At Freudenberg, corporate citizenship has always been an integral part of corporate leadership and is practiced both inside and outside the company. The Group’s aim is to be a responsible corporate citizen in all states, countries and communities where it does business, and to be recognized as a good neighbor. For Freudenberg, corporate citizenship goes beyond the value chain – with many hundreds of projects around the sites.
- To strengthen its corporate citizenship, Freudenberg launched the “e²” (education and environment) international program in 2015. The objective is to give people access to education and work and to encourage environmental protection. e² complements existing initiatives based on a catalog of specific criteria. Over a 6-year period, Freudenberg is making available funds totaling €12 million.
- Numerous projects to help refugees again demonstrated that Freudenberg offers support where aid is needed. Some 70 projects funded so far provide emergency aid in Germany and the crisis zones as well as supporting integration through education. With these projects, Freudenberg along with numerous other German companies, is supporting the Wir zusammen (We together) initiative of German industry.
The following two examples illustrate the long-term nature of the local projects:
- Since 2009, Freudenberg has been offering young people the opportunity to complete dual study courses to qualify as welding technicians, plumbers, electricians, motor mechanics or machinists at a non-profit training center in Nagapattinam, in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu south of Chennai. So far, some 400 young people have successfully set out on a career since the center was founded. The Nagapattinam region, with a population chiefly comprising low-income agricultural workers and fishermen, was very hard hit by the tsunami in 2004.
- An elementary school was rebuilt with Freudenberg’s help and opened in 2009 in Haijin, a village in Sichuan province, China, hit by an earthquake in May 2008. Freudenberg employees visit the school each year and organize various activities such as the summer school project, extra tuition and a Christmas party. A new multi-function hall was inaugurated in July 2016.
All projects focus primarily on children and young people and their social, language, educational and vocational integration.