No poverty

Goal 1 of the global goals defined by the United Nations for sustainable development is to end poverty in any form and everywhere. It is one of the greatest challenges of modern times that affects every member of society and the consequences of which can be felt everywhere. To eliminate poverty, we are committed to various projects such as our co-operation with Plan International Deutschland e.V.

Zero hunger

Goal 2 of the global goals defined by the United Nations for sustainable development is to end hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture. We support this goal with, among other things, joint projects with Plan International Deutschland e.V.

Good health and well-being for people

Goal 3 of the global goals defined by the United Nations for sustainable development is to ensure a healthy life for people of all ages and to promote their well-being. To ensure and enhance the well-being of our own employees, we initiate comprehensive occupational safety and health measures and organise days of action such as the 'Health Day' or flu vaccinations free of charge. Furthermore, by promoting and participating in sporting events such as the Dresden Marathon or the Rubbenbruchsee Race, we bring the subject of health to the foreground.

Quality education

Goal 4 of the global goals defined by the United Nations for sustainable development is to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all. Education is a human right. We not only offer our own employees regular training courses and further education in our company's own academy, we also promote numerous education projects Germany-wide for young students, for example the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship, the Management Information Game or the 'Future Day for Girls and Boys', for example.

Gender equality

Goal 5 of the global goals defined by the United Nations for sustainable development is to achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls. We also support equal rights for all. We have, for example, signed the Charta der Vielfalt (Charter of Diversity) and take part in 'Diversity Day' every year. For our commitment to lesbian, gay, bisexual as well as transgender and intergender employees, we were awarded the "Pride 500" Supporter Seal of Approval.

Clean water and sanitation

Goal 6 of the global goals defined by the United Nations for sustainable development is to ensure the availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all. We avoid water pollution using ecological technologies and cleaning methods as well as environmentally-friendly cleaning agents within the framework of our ecological cleaning service. In developing countries, we also promote access to clean drinking water through our child sponsorships and the Piepenbrock Clean Water Project.

Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure

Goal 9 of the global goals defined by the United Nations for sustainable development is to build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization, and foster innovation. We support this goal in developing countries through our co-operation with Plan International Deutschland e.V., but we also work continuously on the development of new innovations and technologies to ensure our own company success.

Reducing inequalities

Goal 10 of the global goals defined by the United Nations for sustainable development is to reduce income inequality within and among countries. The reduction of these inequalities contributes to sustained economic growth and strengthens the cohesion of a society. We support this goal with our commitment to diversity in the company and equal rights for people of different ethnicities.

Sustainable cities and communities

Goal 11 of the global goals defined by the United Nations for sustainable development is to make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable. With our co-operation with Plan International Deutschland e.V., we make a contribution to achieving this goal.

Climate action

Goal 13 of the global goals defined by the United Nations for sustainable development is to take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts. We make a contribution to achieving this goal with a wide variety of measures such as the 'Growth' campaign in our company-owned forest, the provision of low-emission and environmentally-friendly services, the creation of an annual CO2 balance, as well as energy-efficient and sustainable property or premises.

Peace, justice and strong institutions

Goal 16 of the global goals defined by the United Nations for sustainable development is to promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels. We support this goal through, for example, diverse fundraising campaigns for a wide variety of non-profit organisations, for example within the framework of our annual Santa Claus campaign or participation in the Dresden Marathon.

Partnerships for the goals

Goal 17 of the global goals defined by the United Nations for sustainable development is to strengthen the means of implementation and revitalise the global partnership for sustainable development. We therefore not only collaborate with the Plan International Deutschland association to support developing countries, but also maintain partnerships with different institutions such as research and educational institutes on national and regional level. This includes, for example, our co-operation with the German Centre for Neurodegenerative Diseases.

Whether as an employee, customer or part of society – people are at the centre of our attention. We acknowledge the responsibility we have towards our employees and customers and strive towards long-term co-operation. Motivated employees form the basis for our company success and ensure the satisfaction of our customers. As a family company, however, we also bear responsibility vis-à-vis society. Social commitment and the promotion of research and education, art and culture as well as sport are as much part of the basic values of our corporate culture as our commitment to employee and customer satisfaction.

