SPAR Austria and Ireland raising awareness on biodiversity

August 2, 2023 IN THE CATEGORY: Climate, Environment, Responsible retailing

SPAR recognises the importance of pressing environmental issues and in light of July 2 being this year’s Earth Overshoot Day, we highlight initiatives aimed at biodiversity preservation, restoration and awareness-raising activities, by two SPAR country organisations.

Earth Overshoot Day marks the point when humanity’s demand for ecological resources (food, water, forests, etc.) and services (climate regulation, air purification, etc.) exceeds the capacity of Earth to replenish it naturally within the given year. This overshoot emphasises the crucial environmental problems among which biodiversity is key for sustaining life on Earth. In this article, we report on SPAR Austria’s bee protection and awareness-raising activities as well as SPAR Ireland’s tree planting initiative.

SPAR Austria’s Bee Council: Protecting Bees and Promoting Bee Population

SPAR Austria has established a Bee Council with the mission to rescue endangered bees and support their population growth. This dedicated Council actively works to combat the use of harmful glyphosate, creates safe habitats for bees, and emphasises the importance of bee health.

Bees play a vital role in preserving our biological diversity and ensuring the well-being of our ecosystem. To achieve their goals, the Bee Council comprises five experts from the fields of Science and industry, along with SPAR Austria Board member Markus Kaser, who work together as representatives of this important initiative.

Flower meadows at SPAR Austria regional headquarters

The SPAR regional head office in Maria Saal continues its commitment to bee protection. A 3,200 m² flower meadow, along with three beehives and two insect hotels, was established in 2020, offering a welcoming habitat for about 135,000 bees.

Similarly, at the SPAR regional headquarters in Graz, a 10,000 m² flower meadow supports the local bee population. This meadow was created in collaboration with the farmers of the Styrian Vulkanland, who have been actively engaged in bee protection since 2017. To further encourage bee-friendly practices, SPAR and the Styrian Vulkanland farmers have given away 7,000 free flower seed bags to EUROSPAR customers in Styria, encouraging them to create their own bee-friendly flower meadows at home.

SPAR Austria’s Diversity Award for the preservation of biodiversity

SPAR Austria has launched the second round of its SPAR Diversity Award. This award encourages Austrian high school graduates to submit their pre-scientific work on biodiversity and species conservation. An expert jury will evaluate the submissions.

Under the initiative ‘Let’s preserve diversity together’, SPAR Austria, along with experts, suppliers, and customers, is campaigning for the diversity of species and varieties. The SPAR Diversity Award addresses many of these issues and provides young people with an opportunity to contribute. Compared to last year’s debut, the number of submissions for the award has tripled to 33.

SPAR Ireland takes on the tree planting initiative

In celebration of 60 years in business, SPAR Ireland will plant 20,000 native Irish trees across six sites in 2023, as part of its SPAR Team Tree initiative, in partnership with the Tree Council of Ireland.

The initiative’s key objective is to encourage biodiversity and nurture all things that thrive and grow under the tree, with the goal of having mature oak woodlands in 100 years’ time. The planting of the Native Irish Woodlands is funded by SPAR through its national Charity Partner Programme, to which a donation of the sale of selected SPAR Own Brand products is made.

Read more about SPAR’s responsible retailing strategy.

Source: SPAR Austria, SPAR Ireland

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