Annual Report 2023

Annual Report 2023


Our employees make a major contribution to the success of our company. Their commitment and expertise ensure our competitiveness and power to innovate. As an employer, we want to offer our employees good working conditions and a wide range of opportunities to grow personally and help shape the future of the company.



Training and further education

Our working world has changed fundamentally over the last few years. Agile and dynamic working methods are becoming increasingly important, as are a high degree of flexibility and willingness to learn. That is why we continuously invest in the training and development of our workforce, in line with the idea of a “learning organization.” We are also committed to creating employment prospects for young people, for example by offering apprenticeships or trainee programs.

More information on the key topic of training and further education, as well as knowledge and learning, can be found in the Combined Management Report in the section titled “People at Beiersdorf.”

Employer attractiveness

It is our goal to create an inclusive and motivating working environment in which all employees can develop their full potential. We can achieve this not only by embracing new, hybrid ways of working but also by living a culture of trust, empowerment, and community and taking our purpose “Care Beyond Skin” seriously.

We bank on the principle of participation, as well as on the employee experience and employee engagement, i.e., the emotional bond between our employees and our company. It is important for us to get a real feel for the atmosphere at Beiersdorf and to find out how engaged our employees truly are. This is why we regularly conduct global employee surveys.

Further information on the results of our engagement survey and other HR topics is provided in the “People at Beiersdorf” section of the Combined Management Report.

Diversity and inclusion

As a company with operations all over the world, we believe that embracing diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I) is a real competitive advantage. We are convinced that people are more motivated, more productive, and more satisfied when their different backgrounds, experiences, and skills are valued and they can express their personality and individuality in the workplace. That is why, in addition to offering fair opportunities, we also call for and promote an inclusive corporate culture in which all employees feel they belong – no matter their age, ethnic origin or nationality, gender or gender identity, physical or mental ability, religion or world view, sexual orientation, or social background.

At the beginning of the 2023 financial year, we realigned our Diversity & Inclusion Agenda, which we originally formulated in 2021. With this new global DE&I roadmap, which covers several dimensions of diversity, we want to make Beiersdorf fit for the future and set our clear ambition: We want to become a top employer for global talent by establishing a truly inclusive corporate culture. To this end, we are focusing on three strategic priorities, which are presented in detail in the “People at Beiersdorf” section of the Combined Management Report. You will also find relevant key figures in this section, such as the share of women in management positions.



Training and further education

Competition for employees with scientific and technical backgrounds is constantly on the rise within our industry. Moreover, work requirements and working methods are changing as a result of advancing digitalization and internationalization. Our response to these challenges is to offer comprehensive training and development programs, because having highly qualified, committed, and performance-oriented employees is a decisive competitive advantage for us. In addition, a wide range of training and development opportunities help to ensure that high potentials enjoy working for us long term. Alongside conventional recruitment methods, tesa focuses on promoting young talent by offering targeted training to bind promising junior staff to the company at an early stage.

tesa offers its own training programs at the production sites in Hamburg-Hausbruch and Offenburg. The focus here is on technical professions, with training courses available for chemicals technicians, electronics technicians for industrial engineering, industrial mechanics, machine and plant operators, and mechatronics technicians. There are also dual degree programs and business-related vocational training courses in fields such as plastics and elastomer technology, electrical engineering, and IT systems integration.

In addition, a training program was launched at tesa SE’s headquarters in Norderstedt in 2023. Twelve students started their dual degree programs there on September 1, 2023: five Master’s students and seven Bachelor’s students studying industrial engineering and management, data science, business administration, green technology, and electrical engineering. There are also four new trainees who have started their training as chemical laboratory technicians. tesa SE plans to launch another training program of this kind in 2024.

Our goal is to hire our trainees upon completion of their training for the long term. This is also reflected in our retention rates: In Hamburg, 54% of the trainees who completed their training in 2023 were retained, while in Offenburg the retention rate stood at 100%.

We offer our employees a wide range of professional and personal development opportunities to help them recognize and realize their potential. Our programs are designed with specific target groups and areas of expertise in mind and include, for example, basic training for new employees. All employees can take advantage of in-person and online training courses, for example on compliance, occupational safety, sales, as well as management and leadership. In addition, courses from the digital learning platform LinkedIn Learning complement our own programs.

Diversity and equal opportunities

Different perspectives help us to better understand the needs of our customers and at the same time increase tesa’s innovative spirit. That is why we are committed to greater diversity and equal opportunities.

