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3 bee colonies at Romaco facilities in Karlsruhe, Cologne and Steinen
Saturday, 21 November, 2020, 12 : 00 PM [IST]
Karlsruhe, Germany
Romaco has just settled three bee colonies at its facilities in Karlsruhe, Cologne and Steinen. Up to 150,000 honey bees in total will be properly cared for at the three sites by beefuture GmbH. The project underlines the commitment of the supplier of processing and packaging equipment to the conservation of natural habitats.

In future, the company will be supported by animal workers. Just in time before the winter break, three bee colonies have moved in at the pharmaceutical machinery manufacturer. By summer next year, the bee population at RomacoPharmatechnik in Karlsruhe, Romaco Kilian in Cologne and RomacoInnojet in Steinen will have increased to as many as 150,000. The hives were installed in meadow areas on the factory premises, very close to Romaco employees’ place of work.

This nature conservation project is the outcome of Romaco’s cooperation with beefuture GmbH of Weissenhorn in southern Germany. The Swabian company has been deeply involved in activities to ensure the survival of honey bees ever since 2015, for example by arranging hive sponsorships for local communities, public authorities, private individuals and partner firms in Germany and other central European countries. It ensures that the bees are properly cared for – amongst other things, by taking over all the beekeeping work and seeing to official permits and registrations.

Andreas Detmers, Romaco Group’s sustainability officer, said, “By collaborating with beefuture in this way, we’re able to make a contribution to preserving local bee populations even though we’re no experts. The bee project is a good example of how businesses can make a sustainable commitment to conserving natural habitats and at the same time add a new product, namely honey, to their portfolio with little effort or expense.”

The first honey should be ready for harvesting at the end of July 2021. This natural product will be collected manually and then distributed to customers and employees. To make one average-sized jar of honey, bees fly about 150,000 kilometres and visit around five million flowers, which they also pollinate. Approximately 80 percent of all native flowering plants rely on pollination by insects, including agricultural commodities like apples, pears and pumpkins. Despite of this, the insect count has been in worldwide decline for several decades now and biodiversity, too, is decreasing. In Germany, the total number of terrestrial insects in some habitats has dwindled by well over 60 percent during the last decade.

Frank Weiß, founder, Beefuture, said,“A more than 60 percent drop has likewise been observed in Germany’s bee populations compared to the situation in the sixties.  It’s a dramatic development that’s having alarming impacts on our ecosystem as well as on the global food chain.”

Agricultural monocultures, pesticides, diseases and climate change are regarded as the principal causes of bee mortality.“By keeping bees, we’re actively helping to ensure the survival of these endangered livestock. ForRomaco, the bee initiative represents another small step towards more corporate sustainability,” added Detmers.

The sustainability strategy
Early in October this year, the management of the group adopted an official sustainability strategy and defined climate targets for the period up until 2030. The pharmaceutical machinery manufacturer is already in a position today to supply customers with climate-neutral tablet presses, blister lines and cartoners. The CO2 emissions which are released while building these machines are offset by sponsoring a climate protection project. The aim is for the energy consumption of all machines to be reduced by up to 30 percent by the year 2030. There are also plans to increase the share of components which are either recyclable or made from recycled material to 70 percent. In its efforts to realise these sustainability goals, it is guided by the principle “avoidance is better than reduction is better than compensation”.
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