100 years of tangible history

The milestones of Piepenbrock's 100 year history allow lively insights into the tangible history of the family-run business. It is marked by a variety of interesting, exciting and important events that influenced the course of history.

1913–1919

1913 August Etgeton establishes an "Institute for cleaning services" in Osnabruck.
1914–1918 During the First World War, the company founder's wife, Elisabeth Etgeton, keeps the business running.


The first advertisement from 1914 describes the expansion of the window cleaning business to include room cleaning.

1920–1929

1920   The business is expanded to include the ladder/scaffolding division.


The scaffolding material is transported on modern vehicles.

1930–1939

1939 – 1945  During the Second World War, the company is frequently required to help in life-saving operations after heavy bombing.


Large areas of Osnabruck are in tatters towards the end of the Second World War.

1940–1949

1944   Company founder August Etgeton dies at the age of 52. His wife Elisabeth and his daughter Ellinor take over the business.
1945 In the final days of the war, the two scaffolding stores are destroyed in a bomb attack.


Elisabeth Etgeton (m.), her daughter Ellinor and her husband Eduard rebuild the company at the end of the war (1953).

1950–1959

1950–1953  Under the leadership of Elisabeth Etgeton, the company enjoys an economic upturn.
1935 Joint owner Elisabeth Etgeton dies. In her place, son-in-law Eduard Piepenbrock takes over leadership of the company.
1955 Eduard Piepenbrock's son Hartwig joins the company.
1956 The company's vision is directed beyond regional boundaries – Piepenbrock opens a branch in Rheine that co-ordinates contracts throughout the Emsland area. A national network of branches is established.


The Essen branch receives an extensive fleet of vehicles upon foundation (1959).

1960–1969

1963 In Osnabruck, staff move into the new office and factory building.
1969–1978 Through numerous acquisitions, the company further strengthens its place in the market.


In 1976, an opening ceremony is held for the new head office in the Hannoversche Strasse.

1970–1979

1971 At the age of 60, Eduard Piepenbrock dies from injuries relating to a traffic accident. Piepenbrock joins forces with Osnabruck Metallwerke Kampschulte (OSMEKA).
1975 The company acquires a 50 percent share in the cleaning chemical manufacturer Planol. In 1978, Piepenbrock becomes the sole shareholder.
1977 By taking over Walter Giese + Co. in Hanau, Piepenbrock becomes the largest property cleaning company in the Federal Republic. Further acquisitions follow.


By taking over Walter Giese + Co., it becomes the largest property cleaning company in Germany.

1980–1989

1981 Piepenbrock adds the pyrotechnic manufacturer Feistel to its portfolio, which holds a leading position in the area of defence.
1982 By acquiring Loesch Verpackungstechnik, Piepenbrock becomes active in the market of packaging machines.
1986 Taking over Hans Stamm KG (now called Hastamat) expands the portfolio in packaging machine construction. Further acquisitions follow.
1988 Piepenbrock celebrates its 75th anniversary. The executive partners launch the cultural foundation, Hartwig Piepenbrock, which presents the Piepenbrock award for sculpture every two years. The company opens branches in France and Luxembourg.


Packaging machine from the 80s.

1990–1999

1990 In East Germany, 19 joint ventures and three own branches are established.
The position of environmental representative is created and the first environmental report of the Piepenbrock Group is published.
1991 Piepenbrock establishes a health and safety and environmental protection file.
1992–1994 Sites in Poland, the Netherlands, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary and Austria are opened.
1994–1995 A management system for quality, occupational safety and environmental protection is established and certified in accordance with DIN EN ISO 9001:1994.
1996 An occupational safety management system SCC is realised along with its certification.
1997 Hartwig Piepenbrock's son Olaf joins the company.
1998 In the machine construction division, business is concentrated on the successful brands LoeschPack and Hastamat.
The business of security services is bolstered by a take-over of the security company Deutscher Schutz- und Wachdienst (DSW) in Berlin.
For the Service Center in Osnabruck, a guide is created with rules of conduct on environmental protection and occupational safety.
1999 Piepenbrock parts ways completely from the pyrotechnic division, with the exception of Hans Hamberger AG. Foreign businesses are sold off with the exception of branches in Austria.


In the 90s, Piepenbrock is active throughout Europe.

2000–2009

2000 Hartwig Piepenbrock's son, Arnulf, joins the company.
2001 A change takes place at management level: Arnulf and Olaf Piepenbrock take over the family-run business as the fourth generation.
2002–2010 While the maintenance and security services are expanded further, the scaffolding division is sold.
2003 "Wirtschaftswoche" ranks Piepenbrock second among the biggest recruiting companies in Germany.
The company introduces an innovative six-fold waste separation system for office waste in the Service Center – the recycling rate is 92 percent.
2004 Piepenbrock is certified with the quality management system "QM-Vita" in accordance with DIN EN ISO 9001:2000.
2006 Piepenbrock further education is recognised as a central organisation in accordance with the approval and certification ordinance for continuing education.
2009 The technology centre is opened in Osnabruck for practice-orientated training and further training of employees in the property cleaning trade.


In 2001, Arnulf and Olaf Piepenbrock took over the leadership of the company as the fourth generation of the family.

2010–2019

2010 The "Piepenbrock Goes Green" project is launched. In co-operation with the child welfare organisation, Plan International Deutschland, Piepenbrock takes on 63 child sponsorships for girls and boys in Laos.
2011 Piepenbrock publishes a sustainability report as the first company in its area of industry.
2012 As the last remaining affiliated company of Pyrotechnik, Hans Hamberger AG in Switzerland is sold.
2013 Piepenbrock celebrates its 100th anniversary. In co-operation with the child welfare organisation, Plan International Deutschland, the "Piepenbrock Clean Water" project is launched, which by 2016 will connect
eight villages in Laos to a vital supply of drinking water.
2014 The study “Deutschlands beste Arbeitgeber” by the news magazine Focus and the career network Xing ranked Piepenbrock as second best employers within its branch.
The family-owned company shifts its CSR-report to the Internet.
2015 According to the study "Deutschlands beste Arbeitgeber" by the news magazine Focus and the career network Xing, Piepenbrock belongs to the best employers within the service industry.
2016 Already for the third time, the Osnabrück-based building service provider Piepenbrock positioned itself among the most employee-friendly organizations in the study "Deutschlands beste Arbeitgeber" by the news magazine Focus and the career network Xing.


Together with Plan International, Piepenbrock launches the "Piepenbrock Clean Water" project.