Urbaser, a global environmental management company, promotes biodiversity protection projects in the countries where it operates.
June 2020, web copy
- One of the projects that the company initiated in Jordan aims to increase the general public’s awareness of the negative effects that waste has on the seabed
- In Chile, Urbaser has launched an initiative to promote biodiversity which focusses on protecting and caring for the Andean condor
- Barcelona’s “Green Roof” space has converted 400 square metres of office roofs into an ecosystem full of life that also contributes to energy savings
Through its business activities, Urbaser contributes to the sustainable development of the cities and territories in which it operates. The company creates more liveable and resilient spaces while advocating for biodiversity thanks to sustainable and responsible management and advocation for innovation.
Urbaser’s 2018-2023 Corporate Social Responsibility Action Plan sets out its commitments to achieving various SDGs. In the environmental area, the protection of terrestrial and marine biodiversity is one of the priorities, thus contributing to meeting SDGs 14 and 15 through responsible production measures (SDG 12) to achieve more sustainable cities (SDG 11).
International projects that favour biodiversity
The first of the projects called “Care to Act to Reduce Marine Littering in Aqaba” has been developed in Jordan through an agreement with the Royal Marine Conservation Society of Jordan, in collaboration with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP Jordan), Carrefour, and the local government of the city of Aqaba.
Aqaba’s coastline on the Red Sea is highly sought after among divers given its spectacular coral reefs which are affected by marine litter. This project has succeeded in reducing the amount of waste found on the Jordanian city’s beaches; in conjunction with Urbaser’s beach and seabed cleaning activities over 12,000 kg of waste have been collected over the last two years.
The positive benefits and impacts of the project, in addition to conserving the marine environment, focus on creating local employment, increasing the environmental responsibility of inhabitants of the area, and improving the quality of life of socially vulnerable groups in the city, particularly women and children.
Another biodiversity-related project started 14 years ago in Chile. A project to protect the Andean condor was launched in the country through KDM, one of Urbaser’s companies. The species is in danger of extinction and it often frequents the landfills in the area. The company has been awarded this year’s Latin America Green Award in the “Fauna” category with this project.
Part of the programme included installing special feeders in areas where these emblematic birds would congregate to prevent them from ingesting waste. The number of Andean Condors in Chile has now been brought up to 23,000.
Another of the projects that Urbaser has set in motion is the Green Roof project, a 400 square metre space located on the roof of one of the environmental management company’s buildings in an industrial area of Barcelona. The aim of the project is to renaturalise the city by converting rooftops into green corridors.
This space incorporates a multitude of native plants, nest boxes for birds and bats, and a pond where various species of insects and amphibians coexist. It is operated by ensuring there is rigorous biological control. The irrigation system is controlled remotely and is connected to a rainwater collection system. The roof also has photovoltaic panels and wind turbines to create a renewable energy supply for the building.
This area has therefore become an ecosystem in the middle of the city, producing energy savings through solar panels and wind turbines, among other benefits, all as part of Urbaser’s commitment to developing sustainable cities and protecting biodiversity.
As Joan Bosch, Urbaser’s Project Manager points out, “it is living proof that any corner can be turned green. Our intention is to go far beyond the simple naturalised green roofs and to promote biodiversity in industrial spaces”.
Biodiversity: a guarantee for the future
Biodiversity is not an obstacle to development, but a necessary condition for social and economic progress and advancement. It is a guarantee, since without it, tomorrow simply would not exist for the planet.
In the words of Laura Galindo, Urbaser’s CSR Director: “We firmly believe in the value of biodiversity to create more resilient urban spaces. This is the why Urbaser participates in projects of great environmental value that promote the sustainability of the territories in which we operate. At Urbaser we are aligned with the United Nations’ 2030 Agenda and we make it our mission to build more sustainable communities”.