When filling new positions, we make a point of hiring employees with different cultural backgrounds. The share of non-German nationals in the workforce increased by 5.3 percentage points to 10.8% between December 2020 and December 2023. We want to consolidate this trend and, for example, advertise all vacancies for certain higher-level positions exclusively in English.

In the coming years, we are going to step up our efforts to promote gender equality within the workforce and in leadership roles. We have set ourselves the target of having women account for 30% of the first level below the Executive Board and 35% of the second level at tesa SE by mid–2027.

Attractive working environment

An appealing environment can contribute to employee well-being. That’s why our workplaces are equipped with ergonomic and contemporary furniture and equipment, such as height-adjustable desks and modern lighting and ventilation concepts. In addition, we offer employees a health management program at our corporate headquarters in Norderstedt. This program includes ergonomic counseling, colorectal cancer screenings, a health club, and massages. Company medical care as well as internal and external psychosocial counseling and support are also available.

In addition, our employees at our headquarters in Norderstedt can, among other offerings, take advantage of a cleaning service, visit regular market stalls to purchase regional fruit and vegetables, and utilize various mobility concepts. For example, they have the ability to charge electric vehicles and e-bikes at a company charging point and park rental bikes from Hamburg’s “Stadtrad” initiative at a station on-site. Employees also have the option of leasing bicycles through a subsidized program.

Occupational health and safety

Beiersdorf bears a great responsibility for workplace safety and the health of our employees. That is why we view both as a comprehensive, holistic, and preventive management task. Our strategic objective is therefore to reduce the number of accidents at work and work-related illness to zero as well as undue physical and psychological stress factors. To achieve this goal, we work with our internal management system and conduct regular audits to determine how we can make our workplaces even safer and healthier. 

Our accident frequency rate (AFR) documents all accidents at work that result in at least one day’s absence from work. In the Consumer Business Segment, our 2023 AFR decreased to 0.4 accidents per million hours worked. This represents a 28% reduction in AFR compared to the previous year.1 We are particularly pleased that in 76% of our production centers there were no accidents resulting in more than one day’s absence in 2023. At tesa, the AFR of documented accidents resulting in at least one day of absence at ISO 14001 certified sites stood at 2.7 per million working hours worldwide in the reporting year (2022: 3.6). 



Driven by our Care Beyond Skin business purpose and guided by our core values, we are committed to reducing potential safety risks and incidents. Our Global and Local safety departments are, together with our leadership teams, responsible for our overall workplace safety management, but we also count on the cooperation and contribution of all employees at our sites. 

Our occupational health and safety policy and strategy applies worldwide. It encompasses our most important measures and programs and serves as a basis for our sites to develop their own local implementation plans and measures. We monitor the progress of these measures using indicators at a global level. 

As part of our continuous improvement efforts, we have focused on reducing the main risks associated with slips, trips, falls, forklift operation, and machine operation. In 2023 we started to expand this focus to process safety.

Management systems

Supported by external experts, we reviewed our global safety management system and strategy in 2023. We launched a process safety pilot at our manufacturing site in Itatiba, Brazil and initiated Hazard and Operability (HAZOP) studies at our sites located in Malang, Indonesia and Hamburg, Germany. HAZOP studies help us to identify the risks related to our production process and define the measures to either eliminate, reduce or control those risks. Furthermore, Automated Guided Vehicles (AGV) have been implemented at our site in Tres Cantos, Spain and are ongoing at our plant in Leipzig, Germany; similar studies are ongoing at multiple other sites helping us to reduce the risks related with material handling equipment.

To ensure that we have a robust health and safety management system that enables continuous improvement, we conduct external audits at each site every three years. These are based on our internal Environmental and Safety Management Audit System (ESMAS) (see “Respect for human rights” section). ESMAS is based on the two internationally recognized standards ISO 14001 (environmental management systems) and ISO 45001 (occupational health and safety management systems). In line with our overall auditing system and frequency, in 2023 the external audit took place at our production sites in Poznan, Poland, Tres Cantos, Spain and Nairobi, Kenya.

What’s next?

We are pursuing the implementation of our strategy and continue to expand the programs that strengthen our health and safety management system. In 2024 we will continue to focus on reducing the number of accidents related to the main risks in our operations. Simultaneously we will gather the learnings from our pilot project in Itatiba, Brazil to further improve and develop the global standards for process safety. We will also conduct internal audits that are being redesigned to focus on a functional compliance to our internal and external standards.



