ESG initiative: Observe – Apply – Change; a local project with long-term goals
Eurofins Agroscience Services Group recently established an internal, colleague-driven sustainability project initiative
Based on the results of our latest EcoVadis survey, CO2 emission and Health and Safety data, an in-house, volunteer-led sustainability team analyses potential areas for improvement and defines targets and projects based on these areas with business unit leaders. The team then looks to colleagues to champion and develop these ideas.
The goal is to raise awareness amongst EAS Group employees globally in terms of what they can do as individuals to combat the impacts of climate change. We are proud to be working towards Eurofins wider corporate sustainability goals, created in line with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals in mind.
Observe – Apply – Change; a local project with long-term goals
On observing a growing problem, that climate change affects agricultural systems and business operations, EAS Group’s Dr Sebastian Mahlow, decided to act.
Engaging with EAS’ sustainability project team, Sebastian set out to raise awareness in his workplace, our Agroscience lab in Hamburg, Germany, asking two key questions; What changes can we make to improve the impact of climate change, and how can we implement those changes on a local level?
He conducted his own online research, and spoke with ‘experts’ from a local NGO, before establishing a plan. Sebastian learned that local practical conservation work can have a positive impact on the environment, even on a small scale. With this in mind, he focused on hedgerows as a tool to achieve this goal.
Planting hedgerows has numerous benefits
- reduce erosion
- function as carbon sinks
- keep moisture in the soil
- form structurally diverse ecosystems
- provide sustainable timber
- provide vitamin-rich wild fruits
As project champion, Sebastian secured backing from EAS in the form of senior management buy-in and budgetary support. Colleagues were asked to volunteer 8 working hours for the project, during a hands-on day with 2 hours’ discussion/training plus 6 hours planting, supported by a local NGO.
The outcome has been fantastic!
In terms of increasing biodiversity, a habitat attractive to insects, birds and smaller mammals has been created by planting flowering and domestic fruit-bearing shrubs like elderberry, hazel, currant and chokeberry. This place provides shelter, nesting cover and food.
CO2 Reduction will be achieved in the medium to long term as approximately 125 plants were planted on the campus and in the field (nearby Hamburg) equalling 250 plants – this additional planted area could lead to storage of 2.5 t carbon (20-year estimate)
30% of staff participated which is great for both training, and team building, with an overall change of attitude from many staff towards their perceived individual impact on climate saving – colleagues reported feeling fulfilled and empowered that they could make such a difference.
Find out more about Eurofins corporate sustainability and our latest ESG report.