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Social Engagement

As a family-owned company, Eppendorf can look back on an impressive history of social engagement practiced at every level. Eppendorf’s activities as a corporate citizen are motivated by our purpose of helping to improve human living conditions. Our commitment to society focuses primarily on supporting community activities in the areas surrounding the locations where we operate. In this context, we concentrate our resources on carefully chosen initiatives and projects with which we can use our commitment to make the biggest impact. The main areas we focus on are education and science, humanitarian and social projects, as well as community and environmental projects. Since November 1, 2022, a corporate standard has governed the awarding of grants throughout the Group.

Commitment rooted in the company

We established the Corporate Citizenship & Governmental Affairs department at Eppendorf in April 2021. Its role is to engage in open and purposeful communication with stakeholders, including institutions such as industry associations, non-governmental and non-profit organizations, as well as with political decision-makers. It is also tasked with managing Eppendorf’s donations and sponsoring activities as well as monitoring their impact. The department coordinates all global and local activities in this regard based on a set of clear strategic objectives that are consistent with Eppendorf’s corporate vision and communicates them in collaboration with the Corporate Communications department. As a general rule, all sponsorship activities and donations must comply with the applicable statutory requirements, with strict ethical standards, and with our Code of Conduct.

Projects supported by Eppendorf – a few examples

Emergency aid for people from Ukraine

Immediately after the outbreak of the Ukraine war, Eppendorf SE supported a campaign of the UNICEF Children's Fund with a donation of 100,000 euros. With the help of this aid project, Blue Dots were set up for the war refugees, which serve as contact points along the escape routes and provide initial emergency care. This is to directly improve the medical and psychosocial situation of the refugees. Our locations in Poland and the Czech Republic also donated 3,000 euros to aid projects.

In addition, as part of our Corporate Volunteering program, employees in Europe were each able to take eight hours off for volunteer humanitarian work in the year under review – individually or in teams and at full pay. Some colleagues supported specially selected aid projects, others assisted refugees in dealing with the authorities or provided translation assistance.

Employees of our subsidiary Starlab also showed great willingness to help in a donation campaign. They collected urgently needed clothing for the central reception center in Hamburg.

Donation for the protection of peatlands

In 2022, the Eppendorf Market Region Europe supported the international peatland protection project “LIFE Multi Peat” via NABU (German Nature and Biodiversity Conservation Union) as one of the project partners with a donation of 15,000 euros. The project aims to revitalize about 689 hectares of peatland in Ireland, Belgium, the Netherlands, Poland and Germany. Another objective is to prevent peatlands from disappearing further due to desiccation or agricultural and forestry use. Due to their high CO2 storage capacity, they are considered an essential factor in binding greenhouse gases and thus protecting the climate.

Eppendorf Improving Life Program

The Eppendorf Improving Life Program is an international project that helps people who are unable to help themselves due to circumstances beyond their control. The program, which we launched to mark Eppendorf’s 75th anniversary in 2020, is endowed with an annual sum of 75,000 euros. that is donated to a global aid organization every year to provide substantial support for their work. Eppendorf is currently partnering with Plan International Deutschland, a children’s aid organization working to improve the living conditions of children and adolescents in over 70 countries around the world. One of the focal points of Plan International’s work is the education and empowerment of girls.

We selected the Clean Water for Ghana project for 2021 and 2022, which serves 36 communities in Ghana’s Volta, Eastern and Central region.

Donating epPoints® to support forest protection

Eppendorf launched the epPoints bonus scheme in 2005. Our customers can use the points to acquire a variety of rewards from the Lifestyle, Office and Laboratory categories, as well as selected Eppendorf products. At the same time, the epPoints scheme also gives them the chance to make a donation to a good cause. Since 2014, our customers have been able to donate their accumulated epPoints to a project chosen by Eppendorf on behalf of the association GEO schützt den Regenwald (GEO protects the rainforest). For every 75 epPoints, 1 euro is contributed to the project budget. In the period between December 2021 and November 2022, our customers donated epPoints with a total value of
3,334.33 euros. Thanks to the donation we made in 2022, GEO will plant approximately 2,228 trees in Nepal this year.

Eppendorf Award for Young European Investigators

Eppendorf established the Eppendorf Award for Young Investigators on the occasion of its 50th anniversary in 1995. The award, organized in partnership with the science journal Nature, acknowledges outstanding contributions to biomedical research in Europe based on methods of molecular biology, including novel analytical concepts. Its purpose is to provide support specifically for young, talented researchers under the age of 36. In 2022, the research prize was awarded for the 27th time. The independent Eppendorf Award Jury chaired by Prof. Reinhard Jahn selected Dr. Thi Hoang Duong Nguyen, Group Leader, at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Cambridge, UK, as the winner. She received the 20,000 euros prize for her pioneering work on the structure and function of two RNA-protein complexes essential for all higher organisms: spliceosome and telomerase.

Eppendorf & Science Prize for Neurobiology

The international Eppendorf & Science Prize for Neurobiology is also aimed at young scientists. Since 2002, the award has been granted annually to researchers under 35 years of age. The prize was established by Eppendorf in partnership with the international non-profit organization American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), which publishes the journal Science. The initiative is our way of acknowledging the increasing importance of neurobiological research in advancing our understanding of how the brain and nervous system function. In 2022, Ann Kennedy, Ph.D., Assistant Professor at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, USA won the Eppendorf & Science Prize for Neurobiology. Her work focuses on the neural population dynamics that generate and maintain our emotions and behavioral drives. Among other things, she is investigating what role specific brain regions play in shaping the drives behind survival behaviors such as fighting or fleeing.

On the occasion of the 21st award ceremony, the second alumni meeting was also held in November 2022 in San Diego, USA: 22 winners from previous years exchanged their research with each other.

Employee Christmas campaign

Germany – food for the Tafel food bank

In the run-up to Christmas, employees at the Eppendorf locations in Hamburg and Jülich collected non-perishable food and hygiene items for the local food banks. People in the neighborhood who are having a particularly hard time due to energy crisis and inflation and are unable to adequately provide for themselves benefited from the donations. In Hamburg alone, three pallets of items were collected, including more than 400 canned foods, more than 210 packages of pasta and about 130 tubes of toothpaste.

China – auction for the Shanghai Children's Home

At all locations in China, Eppendorf employees were able to buy various items they had provided themselves at a fixed price or to bid for them. These items included, for example, pictures drawn by the colleagues' children. The virtual auction raised around 1,000 euros, which were donated to the Shanghai Children's Home together with 20,000 euros from the company.