Biodiversity News from Swords in Ireland

Members News - Environment - Apr 01, 2019

The Siemens Healthineers campus in Swords, County Dublin is located on 20+ acres of pristine land, 4km from Dublin airport and 10km from Dublin seaport. The site opened in 1966 and manufactures Atellica® IM, ADVIA® Centaur Immunoassay and ADVIA® 2120i Hematology analysers. It is a beautiful, mature location with over 400 trees and a vast array of valuable ecosystems, including; improved grass land (the majority of the site), meadow, linear woodland and scrub/transitional woodland.

Our Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programme recognised an opportunity to make a positive impact on the environment by focusing on developing biodiversity. We started by forming a Biodiversity Team to develop plans and work on projects to support the initiative. We currently have 21 members who have an interest in biodiversity and the environment. We involved the company that maintains the grounds in such wonderful condition and to the Biodiversity Officer with the local government office, in order to help us stay aligned with the community biodiversity strategy.

So what is Biodiversity?  Biological diversity or biodiversity for short, is another name for the variety of life we see around us every-day. It includes trees, flowers, insects, mammals, birds, fish and you and me. Biodiversity provides us with many of the essentials that sustain our lives – oxygen, water, food, clothing and places to relax in.

As we progress and develop as a society, the biodiversity in our world is disappearing at a rapid pace.  If we continue to destroy our environment we will not only eliminate the basis for our current existence but also the future of our economy. Hence, there is a desire to bring improvement to our biodiversity.

 Biodiversity protection and development

The Biodiversity Team decided that there are four things we can do to help protect and develop biodiversity and improve our amenity:

Make wildlife welcome.  We are working on a number of initiatives to make wildlife welcome.  Firstly we created wildlife meadows by simply adopting a less intensive grass cutting regime in number of areas. This approach allows the wildflowers to flourish and produce seed that will bloom the following year.  Secondly, we built several bug hotels adjacent the meadow so that the insects had somewhere to hibernate during winter. More recently we created an orchard beside a walkway used recreationally by team members.  We planted a variety of apple, plum pear trees, the orchard is aligned with our commitment to support the All-Ireland Pollinator Plan. The objective of the plan is to create an Ireland where pollinators can survive and thrive.

Protect and develop habitats.   In order to do this, we need to understand our biodiversity, the team carried out a survey of the plants and animals on-site.  We will repeat the survey next year to measure any changes/improvements.  The results will help shape our future plans. 

Reduce, Reuse and Recycle.  We refuse to create plastic waste, which can be seen by our change to compostable drinking cups.  We are continually reducing overall waste at the site and have achieved zero waste going to land-fill.  A garden tool upcycling initiative was introduced which offers team members an opportunity to donate their unwanted garden tools to the team and unwanted wooden shipping crates are used to make the planters and bug hotels.

Recreation, Mindfulness and Wellbeing.  We have built planters which offer team members the opportunity to carry out some therapeutic gardening.  In our next programme, we will create a walkway around the grounds through the scrub/transitional woodland area, this will include an exercise, mindfulness and contemplation area.

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