The world's wildlife population has declined by 60 percent over the past four decades. One million species are threatened with extinction. Polenergia is aware that biodiversity is essential to our lives. Healthy ecosystems are the foundation of our well-being. Conversely, their further degradation is a significant deterioration of our quality of life with all its consequences - including natural disasters.
For Polenergia Group, it is extremely important to take care of the environment during project implementation. It is our responsibility to mitigate the impact of our projects. By implementing them, we always generate added value for local ecosystems. We know that biodiversity loss and the climate crisis are intertwined.
Implementation of each new project and supervision of plants in operation give us the opportunity to look at local biodiversity. When constructing and operating RES projects that contribute to reducing the greenhouse effect, Polenergia always seeks to restore local biodiversity.
When implementing any new project, the Group analyses and assesses its impact and obtains a decision on environmental conditions. In addition, for projects under construction, Polenergia implements environmental supervision. The experts carrying out the supervision help us not only build in compliance with the law and mitigate the environmental impact, but also create added value for local biodiversity. Such projects have been created since 2014 (e.g. the active conservation of the Montagu’s harrier).
For Polenergia Group, any local action – however small – that protects and enhances local biodiversity is an action in line with the ESG Strategy. We believe that the most important initiatives are the local ones and this is where implementation of the Biodiversity Strategy must begin.
We care for local biodiversity, the protection or restoration and enhancement of which is a form of adaptation to climate change. An example of good biodiversity practices is the mandatory environmental supervision of every construction project carried out by the Group. Environmental supervision allows us to protect naturally valuable areas during project implementation and to protect species that may occur in the area of the projects. With each project, we pursue a policy of charity and support for local communities. We also understand it as activities that contribute to the development and restoration of biodiversity, e.g.:
the establishment of wildflower meadows on all of our built and commissioned photovoltaic farms. This is the creation of nature-dedicated multi-hectare areas that enhance local biodiversity, provide a food base for wild pollinators and a refuge for many bird species, including protected species. We educate about the value of such areas, the role and ecosystem services that wildflower meadows provide. In 2022, we sowed wildflower meadow and mixed grazing meadow seeds over an area of about 50 ha;
planting trees and shrubs in parks, squares and near schools and kindergartens along the construction of new wind farm projects, in consultation with municipalities and local communities. Planting native species also means educating local communities about the important role of trees in mitigating and combating climate change. It is also about showing how important green areas are in the lives of local people and what an important food and shelter base they provide for locally occurring animals;
protection of animal species occurring in and near our projects (e.g. active conservation of the Montagu’s harrier, hanging bird and bat boxes under environmental supervision). It is also about protecting animals during environmental supervision on construction sites – proper fencing of excavations and training of subcontractors on wildlife-safe construction, creation of secondary habitats and planning of construction works to mitigate any impact on protected valuable natural habitats (e.g. use of directional drilling techniques), plants and animals.
Education in Biodiversity Conservation - Success of Polenergia's 2nd Edition Educational Sessions
In September and October 2023, educational sessions led by a nature expert took place in five elementary schools on Polenergia Group’s initiative. The focal theme of this year’s edition was “Protecting Biodiversity – Cavity-Nesting Birds,” directing attention to a crucial aspect of ecosystems. Teaching methods were tailored to the participants’ age, creating an interactive and engaging educational space.
On September 16th, the second nature walk organized by Polenergia took place, with employees and their families in attendance. The walk provided a perfect opportunity for everyone to relax amidst nature and explore the unique natural beauty of the wetlands located closest to Warsaw’s national park.
On May 20th, we celebrated World Bee Day. It was an excellent opportunity to talk to children about the importance of bees and other insects for the natural environment and economy, as well as to promote ecological attitudes.
Ten years of the Meadow Harrier Conservation Project
Polenergia Group has been supporting the Meadow Harrier Conservation Program since 2014, thus implementing the Sustainable Development Goals and the EU Biodiversity Strategy. As part of the protection measures, ornithologists in consultation with Polenergia establish, among other: fencing around harrier nests so that they are not destroyed during harvesting or other agricultural works. Since the beginning of the Program’s implementation, 106 young birds have been saved.
Environmental supervision at the construction sites
Polenergia has responsibility to local communities and the environment. This is why, both during the construction and operation of facilities, it takes responsibility for conservation of the environment and biodiversity of the areas and minimizes its negative impact.
We share with you the “electric” honey from the Photovoltaic Farms of Polenergia Group in Sulechów. It is the third year of operation of our apiary and another honey harvest. The apiary consists of ten hives. Each bee colony consists of as many as 50,000 bees, which collect nectar and pollen from the flowers growing on the farms and from other honey plants in the area.
Does energy production on photovoltaic farms involve negative impacts on the natural environment? No, on the contrary! Nature monitoring carried out on large-scale photovoltaic farms belonging to the Polenergia Group shows that the areas that have been covered with solar panels are characterized by higher natural richness than before. The measures we are taking further enrich the biodiversity of the area around the photovoltaic installations and strengthen the ecosystem services of the multi-hectare acreages.
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