Chemical and consumer goods company Henkel has signed a five-year agreement with Shell Chemical to replace up to 200,000 tonnes of fossil feedstocks used in the manufacture of its most popular laundry products with renewable alternatives.

The agreement will cover surfactants – an ingredient in cleaning products that creates lather and helps remove dirt – used in Henkel’s Persil, Purex and other brands sold in North America, the company said on 17 January.

“This… cooperation significantly advances Henkel’s share of renewable-based ingredients in leading consumer brands in North America,” Henkel chief sustainability officer Ulrike Sapiro said.

Replacing up to 200,000 tonnes of fossil feedstocks with renewable alternatives has the potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by up to 120,000 tonnes of CO2 during the five-year agreement, according to estimates by Shell.

As part of the agreement, from this year Shell would use up to 200,000 tonnes of renewable feedstocks in a combined manufacturing process (along with fossil feedstocks) to produce surfactants.

Using the mass balance approach, an independent accounting process would be applied allowing Shell to attribute the total tonnes of renewable feedstocks used in the process solely to Henkel. This mass balance process and attribution would be verified by an independent, third-party certification organisation.

The surfactants would be produced at the Shell Energy and Chemicals Park Norco and Shell Geismar Chemicals facility in Louisiana, Henkel said.

“We are investing in our chemicals facilities, including on the US Gulf Coast, to scale up Shell’s sustainable chemicals capabilities,” Robin Mooldijk, executive vice president, Shell Chemicals and Products, said.

Henkel is active in the adhesive technologies, consumer brands (comprising laundry & home care products) and hair product sectors.