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Linz am Rhein ,
24.02.2021
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BIRKENSTOCK advocates nature conservation in Upper Lusatia

Kickoff of a comprehensive renaturation project and species protection near the largest BIRKENSTOCK site.

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The German shoe manufacturer creates semi-natural habitats for animals and plants on long-term industrial wasteland in Görlitz. The family-owned company is furthermore involved in several projects for the protection of local species, including new nesting sites and special stone and deadwood areas on its premises.   

At the end of February, BIRKENSTOCK will commence converting an area of industrial wasteland in the Königshufen district of Görlitz into an ecologically valuable green area. The beverage store on the area along Hussitenstraße, which has been vacant for decades, will be torn down, any contaminated waste will be properly disposed of, fences will be removed and the ground will be unsealed. Subsequently, the natural soil function will be restored by means of new sowing typical of the landscape. This way, a semi-natural free area will be created in the area near Kidronpark in the next months which will become an undisturbed habitat for several animal and plant species of the region and which will thus promote biodiversity.

By the beginning of fall, the renaturation and landscaping measures will have been completed and the natural landscape on the former industrial site will once again be publicly accessible.  The upcoming renaturation and landscaping measures have been coordinated between the company and the municipality of Görlitz. Within the framework of the development plan, they serve as a balance for the new construction of the social building on the BIRKENSTOCK premises in the industrial park. The overall investment sum amounts to approximately EUR 150,000. The Görlitz-based engineering office IBOS is responsible for the planning and technical supervision.

“The region around Görlitz is the home of our production. That’s why we want to make an important contribution to the conservation of nature and its biodiversity here in Görlitz and the surrounding area,” explains Jagoda Damrath, Commercial Manager of BIRKENSTOCK Productions Sachsen. “I would especially like to thank the municipality of Görlitz, the landscape conservation association of Upper Lusatia and all companies involved – all of whom supported this project passionately from the very beginning.”

“The renaturation of communal areas is a sign of sustainable urban development and will give our landscape more vitality and vibrancy. Measures like these are thus an essential cornerstone for an environmentally friendly city which is worth living in. I would like to thank BIRKENSTOCK for the realization of this renaturation project and for the contribution and commitment", says mayor Octavian Ursu.

Directly on its factory site, BIRKENSTOCK will implement even more projects within the framework of corporate environmental protection in cooperation with the landscape conservation association of Upper Lusatia. Under qualified supervision, the company will install more than 20 species-appropriate nesting aids for kestrels, jackdaws and house martins at the social building and the production halls. These measures are intended to improve the living conditions of birds nesting on buildings and provide them with long-term breeding sites, as natural nesting sites for these species have decreased continually. Ornithologists from the landscape conservation association are currently building special nesting boxes with natural materials and will be taking over the follow-up supervision of this project in the next years.

To protect the local sand lizard, habitats in the form of piles of stones and sand and deadwood habitats will be established on the premises on an area of more than 500 m2.  There are also plans to set up several bee colonies on the green areas of the factory grounds. BIRKENSTOCK is currently on the lookout for a beekeeper from the area who will look after the beehives in the long term. 

About BIRKENSTOCK

BIRKENSTOCK is a global lifestyle brand with a heritage in iconic footwear, rooted in the creation of the BIRKENSTOCK footbed that can be traced as far as 1774. The notion of quality and function guides the brand in all its actions and across categories. The concept of all-round wellbeing is developed into footwear, sleeping systems and Natural Cosmetics, increasingly translating the lifestyle vision of the brand heritage. With more than 4,300 employees worldwide, this traditional, sixth-generation family-run business is also one of the German footwear industry’s biggest employers. BIRKENSTOCK was already using the term “footbed” in the 1910s, giving it the meaning which is commonly understood by consumers all over the world to this day – as a synonym for outstanding comfort when walking and standing. By the early 1970s, BIRKENSTOCK had become a global player. Manufactured in Germany, the sandals are now sold in more than 100 countries on all continents. BIRKENSTOCK also has a growing range of closed shoes, children’s shoes, and occupational footwear, as well as specialist products for orthopedic retailers, socks, bags, and belts. In 2017, BIRKENSTOCK added sleep systems and natural cosmetics (BIRKENSTOCK NATURAL SKIN CARE) to its portfolio of products. BIRKENSTOCK has 16 sites in Germany, in the states of North Rhine-Westphalia, Rhineland-Palatinate, Hesse, Bavaria, and Saxony. The long-standing family-owned enterprise also operates its own sales offices in the United States and Canada as well as in Brazil, China, Hong Kong, Japan, Denmark, Poland, Spain, the United Kingdom and Dubai.

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