2007 – 2023: Milestones of the RAG-Stiftung. From the decision to phase out hard coal mining, through the start of the post-mining era, to current developments.


©Dietmar Klingenburg

Germany’s federal government, the coal states of North Rhine-Westphalia and Saarland, the IG BCE trade union and RAG agree in a key issues paper to phase out subsidized hard coal mining by the end of 2018.


The RAG-Stiftung was established on 26 June with the aim of winding up German hard coal mining in a socially responsible way and financing the perpetual obligations. The former BP manager Wilhelm Bonse-Geuking is appointed Chairman of the Board of Executives. Shortly afterwards, the existing shareholders of RAG AG (E.ON AG, RWE AG, ThyssenKrupp AG and Société Nouvelle Sidéchar SARL) each sell their shares to the RAG-Stiftung for one euro.

©Lina Nikelowski

The RAG-Stiftung sells 25.01 percent of Evonik’s shares to CVC Capital Partners. Both shareholders aim to take the company public.

©RAG-Archiv/Raphael Maass

Hard coal mining along the Saar river ends. The closure of the Saar mine in Ensdorf marks the final chapter in mining in Saarland.


The former Minister for Economic Affairs Dr. Werner Müller becomes Chairman of the Board of Executives of the RAG-Stiftung. Bärbel Bergerhoff-Wodopia (Human Resources) and Dr. Helmut Linssen (Finances) also join the Board of Executives.

©Kirsten Neumann

IPO of Evonik Industries AG. The share is listed for the first time on the Frankfurt and Luxembourg stock exchanges on 25 April.

©Dirk Bannert

The RAG-Stiftung now directly holds a 30 percent stake in Vivawest. A leading housing provider in North Rhine-Westphalia, Vivawest maintains more than 120,000 apartments.


In response to the continuing phase of low interest rates, the RAG-Stiftung begins implementing its new capital investment strategy, the aim of which is to invest to a greater extent in non-liquid tangible assets (real estate, strategic holdings).

©Jens Kirchner

The RAG-Stiftung moves with RAG AG into its new headquarters at the Zollverein World Heritage Site in Essen. The new building offers ideal conditions for even better cooperation between the RAG-Stiftung and RAG in the post-mining era from 2019 onwards.


Bernd Tönjes, Chairman of the Board of Executives of RAG AG since 2008, assumes the same position at the RAG-Stiftung. He succeeds Dr. Werner Müller, who retired for health reasons. At the same time, Tönjes takes over as Chairman of the Supervisory Boards of Evonik Industries AG, RAG AG and RAG Deutsche Steinkohle AG.


The RAG-Stiftung successfully places around 3.5 percent of the total number of Evonik shares issued in a direct sale, shedding more of its equity interest in the Essen-based specialty chemicals company. Its stake in Evonik is now 64.3 percent.

Turn of the year
©Ina Fassbender

The Prosper-Haniel mine in Bottrop produces the last German hard coal on 21 December 2018. The era of hard coal mining in Germany is thus ended in a socially responsible way. The post-mining era commences in January 2019. For the first time, the RAG-Stiftung finances the remaining perpetual obligations in the hard coal mining regions.

©Mike Henning

The control centre at the Herne-Wanne site, a state-of-the-art technical post-mining hub, is put into operation. It gathers all the information and signals for monitoring and controlling pit and well water management, ground water purification and the monitoring systems along the Ruhr and Saar rivers in Ibbenbüren.


Dr. Jürgen Rupp, Chief Financial Officer of RAG AG since 2008, becomes the new Chief Financial Officer of the RAG-Stiftung. He succeeds Dr. Helmut Linssen, who retired for reasons of age.

©ZOOM Entertainment GmbH

Rethink Robotics, in which the RAG-Stiftung holds a majority stake through its strategic holding RSBG SE, opens a location for collaborative robots in Bochum. The RAG-Stiftung provided significant encouragement in helping the company set up there – a move that exemplifies the transformation of the Ruhr region into an attractive location of the future.  

©Mike Henning

The resilience of the foundation’s model proves itself even under the difficult economic conditions prevailing during the coronavirus pandemic. The foundation’s assets have always been above 15 billion euros since 2015. 

©Mike Henning

The BRYCK innovation hub and future factory initiated by the RAG-Stiftung begins its work on 16 February. Located in the heart of Essen’s city centre, it brings together start-ups, science and companies. In its very first year, BRYCK supports over 45 start-ups from a total of 19 countries in the focal areas of liveable cities, healthcare and hydrogen.

©Volker Wiciok

Excavation of the pit water canal begins in Ibbenbüren. Once it is completed in 2025, the pit water from the colliery will flow without power-intensive pumping through the 7.4-kilometre canal into the pit water treatment plant in Gravenhorst, which is likewise still under construction, thus saving considerable amounts of energy and CO2 compared to pit water management using pumps. 


Renaturation of the Emscher river is a once-in-a-century European project. As part of its pit water concept, RAG Aktiengesellschaft decommissions the last of what used to be four sites for discharging pit water into the river. For the first time in over 100 years, the Emscher is free of pit water again.

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