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CEMEX UK and RSPB celebrate five-year partnership

Working together for nature delivers some outstanding results for biodiversity and the natural environment

CEMEX UK and the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) are celebrating five years of working together for nature in a unique and highly successful partnership.

The partnership began in 2009 and involved the appointment of Dr Sam Tarrant, a dedicated RSPB advisor working within the company to consult with key stakeholders and facilitate biodiversity measures within CEMEX UK.

In 2010 the partnership launched its Biodiversity Strategy with a commitment by CEMEX to challenging biodiversity targets covering their UK operations. This included the creation and maintenance of 1,000ha of priority habitats by 2020.

Already, 500ha have been created through quarry restoration, one example being Parkfield Road, a depleted quarry turned into a nature reserve with floating reed beds and specific habitat for the native crayfish.

‘In the last five years together we have achieved some outstanding results by developing constructive business solutions that enhance the natural environment surrounding our operations, while we continue to supply building materials to our customers,’ said Jesus Gonzalez, country president of CEMEX UK.

‘The RSPB’s expertise in biodiversity is helping us to create a better future for the communities in which we operate. In CEMEX, we are passionate about balancing the needs of the built environment with the natural environment.’

Employee engagement through the company’s volunteering scheme, Lendahand, has been another successful activity prompted by the partnership. Each CEMEX employee is entitled to 8h paid leave to volunteer for a charity. More than 2,000 volunteering hours have been taken to date, many of them involving nature projects in communities.

With the help of Sam Tarrant and advisors at the RSPB, CEMEX employees and management are engaging in many biodiversity projects to enhance nature, including: helping to protect birds of prey such as peregrine falcons in quarries; ensuring there are sacrificial sand mounds for sand martins; supporting rare butterflies at Southam Quarry; planting a flower rich hay meadow near Dove Holes Quarry to help save the near extinct twite bird; providing bird boxes for house sparrows throughout the country, but particularly in London where they have declined by 70%; and committing to a four-year conservation project along the migratory path of the turtle dove to help this declining species.

Mike Clarke, chief executive of the RSPB, commented: ‘We are committed to increasing the amount of wildlife-rich habitat in our countryside and towns, and that is why this partnership is so important to us. It is amazing to see a former quarry returned to nature and watch as birds, wild plants and insects take over.

‘There are some real success stories from this partnership where beautiful nature reserves have been created from spent mineral sites. I think this is a perfect example of charities and business working together for the greater good.’

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