The family business SCHMEER Sand + Kies GmbH has always placed great emphasis on sustainability in its more than a century of corporate history. This company philosophy applies also for the sustainable protection and preservation of the biodiversity of the flora and fauna at the quarrying site.
In times where the collapse in population numbers has been dramatic in many species and species groups (biodiversity crisis, insect deaths, etc.), the protection of the biotope and its species has become very important for the management board. For this reason, the specialized field biologist Dr. Christoph Bernd was commissioned in 2016 to set up and implement an in-house biotope and species protection management. The intent is the innovative concept of a permanent biotope and species protection management in the ongoing operation in order to interlock the economy more closely with the ecology. The introduced approach goes even further than the general legal requirements but has the potential to contribute significantly to the sustainable preservation of the endangered species of open land sites.
Two independent studies form the basis for this management approach: On the one hand, the basic understanding of the species inventory occurring and, on the other hand, an analysis of the ecological development potential of sub-areas, which can provide information about which species can be sustained and enhanced as target species in a special way through optimization measures. The first observations already yielded evidence of spectacular species, such as the praying mantis, the rare blue-winged grasshopper, the very rare wheatear or the slender green-winged grasshopper that has never been detected in Saarland previously. Those species verify the nationwide unique species community.
The preservation of this species as well as the support of colonization by other biotope-congruent rare and endangered species is the primary objective of the introduced biotope and species protection management. The cornerstones of the protection concept are, on the one hand, the protection and preservation of valuable biotopes and, on the other hand, the specific protection of specific target species and groups of target species. While biotope conservation focuses on the preservation and redesign of characteristic open areas, in practical species protection it is a matter of specifically supporting the designated target species through specific optimization measures.
At present a total of 3 biotope conservation projects and 11 species protection projects are in progress, others are in the planning stage. First successes are shown by a significant increase in biodiversity and density of individuals, and in the case of the European Green Toad a huge increase in the reproduction rate.
The family-run business takes on responsibility for nature and the environment since early on. Therefore it is only consistent for Schmeer Sand + Kies to become member of the ‘Biodiversity in Good Company’ Initiative, which aims to contribute to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD).
Extraction of sand and gravel, construction industry
Schmeer Sand + Kies won the award 2019 in the category environmental protection - best environmentally sound practice/technology