Creating added value for plants and animals
The importance of biodiversity
The condition of nature is increasingly becoming serious. This is shown in the 2019 report of the World Biodiversity Council on the extinction of species. Not only many exotic animals such as rhinos, elephants, giraffes and reptiles are threatened. Domestic biodiversity is also at risk.
Biodiversity encompasses the richness of plants, animals, fungi and microorganisms as well as the diversity of habitats and genetic resources. Biodiversity and an intact nature are the basis for human life, for our quality of life and health.
Your contribution to the protection of biodiversity
Everyone can help to protect nature and create added value for plants and animals. Everyday life offers many opportunities for this.
On a balcony, terrace or in a garden you can use bee and insect friendly plants. Plants rich in nectar and pollen help bees, bumblebees and butterflies to feed themselves.
With an insect hotel or bat boxes you can make an important contribution to the protection of species and biodiversity. Insect hotels help useful insects to nest and hibernate. These include bees and useful beetles.
A bat box serves as a shelter for bats. These can be placed in your own garden, e.g. on a large tree or on the wall of a house. Get creative. Numerous small measures help to protect biodiversity.
The protection of nature is important to K+S
There can be no potash production without affecting the environment. We make every effort to keep these impacts as little as possible. If they cannot be avoided at all, we ensure compensation - and go beyond what is required by law. Thus we create added value for flora and fauna.
We compensate unavoidable interventions in nature and environment with compensatory and replacement measures. In order to be able to tailor these measures as best as possible to the respective natural environment, we use a broad spectrum of methods. These range from the planting of woody plants to the upgrading of biotopes and the enlargement of arable land.
However, we also create tomes - i.e. quarters - for the endangered dormouse or move dozens of anthills by hand to protect the useful insects from the consequences of expanding our tailings piles. We are legally obliged to take such measures. However, K+S attaches importance to creating added value for the environment beyond what is prescribed. This is demonstrated by the fact that we specifically implement and support meaningful projects in the region where the interventions take place.
Cooperations with nature conservation associations, farmers and other land users as well as experts for flora and fauna and engineering offices help us to carefully plan and implement the measures. In this way we create added value for the region in a targeted manner and also see ourselves as a strong partner of the regions through social support, promotion of institutions, associations and clubs.
Our strategy is to implement the projects ourselves and with local partners.
Experience commitment at first hand
We repeatedly launches voluntary nature conservation initiatives at our sites. A 19-hectare biotope network has been created as part of the compensatory measures for the expansion of the tailings pile in Hattorf - a "green belt" that provides wildcats with a network corridor and gives animals and plants a new habitat. Between `Dreienberg‘ and `Landecker Berg‘, biodiversity is promoted by the creation of a wide variety of habitats through afforestation, land extensification, water body renaturation and the establishment of wooded strips.
In the 19-hectare biotope network you can experience our commitment at first hand. The flora and fauna which have settled there show us that we have created added value for plants and animals.
Whether the creation of nesting sites for rare birds of prey on factory facades, the creation of ponds for protected amphibian species such as the yellow-bellied toad in the vicinity of the factory site such as the settlement of colonies of bees on the roofs of buildings, the participation with own program items on "Sustainability Day":
K+S is active in a variety of ways - not least in order to sensitize its employees, but also the population living in the mining region, to questions of nature conservation and to achieve understanding and acceptance for our nature conservation measures.
For example, we use the honey that bees produce at K+S to draw attention to insect mortality. We actively involve our employees in order to give them an incentive for their own sustainability activities, whether at work or at home.
Not only the colleagues at the K+S headquarters in Kassel can watch voluntary nature conservation initiatives such as the bees' buzzing and the weekly work of the beekeeper, but their children from the GlücKSkindergarten also curiously visit the bees. The interest in information and the many reports on the implementation of bee-friendly planting and nesting aids in domestic gardens let me know: The measure is successful.
Activities with our kindergarten children, the GlücKSkinder
Whether on a species protection mission in the Habichtswald forest or on the roof of buildings - environmental education for our youngest children in the company kindergarten GlücKSkinder, is of great importance to us. Together with two expert representatives of the Naturschutzbund (NABU) Habichtswald e.V. (German Society for Nature Conservation), bat boxes were installed in the Habichtswald forest and interesting information on the bats' way of life and existence was provided. The curious kindergarten children looked on with interest as the bat boxes, which they had built themselves, were placed on trees in the Habichtswald forest.
The beekeeper who looks after our K+S bees was also available to answer the questions of the curious kindergarten children. He provided them interesting facts about bees. He did not let anything come to his attention when a bee got caught in his beekeeper's hat and stung him while he was talking to the children.
Through our environmental education, the topic of sustainability and the importance of biodiversity is brought very close to the little ones.