Brico Dépôt Spain is helping to reintroduce bats to an area of cork forest to support its regeneration after being damaged by fire and pests. The 1,000 hectare area of FSC-certified forest is in the Serra Calderona National Park in Valencia.
The project is part of Brico Dépôt Spain’s social responsibility programme and a local example of Kingfisher’s global sustainability strategy - Net Positive - which aims for the Group to give back more than it takes out during the course of its business operations.
Becoming Net Positive for Timber is about creating more forests than we use. Increasing the number of bats in the forest is a natural way to control pests, like the gypsy moth, which damage cork trees, impeding their growth and thus their productivity.
Cork is an important raw material in Spain. By reducing the negative impact of the moths on the cork forest, Brico Dépôt is helping to secure the supply of a commonly used building material in the region. In doing so, the company is able to continue selling responsibly sourced cork products to customers at the best prices.
Colleagues from four Brico Dépôt stores in the area got involved with installing nest boxes in the forest, which give the nocturnal creatures a daytime refuge and encourage them to repopulate the area.
Speaking about their involvement in the project, two colleagues said: “We’ve seen that the company is truly interested in ecological matters and wants us to be aware of what’s happening,” and “The fact that you participate directly makes you realise that this is a serious project and that they’re truly collaborating with a good cause.”
The cork forest project is funded by profits from the sale of raffia and plastic bags in Brico Dépôt Spain’s stores – a campaign which aims to educate customers on responsible bag use.