Social commitment for the benefit of society

Assuming social responsibility with community projects

As a family company with more than 26,800 employees, we also bear social responsibility. We are therefore involved in various regional, national and international projects and initiatives.

Socially active with Plan International Deutschland

In co-operation with the children's charity Plan International Deutschland, we have been involved in helping underprivileged and socially disadvantaged children since 2010. With our branch offices and affiliated companies, we have assumed sponsorships for a total of 70 children – 44 children from Laos and 26 children from Vietnam.

Together with the inhabitants of the different regions, Plan International implements projects to improve hygiene, sanitation and drinking water. The charity organisation also takes care of education possibilities for the children and ensures, for example, the provision of school materials, teaching personnel and the necessary infrastructure.
With child sponsorships, we support these projects and help to establish schools or health centres, carry out vaccinations or enable access to clean drinking water. Our aim is to improve the living conditions of the children, their families and communities by helping them to help themselves in the long-term.

In addition, our commitment promotes exchange between the different cultures, as our sponsors regularly send personal letters to the children, reporting on their daily lives.

Piepenbrock Clean Water

Alongside the child sponsorships, we have implemented another social project together with Plan International. To celebrate our 100-year company anniversary, we set up the project "Piepenbrock Clean Water" in the year 2013. Here, we enabled access to essential clean drinking water for communities in the Pak Tha region in Laos.

The Pak Tha region is one of the poorest regions in Laos. The health and hygiene conditions are inadequate. In the rural areas, beyond the traffic network, only about 16% of all households have their own latrine. Access to clean and safe water sources is problematic, leading to disease. With the project "Piepenbrock Clean Water", we therefore called on our employees, customers and business partner to become active and donate to the project. In the project period between 2013 and 2016, total donations of 100,000 euros were made; this money was used to build and repair drinking water facilities and water pipes.

On the whole, we used the donations to provide access to clean and safe drinking water in 13 villages and for around 4,500 people. We also built or repaired child-friendly toilets and washbasins in seven school for more than 600 girls and boys. The village inhabitants were also involved in the project. Once they had been trained in the maintenance and repair of water pipes as well as the topic op hygiene, they took part in the construction work and used local building materials. Subsequently, a water committee was established for each community to make decisions in future regarding the level of charges for the use and maintenance of the drinking water system. This means that the members of the community have not only clean drinking water, but also the necessary knowledge to ensure the supply on their own in future.

With the Piepenbrock Clean Water project and child sponsorships, we have donated a total of approximately 294,000 euros to Plan International Deutschland since 2011.

Non-profit Santa Claus campaign

In 2012, our trainees carried out the Santa Claus campaign for the first time. In the meantime, it is part of the tradition in the period leading up to Christmas. Just in time for St Nicholas Day, our employees in the Service Centre can purchase chocolate Santas with a Christmas message for their colleagues from our trainees. Colleagues who have been gifted the little treats find them at their place of work on St Nicholas Day. We donate the proceeds of the campaign for a good cause every year.

Partnership with Osnabrück Zoo

Since 2013, we have been one of the sponsors of Osnabrück Zoo. A zoo is unable to finance itself and remain economically viable on its own, rather has to rely on support from third parties. With our commitment, we make a contribution to ensuring that the zoo remains a popular regional attraction as a recreational and educational facility. To ensure this, we also participate in various special projects such as the "Lions for Lions" campaign, set up by Osnabrück Zoo to raise funds for the necessary extension of the lion enclosure.

Research and education for a secure future

We have been involved in various research and education project for many years now. On the one hand, we want to provide a young person with orientation for their future career and, on the other hand, support scientists in their work in areas that still require research.

Hartwig Piepenbrock DZNE award

Since 2011, we have been awarding the Hartwig Piepenbrock DZNE prize every two years. This is our way of drawing attention to neurodegenerative diseases such as dementia or Alzheimer's and their severe effects on patients, raising awareness in society for this issue. To date, there are neither suitable prevention strategies nor effective treatment possibilities for these diseases. This is why we set up the Hartwig Piepenbrock DZNE prize together with the German Centre for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE) in the year 2011.

