The conservation of birds of prey and insectivorous birds is a key theme in biodiversity conservation. Both play a crucial role in maintaining the balance of prey populations and regulating food chains, thanks to their privileged position in the ecosystem. They are often considered indicators of the health of the habitats they inhabit.
Since July 2023, based on the characteristics of each territory where our paper mills are located, we have implemented initiatives to enhance both the well-being of the natural area and that of the people who benefit from it. These initiatives include:
- Installation of nesting boxes on trees and suitable buildings to facilitate the nesting of birds of prey such as hawks, owls, and tawny owls (which occupy them without hesitation for consecutive years) and other insectivorous species such as swifts and tits.
- Installation of bat boxes for bats.
- Installation of camera traps to monitor local fauna.
- Planting wildflowers of different species and colors capable of blooming in different seasons (spring, summer, autumn). The aim is to attract as many insect species as possible (bees, butterflies, etc.), whose fundamental task for biodiversity integrity is to ensure pollination. Wildflowers require less maintenance than other crops, make the environment aesthetically more beautiful and colorful, and serve as a safe refuge and hunting ground for small mammals, reptiles, and birds.
- Installation of signage to guide educational paths for school classes visiting the natural area.
- Creation of biodiversity oases, consisting, for example, of low-maintenance flower meadows.
- Engagement with external entities (scientific institutions, environmental organizations, and local communities) both to act in alignment with science and to involve local stakeholders.
- Monitoring and measurement of the effectiveness of activities.
In early 2022, together with a third party, we conducted our first Biodiversity Impact Assessment in all areas in Italy where our paper mills are located to verify their location in relation to protected areas of biodiversity interest. In July 2022, we identified Pioraco as the location for the first pilot project, as it is the only plant located within a protected area (data emerged in the proximity analysis conducted in the same year). In January 2023, we launched the pilot project in Pioraco, and between June and December 2023, we gradually extended specific initiatives to all paper mills in that particular area, according to the priorities identified by the Biodiversity Assessment. Currently, we are working on biodiversity protection projects in the paper mills of Fabriano (Italy), Guarro Casas (Gelida, Spain) and Zuber Rieder (Boussieres, France).
In the coming months, we will focus on:
- Riqualification of other natural spaces where colleagues can spend their breaks.
- Restoration of existing biodiversity in each of our paper mills.
- Monitoring the return of birds of prey and other key animals in the area.
The Need for Systemic Action with Impact
Biodiversity is the variety and variability of living organisms and ecological systems in which they live (United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity). It is an extraordinary variety that determines the balance of natural systems and is essential for human development, thanks to the ecosystem services it provides: water purification, pollination, wood and fiber supply, climate regulation, flood mitigation, provision of recreational spaces, and much more. Moreover, as reported in the Global Risks Report by the World Economic Forum, half of the global GDP (about 40 trillion euros) depends on the natural environment and its resources.
Today, we are facing interconnected crises: biodiversity loss, climate change, and inequalities in human development. Biodiversity loss has serious consequences for the health of the planet, its inhabitants, and its major causes are primarily related to soil exploitation due to human activities, such as intensive agriculture and unsustainable urbanization, as well as the impact of climate change. Reversing course and safeguarding biodiversity is one of the current priority challenges, and in this regard, companies, through responsible actions and leadership, must become part of the solution.
For Fedrigoni, this commitment requires clear goals and concrete progress guided by a systemic vision, measured over time and in their impact.