Henkel Smile: Three core elements for society

To align our social engagement more to our strategy and corporate objectives and to communicate it more clearly and transparent we have structured our global activities around three core elements:

  • MIT (Make an Impact on Tomorrow) – Employee engagement
  • Emergency aid in response to natural catastrophes
  • Social Partnerships – Corporate and brand engagement for the common good.

Some 730,000 people were helped worldwide through Henkel Smile projects in 2010.

Focus on employee volunteering

In Germany, it has been supported since 1998 through the Make an Impact on Tomorrow (MIT) initiative. Since 2002, MIT has been operating internationally. By now, we devote some 40 percent of our funds available internationally for MIT projects. We support activities in the areas of social needs, education and science, health, culture and ecology. Employees and retirees who do volunteer work in their free time may obtain funding for their project of up to 10,000 euros, five days paid time off from work, or product donations. Professional advice from staff in the donations department is also available at any time to employees and retirees.

Photo MIT’s 10th anniversary project, Guatemala

MIT’s 10th anniversary project

On the occasion of MIT’s 10th anniversary, Henkel provided an extraordinary subsidy of 100,000 euros to support a project in Guatemala. The project was selected from among 86 applications. It provides 120 families in a rural village with the help they need to help themselves. The support includes schooling for the children, access to clean water, the construction of a health center, and improvements in agricultural productivity. Henkel employees from Guatemala are implementing the project in a team together with local cooperation partner HELPS Changing Lives. The local MIT network in Guatemala and Henkel employees from other MIT networks are also involved in the project.

Emergency aid in response to natural catastrophes

When natural catastrophes occur, Henkel is quick to respond with immediate aid, donated via the Fritz Henkel Foundation with minimum bureaucracy wherever it is needed worldwide. The company provides direct financial support or in-kind donations to populations in need. Special care is taken to ensure that all donations reach the people for whom they are intended.

Photo Haiti I.S.A.R. Germany

Emergency aid and engagement in Haiti

The earthquake disaster in Haiti in January 2010 mobilized aid organizations all over the world – including International Search and Rescue Germany (I.S.A.R.). This non-profit association is the only non-governmental organization in Germany to be accredited by the United Nations and specializes in search and rescue operations and medical care for victims buried in rubble. In 2009, Henkel first provided support for I.S.A.R. through an MIT project of a Henkel trainee. Two days after the earthquake, Henkel decided to provide emergency aid for the earthquake victims through I.S.A.R. and donated 20,000 euros in immediate aid for operations on the ground.

Through other aid organizations, Henkel also donated 50,000 bars of soap, 2,880 bottles of shampoo, and 32,400 units of wound adhesive for the medical care of the Haitian people. Furthermore, we assisted our employees and retirees with funds, so that they could provide help after the earthquake through their existing local projects. We were thus able to additionally support seven children’s projects in Haiti with a total of 61,700 euros.

Following the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, Joschka Jugelt, trainee at the plant fire department at Henkel in Düsseldorf, and Henning Steff (r. in photo), a former Henkel intern, asked the company for support for I.S.A.R. Germany. Both of them do volunteer work in their free time for this emergency aid organization.

Social Partnerships – Corporate and brand Engagement for the common good

Through social partnerships, we mainly support social initiatives in the communities where our sites are located throughout the world. In social partnerships, Henkel and its brands support training and continuing education and facilitate access to knowledge. Social partnerships strengthen the link between the steadily expanding social aspects of our sponsoring activities and our social engagement, while always maintaining a strict distinction between donations and sponsoring. We have been able to inspire numerous partners to join us in assuming responsibility and providing support for social projects. Through Corporate Donations, we support social initiatives and public institutions around the world. One of the main aims of our donations initiative is to invest in training and continuing education, and to make knowledge accessible. Political parties are not supported.

Brand engagement

Our alignment toward sustainability also encompasses the social engagement of our brands. In Egypt, for example, our Pril brand has cooperated with the charitable Egyptian Food Bank (EFB) since 2008. The bank’s mission is to provide orphans, senior citizens, widows, socially disadvantaged families, and other needy persons with food. Five percent of the sales revenue of each sold Pril bottle goes to the EFB. Since the start of this engagement, Pril donations have been used to support more than one million people in Egypt. From 2011, similar programs will be supported by local Henkel brands in other countries of North Africa.

Example: Cooperation with Egyptian Food Bank
Our alignment toward sustainability also encompasses the social engagement of our brands. In Egypt, for example, our Pril brand has cooperated with the charitable Egyptian Food Bank (EFB) since 2008. The bank’s mission is to provide orphans, senior citizens, widows, socially disadvantaged families, and other needy persons with food.

Five percent of the sales revenue of each sold Pril bottle goes to the EFB. Since the start of this engagement, Pril donations have been used to support more than one million people in Egypt. From 2011, similar programs will be supported by local Henkel brands in other countries of North Africa.

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