01/20/2005, Düsseldorf

 

 

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Name Michael-Rolf Fischer
  Corporate Communications, Local Affairs & Sponsoring
Phone 0049-211-797-4191
Fax 0049-211-798-4040
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Name Ernst Primosch
  Corporate Communications
Phone 0049-211-797-3533
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Social Responsibility:
Henkel Placed in Top Ten
World's first ever study into corporate social responsibility / German business magazine "Manager Magazin" commissions analysis of 80 European corporations / Independent committee of experts

Düsseldorf Four German corporations appear among the first ten leading European companies ranked by social responsibility. In the study commissioned by the renowned German business magazine "Manager Magazin" and presented this week in Berlin, Henkel was placed 10th out of 80 European corporations. The independent jury comprising leading experts in the fields of corporate social responsibility and corporate citizenship thus acknowledged the level of social responsibility shown by Henkel as a company and its wide-ranging engagement at home and abroad. The expert committee awarded Henkel high scores in the categories personnel development, social involvement, financial performance, transparency and environmental protection. With effect from the start of 2005, the company has brought all its corporate citizenship and social responsibility activities under one umbrella in the form of the "Henkel Smile" program.
The "Manager Magazin" people explained their decision to commission a study into the corporate social responsibility of major companies in Europe stating that, in this age of globalization and the deregulation of social systems, it is becoming ever more
important to include the social aspects of the business models and operations of companies when assessing their performance.

Prof. Dr. Ulrich Lehner, chairman of the Henkel board, responded to Henkel's placement in Europe's top ten with the following words: "This high ranking is the result of our long-standing and successful strategy to institute a wide range of activities in keeping with our position in society and the social responsibility that derives from this. Our economic objectives have never been allowed to collide with our obligations as a corporate citizen. Companies such as Henkel that have firmly their sights set on the long-term development of their enterprise value must, when planning for growth, take environmental and social aspects into account as these are critical both to their corporate reputation and to maintaining a solid basis for their continued existence.

The independent committee of experts awarded high points to Henkel in the personnel development category, citing in particular two initiatives that have been in place since 1998. Through these, the company has specifically promoted social projects run - in their spare time and on a voluntary basis - by current and retired employees of the company from all around the world. Through these programs, the company has provided support and sponsorship for projects in the fields of social amelioration, schools and education, health, art and culture, science, the environment and sport. However, Henkel is also directly engaged in these self-same fields within the framework of its Community Involvement program involving support and sponsorship activities implemented at its site locations around the world. The company maintains transparency in relation to its social involvement through a wide range of information media for its current and retired employees as well as for public consumption, with the financial resources assigned to each project also being readily disclosed.

Henkel Smile
Since the beginning of this year, Henkel has pooled all its international corporate citizenship initiatives, i.e. the socially aligned activities extending beyond its business operations, under the "Henkel Smile" umbrella. Incorporated within this program are sponsorship and community involvement activities, donations management and the MIT initiative (Make and Impact on Tomorrow) in which Henkel provides financial and material support for, in particular, social projects and institutions in which its own current and retired employees are engaged on a voluntary basis. And there is more: Henkel is also endeavoring to join with its business partners in a common acceptance of their joint social responsibilities.