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 | 31-08-2023



Trucks cannot be built without intact biodiversity – MAN's Responsible Production Conference




Understand different facets of biodiversity


The issue of biodiversity is becoming increasingly important for all companies. For example, intact biodiversity is crucial for the provision of important resources (provisioning services) for production. Entire industries are dependent on ecosystem services, which cannot be afforded without an intact environment. In addition to provisioning, this also includes regulating, supporting and cultural services. The economic value of all these ecosystem and biodiversity services is estimated at €40,000,000,000,000 annually, equal to half of global GDP.
The dependency is particularly great for the automotive industry, which is becoming more and more technological. A look at some of the diverse components of a motor vehicle shows how strongly this industry depends on intact biodiversity: Catalytic converters (palladium, platinum, rare earths), capacitors (palladium, mica, tantalum), electric motors (graphite, rare earths), traction batteries (cobalt, lithium, nickel, copper, manganese, zinc, graphite), tires (rubber), LEDs for lighting and displays (rare earths), electronic components, circuits and boards (copper, gold, palladium, silicon, nickel), metallic raw materials in numerous components and coatings, especially car bodies (steel / iron, alloys (zinc), light metals (aluminium), copper, technology metals).

It is therefore not surprising that companies from the automotive industry must report retrospectively for the 2024 reporting year from 2025 as part of the CSRD (Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive):

- What is the status of their transition plan on biodiversity and ecosystems (ESRS E4-1)
- Which guidelines do they follow in connection with biodiversity and ecosystems (ESRS E4-2)
- What measures are taken and resources used in connection with biodiversity and ecosystems (ESRS E4-3)
- What goals are set in connection with biodiversity and ecosystems (ESRS E4-4)
- Which impact metrics are used in connection with biodiversity and ecosystems (ESRS E4-5)
- What possible financial impacts of biodiversity and ecosystem-related risks and opportunities exist (ESRS E4-5)


Anticipate diverse facets of biodiversity


As part of MAN's three-day Responsible Production Conference at the Polish production site in Niepołomice, a two-hour keynote on the topic of biodiversity was held for 30 experts from the fields of health, safety, environment and energy.
In the first part of the keynote, the social and economic relevance of biodiversity, the challenges posed by biological diversity, regulatory and social approaches to overcoming the biodiversity crisis and the importance of biodiversity in the automotive and commercial vehicle sector were examined in order to then discuss the status quo of these topics at MAN.
The final part was an interactive exercise in which the participants were first asked to consider what they could do to worsen the biodiversity crisis in their position at MAN. This dystopian starting point was then used to think about which levers MAN could use to make the world biologically more diverse again.



Giving biodiversity a strategic stage at C-level


Managing partner and biologist Dr. Alexis Katechakis moderated the two-hour keynote and acted as a sparring partner for the discussed results throughout the three-day conference.

While the key issues for MAN's production sites (e. g. changes in land use, climate change and soil, water and air pollution) have been addressed in the context of legal compliance, these issues are now to receive greater strategic attention. This is particularly important with regard to possible risks for production – such as bottlenecks in the availability of ecosystem services.

“Our society and our economy, we all depend on functioning ecosystems. The loss of biodiversity is now reaching critical proportions. There is an urgent need for companies to be diligent about preserving and enhancing our livelihoods. Those responsible for the environment in production are important multipliers in order to carry the issues into the entire value chain and should be aware of their ability."
Managing partner and biologist Dr. Alexis Katechakis



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