We award the prize of 60,000 euros to persons who acquire outstanding knowledge with regard to the mechanisms of neurodegenerative diseases through their research work, thus making a major contribution to further research into these diseases. The prize is also dedicated to Hartwig Piepenbrock, who successfully led our family company for more than 50 years and himself suffered from dementia before he died as a result of the disease in the year 2013.

Patronage of the German Foundation for Dementia

We are an official patron of the German Foundation for Dementia and support it with 10,000 euros every year. Furthermore, our executive partner Olaf Piepenbrock is a member of the foundation board, thus representing the foundation externally and providing advice for decisions.

The foundation promotes research into neurodegenerative diseases and provides corresponding financial support. This support also includes the activities of the German Centre for Neurodegenerative Diseases. The aim is to make further medical progress and improve the treatment of those suffering from the diseases today. Over and above this, the issue of dementia is to become less of a taboo and prejudices related to the diseases and those affected are to be reduced.

Future Day for Girls and Boys

Every year, we take part in the "Future Day for Girls and Boys". Schoolchildren can sample the air in a working environment and gain insight into the day-to-day work in our company. Whether in our different branch offices in the whole of Germany or in our Service Centre – on Future Day the students get to know not only our different specialist departments and apprenticeships. We also inform them about our history, our range of services and our commitment to sustainability. For the entire day, the participants are supported by our trainees and apprentices, who also plan the event in advance.

Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE)

Together with the association Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE), we provide schoolchildren with an insight into the world of business at an early stage. Together with their teachers, the children create their own business models and business courses. This is intended to encourage the entrepreneurial spirit and creativity of the students as well as develop their understanding of economic topics.

We have been working with NFTE since 2007. In addition to financial support, we also provide training rooms and every year host the "NFTE Student Prize for Entrepreneurial Spirit" for the state of Lower Saxony in our Piepenbrock Technology Centre.

Management Information Game (MIG)

Playfully learning about economic contexts – we enable this for schoolchildren from Osnabrück with the Management Information Game (MIG). With the support of experienced instructors from business, young people found and manage their own virtual company in this business game. Within one week, they develop a strategy and present it to a jury. Important here is to present the acquired skills and knowledge of business management, product development and marketing precisely and market them successfully. The jury then evaluates the developed strategies. The Management Information Game (MIG) helps the students in their career orientation. We have been promoting the game since 2007 and provide both the premises and the respective instructors.

Co-operations with Osnabrück schools

With two school co-operations, we also participate in the project "School – Business" of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCI) Osnabrück – Emsland – Bentheim county. We have been working with the Schinkel comprehensive school since 2013. The co-operation with the Osnabrück cathedral school was added in the year 2015.

On a regular basis, students from these schools can immerse themselves in the working environment at Piepenbrock in different projects to get to know our company, our apprenticeships and the career opportunities we offer. The students can also exchange information with our trainees, participate in job application training courses and have their application folders checked. We also have various offers for teachers and parents.

With our involvement, we want to support young talent in their choice of career. The aim of the entire project is to make it easier for students to enter professional life and simultaneously support companies in the competition for specialist personnel.

Piepenbrock StudyUp Award

With the Piepenbrock StudyUp Award, we honour outstanding bachelor and masters theses. Since 2015, we have been awarding the prize of 500 euros to students at the University of Osnabrück. In doing so, we not only encourage young talents and contribute to their further development, but also as an Osnabrück company simultaneous reinforce our close partnership with the University of Osnabrück as well as our links to the region. We are therefore also active in the promotional organisation of the University of Osnabrück.

Donor of the 'Germany Scholarship'

Alongside our commitment to schoolchildren, we also support college and university students. Our branch office in Greifswald, for example, donates the 'Germany Scholarship' in co-operation with the University of Greifswald. This has been awarded to since 2011 to students with very good exam results. In addition, honorary social engagement and the assumption of responsibility play a role in allocation of the award. The recipients of the scholarship receive a monthly total of 300 euros, of which 150 euros is paid by the federal government and the other 150 euros by the private donors. With our involvement as 'Germany Scholarship' donors, we strengthen links to the region together with the University of Greifswald.

Strengthening the arts and culture

We have been supporting cultural and artistic projects for many years now. Art and culture characterise our society and symbolise the values that help the members of society find orientation. With our projects, we promote and strengthen both regional and national arts and culture.

