Leading in Technology and Responsibility

At Freudenberg, success is financial success and fulfilling the company’s responsibility for society and the environment. The two goals are inseparably linked and are firmly anchored in the company’s Guiding Principles. Values are important, which is why Freudenberg is supporting the United Nations Global Compact initiative that is committed to a more just and sustainable economy.

In 2021, Freudenberg stood out as an agile and flexible global technology company, with a scientifically based standard of progress. Our employees are experts in leading technological products, services and solutions that are used in thousands of applications and about 40 market segments. Our seals, vibration-control components, technical textiles, filters, cleaning technologies, specialty chemicals and medical-technology products make a valuable contribution to the success of our customers around the world. The company has always been family-owned, and the values of founder Carl Johann Freudenberg have kept the company grounded. We have been true to them since 1849.

Creative technical solutions with excellent quality. That’s what Freudenberg stands for. Our success is rooted in our technological expertise and capacity to innovate, guided by the mission to create a sustainable future.

Standing up for Sustainability

Freudenberg stands for excellent technologies and innovation. But that is not enough for us: In a networked and globalized world, we want to set benchmarks in other fields as well – primarily in climate protection and in our company culture.

Any company recruiting skilled workers throughout the world, as Freudenberg is doing, needs multifaceted offerings and robust interactions so that it can respond to the central questions of equal treatment of young and old, different genders and people from different backgrounds, on the local and cultural levels. Our company culture should allow all Freudenberg employees to contribute their strengths. We want to bring these different capabilities together and apply them constructively to our success.

The idea is to deal responsibly with raw materials and resources as well as our own energy transition, which is making climate-neutral manufacturing possible. In accomplishing this mission, Freudenberg can highlight its excellence and future viability in a measurable way and draw comparisons. Success in our work is in part determined by how sustainable we are.

The Guiding Principles of the Freudenberg Group are devoted to value for customers, leadership, responsibility, innovation, people, and a long-term orientation. Two of the Guiding Principles are especially relevant to “Responsibility for Society".

Responsibility

Our company and its family shareholders together are committed to protecting the environment and being responsible corporate citizens in all countries and communities in which we do business. We take all possible care to ensure the safety of the workplace and of our products. As a family company, we strive for the highest standards of personal behavior. Fairness and integrity guide our conduct amongst ourselves, towards our business partners and the general public.

People

As a family company, we are devoted to our employees’ well-being and personal development. We reject all forms of discrimination and harassment and show understanding and respect in our dealings with each other. We promote a multi-cultural environment where employees work together in worldwide teams to enrich our culture and capability. We believe in the value of enduring relationships with customers, suppliers and industrial partners.

Freudenberg is a values-based technology company that feels a responsibility to its customers and society.

Responsibility for society encompasses five areas at Freudenberg:

  • Sustainability
  • Health & Safety and Environmental Protection
  • Corporate Citizenship
  • Compliance
  • Human Rights & Labor

All these themes are anchored in the Freudenberg Values and Principles and in the Code of Conduct. Freudenberg employees are aware of their responsibility. It motivates international teams to deal with the environment and society sustainably at all times. Employees on these teams work closely with one another across borders and lay the foundation for successful, respectful collaboration.

Commitment to Social Responsibility

Responsible and pro-active conduct has a long tradition at Freudenberg. It is part and parcel of the values that the company has lived and breathed over its 172-year history. With the signing of the United Nations Global Compact, we affirmed our support for its ten basic principles on human rights, labor standards, anti-corruption, and environmental protection, to which the United Nations agreed in 1987. And we are committed to the 17 Sustainable Development Goals that were proclaimed as a global framework in 2016, shortly after the Paris climate conference. Since 2019, Freudenberg has prioritized eight of the 17 goals to which it can make an important contribution.

Sustainability Development Goals of Freudenberg

Commitment pays off!

The winners of the “We all take care” Award

Since its launch in 2002, the global initiative “We all take care” has honored employees who are especially committed to making work safer, healthier and more environmentally friendly, or who have made a commitment to society. A total of 14 projects from the entire Freudenberg world made it to the finals. There were 205 submissions, and many of them revolved around climate protection and sustainability.

1st place

  • “Climate protection through solvent substitution,” Freudenberg Chemical Specialities
  • “Less dust in nonwoven production,” Freudenberg Home and Cleaning Solutions
  • “Electric energy management system,” Freudenberg Medical

Three teams shared first place. All three projects show the seriousness with which Freudenberg is increasing energy efficiency, CO2 reduction and material efficiency. They are more proof that the door is wide open to innovations affecting sustainability and climate protection. The project team from Freudenberg Chemical Specialities in Munich achieved positive climate effects with an environmentally friendlier solvent. A Freudenberg Home and Cleaning Solutions team has developed a sustainable nonwoven mix posing no harmful health effects. The team and the project impressed the jury, as did the Freudenberg Medical team from Ireland with its reduction in energy consumption using simple methods.

2nd place

  • „Talk, listen & care“, Freudenberg Oil & Gas Technologies

The COVID-19 pandemic has placed new demands on employees. Loneliness and the feeling of being overwhelmed by professional and personal challenges intensified when employees turned to remote work. With its “Talk, listen & care” program, the team from Freudenberg Oil & Gas Technologies in Port Talbot, United Kingdom, succeeded in enlisting volunteers to help their colleagues with anxieties and psychological problems. With outstanding execution, the project tapped into the potential for using personal contact. It also took mental health seriously as an important basic need.

3rd place

  • “Safety Detectives in Bursa,” Vibracoustic

Just 15 seconds of thought is enough to sharpen awareness of a task and to avoid work-related accidents that have severe consequences. The Vibracoustic project team has taken ownership of this insight and has developed a playful approach to sensitize employees to this simple but effective rule. As part of the project, 28 participants slipped into the role of safety detective to uncover potential hazards on the shop floor. They stuck one puzzle piece on the board for each hazardous activity. At the end, this produced the slogan “Think for 15 seconds before you start working” as the solution. It was a humorous yet memorable way to sharpen the awareness of safety.

The UN Global Compact Progress Report 2021 by Freudenberg

This is how Freudenberg applies the United Nations Global Compact and the Sustainable Development Goals.