03/12/2008, Düsseldorf, Germany/Gulph Mills, Penn.


5,875 projects, 108 countries, 4,000 employees and retirees


Download: web print
Show all


Name Cindy Demers
  VP Corporate Communications
Phone +1 480-754-4090
Email Send E-Mail

Name Lars Witteck
  Head External Communications
Phone +49-211-797-2606
Fax +49-211-798-9208
Email Send E-Mail

Henkel Celebrates Ten Years of Employee Volunteer Work

Henkel is commemorating the tenth anniversary of its MIT (Make an Impact on Tomorrow) program, which supports employees and retirees involved in volunteer work. By establishing the MIT initiative in 1998, Henkel became one of the very first German companies to declare the volunteer involvement of employees and retirees to be a key element of its corporate culture and corporate social responsibility commitment.

MIT focuses on the voluntary social engagement of employees and retirees. Henkel itself does not initiate any projects. The employees are the driving force and core of all projects, responsible for the selection, planning, organization and ultimately the implementation of these projects.  

Creation and development of MIT
Early in the 1990s, Henkel was faced with the challenge of how it would deal with the increasing number of requests for donations submitted by external aid organizations, associations and charitable initiatives. Based on the concept of corporate volunteering, Henkel subsequently founded the MIT Initiative in 1998 and decided to focus on investing in the global charitable projects in which its employees and retirees are involved.  In the first year, MIT only focused on project applications and support for approved projects at its headquarters location in Düsseldorf-Holthausen, Germany. One year later, in 1999, MIT was expanded to encompass all Henkel locations in Germany. The group of company retirees was particularly active from the very beginning. The financial support provided to their charitable work was viewed as corporate recognition of their competence and know-how. The project work enabled them to apply their skills and experience for the good of society. In 2002, MIT was further expanded on an international level. All Henkel employees and retirees around the world had the opportunity to submit their applications for financial support and thus become a part of the MIT program. In the last ten years, more than 4,000 employees and retirees have been involved in performing volunteer work in more than 100 countries. During this time, Henkel has promoted and supported close to 6,000 MIT-related projects.

MIT under the “Henkel Smile” umbrella
MIT represents one of the three cornerstones of the Henkel Smile program. The company has grouped all its corporate citizenship programs under the Henkel Smile umbrella. In addition to the MIT Initiative, there is the Henkel Friendship Initiative, which provides immediate assistance to people in case of natural disasters or personal emergencies, as well as Social Partnerships (company and brand involvement), a program focusing on donations as a means of providing targeted support to local communities and promoting social development projects.

Henkel support
As an employer, Henkel supports the diverse projects of the Henkel Smile program with financial, in-kind and product donations, and in some cases, providing paid time off for participating employees. In this way, Henkel closely links its donations to the personal commitment of its employees and retirees. The advantage of the system is that Henkel’s donations are used in a targeted, effective and transparent manner. At the same time, the company supports and motivates the volunteer charitable work of its employees. The amount of support provided to a particular project is always based on the level of involvement of the respective employees and retirees. 

Henkel Smile – A smile spreads around the world
In terms of its corporate values, Henkel is committed to operating in a sustainable and socially responsible manner. Wherever Henkel does business around the world, the company assumes responsibility for its products, technologies and its social environment. Within the context of the Henkel Smile program, Henkel has grouped all its social involvement programs and international corporate citizenship activities that go beyond its business undertakings, providing support to social, educational, scientific, sports, health, artistic, cultural and environmental projects. Henkel Smile is responsibility put in practice, and an important component of the company’s sustainability-oriented approach.

Henkel in North America                                                                                  
Henkel markets a wide range of well-known consumer and industrial brands in North America, including Dial® soap, Purex® laundry detergent, Right Guard® antiperspirants, got2b® hair gels, and Loctite® adhesives.

For more than 130 years, Henkel has been a leader with brands and technologies that make people's lives easier, better and more beautiful. Henkel operates in three business areas - Home Care, Personal Care, and Adhesives Technologies - and ranks among the Fortune Global 500 companies. In fiscal 2007, Henkel generated sales of 13.074 billion euros and operating profit of 1,344 million euros. Our 53,000 employees worldwide are dedicated to fulfilling our corporate claim, "A Brand like a Friend," and ensuring that people in more than 125 countries can trust in brands and technologies from Henkel.