Planting instead of giving: 500 trees for the homeland

Why Santa Claus has a piece of sustainability in his sleigh at GRAF this year?

Shovel up and go! In late November, 25 of our employees joined Managing Director Otto P. Graf on a trip to the Black Forest to plant trees - 500 of them, to be precise. Why? To offer our customers the gift of sustainability this year. As a manufacturer of environmental products, this initiative aligns perfectly with our values.

Planting 500 trees can be quite exhausting. Not only because due to the physical labor involved but also because the one-hectare slope behind the Himmelsbach family's Ignazhof farm in Welschensteinach is quite steep. Fortunately, our colleagues from Herbolzheim and Teningen were not completely alone. In addition to the farm owners, foresters and farmers also helped - especially with their specialist knowledge - as well as a team from our agency team tietge, the initiator of the Heimatwald project. The aim of the project is to enhance the resilience of the the Black Forest as a whole by fostering biodiversity, creating new habitats for animals and plants, and helping to ensure that even more trees can filter climate-damaging carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

New times, new trees

Of course we were there straight away! "Instead of Christmas presents, this year we want to give our customers the gift of sustainability," said Otto P. Graf, who was accompanied by his family and of course lent a helping hand. The area was planted with a mixture of wild service trees and spireas, with the tree seedlings donated by us. Acorns were also sown in advance. All these tree species are particularly resistant, especially to the increasing drought. This is because local forests have recently suffered from heat and long periods of drought. "Service tree and spirea are thermophilic and have a higher tolerance to drought," explained Günter Schmidt, head of the forest district. They are also better able to defend themselves against the bark beetle. But, of course, good things take time. Ideally, Welschensteinach will only be home to a colorful, climate-resistant mixed forest in a few decades' time.

A toast to the environment

The campaign was a joy for everyone. Foresters and farmers were visibly delighted with the interest and the helping hands and expressed their gratitude not only with coffee and cake, but also with a homemade schnapps or two. "You could bring such a large, good-humored team with you more often," said district manager Schmidt at the closing snack. Tobias Himmelsbach jokingly added during the toast: "The Speierling bears fruit that can be used to make schnapps. We'll meet again in a few years and toast the young trees with our first home-distilled schnapps." We immediately confirmed that we would definitely be there again!