F20 Foundations Take a Stand: Umweltstiftung Michael Otto

Uwe Steckhahn
Sustainable Development

At a time when multilateralism seems at stake, it is even more important to remind the G20 Heads of State that global challenges require global solutions. Foundations from all parts of the world have established the F20 platform to advance the 2030 Agenda of the UN and to be part of the solution, especially with regard to climate change. The goal is to build bridges between civil society, business, and politics within the G20 countries and beyond. Our series introduces some of these foundations.

Johannes Merck, Chairman of the Board of the Umweltstiftung Michael Otto

Why do you support F20?

Johannes Merck: We supported the F20 platform at a very early stage as we believe that philanthropists still lack a voice globally. Such a voice is needed to leverage the power and influence of individual philanthropists to achieve greater collective impact on climate change and the implementation of the SDGs.


F20 Foundations Platform

The F20 Foundations Platform is an unprecedented alliance of more than 45 foundations and philanthropic organizations from around the world. The BMW Foundation Herbert Quandt is part of the platform’s Steering Group. The participating foundations seek to identify and expose pathways toward sustainable development and call upon the G20 Heads of State to take action. Its aim is to gather momentum for the implementation of the UN Paris climate agreement in order to build bridges between different stakeholders – including the private sector and civil society. The 2018 G20 Summit took place in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in late November.

What can you contribute?

Johannes Merck: The Umweltstiftung Michael Otto can offer its potent networks and provide access to very different groups of influence – in business, science, politics, and civil society. The founder, Michael Otto, is a renowned entrepreneur and philanthropist who leads others by example toward engagement and sustainable solutions.

What is the Umweltstiftung Michael Otto in a nutshell?

Johannes Merck: Originally, the Umweltstiftung Michael Otto focused on grants for nature conversation, especially in and alongside water, mainly in northern Germany. It gradually evolved into a more international and operational organization, a bridge-builder and dialogue platform for different stakeholder groups from business, politics, and civil society to identify and foster solutions for sustainability.

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