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Milestones

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  • 1713Hanns Carl von Carlowitz used the wording “sustainability” the first time (his aim was to ensure that only as much wood was logged as could grow back in the same time)

  • 1849Carl Johann Freudenberg and Heinrich Christian Heintze took over a tannery in Weinheim (Germany)

  • 1893Johanna Freudenberg founded a church-run nursing station and a kindergarten in Schönau

  • 1894On the occasion of their golden wedding anniversary, Carl and Sophie Freudenberg set up an assistance fund for employees and their families in financial hardship, with a capital of 100,000 Gold Marks and income of 6,500 Gold Marks per year

  • 1902Donation of municipal public baths to Schönau city

  • 1903Friedrich Carl Freudenberg set up an improvement fund with a capital of 100,000 Gold Marks and income of 4,000 Gold Marks per year. This fund guaranteed a small company pension to invalids from occupational diseases and accidents at work

  • 1904To mark their silver wedding anniversary, Hermann Ernst and Helene Freudenberg set up a widows and orphans fund with a capital of 150,000 Gold Marks. Widows received 200 Marks per annum and orphans 50 Marks p.a.

  • 1936Hans and Richard Freudenberg have contracted Dr. Ludwig Nottebohm, the inventor of nonwovens technology - and therefore the founder of the brand Vileda

  • 1948The first Vileda-branded product was available on the market: Vileda window cloth

  • 1949The Vileda/Wettex sponge cloth was developed: Margareta Lindquist, the wife of the sponge cloth inventor  Curt A.J. Lindquist, proposed the name Wettex (“wet textile”) for the well known, 100% biodegradable dish cloth made of cellulose sponge material

    On the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the company, the partners set up a home construction fund. At the same time, two foundations with a 10-year term were donated to the cities of  Weinheim and Schönau for the support of citizens in need


  • 1957To mark the 100th birthday of master craftsman Georg Böhler, a prize was established for the graduates of vocational training schools. This prize was awarded every year up to 1970

  • 1973Vileda Wischmop – SuperMocio (Spain), the well-known non woven string mop

  • 1985The partners set up the Freudenberg Stiftung ("Freudenberg Foundation") with a capital of 3 million DM. This foundation is a limited partner of the company. Its aim is to support the integration and promotion of disadvantaged groups and encourage cultural projects

  • 1986Swep “1-Step” Hospital Floor Cleaning Method with pre-moistened flat mop pads (Finland, Scandinavia)

  • 1987The Brundtland-Report was published by the World Commission on Environment and Development and entitled "Our Common Future". Today´s generally accepted definition of sustainability was defined, stating that sustainable development is "development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs."

  • 1990The partners set up the Carl Freudenberg Support Fund with a capital of 10 million DM for employees suffering severe financial hardship and for the payment of death benefits

  • 1992First United Nations Conference on Environment and Development was held in Rio de Janeiro, focussing on the relationship between environmental and developmental goals. Also, the Agenda 21 was adopted at this conference. Agenda 21 is an action program for global sustainable development that made the concept of sustainability a formal political principle. It was now recognized that global environmental protection is only possible if economic and social aspects are also taken into consideration

  • 1997Vileda latex free glove "Dermo Plus"

  • 1999To celebrate its 150th anniversary, the company set up the TANNER Youth Program, which enables the children and grandchildren of employees all over the world to travel to other Freudenberg locations and stay as guests of the families of company employees. Freudenberg set out its "Guiding Principles"

  • 2001Freudenberg invested into new microfibre hydroentanglement technology: Evolon®, microfibre cloths reduce the cleaning time and the use of cleaning chemicals

  • 2002The World Summit on Sustainable Development was held in Johannesburg, ten years after the Rio Earth Summit. Its goal was to assess the progress made since Rio de Janeiro. The findings were, however, disillusioning: in most countries of the world, the situation for the environment and population had even deteriorated. A resolution was taken to adopt an agenda with five key areas: by 2015, the share of the population without access to basic sanitary facilities is to be halved, negative impacts on human health minimized, the decline in global fish stocks brought to a halt, the loss of biodiversity arrested and national sustainability strategies developed. Almost all EU member states have adopted their own sustainability strategy.

  • 2003"We all take care" Freudenberg Health, Safety & Environment Program established

  • 2005Vileda broom DuActiva with foam blade: ECARF allergy certificate awarded for low dust generation

  • 2007Vileda produces broom bristles from 100% recycled polyester derived from PET bottle chips

  • 2008New Vileda bucket and PowerPress wringers based on bionic principles (eg. bucket for Vileda Wischmop). Its ergonomic design reduces efforts in wringing of mops.

    The Finnish Standards Association has awarded the “Nordic Swan Eco-Label” to selected Vileda Professional Swep mops


  • 2009The Freudenberg Group is giving some 130 young people the prospect of a job and a future following the devastating tsunami in 2004. Freudenberg has built a training center for over 1 million € in Nagapattinam in the south Indian province of Tamil Nadu, the region worst affected by the disaster

    New Vileda Naturals product range launched


  • 2010The new Vileda Smart Abrasive Scourers offer a new dimension in modern dishwashing. Dirt & Particles are wiped away easily and do not stick within the abrasive anymore

  • 20111-2 Spray for in-between AND thorough floor cleaning thanks to the integrated and convenient spray mechanism in the handle: this bucket-less method reduces water consumption and cleaning efforts