Nature Conservation

Our environmental-protection efforts to conserve resources and reinstate habitat help maintain the balance of species. Burghausen’s Site Planning unit develops strategies for limiting land use. We have implemented a site development plan that contains a renaturation proposal and ensures that we also use spaces between buildings and old plants. We carefully assess the impact that site expansions may have on nature and and – in consultation with the authorities – implement environmental mitigation programs to offset these impacts.

Covering 232 hectares (about the same size as Munich’s historic downtown district), our Burghausen plant borders an EU Habitats Directive site (webpage available in German only) alongside the Salzach river. To check whether the operation of our facilities has any effect on this nature reserve, we regularly monitor our air pollution levels (especially nitrogen oxide emissions, NOx). In this regard, we had an external consultant compile an environmental-exposure register for the site. For the period under review, the results again show that operation of our plant does not impact the preservation and development goals of the reserve near the site.

We are cooperating with the Bavarian State Agency for the Environment (website available in German only) in monitoring the appearance of the protected Aesculapian snake on our Burghausen site premises. In Germany, Aesculapian snakes are only known to be found in five areas, one of which is the Salzach region near Burghausen.

Naturnahe Alz e.V.

As part of the Bavarian Environmental Pact, WACKER and seven other ChemDelta Bavaria companies formed the “Naturnahe Alz” (Natural Alz) association (website available in German only) to support Bavaria in the environmental restoration of the Alz River and enhancing its ecosystem in the long term. In 2018, the “Naturnahe Alz” association again donated €60,000, bringing its total investment in nature conservation to €200,000 since its foundation in 2015.

Wildlife Conservation: Projects in the USA

A group of employees at our US site in Adrian (Michigan) has set up nesting boxes for bluebirds, which are native to the region, and maintains a 2.0-km nature trail. The 97-hectare site also features native wildflower and butterfly gardens. An outdoor area of almost 81 hectares has been certified for the conservation of wildlife. The employees are dedicated to nature and wildlife conservation. For its dedication, the Adrian team was once again awarded the Gold Status of the US Wildlife Habitat Council (WHC) in the period under review.

In 1992, the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development passed the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). This convention addresses the preservation of biological diversity (genes, species and habitats), the sustainable exploitation of such diversity, as well as access rules to, and the sharing of benefits from, genetic resources (access and benefit sharing). So far, the CBD has been signed by 168 countries and the EU (with Germany becoming a signatory in 1993). In May 2011, the EU Commission published a biodiversity strategy to 2020.