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Aim 16: enhancing biodiversity

Published:
27 April 2021

Growing from a small office with 5 people to a joint-venture and Brazil's second-largest biofuels company, Mario Lindenhayn sets out what enhancing biodiversity means for his team and bp

"I joined bp in 2009 and have been privileged to help grow bp’s business in Brazil. Back when we started the biofuels project, bp was the first international oil company to directly operate a biofuels business in Brazil – growing from a small office with 5 people to a joint-venture and the country’s second-largest biofuels company. 
 

We now employ over 8 thousand people, crushing about 28 million tonnes of sugarcane per year and providing bioenergy to 1.8 million people. 

Being part of this business from the start is something that I am deeply proud of, and now that bp has announced its new sustainability framework, I see that the aims within it are already part of our culture. For me, Aim 16, enhancing biodiversity, has always been present in my life and in our business."

What is Aim 16: enhancing biodiversity

Our aim 16 is all about making a positive impact on the world through our actions to restore, maintain and enhance biodiversity where we work. We will also continue to work with others, including our joint ventures, to influence and promote collective action on biodiversity.

 

Although this is a new aim for bp, our biofuels business is a great example of past initiatives that enhanced the local biodiversity. I’d like to share two that are very important to me:

Reforestation and ecological corridors

Responsible use of land is a key concern in the production of biofuels. The Brazilian Forest Code mandates that a percentage of native vegetation in every agriculture land should be preserved. Doing that is crucial, but we knew we could do more. Preserved forest areas are often dispersed between multiple locations, meaning it’s difficult for the wildlife to migrate among areas preserving biodiversity. This led us to the idea of Ecological Corridors as a strategy of landscape management – we ensure the corridors connect the preserved ecosystems and allow for the migration of all types of wildlife, promoting gene flow and boosting biodiversity.

Native species nursery in Ituiutaba mill

 

The seedling nursery in Ituiutaba mill is a benchmark in the biofuels business in Brazil. It is dedicated to the search and multiplication of native plant species to be used in the company´s reforestation projects, and also to donate to the municipality and local communities. Since its start-up in 2016, the nursery has produced around 200,000 seedlings a year of around 100 native species. The soil microbiome and wild animals are naturally adapted to the native plant species and acts as a biome´s biodiversity buffer. This approach combined with sustainable land and water management provides a quantifiable impact to the rich local biodiversity.

These are just two examples of the positive impact bp can have in enhancing biodiversity in our sites. Now that the biofuels business has grown into a joint venture, my role includes driving the sustainability agenda and supporting the scale-up of projects like this to all 11 sites.

 

Protecting biodiversity is more than just an aim. It is an integral part of our business and the way we contribute to ensuring our impact on the environment is balanced and provides the ecosystem with what it needs to thrive. I believe that as long as the ecosystem we are in can thrive, we all head in the same direction.

10 new sustainability aims

Our ambition is to be a net zero company by 2050 or sooner and to help the world get to net zero. We have set out 10 aims to support this ambition.

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