HeidelbergCement and BirdLife International have signed an agreement to continue their partnership until 2017. The world’s largest aggregates producer and the NGO leader in nature conservation have been working together since 2012 to conserve and restore ecosystems in various European quarrying sites.
In the next three years HeidelbergCement and BirdLife will further expand their nature conservation work from Europe to Asia and Africa. At the same time the partnership intends to broaden the scope of cooperation from the management of local biodiversity and the restoration of quarrying sites to a wider natural resources and environmental management.
Dr Bernd Scheifele, CEO of HeidelbergCement, stated in his opening speech: “Nature conservation has a special place at HeidelbergCement. Quarries and gravel pits transform the existing landscape, therefore we have to minimize our impact on nature and compensate it. We thereby focus on biodiversity protection and sustainable land use because we believe that this is the best way to generate real value for nature and society. In BirdLife, we found a trustful and honest partner to help us achieving this”.
BirdLife International CEO, Patricia Zurita, responded in her speech: “The sustainable use of natural resources and the fight against the loss of biodiversity are crucial pillars in BirdLife’s mission. Both challenges can only be won if we engage with the main agents of the economy, consumers and suppliers. That is why working with HeidelbergCement is strategic for us. NGOs have a long track records working with governments and regulators to shape the rules for nature protection. But we need to get better at working together with business to make positive changes in the way these policies are implemented on the ground. We want to be, together with responsible business such as HeidelbergCement, a force of positive change to the world”.
A joint study, conducted in 26 countries, showed which impact quarrying activities have on flora and fauna and where this would have to be reduced first. With their enormous network all over the world BirdLife supported HeidelbergCement in implementing local projects in 11 countries in Europe.