Jun 03, 2022
| 4 min read

How Sartorius Is Fostering Biodiversity on Its Global Sites and in Local Communities

An Interview with Florian Presting

As a company with a tradition spanning more than 150 years, sustainability is firmly embedded at many levels in our business. To Sartorius, it means operating responsibly over the long term – with respect to customers, employees, investors, business partners and society as a whole. Likewise, it entails handling natural resources responsibly. As part of our global efforts to meet our environmental responsibility, Sartorius is engaged in biodiversity projects at various sites.

A new pond located at the entrance of the Sartorius Campus 

This article is posted on Sartorius Blog.

Through an initiative led by Florian Presting, a series of habitats were created to house endangered species and a variety of plant-life at the headquarters in Göttingen. Read the interview to find out more about the biodiversity projects Sartorius is involved in and get some tips on how to promote biodiversity on your own balcony or in your garden.

Florian Presting | Head of Environment, Health, Safety & Security

Florian is a biologist and coordinates various initiatives to foster biodiversity at Sartorius sites and in their neighborhoods.

Florian, most employees will have seen the ducks that like to chill out on our HQ Campus. There’s a lot being done to make smaller creatures feel at home here. Tell us, what's happening right now?

For the past year and a half, we've been working on ecologically enhancing the Campus in Göttingen. The focus is primarily on bird and insect protection. Both animal groups are currently very endangered. You hardly see any butterflies or moths anymore, you hear very little buzzing, and that is striking. Because if these insects are missing, songbirds are lacking food. They are hardly able to raise a brood anymore. We want to counteract this through species diversity and new habitats by providing sufficient food for insects. This was possible due to the many wildflowers that we have replanted, but also through the creation of retreats, for example, ecological niches in dead wood or in the wild hedges. These are important corridors and also protect vertebrates, such as hedgehogs and martens, which we have already spotted here.

"For the past year and a half, we've been working on ecologically enhancing the Campus in Göttingen."

A duck resting on the bank of a pond on the Sartorius Campus 

In addition to the measures on the HQ Campus, Sartorius is also committed to biodiversity in other places in Göttingen. What´s the status here?

I am very grateful to be involved in various sustainability measures, such as the Flüthewehr project in the south of Göttingen. We are restoring 12 hectares of the Leine River to its original floodplain landscape, which is the most species-rich biotope in our part of the world – comparable to tropical rainforests. It's really great that we established something like this in cooperation with the city of Göttingen and with the support of the Heinz Sielmann Foundation. There will be extensive grazing with zebu cattle, which are eye-catchers themselves.

And you must not forget that in all new construction projects, we have a clear target of covering as little surface as possible. That's why the new buildings on the North Campus are equipped with green roofs wherever possible, and where there is no technology on them. There will be plants everywhere, which are then available to insects. And greening facades are a high priority.

Plantbed at the entrance of the Sartorius Campus with the parking garage in the background

One can see this nicely at the parking garage and other buildings on the Campus – including one that has wild raspberries. How about other Sartorius locations?

There is another outstanding project, at our company premises in Yauco, Puerto Rico. Here, we have planted and grown endemic species on a large scale through reforesting, i.e., species that grow naturally on this island. They are developing excellently, and now experts from all over the world come to look at the trees and even take seeds with them to replant them on other islands. This counteracts deforestation and soil sealing – which is the destruction or covering of soils by artificial and impermeable materials, like buildings or roads. 

   1,800 Trees Newly Planted: Sartorius Supports Biodiversity in Puerto Rico

What can you do on your balcony or in your garden to foster biological diversity as an individual?

The basic rule: leave more room for nature and only intervene where it is necessary. You can really promote biodiversity by planting native species, instead of taking something artificial that is of no use for any animal. Ideally, you would choose a variety of plants that blossom at different times, so that the food supply for insects is not only available during a short period in spring, but continuously throughout the summer. You can get really good instructions in nurseries and hardware stores nowadays to learn about which plants are suitable for this purpose. 

A bee suckling pollen on a flower on the Sartorius Campus 

Not everyone is as knowledgeable in this area as you are. That's why your team in Göttingen is currently working on an educational trail on Campus. When will there be something to see? 

For the “Nacht des Wissens” (Night of Knowledge) on July 7, which is organized by the University of Göttingen, we want to have set up the first educational signs at selected locations, and thus make the respective habitats recognizable for employees and visitors. There will be plenty of background information and people can always contact me if they are interested in this topic. 

"In fact, studies have shown that nature makes us happy and healthy."

That´s really nice. The trail sounds exciting - you can walk from station to station during your lunch break and get a bit of exercise at the same time. 

In fact, studies have shown that nature makes us happy and healthy. So not only do we give something back to nature and promote biodiversity, but it really reflects back on us. Living and exercising in a healthy environment is important for our wellbeing. 

More Impressions from the Campus in Göttingen

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