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CEMEX UK and RSPB launch national biodiversity strategy at Attenborough to enrich nature


7th October 2010: In the company of Members of Parliament Anna Soubry and Jessica Lee, Building materials company CEMEX UK and the RSPB today at Attenborough Nature Centre in Nottinghamshire launched a biodiversity strategy for CEMEX's operations in the UK to enrich nature. With the support of the RSPB, CEMEX has committed to challenging targets covering its operations in the UK, including the creation and maintenance of 1,000 hectares of priority habitats by 2020. This is the equivalent to approximately 100 hectares per annum and represents a major investment in protecting and promoting nature and wildlife for future generations to enjoy.

In addition to firm goals around the creation and management of priority biodiversity habitats, the strategy which is being presented to key CEMEX stakeholders at regional events across the country in the coming weeks, provides detailed targets within the following key areas:

  • Establishing biodiversity flagship sites
  • Empowering employees to take biodiversity action
  • Working in partnership for biodiversity
  • Champion biodiversity to promote its benefits and importance

      Attenborough is one of CEMEX UK's flagship quarries. Excavations started here in 1929, and the process of mineral extraction has led to the creation of lakes and islands which provide shelter and food for birds and other wildlife. As part of progressive restoration plan, the award winning Attenborough Nature Reserve was created in 1966 and was the first one established by the Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust. Today, the Reserve comprises over 145 hectares of flooded gravel pits; the equivalent to more than 100 football pitches, and since recordings began in 1944, over 250 species have been sighted here, including birds such as herons, osprey, kingfisher and bittern.

      Director for RSPB Scotland, Anne McCall, said: "By committing to this comprehensive biodiversity strategy, CEMEX will, with its employees, neighbours and conservation organisations, create habitats and enrich our environment here in Scotland."

      In 2007 CEMEX signed a Memorandum of Understanding with BirdlLife International to promote biodiversity at an international level. By partnering with the RSPB, which is BirdLife's partner in the UK, CEMEX UK aims to complement the international partnership and drive biodiversity locally.

      President for CEMEX UK, Gonzalo Galindo, explained: "As one of this country's leading building materials companies, CEMEX UK plays a key role in creating and maintaining Britain's built environment. But we recognise that our business has consequences. It is a key challenge for us to balance these impacts with the need to build a more sustainable future. Our vision is for a successful, sustainable CEMEX that makes a positive contribution to people and the environment. Attenborough is an exceptional site, which continues to feature a carefully planned mix of commercial mineral operations and biodiversity developments. It is a really good example of how commercial operations can go hand in hand with sustainability and a flagship site for showing what mineral sites offer in terms of effective ways of recreating landscapes for the benefit of local communities. This is positive restoration in action."

      "Climate change is posing new challenges and threats to nature. Conserving biodiversity will play a key role in our ability to adapt to these changes. This is why, during the International Year of Biodiversity, when we are all encouraged to take direct action; we are setting our biodiversity strategy with challenging targets."

      The strategy is part of a partnership which includes the appointment of an RSPB advisor dedicated to providing biodiversity focused restoration advice for CEMEX's more than 80 UK quarries, as well as increasing awareness of biodiversity awareness among the company's 3,500 employees.

      RSPB's CEMEX Biodiversity Advisor, Dr. Sam Tarrant, said "Against the backdrop of cuts in public expenditure, initiatives like this become all the more important. Bringing together the expertise of CEMEX UK and the RSPB means we have a team which can deliver real biodiversity benefits, and that local communities will enjoy the special places created."

      Ends

      Notes to Editors:

      More information and photographs:
      Contact Director of Communications & Public Affairs, Marit Meyer-Bell tel. 0786 765 3392 / email: marit.meyerbell@cemex.com

      CEMEX:
      CEMEX is a global building materials solutions company and leading supplier of cement, readymixed concrete and aggregates. In the UK, CEMEX also produces asphalt, and has a significant share of the roof tile, rail sleepers, concrete-block paving, and concrete-block segments. CEMEX has a national supply network in the UK to ensure that quality building materials are available to customers locally. For more information, see www.CEMEX.co.uk or www.CEMEX.com

      RSPB:
      The RSPB speaks out for birds and wildlife, tackling the problems that threaten our environment. Nature is amazing - help us keep it that way. Click here to join today www.rspb.org.uk/join 'The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) is a registered charity: England and Wales no. 207076, Scotland no. SC037654

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