05/13/2008, Düsseldorf / Germany


100,000 euros for MIT anniversary project

Henkel marks ten years of employee volunteering commitment

For ten years now, Henkel has been supporting its employees and retirees around the world in their socially important volunteering activities. The chosen vehicle is the MIT Initiative (Make an Impact on Tomorrow), and in order to celebrate its tenth anniversary, Henkel intends to support a specially selected project with a grant of 100,000 euros. With the establishment of the MIT Initiative in 1998, Henkel was one of the first German companies to recognize the volunteering activities of its employees and retirees as an essential component of its corporate culture and social responsibility. In this anniversary year, the focus is on developing an international MIT network which effectively integrates the efforts of all these volunteers.

Henkel’s MIT Initiative is celebrating its tenth anniversary this year. The MIT is one of the three pillars supporting the Henkel Smile umbrella under which the company pursues its corporate citizenship activities. By establishing the MIT Initiative in 1998, Henkel assumed a pioneer role among Germany’s corporations. The success story of the MIT over the last ten years provides a shining example of how employees, retirees and CSR-aware companies can benefit from each other and work together in order to make a globally significant contribution to social development. After ten years, the proud MIT balance is that, to date, more than 4,000 employees and retirees from Henkel have been involved in around 6,000 projects covering over 100 different countries.

Focus on internationality
In this anniversary year, the emphasis will be on developing and expanding the international MIT network. The objective is to enable the MIT Initiative to profit in its work and in its projects even more than it has in the past from the internationality of the company and its employees. Hence, on May 9, the annual Round Table of the MIT in Düsseldorf-Holthausen was attended for the first time by over 70 employees and retirees from all parts of the world with the prime purpose to exchange views, knowledge and experience and to pool their ideas on how the future of the MIT Initiative should look.
100,000 euros for anniversary project
As a surprise present on the occasion of this auspicious gathering, the participants of the Round Table were informed of a special grant. To mark the anniversary, Henkel intends to make 100,000 euros available to a selected project. Now all Henkel employee and retiree volunteers from around the world are being asked to seek out a worthy undertaking. The selection of the winning project will be made by a jury in the course of this year. The project will be special not only because of the high level of funding but also due to the fact that a truly international MIT project team of volunteers will be carrying out the work “on the ground”. Working together, these Henkel employees and retirees from various countries and continents will be aiming to take the project to a successful conclusion within a predetermined timeframe.

Henkel Smile brochure
In keeping with the ten-year anniversary and coinciding with the advent of the Round Table, the current Henkel Smile brochure has now been published. On its 36 pages it provides an overview of the worldwide social involvement of Henkel outside the company’s business activities. The focus in this MIT anniversary year is on specific, individual social volunteering activities involving the company’s employees and retirees. Because nothing illustrates the incredible success of the MIT Initiative over the last decade more graphically than the projects themselves. The Henkel Smile brochure can be requested directly from Henkel Corporate Communications, 40191 Düsseldorf, Germany, or by sending an email to: press@henkel.com.