Freudenberg - Innovating Together

Freudenberg - Innovating Together

Corporate citizenship

​​​​We see corporate citizenship as an integral part of our responsibility for society. Many Freudenberg Group companies, sites and associates engage in local projects and initiatives, providing concrete aid in the spirit of responsible corporate citizenship. Listed below are some of our more significant projects from around the world. The chronicle describes the notable and important tradition of social responsibility in the Freudenberg Group.​​



India: Freudenberg Training Centre Nagapattinam Freudenberg Training Centre NagapattinamAlthough the devastating tsunami that hit South East Asia happened back in 2004, the impact is still felt today. At the time, ten Freudenberg associates were immediately affected and one actually died in the disaster. Shaken by the catastrophe, the Freudenberg Management Board decided to help. To build on the emergency accommodation, medical help, food and clothing provided by the aid agencies, Freudenberg was planning its own long-term assistance – very much in keeping with the company's philosophy. <br> <br> <iframe width="700" height="500" src="" frameborder="0"></iframe> <br> <br> <br> With active support from employees of Klüber India, a very well-organised project team headed by Jörg Matthias Großmann, Regional Representative for India and Executive Vice President of Freudenberg Chemical Specialities, got down to work in 2005. To start with, the Indian colleagues identified which region was particularly hard hit and what kind of long-term help might be needed.<br><br>Ultimately, the team identified Nagapattinam in the Indian province of Tamil Nadu south of Chennai. With its mainly rural population and fishing communities, this area was hardest hit by the tsunami, with an exceptionally large number of affected families. <br> <br>The project team decided to build a training centre in Nagapattinam to provide young people with the basis for a better future and to meet the above-average need for training of a high standard. The centre will give young people the opportunity to train as welders, plumbers, car mechanics or machine fitters under the dual training system, a unique concept in India. Once they have completed their training, these young people stand a good chance of earning their own living as well as helping to improve the region's infrastructure.<br><br>An association called "Freudenberg Help India e.V." was set up in Germany to ensure project financing and overcome numerous bureaucratic obstacles. The Indian-based "Freudenberg Tsunami Victims Rehabilitation Foundation" (FTVRF), which now runs the training centre, began its work in 2006. FTVRF is supported by an advisory Board of Trustees made up of representatives from German companies in India such as Bayer, Henkel, Mico-Bosch and Thyssen-Krupp, as well as members of aid organisations, lawyers and tax consultants. <br> <br>Once the project team had found a suitable site in Nagapattinam in February 2007, an architecture competition for the approximately one million Euro training centre was launched. Six months later, construction work began. In May 2008, the first 78 young people could begin their training, which was to last one or two years depending on their chosen trade. Experienced training specialists from Weinheim had already drawn up apprenticeship programmes, and machines from all over the Freudenberg Group were sent to India. <br> <br>The training centre in Nagapattinam was officially inaugurated on March 26, 2009. Around 300 guests, including members of the FTVRF Board, attended the ceremony, some of them travelling to Nagapattinam from very far afield.<br><br>"Here in Nagapattinam, our training programme is exclusively based on the German apprenticeship system and is of a standard previously unknown in India," Jörg Matthias Großmann emphasised at the opening ceremony. He used the opportunity to honour the exceptional commitment of Freudenberg's Indian colleagues, without whom the project would not have been possible.<br><br>Four classrooms, four workshops, planning rooms and a canteen are now located on the approx. 57,000 m2 site. A maximum 130 apprentices have access to the centre's own library and computer room, giving them the opportunity to extend their knowledge beyond what they learn in the classroom. Training costs between 150 and 170 Euros a year, and the apprentices can work off these fees if they are not in a position to pay them.<br><br>A microprocessor-controlled stamping machine donated by Yasunari Unemara, Managing Director of EKK EagleIndustry Co. Ltd., Tokyo, provides the apprentices with very practice-relevant training. The machine features CAN technology and gives the young people the opportunity to learn about computer-supported processes. <br> <br>The Freudenberg training centre has now been given "State Level Recognition" by the State of Tamil Nadu and is already well known in the region. The centre marks the first step for young people and their families in the region on the path to a more secure and better future.
