Business Development, Division Stone Materials , NCC Industry
Today a lot of habitats and species are endangered due to a growing human population using natural resources in an irresponsible way. We know that our operations have a direct dependency on nature resources and thereby a direct impact on biodiversity. Biodiversity work is important, and we realize that we have possibilities to make difference.
Within a relatively small operational area that is disrupted continuously, like the quarry or gravel pit, the natural environments are often more varied than in the pristine neighboring area. This makes our sites unique and creates opportunities to benefit biodiversity and species both during operation and when rehabilitating.
Our ambition is to ensure biodiversity at the areas where we are active - during application, operation, and part of the rehabilitation. It is a part of our license to operate!
Our goal is to contribute to increase biodiversity in gravel pits and quarries where we operate in by 2030. To reach the goal we will take actions to increase our knowledge and further incorporate the biodiversity work into our business processes and our way of working.
We are reviewing our operations with help of the mitigation hierarchy, which is a widely used tool to limit negative impacts on biodiversity. It includes preventive actions to avoid and minimize effects, and remediating actions to rehabilitate biodiversity and lastly to compensate impact by creating biodiversity values.
We operate in many quarries and gravel pits throughout the Nordics. All our operations are based on permits, which covers an extensive review of the intended operation and includes among others an Environment Impact Assessment (EIA). Some activities that we are doing at our sites to enhance biodiversity are directly connected to and regulated in our permits and in other legal demands. Other activities have been identified in the planning, during operations or at the time for rehabilitation.
We have developed a method, NCC Kielo, to implement and follow-up solutions to maintain and promote biodiversity in quarries and gravel pits. It is an action plan with several measures that we follow over time. You can read more about NCC Kielo and our selected sites here.
At many of our sites or in relation to our operations there are individual cases that aim to improve biodiversity. These examples create good environments for birds, insects or flowers and working among others. Below you can read about some biodiversity case related to our sites throughout the Nordics.
The surprise was great, as the net was filled with spawning larvae of the Lake May fly (Ephemera vulgata). The species is very rare in Zealand, but was found in one of the lakes in NCC's gravel pit at Løng at a stone material day in September. The participants in the nature walk became aware of the fact that there was something very special as they experienced the biologist's surprise and joy in finding the species here.
The goal in the Cinna area is to restore the Drooping wood reed population that used to be there. Cinna latifolia is protected and is included in the endangered plant list of the European Council. The stone material area has a natural rocky area where Cinna latifolia no longer exists. Remediation in the area takes place by opening up the seed bank of the soil and by creating natural preconditions for Cinna latifolia to return. This is achieved by removing competing grass growth.
In Espoo, NCC built a Pollinator bar and a meadow to Ekomo's modern Waste Recycling Area in 2019, together with the area's other circulation economy operators. This biodiversity area is in the immediate vicinity of the NCC’s Stone Material area. In addition to meadow flowers and nesting material, the area is being tested for stone ash, which is hoped to inhibit the growth of invasive species while providing a good breeding ground for meadow flowers. Experimentally, stone ash was applied to three different zones at different thicknesses of 10 to 30 cm. The area also has a drier and more rugged and moist section. A large number of different yellow, white, red and blue meadow flowers were planted. For pollinators there are also now many strains with drilled holes and other nesting materials at the meadow.
Through our Swedish trade organization, SBMI we are a part of the CLImB project – Changing Land use Impact on Biodiversity – which is a development project of a practical tool for assessing nature in Sweden and the Nordics in a transparent and comparable way. Read more about CLImB here.
NCC Industry is a member of the network Business@Biodiversity, which is a network for exchanging of ideas, lectures and training within the area of biodiversity.