The award is the result of a study carried out by the Faktenkontor agency with scientific assistance from the International School of Management (ISM), and which was carried out on behalf of Focus Money and Deutschland Test.
Over a period of one year (1 December 2015 to 30 November 2016), the study examined more than one million social media sources and more than ten thousand online messages posted by the 5,000 German companies with the most employees. Statements on the following factors impacting reputation were evaluated:
- Performance through sustainability
- Performance by management
- Employer performance
- Economic performance
- Product and service performance
The ranking was carried out by industry segment. In the mechanical engineering sector, Freudenberg achieved second place among 281 companies with 94.2 of 100 points, and received the award "Highest Standing" with the distinction "Best Reputation". First place went to ThyssenKrupp, with Kärcher in third and VOITH coming in tenth.