Jackie Guigui-Stolberg
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Business is Blooming

Munich, Germany Science & Environment April 15 @ 3:31pm

In a much-publicized referendum in Spring 2019, the citizens in the state of Bavaria, Germany voted to demand that their government do much more to protect insect and plant bio-diversity in this area where high-tech industries together with a large number of agricultural business are the basis for Germany's most prosperous region. As a result, the state of Bavaria now has an awards program to motivate and help companies to green their buildings and plant the land on their premises with bee-friendly plants. Many companies are already participating and some have received prizes for the natural habitats they have created in surprising places, among them at an Audi automotive plant, at Munich's airport, and at Lammsbräu, a leading brewer of organic beer. Needless to say, an award like this is another way to put companies in a positive light in the eyes of ecologically-aware consumers. To qualify for the award as a "Blooming Business" (Blühender Betrieb), companies must transform 20% of the land on their premises (including vertical walls and roof terraces) into "meadows" of flowering plants. They also have to pledge to do without chemical pesticides and herbicides and peat-based soil substrates and promise to let plantings stand, unmowed, over the winter, where birds and insects can find protection and food. Companies get free consulting on how to fund, plant and maintain their mini-oases. They learn how to realize simple measures like installing breeding boxes for birds or "insect hotels", or for more complex projects like planting mini-forests or breaking up and re-greening asphalted areas. Office buildings, warehouses, and parking lots as the new Eden? My article could talk about the Blooming Business program in general, or focus on one or several particular businesses.
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