Melitta Group

Melitta builds coral reef off the coast of Ecuador




Together with the organization rrreefs, which works to protect the oceans, the Melitta Group has built a coral reef off the coast of Ecuador. The 20 square meter reef system is made of clay bricks produced by a 3D printer. Together with the local community Conversacion Marina Ecuador (CONMAR), the reef system, which is secured with an innovative modular platform, was submerged in the sea off the island of El Sucre. The system is designed to support the growth of diverse corals, helping to restore a healthy reef ecosystem off the coast of Ecuador.


“Promoting sustainable development and change is part of our corporate purpose. Preserving and promoting biodiversity is essential, not only for our core business areas, but also for the functioning of ecosystems worldwide,” said Stefan Dierks, Director of Sustainability Strategy at the Melitta Group. “We are therefore delighted to be working with rrreefs to help restore a healthy reef ecosystem. We will be monitoring the reef closely and are very excited to see how it develops.”


First artificial coral reef in the East Pacific

Dr Ulrike Pfreundt, co-founder of rrreefs commented: “The partnership with Melitta not only allows us and our partners at CONMAR Ecuador to advance reef regeneration, but also marks a milestone in the scientific understanding of our artificial reef system. For the first time, our system will be deployed in the East Pacific, which has very special reefs, so we will now be able to compare the regenerative capacity of reefs in three of the world’s oceans.”


CONMAR project manager Andrea Castillo said: “Ecuador has lost around 70 per cent of its coral areas in recent decades. Through this partnership, we are applying new innovative solutions to facilitate ecosystem recovery and deepen our understanding of coral settlement, which will complement our concurrent restoration efforts. The project also encourages local fishing communities to participate in marine conservation efforts, which is critical to the sustainability of such initiatives.”


Reef to be scientifically monitored for three years

The Ecuadorian reef project is intended to serve as a model for effective partnerships in marine conservation and is in line with global efforts to protect and restore fragile marine ecosystems. The reef system will be scientifically monitored and analyzed over the next three years.


Melitta Group
Melitta is an internationally operating group of companies and is one of the leading independent family businesses, both in Germany and abroad. Its main activities are the development, manufacture and sale of branded products for coffee enjoyment, for the storage and preparation of food, and for household cleanliness. As a company with a tradition spanning more than 110 years, the Melitta Group thinks long term and sees the pursuit of sustainable development as an integral part of all its business activities.

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rrreefs is an award-winning, female-founded start-up based in Switzerland that rebuilds degraded coral reefs across the globe.  The ETH spin-off has combined scientific design and engineering to produce a unique system of interlocking 3D-printed clay bricks that create complex habitats conducive to coral recruitment and habitats for various species of fish crustaceans, molluscs, and other macrofauna. 


rrreefs vision is to revive 1% of coastal coral reefs by 2034 – restoring rich marine biodiversity for healthy oceans and people, current sites include Cooper Island (BVI), Pujada Bay (Philippines) and San Andrés (Columbia). Find out more at


CONMAR is a non-profit organization founded in 2021 in response to the need for fostering environmental responsibility concerning the natural resources from the coastal-marine areas of Ecuador. Since then, CONMAR has spearheaded coral research and restoration initiatives. The vision is to become a leading institution in environmental education and conservation through various projects and programs involving research, education, and scientific communication.


The multi-disciplinary, environmentally conscious team includes scientists, biologists, engineers, marine photographers, and more.

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Melitta Group Management GmbH & Co. KG
Corporate Communications and Sustainability


Annika von Hollen    
External Communication Manager - Group Communications