Vienna, 28 August 2017 – Under the motto “Bee aware and care”, PORR and its subsidiaries are taking proactive steps across the Group to counteract the decline in bees. Thanks to the initiative bee@PORR, bee populations now have a home at more than 30 locations. But PORR’s commitment goes even further: encouraging young apiarists with further education and training measures.
Bee populations are undergoing a dramatic decline in ever more parts of the world. As shown by a recent study from the University of Graz, around a quarter of the bee colonies in Austria didn’t manage to survive the winter. This marks the third-highest loss in a decade. There are numerous reasons for this, but the important roles bees play in our environment and economy is undisputed. After cows and pigs, bees are the third most important type of livestock.
bee@PORR creates habitats
This is why PORR launched the Group-wide initiative bee@PORR, based on three pillars. The company creates homes for bee colonies and provides sufficient space for beekeepers to tend to them. There are already beehives in more than 30 locations on every home market, on the grounds of subsidiaries and offices or on the rooftops. There are six hives on the roof of the Group headquarters in Vienna’s 10th district alone, each of which houses around 60,000 bees.
What’s more, PORR is involved in the further education and training of beekeepers. For example, since April 2017 there has been a special apiary on the roof of the PORR headquarters by the Vienna Beekeeping Association. The Vienna beekeeper school uses it to hold special courses where city beekeepers can learn to keep bees on the roofs of buildings.
The company not only buys hives and colonies for young beekeepers, but also for PORR staff. Several staff members have already become passionate beekeepers in their leisure time and the number is growing steadily. Anyone who wants to become a beekeeper can turn to the in-house “bee officer” on site to receive the requisite support.
Finally, the bee@PORR initiative embodies sustainability across the board. The PORR beekeepers prefer to use hives made of untreated wood rather than from Styrofoam. Some of the bee homes PORR ordered for Austria came from the institution “Grüner Kreis”, a facility for rehabilitating and integrating people suffering from addictions.
A PORRtion of honey
“As an international construction company, PORR builds for generations and shapes the worlds we live in. Sustainable action is deeply embedded in the company. After all, intelligent building means embracing responsibility – both for people and for the environment”, says CEO Karl-Heinz Strauss. “Given the massive decline in bees and the significant role they play, the bees need help. And we at PORR are happy to lend a hand”.
Two-thirds of the honey remains with the beekeepers. The remainder goes to the company. “The PORRtion of honey” is packaged in special PORR jars and given out as a sweet treat on special occasions.