Piepenbrock Arts Patronage Award

Every year, we provide the Piepenbrock Arts Patronage Award of the University of Osnabrück. In doing so, we honour talented up-and-coming artists for their outstanding achievements and invest in their future. The students' works are evaluated by a jury comprising renowned art experts. Since 1994, awards have been given in the areas of painting, drawing, sculpture, graphic reproduction, scenic art, media art, graphic design and photography.

Regional cultural involvement in Dresden

We are also involved in regional cultural initiatives in Dresden. As a donor to the 'Friends of the State art Collections Dresden', we support acquisitions, restorations and research projects in the museums in and around Dresden.
Over and above this, as a sponsor of the foundation to promote the Semperoper opera house, we campaign to maintain and develop music and theatre.

Connecting people with sporting events

Sport connects people of different generations, countries and cultures. Tolerance, fairness and respectfully interaction are in the foreground here and are encouraged. As a company with employees of different origins, we also identify with these values and are actively involved in various sporting events and projects.

Dresden Marathon

Every year, more than 8,000 running enthusiasts meet in Dresden on the second-last weekend in October to take part in the Dresden Marathon. Over the classical 42.195 km, the half-marathon distance, the ten kilometres, the tenth-marathon or the marathon relay, numerous professional and amateur athletes run through the state capital of Saxony – past the sights of Dresden such as the Semperoper, the Großer Garten (English: Great Garden) or the Elbe.

Since 2010, we have supported the event with various sponsoring activities. On each occasion, our own Piepenbrock team consisting of employees, customers and partners, join the starting line-up to collect donations. For each kilometre run, we donate one euro for a good cause in the Dresden region. In past years, we have supported for example

  • The municipal child day-care centres in Dresden
  • A breakdance project of the 135th Dresden primary school
  • The kitchen training of "Luby Service", the workshop for mentally handicapped people organised by Cultus gGmbH Dresden, as well as
  • The World Children's Play Day 2020 in Dohna.

In doing so, we link sporting and social involvement.

Company relay race around the Rubbenbruchsee

The company relay race around the Rubbenbruchsee is a race for a very good cause, organised by the HelpAge Germany association. Every year, numerous teams from different companies, institutions and schools take part. For some years now, a team from our group of companies also runs in the race.

The sporting competition is not in the focus of this event, rather the good cause. Related to the participation are donations with which we support the various projects of HelpAge Germany.

Sponsoring of the 'Active Dreierpack' series of races

In the meantime, the 'Active Dreierpack' series of races has become established in the region, attracting numerous running enthusiasts to the track every year. It comprises a total of six races in the city and Osnabrück administrative district which anyone can enter. As a sponsor of the event, we not only award the prizes for first place and organise a raffle for all participants. To promote team spirit and strengthen cohesion, we have also set up a Piepenbrock team ranking as an addition to the existing individual ranking. There, clubs / associations, companies, groups or running communities can enter as teams. A team consists of three persons with at least one woman or one man. In the same way as the individual ranking, the joint participation in three of six races is a prerequisite for entering the team ranking. Every year, a Piepenbrock team also competes in this series of races.

Playing football for a good cause

Our "Piepenbrock Allstars" are also active on the football pitch. A team consisting of employees who enjoy playing football not only meet regularly to train together, but also frequently exchange sporting blows with other companies of the region or with customer teams. In the past, for example, our footballers played a charity game against a selection of employees from the Solarlux company in Melle. This was linked to sponsoring for the young players of SV 28 Wissingen. The "Piepenbrock Allstars" also took part in a football tournament of the Haste gymnastics and sports club. The resulting proceeds were used to support the youth department of the Haste gymnastics and sports club.

Employees as the centrepiece of the company

Our employees are important to us. We therefore invest not only in their training and further education and ensure through occupational safety and health measures that health risks are reduced, we also strengthen the sense of community with different projects and campaigns and promote diversity in our company.

Acquiring, binding and encouraging employees

In a personnel-intensive industry sector, employees form the basis of company success. At Piepenbrock, we maintain a close relationship to the workforce and initiate various measures to acquire, bind and encourage employees. Our commitment is also underscored in the "Top National Employer" award from Focus magazine, XING and kununu, which we have received every year since 2014.

