever more sustainable and circular future. Thanks to our work with Covestro, we are able to supply two of our best-selling polyurethane adhesives now being manufactured using alternative raw materials. In addition and by using the mass balance approach, there is no change in product performance and all load bearing certificates of the adhesives remain. With this, we provide our direct customers as well as architects and construction companies with a solution that contributes to their aim of reducing the impact of materials on the overall carbon footprint of buildings", says Dr. Claudia Meckel, Head of Product Development Engineered Wood at Henkel. 

Henkel and Covestro both treat sustainability and fostering a circular economy with high priority. For Covestro, broadening its raw material base with bio-based or recycled solutions is key part of that endeavor. Since such alternatives are blended with conventional raw materials in the manufacturing process, segregation and allocation are challenging. To attribute the used alternative feedstock to a final product, the mass balance approach is therefore used. That is a chain of custody method allowing to mix traditional and alternative raw materials during production, but separating and allocating them to products in bookkeeping. The soundness and compliance of this approach is certified externally by the internationally recognized ISCC PLUS scheme. For the wood adhesive, all involved sites and partners of Henkel and Covestro are certified according to this scheme. 

1 share of the organic mass excluding inorganic materials


About Henkel:

With its brands, innovations and technologies, Henkel holds leading market positions worldwide in the industrial and consumer businesses. The Adhesive Technologies business unit is the global leader in the market for adhesives, sealants and functional coatings. With Consumer Brands, the company holds leading positions especially in hair care and laundry & home care in many markets and categories around the world. The company's three strongest brands are Loctite, Persil and Schwarzkopf. In fiscal 2022, Henkel reported sales of more than 22 billion euros and adjusted operating profit of around 2.3 billion euros. Henkel’s preferred shares are listed in the German stock index DAX. Sustainability has a long tradition at Henkel, and the company has a clear sustainability strategy with specific targets. Henkel was founded in 1876 and today employs a diverse team of about 50,000 people worldwide – united by a strong corporate culture, shared values and a common purpose: "Pioneers at heart for the good of generations.” More information at www.henkel.com

About Covestro:

Covestro is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of high-quality polymer materials and their components. With its innovative products, processes and methods, the company helps enhance sustainability and the quality of life in many areas. Covestro supplies customers around the world in key industries such as mobility, building and living, as well as the electrical and electronics sector. In addition, polymers from Covestro are also used in sectors such as sports and leisure, cosmetics and health, as well as in the chemical industry itself.

The company is committed to becoming fully circular and is striving to become climate neutral by 2035 (scope 1 and 2). Covestro generated sales of EUR 18 billion in fiscal 2022. At the end of 2022, the company had 50 production sites worldwide and employed approximately 18,000 people (calculated as full-time equivalents).

Forward-looking statements

This news release may contain forward-looking statements based on current assumptions and forecasts made by Covestro AG. Various known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors could lead to material differences between the actual future results, financial situation, development or performance of the company and the estimates given here. These factors include those discussed in Covestro’s public reports which are available at www.covestro.com. The company assumes no liability whatsoever to update these forward-looking statements or to conform them to future events or developments.