Ottendorf-Okrilla/Waldkirch, October 2019 – Planting trees for climate protection: This is the aim of the worldwide Plant-for-the-Planet Initiative for children and youths. About 40 children from the Bautzen district took part for the first time on 28 September 2019 and planted trees and shrubs for climate neutrality. The young climate protectors, between 8 and 12 years old, participated in the day of action for climate protection at SICK Engineering GmbH in Ottendorf-Okrilla, and were trained to be ambassadors for climate justice.
Plant-for-the-Planet joined the southern Baden sensor company SICK in climate protection for the third time – this year debuting at the company’s Sachsen site in Ottendorf-Okrilla. Here the environmental protection organization called on young participants to confront the causes of climate change and consider potential solutions. The schoolchildren found out more about climate justice in presentations and workshops, and developed their first environmental protection projects themselves. Training in rhetoric prepared the young activists for the joint final presentation to parents and guests, and also gave tips for projects at their own schools. The participants were rewarded for being prepared to commit their school-free Saturday for a positive climate policy – the children were enrolled as ambassadors for climate justice.
Planting campaign for climate and biodiversity
Actions speak louder than words – so the participants took action in the afternoon: About 50 trees and shrubs were planted on the company grounds and will, in future, contribute towards improving biodiversity and offsetting CO2. The saplings were largely tree species that provide food for birds (e.g. black elderberry, sloe and rowanberry) and their rich range of fruits should provide food and habitats for insects and birds. Peter Rentzsch, a local company for horticulture, helped with the preparation of the planting zones and supported the planting free of charge.
The young climate ambassadors were not the only ones to take up spades during the planting campaign. The guests included Dr. Mathias Panicke and Thomas Schultze, Managing Directors of SICK Engineering GmbH, Mayor of Ottendorf-Okrilla Michael Langwald, as well as Dorothea Sick-Thies. As the daughter of the company founder Dr. Erwin Sick, Dorothea Sick-Thies has already been committed to environmental and climate protection, as well as sustainability, for almost fifteen years – following the family tradition – and she initiated the collaboration between SICK and Plant-for-the-Planet. For her private commitment she founded the charitable environmental organization Protect the Planet.
"Today, we have all the freedom in the world. But we will massively restrict the freedom of our children if we are not prepared to finally take responsibility for the human challenge of climate change," said Dorothea Sick-Thies during the Climate Action Day.
“Here in Ottendorf-Okrilla our company develops and produces safety-oriented gas analyzers for industry and the environment. Beyond the intelligent technology, we would like to send a signal for environmentally responsible behavior and support the Plant-for-the-Planet Academy. It was a pleasure to experience how enthusiastically the children got to work,” said Managing Director Dr. Mathias Panicke.
The trainee project at SICK Engineering GmbH shows that environmental protection and biodiversity affects all generations: Work-study students and trainees at SICK’s Ottendorf-Okrilla site have set up feeding and hibernation aids for insects on the company grounds. Flowering ‘rescue islands’ were created for wild bees, bumblebees, butterflies and grasshoppers during redesign of the green spaces. Additional habitats in the form of insect houses were created in collaboration with gardening enthusiasts from Ottendorf-Okrilla primary school.
About SICK Engineering GmbH:
SICK Engineering GmbH, founded in Dresden in 1991, is a subsidiary of sensor producer SICK AG in Waldkirch in southern Baden. The company has been located in Ottendorf-Okrilla since 1994 and, with about 320 employees, is the Group’s competence center for ultrasonic measurement technology. SICK is a world leader with the ultrasonic devices developed and produced here for the precise measurement of throughflows in oil and gas pipelines. SICK Engineering also offers throughflow measurement solutions for emission monitoring, process gas measurement and other industrial applications.
The parent company SICK is one of the world’s leading producers of sensors and sensor solutions for industrial applications. The company, founded in 1946 by Dr. Erwin Sick and based in Waldkirch-im-Breisgau near Freiburg, is a technology and market leader with a global presence – with more than 50 subsidiaries and associated companies, as well as numerous sales offices. SICK achieved Group sales of about EUR 1.6 bn. in the 2018 fiscal year with almost 10,000 employees worldwide.
Further information on SICK is available at http://www.sick.com or by phone at +49 (0)7681 202-5747.
About the Plant-for-the-Planet Initiative:
The Plant-for-the-Planet Initiative was started by the then nine-year-old Felix Finkbeiner in 2007. At the end of a presentation on the climate crisis, Felix outlined his vision of children in every country of the world planting a million trees in order to offset CO2 emissions. The aim of the youth initiative has meanwhile grown to planting 1,000 billion trees by 2020. Children and adults who advocate climate justice and an overall reduction of CO2 emissions have so far planted more than 15 billion trees in 193 countries. 70,000 children and youths from 67 countries have already been trained as ambassadors for climate justice at Academies worldwide. The Academies have become an official measure of the UN Decade of Training for Sustainable Development and have been recommended by Germany’s Federal Ministry for the Environment (BMU).
About Dorothea Sick-Thies:
Dorothea Sick-Thies, daughter of Dr. Erwin Sick and Gisela Sick, is an entrepreneur, environmental activist and mother of two daughters. For more than ten years she has been involved with SICK AG in the fields of environmental and climate protection, electromobility and sustainability. Various projects and campaigns in this context can be traced back to her initiative, such as the supply of all German SICK locations with electricity, 100 percent of which is generated from renewable energy sources, the purchase of electric cars and electric bicycles for the company's vehicle fleet, or CO2 compensation with Atmosfair. In 2014, SICK AG was awarded the environmental prize of the state of Baden-Württemberg.
Dorothea Sick-Thies is also very much committed to environmental and climate protection as well as a peaceful energy turnaround in her private life. She focuses on networking, strengthening and supporting political, social and economically relevant groups in order to make the world a better place to live together and to preserve it for future generations. To implement her private commitment, she founded the non-profit environmental organization 'Protect the Planet' in 2015. Dorothea Sick-Thies and her daughters are also planning to establish an environmental foundation in 2020.