We aspire to develop our employees effectively and consistently. Our competitiveness depends to an appreciable degree on the know-how and skill of our workforce. This is why have set up our own in-house Piepenbrock Academy. Here, external instructors and company-internal experts hold numerous seminars every year. As regards content, the range of education and training services cover both discipline-specific and methodical topics, as well as topics intended to expand social and personal skills.

Just as important as the further training of our existing employees is the acquisition of new qualified colleagues for our company. Here, our Personnel Development works closely in the application process with the respective specialist departments and branch offices to find the optimal employees for the respective positions in our company.

When they start in our company, we familiarise new employees intensively and prepare them individually for their new tasks. The new colleagues get to know our company as well as the respective responsibilities and processes. After 100 days, they can also hold a discussion with their supervisor to reflect on their experience so far, jointly analyse strengths and weaknesses, discuss suggestions for improvement as well as create a plan of action for further co-operation. These processes are also part of our quality management.

Specific promotion of new talent

New young talent is our future. The promotion of talent therefore also plays a major role in our company. We offer school-leavers, students as well as graduates various interesting entry options for our company.

Whether in an internship, in an apprenticeship, a dual course of study or in the trainee programme – we place high value on personal support for our young talents during their entire period of training. For example, we offer are trainees in cleaning service courses to prepare for intermediate and final examinations. Both in education and in the course of study, theory and practice are closely linked. Over and above this, master classes as well as a training course for GEFMA-certified Facility Management Specialists are part of our offer.

We also offer our young talent exciting activities outside of day-to-day work in the company such as trainee project days in the company-owned forest or trainee football tournament.

More information on Piepenbrock as an employer and current job advertisements can be found in our career portal.

Occupational safety & health to protect our employees

For us, our employees are our most important capital. The well-being and health of our employees are therefore particularly important to us. Only healthy employees can draw on their full performance capability and thus contribute to our company success.

In some cases, the day-to-day work of our workforce involves a number of dangers. For example, handling cleaning agents, machines and systems or special circumstances at the workplace require special health and safety measures. In order to reduce occupational accidents to a minimum and protect the health of our employees, we have implemented a comprehensive health and safety and environmental protection management system for the entire workforce. We examine this regularly in internal and external audits.

Over and above this, we provide information to our employees in our intranet regarding the health and safety measures implemented in our company, the correct working clothes and personal protective equipment, as well as our operating instructions for handling cleaning agents, machines and devices. We also test these regularly on the basis of the safety regulations, both before their use and during their use. We also save the data regarding the cleaning agents we deploy in a work and environmental protection database and check for alternatives before they are used. In this way, we guarantee our employees are protected against work-related health risks.

Within the framework of our company health examinations, we offered our employees in the Service Centre in Osnabrück flu vaccinations free of charge for the first time in the year 2019.

Bicycle leasing offers many advantages

With bicycle leasing, we offer our employees a healthy and environmentally-friendly possibility to remain mobile, and they can also cut costs. With a monthly deferred compensation, employees in our company can lease a new, high-quality bicycle or eBike. In doing so, our employees contribute to environmentally-friendly mobility and improve their health with regular use. At the same time, they receive tax advantages.

Joint projects strengthen cohesion among employees

Our employees should feel at ease in our company. We therefore bring them closer to the company with various activities and strengthen solidarity.

Piepenbrock Sustainability Days

Since 2014, we have been organising 'Sustainability Days' at Piepenbrock. For a whole week, we offer our employees in the Service Centre in Osnabrück numerous events to investigate social, ecological or economic questions and find out more about the sustainable commitment of Piepenbrock. The offer is diverse, ranging from lectures and workshops, through massages and sporting events, all the way to test drives with electric vehicles and a bicycle check.

Piepenbrock Health Day

To promote the health of our employees, we organised a Health Day in the year 2012 and have been organising it every year since 2017. Here, our employees in the Service Centre in Osnabrück receive useful advice and suggestions to protect and promote their health in daily working life.
The programme includes various health tests such as running analysis or blood sugar and blood pressure measurement, as well as lectures on healthy sleeping, vegan and Ayurvedic nutrition or the function principle of chiropractic medicine. Our employees have also received tips on how to do short attentiveness and relaxation exercises.

