Things we didn’t expect to report this morning: JLR has topped a reliability survey, Ssangyong is launching a desirable car at Paris, Audi has been praised by the United Nations for its work with the environment. One of these is true.
Yes, Bavaria’s environment minister Ulrike Scharf has handed over a UN prize for biological diversity to Dieselgate-hit Audi for its work in “spreading environmental awareness”.
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The press release from Audi AG explains, without a hint of irony, that the firm’s “columns of diversity” project, centred on four converted transformer towers in four federal states of Germany, has been recognised as an official project within the Decade on Biodiversity of the United Nations.
In the heady days before the emissions scandal broke, Audi invested €5 million in its new Environmental Foundation with the aim of focussing “exclusively on environmentally minded pursuits for the common good”.
One of its projects – and the one that has been recognised by the UN – was launched in 2014. The project has been converting disused transformer stations across Germany into spaces for endangered fauna to live and breed.
Four transformer stations have been converted to offer new homes for bats and barn owls, amongst other endangered species.
“We are very proud of this recognition in the context of the UN Decade on Biodiversity. It shows that with our commitment, we are making a valuable contribution towards implementing this strategy,” said the environmental foundation’s boss, Dr Rüdiger Recknagel.
The UN’s decade of biodiversity is running from 2011 until 2020, with the goal of “halting the worldwide decline in biological diversity”.
Prizes are being awarded to projects that are exemplary in species protection, sustainability or the communication of ecological values – like the columns of biodiversity.