Strong signal from business: 'Biodiversity in Good Company' Initiative realigned
The 'Biodiversity in Good Company' Initiative, which was established in 2008 as a project under the auspices of the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety and the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, has been transformed into a business-run and company-driven independent association. By this realignment, the project, which had proven to be a great success, ensures its long-term future prospects.
The business network will continue to expand its activities from its German base. The BMU welcomes the companies' commitment. Federal Environment Minister Dr. Norbert Röttgen complimented the Initiative: "Nature is our foundation of life. Protecting nature is the joint task of government and society. The German business community has made a vital contribution to this by founding the international network 'Biodiversity in Good Company'. German companies support the federal government in implementing the National Biodiversity Strategy and internationally agreed targets."
Germany had held the presidency over the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) between 2008 and 2010 and hosted the 9th Conference of the Parties 2008 in Bonn, Germany. On this occasion, the BMU and several private companies had initiated the business initiative and commissioned the GIZ with implementing the project.
The newly registered association will take up its work with companies who have already been participating in the project before and seeks to quickly gain more members. A board comprised of seven members assumes strategic leadership of the Initiative. Board members are: Alexander Bartelt, Department Manager Climate Protection and Sustainable Products, Otto Group (Chairman of the Board); Gisbert Braun, Head of Corporate Quality & Sustainability, Faber-Castell Aktiengesellschaft (Deputy Chairman of the Board); Dr.-Ing. Detlef Matz, Head of Sustainability Management, Werner & Mertz GmbH (Treasurer); Edgar Endrukaitis, Head of Environmental Policy Programme, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH; Michael Garvs, Head of Sustainability Management, Bionade GmbH; Heini Lehti, Senior Specialist, Environmental Market Support CE, UPM GmbH; Michael Scholing-Darby, Head of Political Communications, Group External Relations, Volkswagen AG. Mrs Carolin Boßmeyer has been appointed as Managing Director.
The BMU will continue its close cooperation with the 'Biodiversity in Good Company' Initiative, including joint hosting of events as for example this year’s dialogue event "Biodiversity and Business" (in German) in Fulda, Germany, on 20 October. GIZ will continue its partnership as well, hosting the Initiative’s offices in the GIZ branch Berlin. "We will conduct an international project with several member companies of the initiative, which aims at improving the protection of biological diversity along the supply chains", said Edgar Endrukaitis, Head of Environmental Policy Programme at GIZ, until recently coordinated the Initiative and now is a member of the board.