Today is World Environment Day – a day initiated by the United Nations for encouraging worldwide awareness and action to protect our environment. With 1 million species facing extinction, this year’s World Environment Day is guided by the theme “Celebrate Biodiversity” and is hosted by Colombia and Germany.
RHI Magnesita recognizes that biodiversity is essential to life and acknowledges its alarming and rapid loss across the world. We therefore want to use the occasion of World Environment Day and this year’s theme “Celebrate Biodiversity” to introduce to you some of our activities.
Forests are biologically diverse systems, offering a habitat for a variety of plants, animals and micro-organisms, making forests some of the richest biological areas on Earth. However, forest biodiversity is increasingly threatened as a result of deforestation, fragmentation and climate change. RHI Magnesita takes a regenerative approach to the areas we mine, aiming to restore them to their original state through re-cultivation and reforestation. In 2019, our activities included:
- Our Marktredwitz site in Germany was recognized by the local Ministry of the Environment for commitment to species and insect protection in 2019. Cited as a “Blossoming Business”, the plant has designed its outdoor space in ways that promote biodiversity, planting bee-friendly shrubs, hedges and meadows, avoiding chemical pesticides and peat-containing substrates.
- In Brazil, we grew 26,000 native saplings in our Brumado tree nursery and planted 6,000 on our land in 2019 while donating more than 12,500 to local communities.
- In Turkey, our Eskişehir site’s annual tree-planting saw approximately 500 employees, contractors and members of the local community plant more than 2,000 trees on land neighbouring our mine and production site in 2019. To date, we have planted 193,650 trees in Turkey.
- In Germany, employees of our Niederdollendorf site planted 2,000 trees in nearby Siebengebirge natural park and provided a further 2,000 to the local conservation partner. In addition, Niederdollendorf supports an initiative preserving the unique biotopes of local meadow orchards. The initiative has been awarded by the United Nations in the scope of the UN’s Decade on Biodiversity.
- On the occasion of last year’s World Environment Day, Indian plant Vizag distributed tree saplings to all employees, who were encouraged to plant the saplings in their residential neighborhoods for a greener environment.
- As part of the recultivation measures in Hochfilzen, Austria, 16.500 trees and bushes have been planted since 2010. In addition, ponds were created that not only serve as watering place for the deers living in the mountains, but also create a habitat for amphibians and insects.
- Dalian site, China, is home to a variety of fruit trees, including apples, cherries, and peaches. The trees offer pollen to insects, a breeding place for birds and a rich harvest for RHI Magnesita employees. Today, as much as possible of the site’s surface has been grassed and planted.