Regional employee events in the branch offices

Whether in summer with ice cream and barbecue buffet or in winter with mulled wine and cookies – summer and Christmas parties are part of the fixed programme at many of our branch offices every year. The anniversaries of our branch offices or reaching milestone numbers of employees are also celebrated with parties. Our board of management also board supports branch offices who have achieved anything special with an additional budget for the organisation of employee parties.

It is important to us that events such a these express our appreciation of our employees and motivate them to continue to perform well. It is our workforce, doing their best on a daily basis, who satisfy our customers.

Diverse trainee events

In order to strengthen the identification of our trainees with Piepenbrock as a training company and show our appreciation, we offer them different and varied events. Here, the young talent from the various branch offices all over Germany can get to know one another and exchange the experience they have gained so far.

Apprentice project days in the company-owned forest

Every year, our trainees can experience how Piepenbrock is dedicated to environmental protection. Over three days, the trainees from the different branch offices receive information in our company-owned forest regarding the indigenous tree and plant species that grow there and the diverse tasks in the forest. They also make their own contribution to environmental protection by, for example, planting plants themselves or building so-called insect hotels. This campaign, which has been running since 2012, brings our trainees closer to the topics of sustainability and ecology.

Trainee football tournament during World Cup and EURO

At the time of the football European Championships 2016 and football World Cup 2018, trainees from our branch offices all over Germany came to Osnabrück to take part in our trainee football tournament. On two days, the young talents initially played in different teams against one another. In the final "Beat the Boss", a selection of the trainees played against business managers, heads of branch offices and department chiefs at Piepenbrock who had also travelled from the entire Federal Republic and were led by our executive partner.
Football, however, was not the only item on the agenda over the two days. Over and above this, we ensured a colourful programme for the trainees. Alongside a visit to the Osnabrück Zoo, the participants took part in various workshops and attended lectures to get to know our headquarters and the different areas of business.

Living diversity in the company

Every day, 26,800 employees from 128 nations bring their different religions, worldviews and ideas as well as their individual talents into our company. In doing so, the make their personal contribution to our corporate culture, promoting innovative ideas as well as new solutions. We live diversity and also strengthen the sense of community with different projects and campaigns to promote diversity in the company and society.

Signature on Charta der Vielfalt (Charter of Diversity)

We are among the signatories to the Charta der Vielfalt (Charter of Diversity) of the non-profit 'Charta der Vielfalt' association, thus sending an unambiguous signal in favour of diversity. We promise to promote diversity and appreciation in the working environment. Irrespective of gender, sexual identity and sexual orientation, religion or worldview, ethnic origin, age or disability, we work towards a working environment without prejudice and interaction featuring acceptance and mutual trust. A diverse company also opens up versatile new potentials and opportunities.

Activities on the annual 'Diversity Day'

The German Diversity Day, initiated by the Charta der Vielfalt association, has taken place annually since 2013. All over Germany, companies and institutions place the notion of "Diversity in Companies" at the centre of attention with various activities. Since the introduction of the Diversity Day, we have taken part every year with new ideas, thus committing ourselves to non-discriminatory personal interaction.

Whereas we symbolically released 121 balloons for the number of different nationalities in our company in the first year, in subsequent years our employees wrote down their thoughts and ideas on the subject of diversity. In a rally and a quiz, they proved their knowledge of the diversity in our company. Over and above this, a video was created in which our employees from a wide variety of countries stated "I am a Piepenbrocker" in their mother tongue. This also resulted in our "We are Piepenbrockers!" campaign. There, we give our employees from all over Germany a voice to report on their personal experience with our company. In doing so, we simultaneous strengthen the identification of our employees with Piepenbrock.

With these numerous activities, we and our employees send a signal in favour of diversity every year.

Supporter Seal of Approval Pride 500

We wear the "Pride 500" Supporter Seal of Approval. The award is given to companies that are committed to the equality and appreciation of lesbian, gay, bisexual as well as transgender and intergender employees (LGBTI). With the award, we express our open and appreciative corporate culture as well as our active engagement against homophobia to our employees and to customers and business partners.