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Oerlikon has a global footprint of 207 sites in 38 countries. Generally, we adopt the Think Global and Act Local approach in supporting local communities, as each country has different needs.

In 2021, we implemented a number of social programs. We do not currently track the total amount of monetary support or manhours we provide. However, we are pleased to share some of the stories of how our employees joined forces to help in times of crisis and how they are actively supporting their local communities.

Answering COVID-19’s Call to Action
Operationally, COVID-19 created challenges in ensuring safety for Oerlikon’s workforce and adhering to local legal regulatory requirements in each location where we have facilities. Caring for employees meant allocating the resources and formulating the policies necessary to enable remote working. At the same time, it was essential to provide support to ensure that employees did not feel isolated or limited in their ability to perform at their best.

In addition, Oerlikon looked at ways it could be of service to communities around the world in response to the pandemic. A “Tower of Hope Contra Corona” campaign was launched globally to raise money. Employees were encouraged to build towers made from different objects in line with the theme and share these photos with their colleagues. The thinking behind this simple idea was to allow employees to stay connected, exercise creativity and have some fun while raising money. CHF 20 000 were raised and donated to Doctors Without Borders.

We also provided free nonwoven materials to social institutions in Germany to equip masks with an adequate filtration system produced on our equipment.

Supporting Local Communities
We sprang into action when flooding hit villages in Germany and its neighboring countries during July 2021. Some of those villages were home to Oerlikon employees. At very short notice, management arranged for all qualified employees to have three extra days of paid leave so they could take care of their properties and/or help colleagues, families and friends affected by the flooding. They provided material and moral support, including generators, water and food. Some employees who own vacation homes made those available at no cost to colleagues who had been left homeless. We also donated EUR 20,000 to the Chamber of Industry and Commerce in the Bergisch district.

Although the damage was less devastating in the Netherlands, the plant was closed early on Friday afternoon to allow all employees an extended weekend to take care of their families and properties.

In 2021, we also contributed to the local community in Latin America via engagement projects. For example, we organized a blanket drive for communities in Querétaro, México; and a Children’s Day focused on environmental and sustainability education in Jundiaí, Brazil. Since 2020, we have been supporting the Banco de Tapitas civil association in Mexico by organizing a collection drive of plastic caps that they later sell to recyclers. The money generated was then used to support children diagnosed with cancer. In June 2021, the money from our collection drive enabled the association to purchase more than 200 baseball caps for childhood cancer patients.

In Italy, our colleagues have been supporting the local community “I Bambini delle Fate” for the past four years. It provides economic support to help people with disabilities or autism through regular fundraising activities.

In India, we funded the construction of a school (see case study here) and donated an atmospheric water generator to the Jawaharlal Nehru Planetarium to provide drinking water to the more than 100 children visiting per day, since the region is affected by water scarcity.

These activities are a testament to the generosity of our employees, who are ready and willing to provide services to communities in need. Oerlikon is proud to support their volunteer and charitable efforts.


Sara Vermeulen-Anastasi

Sara Vermeulen-Anastasi

Head of Group Communications