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100 years OQEMA –
a glimpse into the future

Being forward-looking in order to be the decisive step ahead has always been part of our entrepreneurial thinking and actions. We started as a small chemical manufacturer for the textile industry in Mönchengladbach. Today, the OQEMA Group is one of the top 10 chemical distributors in Europe. With our 100th anniversary, we look back on decisive moments in our history, but also ask ourselves the questions of tomorrow.

What will move us in the future?

To accomplish great things we must not only act, but also dream

Anatole France

Looking back and looking forward …

Our world is constantly changing and evolving. OQEMA has always faced new challenges. This is how it should be in the future as well. We will not stand still, but actively shape our industry - into the next 100 years!


To see things in the seed, that is genius.

Lao Tse

Seeds we plant

Everything starts with an inspiration, a thought, an idea. We live in a time with many opportunities just waiting to be seized. We as OQEMA are setting out for a more sustainable future, planting seeds that will thrive and grow and carry this spirit of the future.



What would a company be without its employees? Our success in the market is based on our employees, who represent the tradition and future of OQEMA. We give everyone the opportunity to actively fulfill themselves and to shine in what they are good at. With our different development programmes, we actively support the knowledge transfer and development of our employees. In the coming years, we will focus on diversity, equal opportunities and new benefits to further promote our employees’ mental and physical health.


What contribution can we as a chemical distributor make to a greener world? We can review and optimise our product portfolio, identify trends in the market and add products to our portfolio that will be important in the future. We can form partnerships with innovative suppliers who can provide us with sustainable raw materials. In Germany, we already have a wide bio-based portfolio when it comes to Flavours and Fragrances. And we are proud of this. Bio-based solvents & solutions that are derived from natural ressources and waste biomass, are also contributing to our growing "green" portfolio. 

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 - we take the 3 Rs of sustainability to heart. 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.


We are proud to now be represented with an integrated network of office and warehouse locations throughout Europe. We are making these locations as climate-friendly as possible, e.g. by building a completely CO2-neutral warehouse in Austria, installing photovoltaic systems, switching to green electricity, setting up charging stations for our employees' electric cars or simply actively separating and avoiding waste, such as the paperless office. We are also contributing to climate protection with the gradual digitalisation of our business processes.


A consolidation process has been taking place in the distribution market for a long time: If you want to survive in the market, you have to recognise and take advantage of growth opportunities. That is what we are doing. Another factor in the highly competitive market is profitability. It gives us the staying power to survive lean periods, provides us with the flexibility to stay on the ball and allows us to invest where growth is necessary. This is how we succeed in putting the customer at the centre of our actions, recognising trends in the market and serving them.


A greener, more sustainable world can be implemented not only by adapting products and optimising supply chains and warehouses, but also by 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. The focus here is quite clear: it is a heartfelt investment in our environment. For the 100th anniversary of the OQEMA Group, trees are now being planted at every OQEMA location - after all, trees make a significant contribution to climate protection.

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