20 May 2008
HeidelbergCement: Committed to protecting biodiversity
Until 30 May 2008, Germany is hosting the 9th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CoP 9) in Bonn. With Germany as chair, representatives of countries from around the globe will discuss measures against the ongoing destruction of nature. HeidelbergCement will be represented as a partner of the “Business and Biodiversity” initiative.
The business community plays an important part in preserving the natural foundations of life for future generations. In a joint “Leadership Declaration”, the companies of the “Business and Biodiversity” initiative have committed themselves to far-reaching actions to emphasise biodiversity in their company policies. They will present their programme to the global community in Bonn under the motto: “Biodiversity in Good Company”. HeidelbergCement, one of the world’s largest manufacturers of building materials, with 68,000 employees and more than 2,800 locations on five continents, has committed itself to implementing the convention and playing a pioneering role in the process.
“Our aim is to use our unique possibilities to increase the diversity of species. As a partner of the “Business and Biodiversity” initiative, we are now able to present our commitment to an international audience,” says Dr. Bernd Scheifele, Chairman of the Managing Board of HeidelbergCement. “For the implementation of measures within our company, we will establish an international team headed by a biologist. A Group guideline for restoration and biodiversity, which we will apply in pilot projects, is currently being developed.”
Environmental and species protection at HeidelbergCement
Natural resources, which are required for the production of building materials, form the basis of the business of HeidelbergCement. Their protection safeguards our means of existence as well as the livelihood of future generations. Consumption of natural resources by HeidelbergCement is continually reduced through efficient production technology and the use of alternative raw materials. For instance, the company increasingly utilises by-products of other industries, such as fly ash or blast furnace slag.
During the quarrying process, there is a high priority placed on environmentally sound mining methods and subsequent restoration measures at the quarries. Already when choosing the areas, HeidelbergCement makes meticulous plans for the proposed quarrying and subsequent land use – often in close cooperation with scientists from universities and conservation associations. The areas are prepared for agriculture or forestry use, or are made available for nature conservation. The quarries and aggregates pits enrich the landscape and create habitats for various species of animals and plants that are becoming increasingly marginalised in modern agricultural landscapes.