Sustainable business operations
STIHL supports local, regional and global initiatives for the protection of the environment and natural resources. STIHL employees are active at the company's various locations and are involved in local cooperative ventures and projects for the care and maintenance of ecologically valuable parks, gardens and forests. In addition, STIHL supports international environmental organizations and projects.
Click through our picture gallery to learn how STIHL employees actively support animal protection in vineyards or why riding a bike helps to preserve trees.
Bergwaldprojekt e.V. (Association for Mountain Forest Projects)
The non-profit Bergwaldprojekt e.V. (Association for Mountain Forest Projects) has the goal of protecting, maintaining and caring for forests, especially mountain forests and cultivated landscapes. For this purpose, it organizes voluntary ecological work teams in forests. The participants are sensitized to the problems of forests and their understanding of nature and mankind's dependence on this basis for life is enhanced. Since 2006, the Forest School Mountain Forest Project has also organized summer deployments for (trainee) teachers and school classes. The practical work carried out in the forests is prepared and followed up in lessons. STIHL sponsors the Forest School and has for several years also supported the Mountain Forest Project with non-monetary donations.
Pró Mata – for the Forest
The Pró Mata project was set up by the Brazilian Pontificia Universidade Catolica do Rio Grande do Sul (PUCRS) together with the Eberhard Karls University in Tübingen and STIHL in 1996. Literally translated, "pró mata" means "for the forest". The goal of the project is reforestation of a coastal mountain range situated in a region of the federal state of Rio Grande do Sul, with araucarias, the world's oldest coniferous trees. Although widespread at one time, the high demand for the wood of the arcauria resulted in its almost complete decimation.
At the beginning of the project little was known about the eco system of the araucaria forest. Therefore, the prerequisite for reforestation was meticulous analyses of the remaining stands. Since then, scientists and students of the PUCRS University in Porto Alegre, Tübingen University and other partners have been working on joint projects on the site of the nature reserve. In order to facilitate research on the spot, a research station was set up with laboratories, lecture rooms and accommodation for 65 people.
The main focus of research is in the areas of biodiversity, the interaction of the animal and plant species, ecophysiology and the genetic diversity of the araucaria. Numerous final papers, doctoral theses and monographs have resulted from stays at the research station. STIHL financed a large proportion of the acquisition of the forest reserve and continues to accompany the project by making donations in kind.
Tropical Forest Institute
For nearly two decades STIHL works in partnership with the Tropical Forest Institute (TFI), located in Belém in northern Brazil. The Institute aims to spread awareness and actions in favor of tropical forest conservation. Among the activities developed by TFI, courses focused on sustainable management have great relevance because they are directed to government officials, forest workers and local community who use the forest as a source of family income. STIHL offers training to TFI employees. Furthermore, the company provides STIHL outdoor power tools, all support materials and other personal protective equipment needed.
Trees for La Tigra
The ‘La Tigra' rainforest project in the north of Costa Rica has gained more trees. Since large areas of the forest have been clear cut and used for agriculture, the aim of La Tigra is reforestation of those areas. Trees are now being planted again in an area which covers three hectares. The young trees will be tended to in the first few years and later left to develop without any human intervention. The natural habitat of numerous indigenous animals had been destroyed by monocultural farming of banana trees, for example. Reforestation now means that biodiversity will also be encouraged. In this way La Tigra wants not only to compensate in part for the destruction of the environment, but show that sustained incomes can be achieved by reforestation. The La Tigra Lodge is also a destination for tourists who want to spend their vacation in natural surroundings where they can – far away from mass tourism – sleep in a tent camp right in the middle of the jungle, go on hikes during the day and observe animals. STIHL sponsors the project and donated 40 trees, which were planted by a school class in May 2017. The young trees will be tended to by Lodge employees for three years and then grow naturally into a dense jungle.
The tree as a living space
STIHL supports various projects and campaigns that serve to care for and conserve trees and to maintain the tree population. Since 2009 for example, STIHL Inc. in the United States has been the main sponsor of the "Tour des Trees", a one-week, 800-kilometer bicycle event for the benefit of the Tree Research and Education Endowment Fund. Since the first tour in 1992, more than five million dollars have been raised for educational work and research projects that help to maintain and care for trees.
"Green" employee activities in Waiblingen – Haufler Vineyard
Since 2011, STIHL has been cooperating with Berufsbildungswerk (BBW), an occupational training organization in Waiblingen, on a project for the conservation of the Haufler Vineyard. The overgrown steep slopes of the vineyard, which is located close to STIHL's Plant 1, have been re-cultivated by BBW together with apprentice gardeners, who were able to learn from practical experience gained on this project. The dry-stone walling, some of which had collapsed, was rebuilt. STIHL employees now use the company's products to clear the slopes of scrub and weeds twice a year, in order to maintain living space there for indigenous animals such as sand lizards, smooth snakes, wall lizards and red-backed shrikes.
"Green" employee activities in Waiblingen – crazy-golf course
In cooperation with the town of Waiblingen, STIHL employees implemented a community project in 2010 close to the company's headquarters: A park with a crazy-golf course was restored as living space for humans, animals, birds and insects. Wild bees and bats have gained a new home and special nesting boxes support breeding animals and birds. The popular crazy-golf course can now be used again for leisure and relaxation.
Haus des Waldes (House of the Forest)
As a manufacturer of power equipment for forestry, gardening and landscape management, STIHL is at home with its products in the natural environment. Out of conviction, therefore, the company supports an institution such as the House of the Forest in Stuttgart-Degerloch, which aims to enable young people to experience nature. The goal is to awaken visitors' interest in the forest as an element of our culture and economy, and to sensitize them for a sustainable approach to forest management. The permanent exhibition entitled "StadtWaldWelt" ("CityForestWorld") tackles important issues connected with the forest such as hunting, the timber industry and the forest climate, and presents them from a social, ecological and economic perspective. In this way, it provokes discussion and thought.
In the development of its power equipment, STIHL cooperates with the Waiblingen branch of NABU (Nature and Biodiversity Conservation Union, a German NGO). New STIHL products are thoroughly tested during their development in numerous field tests. In consultation with NABU, STIHL's development engineers use these tests to prevent ecologically valuable areas from turning into wilderness. In this way, the needs of wildlife and landscape conservation can be taken into consideration in the development of innovative outdoor equipment.