China: Earthquake Aid Project Earthquake Aid Project​On 31 August 2009, the Freudenberg Group officially opened the new primary school in Haijin village, near the city of Jiangyou, in time for the beginning of the school year. Guests attending the ceremony included the German Ambassador to China, Dr. Michael Schäfer, and the Consul General of Chengdu, Hans Mondorf, as well as other high-ranking local officials. The family-owned German company rebuilt the village school that had been completely destroyed by the horrific earthquake in the Sichuan region on May 12, 2008. Alongside immediate financial assistance, Freudenberg launched this long-term aid project as a gesture of help for and solidarity with the affected people. It is one of the company's largest aid projects outside Germany.<br><br><img alt="Hanno D. Wentzler Eröffnung Grundschule Haijin.png" src="/en/Responsibility/Socialresponsibility/PublishingImages/Hanno%20D.%20Wentzler%20Eröffnung%20Grundschule%20Haijin.png" style="width:688px;" /><br><br>To finance the project, the company established the Freudenberg Help e.V. charity, shortly after the catastrophe. Members of the charity coordinated the project and made available the funds needed to rebuild the school. The funds were largely made up of donations from Freudenberg and its employees. Chinese Group companies also donated tangible goods and provided personnel services.<br><br>“We are committed to embracing social responsibility in all the countries and communities in which we do business, and we have long-standing business ties with China. One of our offices is located in Chengdu, only 200 km away from the school. That is why we felt a strong sense of responsibility to provide long-term support for a region that has suffered such pain and distress from the catastrophic earthquake," Hanno D. Wentzler, President & CEO of Freudenberg Chemical Specialities and Freudenberg Regional Representative for China commented at the opening ceremony. "We are proud to give the children of Haijin village the prospect of a bright future."<br><br>The new school carries Freudenberg's name in Chinese and is called Haijin Ke De Bao Primary School. In order to prevent another such disaster, Freudenberg placed great importance on making the school earthquake proof. The foundations were reinforced with 86 tons of steel, allowing the school to withstand earthquakes measuring up to 9 on the Richter scale. The two-storey school building extends to around 1,000m² and can accommodate up to 300 pupils. Additional facilities include a canteen of over 120m², a playground, a sports ground and a surrounding wall. Children were educated in temporary buildings while the construction works were taking place. As an emergency measure, employees of a Freudenberg company donated warm winter clothes in December 2008 to enable them to attend school in the unheated temporary buildings.<br><br>Freudenberg is striving for a long-term partnership with the school. Employees have voluntarily initiated a sustainable support programme that includes teacher training, provision of school supplies, books for a library and education support for poor children.<br><br>The school opening ceremony was also attended by the school's children and their parents, teachers, media, the Freudenberg project team and employees of the Group in China. The construction of the school was completed in just six months and is among the first reconstructed schools from a foreign donor.<br><br>Every summer since the school’s opening, Freudenberg managers have agreed to spend a few days at the school teaching the young people in various subjects.<br><br><br><br>
Chronicle<ul><li><strong>​2011</strong><br>Following the natural disaster in Japan on 11 March, the management of Freudenberg called on employees to make donations to help affected colleagues in our Japanese partner company, NOK Corporation. The result exceeded all expectations. By early June, we were able to make a donation of 438,000 Euros. Of this sum, 219,000 Euros came directly from employee donations. This amount was then matched by the company itself.</li></ul><ul><li><strong>2009</strong><br>Freudenberg opened a new primary school in the Chinese village Haijin, near the city of Jiangyou. The company rebuilt the village school, which had been completely destroyed by the devastating earthquake in the Sichuan region on 12 May 2008.</li></ul><ul><li><strong>2005</strong><br>To promote tolerance, charity and community spirit, Freudenberg set up the "We do something" project fund. Every year, clubs, institutions and groups can apply to the fund for support with their projects.</li></ul><ul><li><strong>2</strong><strong>005</strong><br>In India, Freudenberg launched a sustainable support project designed to relieve the effects of a devastating tsunami in 2004. In Nagapattinam in Tamil Nadu province, a training centre was established to provide young people living there with a basis for a better future. Since then, the Freudenberg training centre has received "State Level Recognition" certification from the state of Tamil Nadu.</li></ul><ul><li><strong>2002</strong><br>The company-wide initiative "We all take care" is started, based on the company’s business principles. The aim was to promote the safety and health of all employees, the environment, the awareness of corporate responsibility and site security.</li></ul><ul><li><strong>1999</strong><br>To celebrate its 150th anniversary, the company set up the TANNER youth programme. This enables the children and grandchildren of employees across the world to travel to other Freudenberg locations and to stay as guests of the families of company employees. The company also made a donation to the city of Weinheim, covering two-thirds of the cost of restoring the city hall.</li></ul><ul><li><strong>1990</strong><br>The partners set up the Carl Freudenberg support fund with a capital of 10 million DM for employees suffering severe financial hardship and for the payment of death benefits.