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Viridor launches project to help save endangered wild flowers

New collaboration with Plantlife to help save UK native species

September 21 2016

Duke of Burgundy-butterfly on cowslip.  © Mark V Pike/Plantlife

Duke of Burgundy-butterfly on cowslip. © Mark V Pike/Plantlife

One of the UK’s largest recycling and renewable energy companies, Viridor, is collaborating with international conservation organisation Plantlife, to help save endangered UK wild flowers.

The Natural Capital pilot project, launched during #GlobalGoals Week, aims to increase the populations of meadow clary, a rare flower which needs help to prevent it disappearing, as its natural ecosystem has been lost.  The flower species is now found as a native population at twenty-one locations in the UK.

The project will also establish Butterfly Meadows of wild flowers at Viridor sites to help the UK’s most threatened wildlife group. Through employee and stakeholder engagement, the programme will nurture and support flowers, such as Yellow Rattle, Field scabious and Betony and butterfly species, such as Ringlet, Small copper and Marbled white.

This innovation by Viridor complies with the aims of the first global Natural Capital Protocol, a voluntary collaboration launched on 13 July by the Natural Capital Coalition to allow businesses everywhere to benefit from understanding their relationships with nature and to contribute to the common good.

Viridor will connect nature and climate change to business operations, people and the community by actively involving regional operations and employees at various sites. The company hopes to deliver 1,500 hours of volunteering by March 2017.

Inder Poonaji, Sustainability Director at Viridor, said: “As nature becomes more fragmented as increased urbanisation and the demand for infrastructure grows, less land is available for biodiversity and ecosystem services. With key species under great threat, there has never been a more poignant time to implement a project of this nature. 

“Nature is essential to business. Measuring and acting on organisational assets can yield natural and social capital benefits through ecosystem management and organisational change. Undertaking this challenge highlights Viridor’s commitment to develop its business in a way that safeguards Natural Capital and in particular biodiversity and ecosystem services.

“Working with Plantlife, we hope to restore wasted land back to nature. Nature can exist without us, but we cannot exist without nature.”

Plantlife Director of Development, Michael Krause, said: “We’re delighted to be driving this ambitious partnership with Viridor.  With a global objective such as natural capital, the amount any one organisation can do is limited.  Partnerships are therefore vital if together we’re going to do good things for the environment and the planet.  

“It’s really exciting that we’re partnering with a business who’s committed to the environment, committed to nature and wanting to do great things for their staff and for the environment.”

The project focuses on the livelihood of native plants and native butterflies over a three year pilot period.