The Wilo-Foundation was set up by entrepreneur and philanthropist Dr.-Ing. h.c. Jochen Opländer and his children on 14 January 2011. Until the beginning of 2016, it was named “Caspar Ludwig Opländer Stiftung”, after the company’s founder with whom the history of Wilo began in 1872. In 2016, the foundation was renamed Wilo-Foundation – with the aim of having the foundation’s international social engagement reflected in its name.
'Adopting a forward-looking approach also means taking responsibility for the common good, because business and society are now in the same boat.'
Family Foundation for Continuity
The motivation behind setting up the foundation was to ensure that the Wilo Group would remain an independent company, aware of its social responsibility. The family foundation holds 90 per cent of the shares in the company and in this way secures the continuity and independence of the Wilo Group. In the fourth generation of the Opländer family, the company Wilo was transferred to the family foundation. In 2019, Oliver Hermes, President and CEO of the Wilo Group, took over as successor of the business and also became Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Wilo-Foundation.
'I will do everything I can to continue the company's success story which started almost 150 years ago and, in doing so, will always put the values of the Opländer family first.'
In addition, the foundation takes on social responsibility, providing financial support for initiatives and projects in the areas of science, education and social welfare, culture and sports. All funding activities of the Wilo-Foundation are based on the motto empowering young people, reflecting the foundation’s strong commitment to the future of young people. As regards its fields of activity, the foundation focuses on key issues for the future: water & climate action, technology & digitality, talent promotion & (social) entrepreneurship. The foundation builds on its close connections with the people in Dortmund and the surrounding region and at its sites around the world.
Executive Bodies of the Wilo-Foundation
The executive bodies of the foundation are the Board of Trustees and the Executive Board. Oliver Hermes, President and Chief Executive (CEO) of the Wilo Group, is the Chairman of the Board of Trustees. The five-person Board of Trustees includes both members of the founding family and external experts. The Executive Board is made up of Ms Evi Hoch (social engagement) and Mr Wolfgang Mertineit (finances).