bee@PORR: PORR builds home for bees
Bee aware and care.
This is the motto under which PORR and its subsidiaries are offering a home to bee colonies across the Group – currently at more than 30 sites, a number that is growing steadily. With the initiative bee@PORR, we have a proactive approach to counteracting the decline in bees. After all, intelligent building also means embracing responsibility.
PORR lends a hand. For sustainable worlds.
The PORRians build for generations and shape the world we live in - with and for people. “We also understand this as committing to our environment. After all, sustainable action is a key part of the PORR corporate culture and our responsibility towards society. The bees need help and we at PORR are happy to lend a hand”, states PORR CEO Karl-Heinz Strauss.
A famous quote, attributed to Albert Einstein, states: "When the bee disappears from the earth, man has only four years to live."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 winter 2016/2017. 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.
This is why PORR provides sufficient space for beekeepers to tend to their colonies, for example on the compounds and roofs of our offices. On the roof of the corporate headquarters in Vienna alone there are six beehives, each housing around 60,000 bees. The Group supports young apiarists by purchasing hives and bee colonies.
bee@PORR – sustainability across the board
The holistic aspect is a priority with our bee@PORR initiative. That’s why we prefer to use hives made of untreated wood rather than from Styrofoam. Some of the bee homes ordered for Austria came from the institution “Grüner Kreis”, a facility for rehabilitating and integrating people suffering from addictions.
The issue of further education and training is also a priority for PORR. Since April 2017 there has been a special apiary on the roof of the PORR headquarters by the Vienna Beekeeping Association. In future, the Vienna beekeeper school will use it to hold special courses where city beekeepers can learn to keep bees on the roofs of buildings: practical training for rooftop beekeepers – powered by PORR.
PORRians as beekeepers
PORR is currently working both with external pros and with hobby apiarists – as there are also numerous bee lovers represented within PORR’s own ranks. Several staff members have already become passionate beekeepers in their leisure time and the number is growing steadily.
Beekeeper Siegmar Lengauer, Authorised Signatory and Group Leader at PORR Bau GmbH . Upper Austria Branch Office: “I simply won’t allow a future without bees. Making a small, proactive contribution to prevent bees dying out – I see this as a challenge we can all embrace”.
“Even as a young boy I helped my granddad out with his bees in Tyrol, as I was always fascinated by these creatures. With beekeeping I want to pass on something for my children’s lives, namely that you should live with nature and respect its rhythms. Now I have the pleasure of integrating my hobby at PORR and thereby sharing my passion with my colleagues here as well”, says Markus Bichler, Construction Manager at PORR Deutschland GmbH, Munich Building Construction.
Buzzing hives can also be seen outside of Vienna: there are already busy bees on all of our home markets, at over 30 sites. And the number is growing steadily. Our volunteer “Bee Managers” handle the coordination and project management at every site.
A PORRtion of honey
The economic value that bees contribute to agriculture through pollination is estimated at EUR 65 billion a year in Europe, at EUR 525 million for Austria and at EUR 100-200 billion worldwide. But apart from these impressive figures, bees also perform another very special service: they sweeten our lives, day in, day out. As a thank you, our beekeepers get to keep two-thirds of the honey. The remainder stays in the company, is packaged in special PORR jars and given out as a sweet treat on special occasions.