</li></ul><ul><li><strong>1985</strong><br>The new pension scheme for the administration of company pensions entered into force. </li></ul><ul><li><strong>1984</strong><br>The partners set up the Freudenberg Foundation with a capital of 3 million DM. This foundation is a limited partner of the company, without voting rights. Its aim is to support the integration and promotion of disadvantaged groups and to encourage cultural projects.</li></ul><ul><li><strong>1962</strong><br>To celebrate his 70th birthday, the partners gave Richard Freudenberg the annual sum of 500,000 DM for a period of 10 years to support projects of his choice.</li></ul><ul><li><strong>1958</strong><br>To commemorate his 70th birthday, Hans Freudenberg set up the Heiner and Walter Freudenberg Foundation to support gifted young people. This foundation operated from 1960 to 1978.</li></ul><ul><li><strong>1957</strong><br>To mark the 100th birthday of master craftsman Georg Böhler, a prize was established for the graduates of vocational training schools. This prize was awarded every year up to 1970.</li></ul><ul><li><strong>1949</strong><br>On the occasion of the company’s 100th anniversary, the partners set up the Home Construction Fund. At the same time, two foundations with a 10-year term were donated to the cities of Weinheim and Schönau for the support of citizens in need.</li></ul><ul><li><strong>1942</strong><br>To mark his 50th birthday, Richard Freudenberg donated 100,000 Reichsmark to the city of Weinheim for the construction of an indoor swimming pool. Walter and Annie Freudenberg donated the same sum in 1948 for the same purpose, to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Walter Freudenberg joining the company.</li></ul><ul><li><strong>1938</strong><br>To mark the 90th birthday of Friedrich Carl Freudenberg, the partners in Weinheim set up the Carl Freudenberg Foundation to support young people. Further funds were bestowed on the foundation in 1940 from the will of Helene Freudenberg.</li></ul><ul><li><strong>1924</strong><br>After the end of hyperinflation and the currency reforms, the balance of the foundations’ funds were consolidated and handed over to the company's health insurance fund for administration.</li></ul><ul><li><strong>1918</strong><br>Richard Freudenberg drew up the "service premium contract", an interest-bearing share in the company capital from which its employees would benefit. Workers were allowed to enter the scheme up to 1929. After that date, no further contracts were concluded, but interest was paid out for many years until the death of the last contract partner in 1992.</li></ul><ul><li><strong>1914</strong><br>On the day of mobilisation for the First World War, Hermann Ernst Freudenberg set up a support fund for the families of the men called up to war. The company invested 1 Gold Mark per man per day. Employees joined in with voluntary contributions.</li></ul><ul><li><strong>1905</strong><br>The company, as sole contributor, established a complementary benefit fund for employees.</li></ul><ul><li><strong>1904</strong><br>To mark their silver wedding anniversary, Hermann Ernst and Helene Freudenberg set up a widows’ and orphans’ fund with a capital of 150,000 Gold Marks. Widows received 200 Marks per annum and orphans 50 Marks p.a.</li></ul><ul><li><strong>1903</strong><br>Friedrich Carl Freudenberg set up an improvement fund with a capital of 100,000 Gold Marks and income of 4,000 Gold Marks per year. This fund guaranteed a small company pension to invalids from occupational diseases and accidents suffered at work.</li></ul><ul><li><strong>1902</strong><br>Donation of municipal public baths to Schönau city</li></ul><ul><li><strong>1894</strong><br>On the occasion of their golden wedding anniversary, Carl and Sophie Freudenberg set up an assistance fund for employees and their families in financial hardship, with a capital of 100,000 Gold Marks and income of 6,500 Gold Marks per year.</li></ul><ul><li><strong>1893</strong><br>Construction of a kindergarten in Schönau, donated to the Schönau parish by Friedrich Carl Freudenberg.</li></ul><ul><li><strong>1889</strong><br>Johanna Freudenberg founded a church-run nursing station in Schönau.</li></ul>
"We do something""We do something"Support for social institutions and initiatives in the communities where the Freudenberg Group operates is one of the company’s basic principles and is derived from the corporate guidelines. Since the resources available for such work are always limited, Freudenberg directly supports projects that deal with issues of tolerance, charity and community spirit. The donation is linked to the achievement of specific aims. Projects can receive financial support up to a maximum of 5,000 Euros.

Freudenberg's commitment to social responsibility is practised both inside and outside the company, and there are numerous employee assistance and support programs. In 1999, on the occasion of the company's 150th anniversary, the TANNER youth exchange program for the children and grandchildren of employees was launched.

The Freudenberg Foundation is the largest Partner of the Freudenberg Group. In keeping with its statues, the Foundation’s earnings are used to promote science and education and to strengthen peaceful coexistence in society. The work of the Foundation focuses on children and young people. All projects seek to integrate these groups into society.
All employees are encouraged to avoid risks to people or the environment. The aim is, as far as possible, to exceed all local laws, regulations and mandatory standards. That is, to work and behave in such a way that compliance with the minimum requirements of the applicable laws is beyond question.