schülke sustainability

schülke – celebrating 125 years

As a leading producer of chemical and pharmaceutical products such as disinfectants and special products for technical preservation, schülke has a particular responsibility to the environment. We therefore decided in 1996 to fully implement the EMAS Regulation.

For 125 years schülke has stood for fighting diseases and contaminants before they occur. The terrible effects of the raging Cholera epidemic in Hamburg led to the company's founding in 1889 with the first disinfectant, Lysol. Even today, there are threats of epidemics worldwide, for example flu viruses or TB.

An anniversary is also always an occasion for a glance back at the history of the company, which we present to you in this sustainability report. You will notice, however, that many issues are still as relevant today as they were in the past.

Economic fluctuations in Europe, pricing pressures from our markets, rising resource and energy prices, and exchange rate fluctuations in the export business have heavily influenced our business. Nevertheless, schülke was able to achieve a growth of more than 10% in 2013 through further efficiency improvements and thanks to the strong support of the employees.

In the areas of Hygiene and Special Additives, we were able to continue to position ourselves well in the markets through strong and dynamic growth.

Our acquisition of the company Merz Hygiene had a positive impact on our business. As a result, schülke gained an additional new plant in Frankfurt and new specialists.

Our company is well equipped for the future. After two years of construction, we were able to put a new pharmaceutical production plant into production.

We will also be investing at a high level in the future. This will include further expansion of security and our health management system.

In the context of environmental management, schülke needs to bring the energy efficiency factor into the foreground by expanding the EMAS Certificate in the direction of energy management through targeted projects.

We appreciate your interest in our company and hope you find the reading interesting.

Your responses, feedback, and comments are always welcome.


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Company Portrait

schülke is a chemical-pharmaceutical company based in Norderstedt (federal state Schleswig-Holstein) that ranks internationally among the market leaders in the areas of hygiene, infection prevention, and chemical preservation.

schülke currently has 578 employees in Germany, 556 of whom work at our Norderstedt plant in the areas of production, logistics, research, marketing, and distribution. In addition, 24 trainees are being educated in 7 different professional fields.

Including foreign subsidiaries, the schülke group employs a total of 743 personnel. Annual sales in 2013 amounted to over 200 million euro.

The company has made known to its employees and the public that preventing major accidents and limiting their effects on the environment are among the company's key objectives.

Through the security, health protection, and environmental management system at the Norderstedt plant, the company Schülke & Mayr Ltd. is equipped with an integrated management system that precisely regulates and documents processes and procedures, activities and responsibilities. Based on these principles, the responsible parties at schülke developed policies and made them known to all employees.


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Production Plant

The company has been based near Hamburg in Norderstedt since 1963. The site, located in the commercial area of the Glashütte district, includes the plant and an office building, as well as a logistics center that was put into operation in the summer of 2009. The logistics center has a capacity of 18,000 palette storage spaces. Storage and fire protection technologies ensure the safe and environmentally friendly storage of our finished products and packaging materials. Of our approximately 80,000 m2 of land, approximately 40% is cultivated and about 22,000 m2 are paved and sealed. An additional 25,000 m2 are green spaces, including the fire water pond and the reservoir. The Norderstedt plant is the subject of the evaluation according to EMAS III.


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With its 125-year history, schülke is one of the pioneers of modern hygiene and preservation:

Our History

In 1889, founders Rudolf Schülke and Julius Mayr entered the market with Lysol, the first brand-name disinfectant. In 1892, the raging cholera epidemic in the Hansestadt Hamburg was successfully controlled with Lysol. As a result, the company was honored with a certificate for special merits.

What began with the protection of people from harmful microorganisms was consequently carried over into the protection of industrially manufactured products in 1924 with the introduction of grotan®, the first brand-name preservative worldwide. In 2001, the first pain-free mucous membrane and wound disinfectant octenisept® was awarded the title “Drug of the Year” by pharmacists from all over Germany. These examples show that today, just as over 100 years ago, innovative strength is an essential part of our company’s philosophy. 200 patents, certificates, and awards attest to schülke’s innovativeness.

Since 1996 the company has been a part of the French corporation AIR LIQUIDE, a global enterprise that is primarily active in the production and marketing of industrial and medical gasses. schülke is part of the health protection division “SANTE”. The more than 50,000 employees of AIR LIQUIDE generated €15.326 billion in global sales in 2012 (more information here).

On January 1st 2014 the company Merz Hygiene Ltd., along with all of its employees, was fully integrated into the company Schülke & Mayr Ltd. Its activities and processes have been incorporated into the existing structures of schülke. At the plant in Frankfurt, an Instrument Technical Center will be constructed where responsibilities in the field of instrument disinfection will be combined.


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