E.ON commits to ecological vegetation management

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E.ON vows to be first energy company to support the United Nations in restoring ecosystems for climate protection and biodiversity.

E.ON, boasting many years of experience in the ecological management of power lines, intends to expand this practice across the group throughout Europe with the creation of biotopes under 13,000km of high voltage lines in forest areas.

A biotope is a habitat in which a particular group of animal and plant species live and as such is important for species biodiversity and conservation.

The core of E.ON’s ecological route management approach is that only vegetation that poses a direct threat to the power lines is removed. Slow growing trees, bushes and shrubs are retained as far as possible. Prunings are left on the ground, creating nesting opportunities for smaller animals and insects and increasing the biodiversity for flora and fauna under the lines.

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“We are creating new habitats and biotopes throughout Europe, making a significant contribution to biodiversity and climate protection,” says Leonhard Birnbaum, CEO of E.ON, which is a partner of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).

“Being a partner of UNEP fills us with pride, but at the same time it is also an obligation to consistently implement sustainability in everything we do.”

E.ON’s commitment to biotope creation was made at UNEP’s launch on World Environment Day on June 5 of the current decade as a UN Decade of Ecosystem Restoration. The initiative is expected to lead to the restoration of millions of hectares of ecosystems all around the world for the benefit of people and nature and already has attracted dozens of commitments.

In addition to its ecosystem protection activities, as part of its partnership with UNEP E.ON is developing an online platform for the UN Decade where projects are presented and supporters gained. The platform also is designed to encourage conservation and make knowledge about ecosystems accessible.

E.ON reports investing a double-digit million sum in the preservation of ecosystems and intends to establish its overhead power line ecological route management approach covering an area of about 70,000ha throughout the group by 2026.