The two organisations have celebrated 10 years of their biodiversity partnership, which has seen the restoration of over 1000 hectares of priority habitat.
CEMEX decided to collaborate with the RSPB in 2009 because of the organisation’s huge conservation knowledge, experience and expertise, and scale and willingness to work in a trusted partnership, to lead the industry in terms of biodiversity and conservation efforts.
This relationship prioritised the conservation of rare and endangered species on CEMEX land. Biodiversity Action Plans (BAPs) are now in place at high priority CEMEX sites, with new projects being started at other quarries.
These BAPs incorporate varied actions that improve ecosystem services and create space for rewilding, presenting opportunities for working alongside NGOs to develop species rich habitats.
Alongside the 1000 hectares of restored habitat, other achievements of the partnership so far have included work at four central England sites to create habitat and a sustainable food source for the turtle dove, which is the country’s fastest-declining bird species; and efforts to protect the rare red-billed chough at its Raynes quarry.
Standout restoration projects, such as the Rugeley heathland and Lade Pits quarry in Kent, have received nationwide acclaim.
CEMEX will continue to work closely with the RSPB towards a series of further targets for priority species conservation and priority habitat creation. The company will also work on improved engagement and awareness with employees, customers and communities.
Andy Spencer, VP of Corporate Affairs, Sustainability & ERM for CEMEX Europe said: “We are very proud of our partnership with the RSPB, and what has been achieved over the last 10 years. Not only have we restored a considerable amount of priority habitat across the country together, two years ahead of schedule, but we have also helped a number of rare species.
“Conservation is one of the key parts of our ongoing sustainability strategy and this partnership is critical for us to delivery ongoing net gain in biodiversity across our extraction sites so when we complete our work, we are giving more back to society and the environment than was there to start with.
“In the future, the partnership needs to continue to deliver high quality, high priority habitats to help combat the decline in biodiversity that we’ve seen in the UK, as well as strengthen our partnership into ongoing advocacy and supporting each other to achieve our common goals. We are excited to see what we can achieve together over the next 10 years!”
Beccy Speight, chief executive of the RSPB, commented: “Working in partnership with CEMEX we have shown how land can be transformed from being an active quarry into a vibrant home for wildlife and we hope that our experience inspires others to play their part in restoring nature.
“Our natural world is in crisis, but by restoring or creating habitats we can often reverse local population declines of threatened species, keeping our common species common and expanding the number of safe havens our wildlife needs across the UK.
“In addition to providing urgently needed new habitat for threatened species the former quarry sites are also providing communities with accessible green spaces and connecting people to nature. Together we are delivering practical examples of how the way we manage our land can see nature return. Going forward we will continue to demonstrate how business and conservation can work together to make a positive difference and ensure the variety of our wonderful species can be sustained in a way which also benefits people.”
The anniversary of the partnership was celebrated at Petersham Nurseries in Covent Garden.
Picture (from LtoR): Martin Casey (Director Public Affairs Europe, CEMEX), Lex Russell (Managing Director UK Materials Northern, CEMEX), Andy Spencer (VP Corporate Affairs, Sustainability & ERM – CEMEX Europe), Sam Tarrant (Business Conservation Partnerships Manager, RSPB), Jenny Oldroyd (RSPB & CEMEX Business Conservation Advisor), Beccy Speight (CEO, RSPB), Alex Finn (Restoration Manager, CEMEX), Nigel Symes (Head of Sector Advice, RSPB), Stephen Redwood (Director Aggs Permitting & Development Europe, CEMEX), Sean Cassidy (Regional Environmental Manager, CEMEX)