Achenbach's centuries-old ties to the Siegerland region are evident in the many generations of employees born and raised in the immediate vicinity, as well as in its conscious decision to concentrate all of its development, sales and engineering activities, as well as large portions of production and assembly, locally in Buschhutten.
These ties have created a culture of responsibility within the company that goes beyond its contributions to the local economy (Corporate Social Responsibility - CSR). Examples include partnerships with local schools, a cooperative study program with the University of Siegen, support for the Apollo Theater in Siegen as well as the local TuS Ferndorf handball team.
Friedrich-von-Bodelschwingh primary school: hands-on learning
2005 saw the start of a budding friendship between Achenbach Buschhutten and the neighboring Friedrich von Bodelschwingh primary school, creating a partnership that fosters knowledge and that is equally nurtured by both the school and the company.
Its beginning was not so much planned but rather it arose spontaneously during a school Christmas party at which the company donated books to the school library. This sparked a great desire among the children to get to know the company, whose buildings they pass on the way to school every day, a little better. A visit by 70 schoolchildren to Achenbach shortly afterwards marked the start of a deep and highly motivating friendship. The two sides share their latest news with one another, stop by now and again to say hello and exchange greetings during holidays and celebrations. The relationship is reflected in the jointly adopted motto based on a quote by Galileo: “You cannot teach a man anything, you can only help him find it within himself.” This mantra is displayed on an aluminum plaque hung several months ago at the entrance to the school.
Over the last several years, the two partners have launched and gradually expanded several joint projects both large and small. Achenbach has especially made great efforts to promote early enthusiasm among students for STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) subjects. Two of the most inspiring projects have already become trademarks: Sachen machen bei Achenbach (let’s make things at Achenbach) and ExperiMINT-Forscherclub (STEM researchers' club).
On the web: www.bodelschwingh-grundschule.de
Apollo Theater in Siegen
“Siegen wins.” Thus read the headline in the Frankfurter Allgemeiner Zeitung on April 7, 2012. The meaning of the town's name in German (to win or triumph) has led to many ironic jokes over the years alluding to its decline, resulting in somewhat of an inferiority complex among its 103,000 residents. This sentiment began to reverse itself upon the opening of the Apollo Theater in the fall of 2007 as part of a unique local initiative – a veritable “triumph” for the town. With 500 seats, the venue can also be downsized for smaller events to a more intimate 200-person capacity.
The stage of the Apollo is designed to host plays, but the theater itself lacks its own company. To its advantage, however, the venue draws performances by notable visiting groups, evidence of its broad network of connections. Events range from a professional theater and concert program to free, semi-professional cultural shows. One of its focuses is a special program for children and adolescents.
The highlight is the biannual theater festival, the Siegener Biennale, which draws renowned ensembles from cities such as Bochum, Cologne, Hamburg or Munich, each time performing under a different theme.
The theater has an unusual funding mix: contributions from private citizens and businesses cover about 70% of the venue's budget, with only 30% coming from public funding sources. This is in sharp contrast to the national theater scene, which is 70% publicly and only 30% privately funded.
The Apollo's success with local audiences has also been rather exceptional. A conservative 2007 estimate predicted 45,000 guests per year; the 2012/13 season drew double that figure: 90,000, including 23,000 children and adolescents.
On the web:https://www.apollosiegen.de
The TuS Ferndorf sports club was founded in Kreuztal-Ferndorf in 1888. Its more than 1,500 members compete primarily in handball but also track and field, tennis and ping pong events. With deep regional roots and team spirit, the TuS Ferndorf handball team, much like Achenbach Buschhutten, enjoys prominence far beyond the borders of Siegerland. TuS Ferndorf has established itself as a sports ambassador for our city. Achenbach is a proud supporter of this successful handball team.
On the web: www.tus-ferndorf.de
The concept of CSR
The term Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is used to describethe company's commitment to society beyond its contributions to¬ the economy. It incorporates social, environmental and cultural issues into the corporate strategy.
CSR stands for sustainable partnerships between businesses and social groups aimed at working together to meet the economic and social challenges facing all levels of society.