Faber-Castell Encourages Creativity
The corporate success of Faber-Castell is based on trusting and fair dealings with employees, business partners, customers and suppliers. These values have not only been practiced in the company for many generations, they are also the principles of the “Honorable Merchant,” a model dating back to the Middle Ages, which is still relevant centuries later. The honorable merchant is committed to adhering to values and rules, but also creates the conditions for honorable action and assumes responsibility for his deeds. For centuries, Faber-Castell has lived the corporate philosophy of fairness, transparency and respect. This includes, in particular, treating their employees well.
In March 2000, Faber-Castell and the IG Metall trade union ratified an agreement that applies in all countries. The Faber-Castell Social Charter is one of the first of its kind with such a wide scope. The company voluntarily commits itself to assuring, in all its subsidiaries, the terms of employment and working conditions recommended by the International Labour Organization (ILO). The Charter includes, amongst other things, a ban on child labor, a guarantee of safe and hygienic working conditions, and also equal opportunities and treatments, regardless of race, religion, gender, or nationality. An independent committee checks at regular intervals that the terms are being complied with. As one of the world’s oldest industrial companies, Faber-Castell has long shown a high degree of social commitment. As far back as the mid-19th century it set up various social schemes for its employees and their dependents, including one of the first company health insurance schemes and one of the first kindergartens in Germany; it also founded schools and built housing for the factory workers.
Then as now, the well-being of children plays a particularly important role for Faber-Castell. For this reason, Anton Wolfgang Graf von Faber-Castell (8th generation) set up a children's fund foundation in 2001. Since then it has been supporting humanitarian children's aid projects, for example in kindergartens, schools, children's hospitals and orphanages, above all in developing countries. The "Little Flower" project, for example, is dedicated to the care and support of young and adult patients in a small village in northern India. Thanks to donations from the Graf von Faber-Castell Children's Fund Foundation, bunk beds could be built, mattresses bought and the furniture improved. Teaching materials could also be purchased.
Especially the early support of children supports their development on different levels. Several studies have shown that there is a connection between handwriting and neural activity, which has had a positive influence on various aspects related to creativity, fine motor skills and cognitive ability. With respect to cognitive abilities, this practice could increase brain activity, thus providing a basis for enhanced performance and has an impact on reading, writing and critical thinking abilities. A study by Doctor George Early which was published by the American Association of Psychology showed that first grade students who knew how to write in cursive script achieved better grades than those who wrote in print.
The company's own academy also enables to train and live out the own creativity in a very comprehensive way. It is a private higher education institution for art, design and literature at the headquarters in Stein. Covering nearly 2,500 square meters, it offers people with creative talents a wide range of opportunities for training and further education. True to the motto “Encourage lifelong creativity,” the Faber-Castell Academy program starts with the youngest. In the youth art school, conceived in accordance with special pedagogical factors, children and young people are motivated to develop their personality and their own creativity beyond the school-based educational path. The concept of the Faber-Castell Academy also includes an extensive further education and study program for adults in the fields of fine arts, illustration, literature as well as art and design therapy.
In addition, skills such as critical thinking, communication, creativity and cooperation will become essential in the future. Faber-Castell encourages these qualities both with its rich product portfolio and with pedagogically instructed creative experiences. Faber-Castell Brazil for example launched the ‘Creative and Innovation Space’ at the MIT Media Lab together with the Lemann Creative Learning Program. Innovative workplaces, 3D printers, laser cutters and a wealth of different materials (including cardboard, plastics, adhesives and, of course, pens) await the children in an area covering 800 square meters. Children and young people can play, try out different materials and make their wildest ideas a reality in this space. The focus is not on how realistic their ideas are, but simply on the process of discovery and giving expression to their own imagination. They jointly create prototypes and document their progress using a video camera, which enables the children to acquire reasoning, teamwork and communication skills through play – whilst cementing their own creativity.