Education and engagement for a sustainable future – Jane Goodall talks with Axel Kühner

Greiner AG

At the meeting in the British embassy in Vienna, the company manager and the world-famous researcher discussed companies’ responsibility, the good and bad sides of plastic, and young people’s commitment to climate protection. It was clear to both of them that now is the time to act to stop global warming – but innovative solutions for a sustainable future also cannot be developed and implemented overnight.

“What gives me hope is the commitment of the young generation to climate protection. But it is also important for companies like Greiner to work even harder on better solutions for recycling in the future,” emphasized Jane Goodall, founder of the Jane Goodall Institute and UN Messenger of Peace.

“We are very aware that as a company in the plastics industry we have a great responsibility. For this reason, dialog with NGOs is also important to us. After communicating via video messages already, it was a great honor for me to be able to meet Jane Goodall in person now,” said Axel Kühner, CEO of Greiner AG.

Greiner as official partner of the Jane Goodall Institute Austria

Greiner CEO Axel Kühner first contacted Jane Goodall via video message more than a year ago, which was soon followed by a video interview together. In addition, Greiner took on a chimpanzee sponsorship via the Jane Goodall Institute Austria in spring 2022, and since September 2022 it has been supporting the “Roots & Shoots” initiative for education of school students. As part of the Roots & Shoots project “Wunder.Welt.Wald: Forschen im Wood.Wide.Web,” children and young people are shown the importance of the forest as a place to live and relax, but also as a key factor for climate change.

“I strongly believe that it is immensely important to teach children in particular to be respectful toward all life. In our Roots & Shoots projects all around the world, we can see how important the empowerment of children and young people is. A great force is created when young people decide to change something. They have power and the future of the planet in their hands,” says Goodall.

“As a family business, supporting young people is something that is particularly close to our hearts. We see investments in education and science not only as part of our social responsibility, but also as crucial to the continuation of our society,” says Kühner.

Goodall and Kühner ended their conversation with an agreement to stay in contact. The goal is for collaboration that goes beyond short-term projects – after all, the major challenges for the future can only be tackled on a long-term basis and by joining forces.

Watch the video in full length on Youtube


About the Jane Goodall Institute-Austria
The Jane Goodall Institute – Austria (JGI-A) was founded in Vienna in 2003. Its main goal is to protect chimpanzees and other primates by way of comprehensive wildlife conservation. This can only be achieved now in the context of social and economic aspects and through sustainable programs and capacity building. The JGI-A therefore focuses on holistic wildlife conservation projects in the areas that are responsible for the decline in endangered primates and the destruction of their habitat and that work closely with research organizations and local communities. This work is based on promoting respectful, sustainable interaction with people, animals, and nature.


About Roots & Shoots
Roots & Shoots is a global action program founded by Dr. Jane Goodall in 1991. It aims to inspire, empower, and encourage young people all around the world to take action themselves. In 2002, Jane Goodall was appointed by Kofi Annan as a UN Messenger of Peace for her Roots & Shoots program. More than 700,000 young people in 7,100 groups in 50 countries are involved in the program today. The name Roots & Shoots is symbolic. Every big tree started its life as a small seed that pushed tiny roots out into the soil to reach water. Although this seed may seem small and weak at first, it holds a magic and a life force that is so strong and powerful that these small roots and shoots can break through thick soil and rocks to reach water and sunlight.