Austria – RMC Austria and WWF protect rare grassland environment

Austria – RMC Austria and WWF protect rare grassland environment
Published: 10 November 2003

RMC Austria will be helping to protect an area of nationally significant, rare dry grassland through its latest agreement with WWF. The area contains the company’s Hollitzer Quarry, operated by Readymix Kies Union and located 50km west of the capital Vienna.

The dry grassland, the largest of its kind in Europe, lies at the foot of the Hundsheimer Berge, a mountain which represents one of the most significant ecosystems in the country. The region hosts a number of important species, including the downy oak (Quercus pubescens) and was declared an International Biogenetic Reserve for its outstanding biodiversity in 1989 by the European Union.

The RMC-WWF agreement recognises the ecological importance of the area. RMC’s Austrian environment manager Martin Duer commented that “RMC is pleased to announce the partnership with WWF in Austria. It provides us with the safeguards we need to ensure our practices in the area are in line with best practice in sustainable mining activities. We see this as a long-term commitment. We have a licence from the landowner to extract aggregate from Hollitzer until 2055.  This agreement will ensure that our commercial activities operate in sympathy with a very important Austrian ecosystem."

Dr. Günther Lutschinger, general manager of WWF Austria added "The main objective of this partnership between RMC and WWF is to upgrade the ecological value of the quarry - by the establishment of a monitoring system for the biodiversity there. This is a long term initiative to measure and manage the status of the reserve." The environmental group sees RMC Austria as one of the most relevant and important players for habitat protection and conservation practice in the extraction industry.