Being a manager entails much more than simply being a good boss. It is about taking responsibility for the company and for society as a whole. At ElringKlinger, a progressive corporate culture goes hand in hand with a culture of responsible leadership. Social responsibility has always formed an integral part of ElringKlinger’s DNA. Indeed, it has been actively practiced since the company’s inception.

The history of ElringKlinger AG can be traced back to Paul Lechler. Together with his father, the company’s original founder decided as early as 1875 to donate to charity 10% of the profits generated by what was then a family business. Paul Lechler supported various social projects throughout his life. In 1916, for example, he had a convalescent home for tropical diseases built in Tübingen, a hospital known today as the “Paul-Lechler-Krankenhaus”. In 1928, Paul Lechler set up a trust and stipulated in his will that its charitable work should be continued after his death. This tradition has been fully embraced ever since – through the work of the aforementioned trust. Its efforts are underpinned to a large extent by ElringKlinger’s commercial success as a company. The Lechler Stiftung supports charitable projects in the fields of education and health, in addition to providing assistance for youngsters, the elderly, and the disabled. In 2008, the charitable trust introduced the Paul Lechler Award in recognition of innovative community projects in Baden-Württemberg.

At ElringKlinger, managers follow the example set by the company founder: social projects form an essential part of the HR development program for young professionals. The global “EKDrive High Potential Program” is dedicated to developing young talent for Group-wide management and expert roles. Alongside an individual project, this 18-month management program also includes a social project. The participants come together according to region, conceive and present ideas for projects, and then put them into practice. The three teams currently assigned to this program have committed themselves to very different social projects – but their ambitions are always the same: they are passionate about their work and want to make a lasting contribution.

» ElringKlinger is committed to a forward-looking management culture that not only produces excellent leaders but also focuses on its responsibilities to society as a whole. «

Thomas Jessulat, CEO ElringKlinger


Housing and food insecurity, physical and mental health as well as age-appropriate housing – there are numerous challenges for elderly people in everyday life. Five colleagues from the USA, Canada and Mexico have launched the “EK Senior Living Program” to help seniors in need in their everyday lives. The idea came from a project member from Mexico, where many elderly people live in precarious circumstances. As part of the project, the team carries out various activities at ElringKlinger sites and works together with retirement homes and NGOs. In spring 2023, for example, the team entered a partnership with a long-term care home near Leamington, Canada. After a fundraising marathon, ElringKlinger employees visited the nursing home, built raised beds together with the staff and residents and planted herbs and vegetables there. In Toluca, Mexico, ElringKlinger employees collected donations and were able to sponsor a refrigerator and an armchair for the residents of a retirement home. The project team’s long-term goal is to set up a system in which ElringKlinger employees regularly support elderly people in their everyday lives.

a voice

With their project “DEAFPRIDE – Amplifying Silence”, nine colleagues from China, India and South Korea want to draw attention to the fact that deaf people have a voice in society. Affected children and young people need special educational support and often find it difficult to find a job after leaving school. The project team collects donations through various activities at ElringKlinger sites and outside the company to provide support in everyday life and educational opportunities. For example, handicrafts were sold at the Family Day in Changchun, a Christmas market was held in Qingdao and the team took part in the New Year event in Suzhou. In Pune, employees were informed about the project at a family day and High Tea event, while the team organized a coffee afternoon in Gumi-si. With the donations, the team supports partner schools for deaf children and equips a library, for example, or procures water filters for clean drinking water. Another sponsorship is with local bakeries where deaf people work. Cakes were ordered from the bakeries at the events – a huge success, and not only in terms of taste!

Less waste
and greater environ­mental awareness

Raising environmental awareness while making a positive contribution to the devastating effects of natural disasters: this is the aim of the “EK Clean-Up Days” launched by eleven colleagues from Germany, the UK, Turkey, and Spain. The objective of the events is to bring together as many employees as possible for one day and collect garbage in the vicinity of ElringKlinger plants. The Management Board donates a sum of money for every kilogram of garbage collected. The donations collected will benefit aid organizations supporting the victims of the earthquake that struck Turkey in early 2023. The first EK Clean-Up Day took place in Bursa last November – 40 dedicated employees collected more than 1,200 kilograms of garbage in under four hours. This was followed by a leisurely get-together with refreshments. Further EK Clean-Up Days are scheduled for Reus, Dettingen, and Redcar in spring 2024. The initiative has also been well received at other company sites, such as Bietigheim-Bissingen. In the future, the project team can well imagine establishing Clean-Up Days as a regular event within the Group.