Occupational health and safety management are firmly enshrined in the tesa organization. In addition to statutory regulations, our internal management system in the field of occupational safety is based on our group-wide occupational safety and health policy (“tesa Policy on Occupational Safety and Health”), which was adopted in 2022. This policy encompasses six key areas: crisis and emergency management, health care, risk assessment and evaluation, accident prevention, fire and explosion prevention, and facility safety. The occupational safety and health policy is complemented by company regulations and specific directives at each site. They stipulate, for example, that employees must be informed about and made aware of safety risks and potential hazards at regular intervals through instruction and training. The objective is to enable employees to prevent accidents and avoid health hazards through correct, responsible behavior.

The occupational safety and health policy also apply to subcontractors carrying out work at our sites. In the respective occupational health and safety committees and annual Management Review, the Executive Board evaluates incidents each year together with the Occupational Safety Department. On this basis, management initiates new measures to improve employee safety and reduce work-related health risks.

Systematic approach to occupational safety

Our occupational safety management focuses on our ISO 14001-certified production sites, as these represent a greater risk for accidents and increased health impairments compared to our administrative offices. In our Sustainability Agenda, we have laid out an ambitious roadmap: By 2025, all tesa sites that already have an environmental management system in accordance with ISO 14001 should also achieve ISO 45001 certification in occupational health and safety. Five out of seven sites already held certification under both systems as of year-end 2023.

In the course of 2023, the tesa SE headquarters and the tesa Manufacturing Hamburg facility obtained the certificate in accordance with the ISO 45001 occupational health and safety standard. This marks another milestone for occupational health and safety at tesa. The certification proves that occupational health and safety is systematically integrated into the management responsibility of the relevant site.

We have also established a new management function, the Global Operations Safety Manager. One of the tasks of this function is to promote an international exchange between safety experts at the various locations. The safety experts discuss the main occupational health and safety risks during annual meetings of the Global Operational Safety team. In addition, they initiate joint projects, set standards, and share their experiences. This approach contributes to the continuous improvement of accident prevention at tesa. Ad-hoc risk assessments are also carried out at tesa. These form the basis for selecting or designing work equipment, materials, processes, workplaces and workflows in such a way that technical and organizational deficiencies can be avoided and employees can perform their duties in a safe and healthy manner. But changes to machinery, equipment or workspaces, as well as new acquisitions and process adaptations, can also have an impact on our employees’ safety and health. Safety inspections are already carried out when equipment is procured and brought into service, and hazards are systematically identified and risks assessed in consultation with expert employees.

If we identify a security risk in this context, we take appropriate preventive or corrective action. On occupational safety committees, safety experts, employee representatives, as well as members of management discuss the material results of risk assessments and define satisfactory measures. Furthermore, regular inspections and evaluations take place, and we carefully incorporate the insights gained from these. Further preventive measures are rapidly implemented as required, while our relevant health and safety documentation is regularly updated.

We also have detailed regulations in place governing how we handle hazardous substances. Together with the Corporate Regulatory Affairs Department as well as Research & Development and production managers, the Occupational Safety Department designs tesa-specific processes for the handling, labeling, storage, and transportation of hazardous materials. Employees who work with certain hazardous substances undergo routine health examinations. In addition, equipment and tasks are audited at regular intervals for their safety and emissions. Our emergency management procedures define the actions to be taken in the event of an accident with hazardous materials.

Preventive measures

In 2023, we continued to focus on fire safety. For example, we held evacuation and fire extinguishing training sessions for fire safety assistants at our production sites. In addition, a fire extinguishing exercise was held at tesa headquarters. During this exercise, employees had the opportunity to learn about fire safety in the workplace and what to do in the event of a fire under the guidance of an expert.

At the site in Norderstedt, in 2023, managers from the Research and Development department received training on their tasks and responsibilities in the area of occupational health and safety in order to give them the opportunity to keep their knowledge up to date and exchange ideas on the topic of occupational safety.

We also held an occupational health and safety day at our tesa Manufacturing Hamburg GmbH site in 2023. At this event, all employees were given the opportunity to learn about personal protective equipment, noise exposure, and how to recognize and secure pinch points. Employees were also able to take advantage of colorectal cancer screenings and participate in vein screenings and immunization counseling.

In line with our roadmap for the occupational health and safety management system, we will work on obtaining ISO 45001 certification at the tesa site in Offenburg, the tesa site in Hamburg, and the tesa site in Sparta in 2024 and 2025.

1 The AFR related to our own production sites

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