The United Nations has declared this decade as the United Nations Decade on Biodiversity to raise awareness and promote action to end the global extinction of species. Audi contributes to this effort and implements biodiversity projects at all sites. As a member of the Biodiversity in Good Company initiative, the company is committed to preserving biological diversity and has consolidated all of the activities that contribute to this effort in its Mission: Zero environmental program.
With its Mission: Zero environmental program, Audi is tackling four areas for action: decarbonisation with a clear focus on sustainable production, economical use of water, resource efficiency and the preservation of biodiversity. The company combines many measures in each field of action with the aim of making its production as environmentally friendly and as carbon neutral as possible. The natural design of the open spaces at the Audi production site in Münchsmünster is a flagship project for the biodiversity action area. Thanks to its deliberately ecological design, the complex near Ingolstadt offers particularly valuable habitat for many animal and plant species. Audi has converted 17 hectares of its production site in Münchsmünster into natural habitats for plants and animals. So far, more than 110 plant species have grown there and about 90 species of wild bees have established colonies.
The Münchsmünster project received the Bavarian award "Blühender Betrieb" in 2019. This award is part of the initiative "Blühpakt Bayern", with which the Bavarian Ministry of the Environment and Consumer Protection wishes to encourage companies to do of their spaces friendly spaces for flowers and insects. This price requires compliance with strict criteria to favor the flora and fauna on the company's sites: at least 20% of the open spaces must be naturalistic flowering areas, for example. Chemical pesticides and substrates containing peat should not be used. Projects like this are a benchmark for similar efforts at all other Audi sites around the world. These include green roofs on the Ingolstadt site, flower meadows at the Neckarsulm factory, facade greening and bee colonies on the Brussels site, a green belt around the plant in San Jose Chiapa (Mexico) with reforestation near 100,000 trees, modules such as heaps of sand, insect hotels, a wetland and dead wood area at the Neuburg site, and a typical Pannonian steppe of the region on the site of Győr (Hungary).
The biodiversity project in Münchsmünster is a central project for Audi as part of the national initiative Biodiversity in Good Company, which the company joined in 2015. The initiative brings together companies from a wide range of industries to work together to protect and sustainably deploy global biodiversity.
"We are celebrating five years of joining the Biodiversity in Good Company initiative in 2020 and we want to show that we take nature conservation seriously with projects on our sites", said Rüdiger Recknagel, responsible for environmental protection. "Natural spaces are a successful example of sustainable business management: they are particularly valuable from an ecological point of view and generally also less expensive to maintain than standard green spaces with high maintenance requirements. In addition, employees experience a special quality of rest and relaxation during breaks. "
Audi is also committed to preserving biological diversity beyond the boundaries of the company. The oak forest research project was launched in 2008 in the Köschinger forest near Ingolstadt with approximately 36,000 English oak trees. The project now includes more than 100,000 trees in various areas around the Audi sites in Ingolstadt, Neckarsulm, Győr, Brussels and San José Chiapa. The Audi Environmental Foundation was established in 2009 and has taken over the long-term scientific support for this project. The interactions between stand density, biological diversity and CO2 binding potential are being studied under the direction of the Chair of Forest Growth Science at the Technical University of Munich. The Oak Forest project is one of many environmental projects from the Audi Environmental Foundation to conserve biodiversity.