Dr. Michael Raß
Since mid-September 2016, Dr.-Ing. Michael Raß has been a partner and managing director of fjol GmbH.
Michael Raß brings extensive first-hand experience from his time as founder and managing partner of the Teutoburger Ölmühle (oil mill) to fjol. His expertise is in the fields of recycling, efficient and resource-conserving production, sustainable procurement in global supply chains and successful sustainability marketing in dialogue with commerce and consumers.
Since 2009 he has also been a member of the ZNU (Center for Sustainable Corporate Leadership) at the University of Witten/Herdecke. As a trained and responsible sustainability manager, in 2012 he introduced the ZNU sustainability standard “Sustainable Economy Food” to the Teutoburger Ölmühle.
Michael Raß had developed the Teutoburger Öhlmühle into the German market leader for cold-pressed rapeseed oils and organic, edible oil specialties until his departure from the company in May 2016. The Teutoburger Ölmühle has received numerous innovation and sustainability awards as a flagship sustainable company in the industry, among others the “German Entrepreneur Award” in 2007.
After completing his schooling and apprenticeship as a general mechanic, he studied for a degree in Energy and Process Engineering at the University of Essen. Subsequently, Michael Raß worked as a research assistant at the University of Essen in the area of food processing technology and did his Ph.D. on the topic “Environmentally Friendly Oilseed Processing”. In 2000, he founded the Teutoburger Öhlmühle (Teutoburg oil mill) as a greenfield investment in Ibbenbüren, North-Rhine Westphalia. Michael Raß is married and has two adult children.
Dr. Axel Kölle
Dr. Axel Kölle, together with Dr. Christian Geßner, is a founder and director of the ZNU Center for Sustainable Corporate Leadership in the Faculty of Economics at the University of Witten/Herdecke.
In addition to managing the institute, Axel Koelle is active in research, teaching, training and consulting. In the summer of 2011, he founded fjol GmbH, together with Christian Geßner, to help companies to implement sustainability in a sound and spirited way.
Dr. rer. pol. Axel Kölle studied Economic Geography (specializing in Environmental Economics and Environmental Law) at the Universities of Münster and Heidelberg and received his Ph.D at the University of Witten/Herdecke (UW/H) in the field of Economics (subject: Risk Management as a Strategic Instrument for Sustainable Management – Illustrated by example of the Food Industry).
Axel Kölle has been involved in further education and consulting since starting his career as a consultant and trainer at the Fresenius Academy, and since 2003, in research and teaching at the University of Witten/Herdecke. Axel Kölle is married and has two sons and one daughter.
Dr. Christian Geßner
Dr. Christian Geßner, together with Dr. Axel Kölle, is founder and director of the ZNU Center for Sustainable Corporate Leadership in the Faculty of Economics at the University of Witten/Herdecke.
Apart from the institute management, Christian Geßner is active in research, teaching, training and consulting. In the summer of 2011, he founded fjol GmbH, together with Axel Kölle, to help companies to implement sustainability in a sound and spirited way.
Dr. Oec. Christian Geßner studied Economics in Münster and Heidelberg and received his Ph.D in Economics in Hohenheim on the topic of “Entrepreneurial Sustainability Strategies”. Christian Geßner is married and has two sons.
Mirjam Rübbelke-Alo is a senior consultant at fjol and supports clients from the consumer goods industry in the company-specific learning process towards sustainable business. Important elements of this work are the identification of company and product sustainability, the stakeholder analysis and the materiality analysis. Mirjam Rübbelke-Alo is an expert in the strategic orientation of sustainability, the process of sustainability change, sustainability reporting as well as stakeholder dialogues.
Mirjam Rübbelke-Alo studied Economics at the University of Witten/Herdecke (B.A., M.A.) and the University of Lund (M.Sc.), focusing on sustainable management, personnel, knowledge and change processes. Her bachelor thesis on “Sustainable Consumption in food retail” was awarded The Association of German Engineers – Advancement Award 2009 as well as the oikos BA Thesis Award in Sustainable Economics and Management 2009. She has experience in sustainability management, marketing and sales in food retailing, ethical-ecological banking and international research projects. Mirjam Rübbelke-Alo is currently undergoing further training as a systemic organizational consultant.
Senior Consultant & Coach
Jadwiga Zurad has got over ten years of international experience in the fields of sustainable business and entrepreneurship, development of sustainability strategies, leadership coaching, personal development, facilitation and training. She has been working as a senior consultant and coach for fjol since the beginning of 2016. The focus of her work is the development and implementation of innovative coaching and further training measures on the topics of sustainable corporate management, development of leadership personalities, organizational learning, personnel development and change management. In addition, Jadwiga Zurad assists the clients in developing their company’s corporate values, their vision and the roadmaps to sustainability, thereby supporting a more sustainable corporate culture and more effective strategy implementation.
Since 2006, Jadwiga Zurad has worked in multicultural teams at think tanks such as the ZNU Center for Sustainable Corporate Leadership, the UNEP Collaborating Center on Sustainable Consumption and Production (CSCP), the Center for Systems Solutions (CRS), the Sendzimir Foundation and Zawila Business Park. Jadwiga Zurad studied Environmental Engineering (M.Sc. Eng.), Sustainability and Psychology, has been trained as a professional coach by the CTI – Coaching Training Institute, and has completed many further qualification programs for trainers and facilitators. She has received numerous awards for scientists in the field of sustainability, including the prestigious award of the German Federal Environmental Foundation (DBU).
Verena Timmer has been working for fjol since 2014. She assists companies to develop sustainability strategies and stakeholder engagement processes. In this context, she also advises clients on the development of materiality analyses and on the consideration of stakeholder interests (e.g. implementation and evaluation of stakeholder surveys).
Apart from the analysis of customer and supplier interests, stakeholder consideration also includes the interests of employees and the associated company culture.
Furthermore, she supports clients in conducting hot-spot analyses, thereby applying sustainability to the product level and implementing a more sustainable product development.
Verena Timmer studied Home Economics and Nutritional Sciences before moving her focus to sustainability management.
Markus Laumann has been working for fjol since September 2016 on the topics of climate and life cycle assessment, packaging, water and food waste. Since 2015, he has been working as a research assistant at the ZNU and actively within the research project “LeDaNa” (Food Waste Data for more Sustainability in the Food Industry) sponsored by the Ministry of the Environment of North-Rhine Westphalia. Markus Laumann studied Economics and Philosophy (B.A.) at the University of Osnabrück with a focus on growth theory, overall economic well-being, as well as ethics in economics and management. Subsequently, he completed a Master’s degree in Economics at the Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster, focusing on the topics of international trade theory and sustainable energy and resource economics.
Katharina Stelzl is a Junior Consultant at fjol, responsible for the consideration and evaluation of the sustainability of packaging and packaging material. She completed her studies in Environmental and Process Engineering as well as Environmental Science and Management in Germany and the USA. At the Bren School of Environmental Science and Management at the University of California, Santa Barbara, she focused on pollution prevention and remediation and was involved in a project with a customer from the dairy industry. In addition, she completed research stays and internships in Japan, Australia and India, where she also worked in material development. The focus of her studies was on sustainable development, life cycle assessment, industrial ecology and the prevention of pollution.