Making a shared contribution

For more than 140 years, Funk has strived to protect companies’ values for the future. Alongside these individual values, there is one value of shared importance among all of us: nature conservation. We must protect the natural world for the sake of our children and grandchildren. That’s why Funk has decided to celebrate its anniversary by planting 1,000 mangroves for every year of its existence. Read on to learn more about what these trees do for climate protection and what corporate social responsibility continues to mean for Funk.

 

 

Mangroves grow in coastal regions and draw greenhouse gases out of both the sea and the air. │ Photo: Worldview International Foundation

140,000 mangroves for a better climate

One of the world’s most pressing issues is climate change. The greenhouse gases produced by humans constitute one large problem here. Once released into the atmosphere, they contribute to the dangerous rise of the Earth’s temperature. The consequences of this include the melting of the glaciers, rising sea levels and extreme weather. Some greenhouse gases, however, are absorbed by the ocean, leading to increased acidity in the water and putting countless species of marine animals at risk, such as corals.

Plants can break down greenhouse gases and convert them into oxygen. Mangroves in particular are especially effective at this. These trees grow in tropical coastal regions and thrive in seawater. They not only clean the air, but also filter the sea – and they make ideal habitats for fish, birds and marine mammals.  It is for this reason that Funk has decided to support a mangrove reforestation project and plant 140,000 seedlings.

Rebuilding mangrove forests can also prevent natural disasters. │ Photo: Worldview International Foundation

Rebuilding the forests

The ‘Mangrove reforestation and sustainable livelihood’ project is committed to rebuilding the mangrove forests of Myanmar in Asia. It focuses on creating a sustainably cultivated mangrove ecosystem in the northern part of the Ayeyarwady Region. The project not only makes a valuable contribution towards climate protection but also serves to reduce the risk posed by natural disasters: mangrove forests form a natural protective wall against storm surges. 

Planting mangroves is urgently needed, as the number of these trees around the world is rapidly dwindling. Mangrove forests are being cleared, for example, to create shrimp farms, rice fields or palm oil plantations. The trees are harvested for use as firewood or construction timber. Reforestation projects aim to counteract this commercial exploitation.

 

 

These seedlings will grow into an entire forest. │ Photo: Worldview International Foundation

 

 

52 hectares of fresh green

To mark the occasion of Funk’s 140th anniversary, 140,000 mangroves are being planted in the soil – or rather, in the marshy ground. This will result in a forest measuring 52 hectares, the equivalent of around 52 football pitches. The local community will be involved in the planting – this means job creation and contributes to the security of the livelihood of the local population. Further education and infrastructure in the region are also improved through the project.

 

 

 Thomas Abel, geschäftsführender Gesellschafter bei Funk, neben dem „Symbolbaum" auf der Dachterrasse.

 

 

Mangroves for Myanmar and a pine tree for Hamburg

To address the topic of climate protection closer to home, a pine tree was also planted on the rooftop terrace of the Hamburg headquarters on Funk’s birthday on 21 May 2019. A plaque informs employees and visitors about the mangrove project in Myanmar. ‘We would have loved to have planted a mangrove, but it would not have been happy here,’ says Thomas Abel, Managing Partner at Funk. ‘But the pine is now cleaning our city air here in Hamburg. And most importantly, it is a symbol of how important climate protection is for us all.’

 

 

From greenhouse to nature: how the Funk-Wald came into being

The mangroves have grown up in a greenhouse near the planting area in Myanmar. | Photo: Worldview International Foundation

140,000 trees have waited here to become part of a sustainably managed ecosystem. | Photo: Worldview International Foundation
The local community was involved in the planting in the northern part of the Ayeyarwady region. | Photo: Worldview International Foundation
On the banks of the river Poe Laung, the new mangrove forest also forms a natural barrier against storm waves. | Photo: Worldview International Foundation
In the swamp soil, the seedlings now develop into large mangrove trees that purify the air and filter the sea. | Photo: Worldview International Foundation

New trees for the banks of the river Poe Laung

Social and economical sustainability at Funk

Funk Foundation

The non-profit Funk Foundation was founded by Funk shareholder Dr Leberecht Funk and his wife Maritta to support research projects in the fields of risk and risk management. The aim is to increase acceptance of risk management even more in day-to-day operations. The Funk Foundation also supports cultural projects.

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Family-run company

Above all, Funk's business decisions must be sustainable. This principle is established even in the company’s structure: Funk is a family-run company, currently in its fifth generation of leadership. That’s why Funk thinks long-term rather than making short-sighted moves – to maintain its values and grow in a sustainable way.

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Responsible employer

As an employer of 1,250 people, Funk also recognises its social responsibility: numerous benefits ensure that Funk employees feel well supported and are able to combine their family and work lives. Funk also helps train young people and supports employees of all ages in the Funk Academy. 

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Funk as a sponsor of the National Scholarship Programme

The German National Scholarship Programme provides financial support to talented, high-achieving students. Every euro donated by private sponsors for the scholarship recipients is matched by the government. With ten scholarship recipients currently, Funk is one of the largest sponsors for Hamburg University. The students specialise in the areas of business management, law and industrial engineering.

See Funk's awards