Last year we already reported on the measures and projects through which we want to come closer to our goal of climate-neutral work. In the course of our daily work, CO2 emissions are generated at various points in the value chain. Through various measures, we have already been able to substantially avoid or at least reduce these emissions. However, unavoidable emissions do occur at some points in our core work process, for example during transport. We document and evaluate these emissions every year and then offset them in a compensation project.
This year, we have again selected the new compensation project according to our criteria. A suitable project should be sustainable to us and deliver substantial added value for the environment, and, if possible, on more than one level. In addition, we should have the chance to verify the project’s implementation, our investment should flow directly into the project and, if possible, have no or only a very small proportion of administrative costs. Furthermore, it should not pursue any original commercial interests.
In accordance with these criteria, we have decided to combine two measures this year. In their interplay, on the one hand, they meet our efforts to further reduce CO2 emissions and, on the other hand, they create sustainable (insect) habitats. In addition, they represent added value in the course of the visibility of our company’s sustainable development.
With each new green roof, we have gained new insights and knowledge about how to create the most diverse and sustainable green roofs. We were able to observe how life has come to the areas, how the plants have grown and how many insects, spiders and other inhabitants have appeared.
We have also learned how people identify and inspire each other. This happens above all where growth becomes visible and tangible. The viewers of implemented projects understand that it is not always the big things that matter, but that change takes place with every step. Our green spaces are a physical example of growth, cooperative development and coexistence. They thus make a relevant contribution to involving different target groups in the sustainable process of our company. Starting with our employees, through our customers, to various interest groups and associations. This happens regionally at our company headquarters. However, through the possibilities of digital communication and our reporting system, we also go far beyond that.
These insights have led us to focus directly on one area at our company headquarters. With the 2020 compensation project, we are bringing the measures down from the roofs into the visibility of the entrance area. The experience we have gained so far is now being brought together at this location, turning what was previously a conventionally planted area into a biotope. We are also combining this location with an e-charging facility. An opportunity for everyone to join in and actively contribute to CO2 savings.
The biotope – further habitat for insects, a compensation area for biodiversity
Insects are essential to our ecosystem. They make an important contribution to the continued existence of species diversity. For example, through their pollination services, they help to ensure that a large proportion of plants are preserved and bear fruit. They are also an important part of the food chain of many other animals. Economists have calculated that nature provides an annual service of over 150 billion euros in this way. This makes it all the more important to preserve these natural resources and the regenerative power of nature.
The compensation area, which was redesigned as part of our 2020 compensation project, is located next to the entrance area of our building. It offers many opportunities for insects to find food, take in water, build a nest and spend the winter there.
For this purpose, we heaped up nutrient-poor soil, integrated dead wood and cairns and planted a variety of wild plants and herbs. We chose these in such a way that the insects find plants and grasses in bloom almost all year round and thus find food at any time of the year. These so-called poor soils are the basis for the fact that this form of biodiversity is possible. In order to preserve these soils and to ensure the basis for all growth cycles, we maintain the areas by targeted cutting and the removal of the cutting residues. In this way we prevent the development of fatty (over-fertilized) soils. With these strategic and targeted measures, the ecosystem continues to develop in a very independent and diverse manner.
We have also carefully put together the deadwood heaps. They consist of different types of wood, which are weathered to different degrees. This ideal habitat for insects and spiders is also a good food source for wild birds.
The insects also use the waterhole as a breeding tank for larvae and for building nests.. However, the waterhole serves above all insects and birds as vital drinking trough during the persistent dry periods in the summer months.
The stones and cairns serve as protection against the cold, as a nesting place, but also as a source of heat, for example for butterflies, as they store solar energy.
For those who would like to do something against the dying of insects themselves, the Insect Aid homepage offers some tips on how to make your own garden more insect-friendly. By the way, such a biotope is also a real alternative to the classic ornamental garden.
The charging station(s) – Expansion of our electronic infrastructure
As part of the 2020 compensation project, we have installed 6 additional e-charging points, so that we now have 10 charging stations at our sites. At the same time, we are converting our company fleet to more e-mobility in order to save even more CO2. One of the new charging stations with 2 charging points is installed directly at the newly designed entrance area. Here external visitors for example have the possibility to charge their electric car at our company headquarters.
The charging points are operated with alternating voltage and charge the connected vehicles with a power of 22 kW. This means that all electric cars currently available on the market can be recharged by us. The e-charging points are operated with electricity from 100 % renewable energies and can thus be used by our customers, visitors and company-owned vehicles for CO2-neutral recharging.
In summary, the 2020 compensation project thus achieves the following added value:
- It contributes to the avoidance of CO2 through the extended possibilities for the expansion of e-mobility.
- It sustainably compensates 489 t CO2.
- It creates habitat for many insect species and other animals.
- The project enables identification and participation with regard to sustainable procedures and environmental protection.
- Finally, it also contributes to increasing knowledge about natural habitats, the coexistence of living beings and general sustainable relationships.
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