HeidelbergCement has launched the fifth edition of the Quarry Life Award, its nature-based competition involving more than 20 countries worldwide. Researchers, students, local communities, NGOs and nature lovers from around the world can pitch their ideas for sustainable quarry management, with prizes up to € 30000 for the most innovative projects. The Quarry Life Award supports HeidelbergCement and its partners, such as BirdLife International, in raising awareness of biodiversity in general and of extraction sites as habitats for many species.
“The time for action is now: The World Economic Forum 2021 Global Risk Report has put biodiversity loss among the five most concerning global risks, both in terms of likelihood and impact”, says Dr Dominik von Achten, Chairman of the Managing Board of HeidelbergCement. “With the competition, HeidelbergCement wants to contribute to the global restoration agenda and works towards a net positive in biodiversity. Our sites can provide valuable habitats for a variety of animal and plant species during and after extraction.”
Positive impact on biodiversity and local communities
Promoting biodiversity is a priority within HeidelbergCement’s sustainability strategy. Based on the award the company develops best practices and innovative ideas for quarry management which are then applied on a global scale. Over the last four editions, nearly 1000 researchers investigated in more than 100 quarries how to protect nature and promote a high diversity of local flora and fauna. Some projects resulted in improved quarry management, others supported local communities. For example, projects in Ghana created practical solutions to stabilize quarry slopes that allow successful revegetation, while projects across central Europe engaged the community to increase their understanding and appreciation of nature, in particular the crucial role of pollinators.
“We are committed to maintain our leadership position in nature conservation. Our exceptional collaboration with diverse stakeholders through the Quarry Life Award plays a large part in this”, says Dr von Achten. “The Quarry Life Award stimulates the exchange not only between academia and industry, it also strengthens our relationships with local communities.”
To participate in the new edition of the competition, students, researchers, NGOs and local communities can submit a project proposal in the “Research” or “Community” streams. A maximum of six project ideas per country will be selected by the national juries to participate in the competition. The juries are composed of experts from local universities and NGOs as well as HeidelbergCement specialists. From January to September 2022, HeidelbergCement will then open its quarries for the realization of the selected projects. The countries Bulgaria and Israel are joining for the first time. At the end of 2022, the winners will be awarded at national and international level.