Ready-mix concrete supplier RMC has extended its sustainable development efforts through a partnership with BirdLife International, a partnership of 103 national and local non-governmental conservation organisations. Through the partnership RMC aims to protect wildlife at its quarries and other aggregate sites while enhancing its ‘license to operate’. To this end, RMC has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with BirdLife which include the following objectives:
• to encourage its local companies to use BirdLife to help ensure operations are environmentally sound and consistent with the goal of sustainable development
• to use BirdLife’s knowledge and capacity in helping to develop and implement a Group biodiversity strategy
• to work with BirdLife in striving to restore disturbed land during and after operations, paying special attention to the need to preserve and protect biodiversity
• to encourage local companies to work with BirdLife to achieve biodiversity conservation beyond the legal compliance requirements.
As part of the MoU, RMC will provide BirdLife International with financial support to help create an effective link between its local companies and BirdLife partners. Both organisation are now drawing up national and local workplans. In a first phase activities are organised in Austria, France, Germany, Poland, Ireland, Portugal, Spain and the UK.
In the UK, RMC UK has provided the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) with details of all its working sites. After crosschecking with RSPB priorities, a list of 20 sites for joint activity has been compiled. According to Noel Morrin, the RMC’s group International Environment Director: “For RMC this partnership with BirdLife is an essential development – they can help us to build a business which places sustainable development at the centre of our Group strategy. The very nature of our operations affords us a unique opportunity to contribute to sustainability by helping conserve existing habitats for flora and fauna and creating new ones in the worked-out quarries and sand and gravel pits that we restore.”
In Poland, RMC subsidiary RMC Polska and Birdlife partner Ogolopolskim Towarzystwem Ochrony Ptakow (OTOP) have agreed to collaborate on the protection of the aquatic warbler, a globally threatened bird species. Small groups of the bird live near RMC Polska’s Chelm plant.