Mar 18, 2022

Providing help where it's needed

Our support for Ukraine

The global community and we at Henkel are looking at the war in Ukraine with shock and concern. Henkel vehemently condemns this war of aggression. As a global company with employees from more than 120 countries, we firmly believe that mutual respect, humanity and the peaceful resolution of conflicts must prevail.

Within the first 48 hours, Henkel has launched a solidarity aid program of more than 1 million euros. A substantial part goes directly to our 600 employees in Ukraine as emergency financial aid. We are also offering all Henkel refugees and their families safe accommodation. We have meanwhile extended the volume of our solidarity aid program to a total of more than 5 million euros containing product donations and a comprehensive cooperation with our long-term social partner “Habitat for Humanity”.

Product and financial donations, for example to the International Red Cross and the German disaster relief coalition Aktion Deutschland Hilft e.V., are also part of our aid package. On top, we are supporting Henkel employees who volunteer at the borders by giving them paid time off.

For many Henkel employees, it was no question: We want to help. Our colleagues organize fundraising campaigns, arrange accommodation for refugees, start private caravans with aid supplies to the border, and continue to donate money to aid organizations. To date, almost 100,000 euros have been collected in private donations alone. This commitment is paying off: The amount will be doubled via the Fritz Henkel Stiftung Foundation.

Here are some examples showing how our local teams are rolling up their sleeves to provide help.

A wave of solidarity at Henkel in Slovakia

Whether it is private donations, pick-up trips from the border, or privately hosting refugees, the Henkel team in Slovakia is committed and has initiated many aid projects that support the people in the war zone and refugees. For example, a hotline has been set up for Henkel employees and their family members who are on Ukrainian territory. This hotline serves as a point of contact for them; they get important information, assistance in leaving the country or offers of help after arriving at the border. Henkel volunteers spend several hours a week, in addition to their jobs, answering the inquiries of these colleagues via the hotline.

“I am overwhelmed by the wave of support and solidarity shown by our team during these challenging times, and I thank everyone for their incredible willingness to help and their commitment!”

Christian Schulz, President of Henkel Slovensko

In addition to private donations and a call to action for blood donations to ensure continued medical care, Henkel employees in Slovakia also collected donations in kind, including cribs and mattresses for a refugee center in the town of Sliač. The donations were transported there directly.

Taking action in Hungary

Yes to offering help – but how? Colleagues at Henkel in Hungary quickly set up a volunteer group called the “rescue angels network”. Immediately, more than 50 employees signed up, offering 80 places in their own houses or apartments to take in refugees. The network also organized transfers from the Ukrainian-Hungarian border as well as donations in kind ranging from food and blankets to laundry services, and other direct aid.

"We consider it our duty to provide help to our Ukrainian colleagues and their families in this dramatic situation. I am proud to experience the altruism and willingness of the Hungarian team offering accommodation, transport and very hands-on direct care. We are one global Henkel team, and we must never forget this!"

Ágnes Fábián, President of Henkel Hungary

Rural regions receive help from expats in Austria

After the outbreak of the war, many Ukrainian expats in Vienna immediately initiated aid campaigns. One of them is Elena Eller, Head of Category Management Beauty Care CEE. "I am in touch with refugees who made it to a small village in western Ukraine. There, the small school and sports center were converted into a refugee camp, which now houses about 40 women and children."

More rural regions are often overlooked, as many aid deliveries focus on the larger cities. Elena Eller's contact with this village came through a former school mate who had launched a call for help. Together with her colleague Zsuzsanna Szak, General Manager Beauty Care in Budapest, she privately organized donations. Henkel colleagues from Hungary then transported the donations to the Ukrainian border. From there, the relief supplies were delivered to the small Ukrainian village, again privately organized.

“Guardian angel team” up to help families in Poland

Our employees in Poland did not hesitate to offer their help and formed a so-called guardian angel team. In addition to coordinating, accommodating, and picking up Ukrainian colleagues and their families, the team primarily support them when they arrive, to find their way in a foreign country. The volunteer group assist the refugee families in organizing a new life in Poland. Each arriving family is accompanied by a personal "guardian angel".

A group of refugees carrying their bags and walking ahead.

Henkel volunteers support Ukrainian families arriving in Poland.

Opening doors and perspectives in Germany

In Germany, too, there are many Henkel employees who are committed to helping. They organize aid caravans with donations or provide accommodation for refugees. Like Christine Turchetti, who works at the Henkel Fragrance Center in Krefeld. She took in two Ukrainian mothers and their daughters, who are now finding peace and safety for the time being. What motivated Christine Turchetti to open her doors? "My mother often told me that as a child she herself had to flee several times with her family. She could still remember vividly what it was like not knowing where to go or where to stay. My mother would be proud of me for giving her home to people in need," says Christine Turchetti.

These are just a few examples out of many people who provide practical help in these terrible times. They show that we as a society and we as a company with a global responsibility can act quickly and rely on each other, especially in a crisis like this. We stand together and show solidarity, across national borders.

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