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OQEMA celebrates its 100th anniversary and takes a glimpse into the future

This summer, the OQMEA Group celebrates its one hundredth birthday - reason enough not only to look back at its history, but also to look ahead to the future: Where can the growing chemical distributor become even more sustainable? Which inner and outer values should be strengthened in the coming decades?

Under the motto "Planting Seeds", our path should lead to a more sustainable future. But how is the motto put into practice? To this end, six core areas were defined, which are reflected in the anniversary campaign: PEOPLE, PRESENCE, PRODUCT, PLANET, PERFORMANCE and PLANTING.

Committed and motivated employees have always been an important success factor for OQEMA. We support our employees in actively realising their potential with development programmes, focus on diversity and promote mental as well as physical health - this is how we live the PEOPLE aspect.

After rapid growth in the last two decades, we are now represented with an integrated network of office and warehouse locations throughout Europe. We want to and will make these locations as climate-friendly as possible, e.g. by opening a completely CO2-neutral warehouse in Austria, installing photovoltaic systems and switching to green electricity. Basics in this area include charging stations for our employees' e-cars as well as active waste separation and avoidance in a largely paperless office. This is what we mean by PRESENCE.

In the PRODUCT area, we are reviewing and optimising our product portfolio in the direction of greener, more environmentally friendly and bio-based raw materials. In Germany, we already have a solid bio-based portfolio in the Flavour and Fragrance division. Our goal is to expand this portfolio step by step to all market segments – and to become the market leader in more selected products – in some we already are.

Reuse, recycle, reduce - the 3 Rs of sustainability are assigned to the PLANET aspect. Circular economy within chemicals will play an important role in achieving sustainability goals. We believe our long standing experience and dedicated processing and distribution assets for recycling of chemicals will enable OQEMA to be recognised as a leader in the recovery & reuse of wide range of chemicals and energy storage applications. Others talk about sustainability – we do it – with our own recycling facilities.

No company can do without good PERFORMANCE. In the chemical distribution market, a continuous consolidation process has been taking place for a long time: If you want to survive in the market, you have to recognise growth opportunities and make consistent use of them. That is what we are doing. Another factor in the highly competitive market is profitability. Only profitability provides us with the necessary funds for investments and ensures that we have the staying power to consistently put the needs of our customers at the centre of our actions.

Last but not least, heart of our project: PLANTING! A greener, more sustainable world can be implemented not only by adapting products and optimising supply chains and warehouses, but also through the simple joy of planting trees. In 2021, the Overlack family acquired the insolvent Lappen tree nursery, which is now relaunching under the name Baum & Bonheur. For the 100th anniversary of the OQEMA Group, mighty climate trees will be planted at every OQEMA location - after all, trees make a significant contribution to climate protection. We are excited to be on the road to the future together with our employees, customers and partners!

We look forward to continuing to actively shape the distribution market and work towards a greener world!

We look forward to the next 100 years of OQEMA!

More information about the future vision and the history of the family business can be found at the anniversary website:

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