Bio...what? is a question we are often asked when the VAUDE CSR Team holds talks on this issue. What is behind this phrase? What is meant by this term, and why is biodiversity so important for VAUDE?
The term biodiversity derives from the Greek word “bio” which means “life”. “Diversity” means “variety” or “plurality”. Biodiversity, then, means the variety of plant and animal life on Earth.
Biodiversity refers to:
The loss of biodiversity is just as large of a threat to our planet as climate change. Every day, approximately 100 species become extinct.
At the International Convention on Biological Diversity (www.cbd.int), many countries around the world pledged to curb the rapid loss of biodiversity. Since the international community didn’t reach its own goals by 2010, the G8 countries, together with five large developing countries, initiated "The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity", TEEB study.
The TEEB study assigns biodiversity and all the services that it provides to humanity – such as food, water, renewable resources – a market price. Thus, the actual value of biodiversity can be expressed in monetary terms and incorporated into economic decision-making processes, such as in business or economic policy.
The main causes of the rapid loss of biodiversity include land use and land consumption by humans. This results in:
Invasive plant and animal species that are not originally native to the affected locations can spread very quickly due to their great adaptability. As a result, they displace many sensitive native species, many of which other species depended upon by – for example, as a food source, as a symbiotic community (such as fungi that can only grow with certain trees) or as a habitat.
The location and size of sealed surfaces at production facilities, administrative buildings, offices and warehouses also have a direct influence on the environment. Four of 13 endangered regional species exist at our headquarters. We are working on their behalf to maintain their habitat.
“Tettnang-Obereisenbach is located in the biogeographic transitional area between the Lake Constance basin and the West Allgäu hills. With 83 target species (animals), the municipality has a very high species potential that is above average for Baden-Württemberg communities.
13 species are classified as National Category A, i.e. they are threatened (usually nationwide) with extinction. Where they still can be found, these species are primarily isolated, predominantly unstable or acutely threatened. For these species, immediate conservation assistance is needed. The majority of the species of this category occurring in Tettnang-Obereseinbach municipality can be found in small areas in natural bogs that are currently being maintained as wild flower meadows."
From: Der Biodiversitäts-Check am Beispiel Tettnang-Obereisenbach, Dr. U. Schuckert und T. Friedemann, BWGZ 10/2012