Biodiversity loss impacts all aspects of society, including economic, environmental, and social as well as governance models. Collectively, we all need to take care of the world’s natural assets, and that includes ROCKWOOL.     

According to scientists, loss of biodiversity is an even more urgent concern than the climate crisis since we can to some extent mitigate climate change. Biodiversity loss, however, is permanent and cannot be restored. This is also why biodiversity is increasingly being seen as a critical subject that businesses are expected to responsibly manage. 

As a company using raw materials in our production, we have the ambition to help reduce biodiversity loss. We do this in several ways, including mitigating risks at own sites; monitoring supplier commitments; sponsoring and engaging in net gain projects; minimising the use of virgin materials, reducing water use and decarbonising our operations; and investigating avoided biodiversity impacts across our product portfolio.  

With the EU’s Corporate Social Responsibility Directive (CSRD) and the EU Taxonomy setting out new reporting requirements, standards and minimum safeguards for companies, ROCKWOOL is currently developing a biodiversity strategy, which will be published later in 2024. Biodiversity was identified as one of the material topics for ROCKWOOL in a stakeholder consultation and we will be reporting on this topic from 2024. 

According to the World Economic Forum, loss of biodiversity is one of the greatest risks to business and society.

What is biodiversity?

Biodiversity refers to the variety of living species that make up our natural world, including plants, animals, bacteria and fungi. These work together in ecosystems that maintain balance and supports life on land, in oceans and other water bodies.  

Measuring biodiversity is extremely complex because - unlike carbon – it cannot be boiled down to a single metric such as CO2 equivalents (CO2e).  

Blooming red poppy flower growing out of dry stone wall. High-quality photo
Thumbnail  for drone video of Cigacice landfill site

What is ROCKWOOL doing to reduce biodiversity loss?

Mitigation measures at own factories
Mapping our suppliers’ biodiversity commitments
Minimising the use of virgin materials, reducing water use intensity and decarbonising our operations
Avoided biodiversity impacts across our product portfolio
Biodiversity Net Gain projects

Building a sea horse hotel with the One Ocean Foundation

In the Piccolo Sea in Taranto, Italy, we are supporting the development of seahorse hotel made of stone wool. Despite being home to one of Europe's biggest seahorse colonies, heavy industrial activity in the region has brought with it negative impacts on the seawater and the seahorse population. This is why we, together with the University of Bari, SailGP, and One Ocean Foundation initiated a seahorse repopulation project in 2023. The project consists of creating an artificial living space from stone wool for sea horses. Together with marine biologists, we will observe over the coming two years how the seahorse population is developing and benefiting from the initiative. 

Seahorse hotel project in cooperation with SailGP, One Ocean Foundation and the University of Bari

Protecting onsite species and biodiversity

In 2019, at a new logistics centre co-located with our factory in Wales, UK, we put special measures in place for protected species found onsite, such as dormice. As dormice are a nocturnal species, the lighting system had to be carefully designed to mitigate any impact. Lighting specialists designed a system that would provide adequate light for our logistics colleagues to work safely while minimising light pollution that could disturb the dormice. The set up includes a wooden wall that was erected at the northern perimeter of the site to prevent light spill into the woodland. Encouragingly, recent surveys have confirmed that dormice are still resident in the area.  

shot of a woodland dormouse on a tree with white flowers, a dormouse with a gray coat, wild nature, a very small squirrel,

In addition, the trees and plants that were removed as part of the site development have been replaced with native species, such as hazel and honeysuckle, which provide sustenance for local wildlife and encourage greater flora diversity across the seasons. We have been doing follow-on monitoring of reptiles post-build and have recently discovered adders (also known as European vipers), meaning there has been an increase in biodiversity on site.  

Common European Adder (Vipera berus)

Biodiversity at our headquarters

In Hedehusene, Denmark, we have an outdoor area covering 520 000 m2, which also includes an old factory site. Combined, this is more than 70 football fields, thus the potential for implementing biodiversity measures is significant. We are incorporating biodiversity into our plans for the area, which will include investigating the current status to more fully understand how we can best measure and improve the area’s biodiversity. The ambition is to build on what we have done so far such as changing the mowing pattern to allow for healthier vegetation and letting wilderness grow around the solar panels and other green areas. An added benefit is that we want to create an attractive environment for employees to spend more time outdoors during the work day.  

ROCKWOOL Nordics hovedkvarter i Hedehusene