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Biodiversity

The preservation and promotion of biodiversity are important components of AMAG’s commitment to sustainability. AMAG focuses on green space management on the company premises and the forest management of its own forest.

 

 

Value
Management

AMAG owned a land area of around 300 hectares in the 2021 reporting year. The industrially builtup area amounts to around 100 hectares. Around 180 hectares form part of the company’s own forest, which in turn forms part of the Lachforst woodland complex and is managed under the supervision of a forest warden.

 

The “Unterer Inn” and “Buchenwald” nature reserves, the “Auwälder am unteren Inn” fauna-flora-habitat area (FFH area) and the “Salzachmündung” bird sanctuary in Bavaria, which are subject to strict nature conservation guidelines, are just a few kilometres away.

 

Influences such as the previous forest management with non-native spruces, climate change with attendant higher annual mean temperatures, as well as the growing volume of damaged wood have necessitated a related rethink and “conversion” of the woodland. The current forest management team is making use of this initial situation in order to make the woodland more stable and diverse. AMAG’s forest is not regarded as a commercial woodland, where the focus is on economic returns. Rather, the aim is to achieve sustainable management that continuously promotes the woodland’s ecological value. For this reason, over the past few years recommendations on goals and measures for forest management have been formulated together with a technical expert.

 

Biodiversity is made measurable in the medium term on the basis of six selected indicators:

  • Deadwood: Increasing the proportion of standing and lying deadwood of natural tree species in the forest
  • Older wooded areas: Increasing in the proportion of older trees (especially old, large-crown deciduous and biotope trees)
  • Forest structure: Promotion of well-structured, differently aged, stable and climate-compatible mixed forest areas by continuously increasing the proportion of native hardwood species and rare woody plants and shrubs 
  • Woodland edges: Promotion of well-structured and zoned, embayed woodland edges through introducing rare and endangered tree and shrub species, creation of bays and zoning (shrub belts and peripheral zones of woodlands)
  • Biotopes to promote valuable small and wetland habitats
  • Promotion of rare or endangered animal and plant species, for example through introducing rare tree species and creating flower meadows on company premises

For more informations, please see annual report 2021

Targets

 

Target 2021: 

  • Promotion of biodiversity at the Ranshofen site

Central measures:

 

AMAG has already implemented numerous measures in recent years as part of forest and green space management, including the conversion and upgrading of the “Lochnerfeldstrasse”. Some old buildings in poor structural condition, which used to serve as housing for employees, were almost completely demolished.

 

Flower meadows were planted in the newly created and surrounding open spaces to serve as bee pasture. The establishment of ten beehives on the AMAG flower meadows in Lochnerfeldstrasse and at the AMAG north entrance exemplify biodiversity and the further development of AMAG green areas according to ecological criteria.

 

By taking over the sponsorship of the beehives on the AMAG plant premises, the Upper Austria-Salzburg Beekeeping Association is also supported in its scientifically supervised varroa mite tolerance breeding project with the aim of breeding resistant, healthy bees. The information boards that have been set up and the rest areas along the frequently used bike path have been well received. The transformation of monotonous lawns into species-rich meadows represents a further measure.

 

Within the plant area, mostly tall oat grass meadows that are typical of the area have been established. Dams and embankments have been planted with shrubs or are deliberately left unplanted in order to serve as a valuable “ruderal area” (raw soil area). Individual trees planted within the company grounds not only serve as visual landscaping, but also provide habitat and food for animals (e.g. insects and birds) and improve the microclimate of the paved open spaces by providing shade.

 

In the course of further planning, AMAG decided to call upon experts and institutions to provide technical support for the green space concept as part of a project, and to put it on a scientifically sound footing.

 

Overall, forest management has been busy in recent years with recovery from various damages. The promotion of biodiversity and the creation of a climate resilient forest occurred mostly on a reactive basis. Nonetheless, a significant emphasis has been placed on this goal in the course of damage reconditioning and other management activities. For example, no new spruce woodlands have been planted for some time in order to continuously reduce the proportion of spruce, which currently stands at around 65 %. Instead, mixed areas consisting of at least four tree species were promoted. The planting consists of native hardwood species such as common oak, copper beech and other deciduous trees, in particular, with an admixture of non-native hardwoods such as red oak and black walnut.

 

This makes the forest more resilient to climate change and reduces operational risk in the long term. Where possible, natural regeneration is used. Furthermore, initial considerations and outline plans concerned the creation of a “forest island” as a recreational facility for employees and the regional population, as well as the creation of a forest nature trail for educational purposes.

 

To the north of the plant site, the remains of a forced labour camp built during the National Socialist era were listed by the Austrian Office for the Protection of Monuments in the 2021 reporting year. According to a notice issued by the province of Upper Austria, it represents the only full-scale evidence of a forced labour camp for the construction of large-scale industrial plants during the Third Reich and is considered a typical example of contemporary Austrian history. AMAG undertook the protection of the pits and shafts. 

 

2022 target / medium term:

  • Promotion of biodiversity at the Ranshofen site
Results

Results:

 

The following table lists the strategic directions and measures taken in the biodiversity area in the 2021 reporting year:

  • Establishment of new flower meadows with different native seed mixtures  
  • Reforestation of a temporarily cleared area at AMAG (north seepage basin with black alder)
  • Reforestation with a mixed tree population in the AMAG forest (the tree population was affected by the dying out of young ash shoots, bark beetle infestation, storm damage)

Since the 2017 reporting year, we have published a summarized non-financial statement in our management report, thereby fulfilling our reporting obligation in accordance with the Sustainability and Diversity Improvement Act (NaDiVeG). It summarizes the essential information for AMAG on the five required aspects of environmental issues, employee issues, social issues, respect for human rights, anti-corruption and bribery.