At Sirius we also recognise the importance of protecting biodiversity and the natural environment and take our responsibility through the assets we own extremely seriously. Our actions to date have been based on improving biodiversity through the creation of new habitats or improving existing ones.
Across Germany we have over 500,000 sqm of green space and we are focused on protecting and enhancing these spaces. Our work is concentrated on three areas where we believe we can have a direct and positive impact – trees, flowers and bees.
There are currently 9,000 trees on Sirius properties, which we care for and protect. In addition to our work on our own properties, we recognise the significant role trees play in the global ecosystem as suppliers of oxygen, capturers of CO2, protectors of the water supply and against soil erosion and providers of habitat. Through a partnership with Tree Nation, we created a Sirius corporate forest which supports various reforestation projects around the world and set a target to plant 10,000 trees by the end of the financial year to March 2022. In recognition of our own impact on the planet, we agreed to plant a tree for every employee anniversary, conclusion of a new rental agreement, completion of a tenant questionnaire in our surveys, and participant meeting in a Sirius conference centre. A total of 10,458 trees were planted in the year, accounting for 1,129.5 tonnes of carbon dioxide being absorbed through reforestation projects covering the Amazon, Kenya, Madagascar, Tanzania, Nepal and Spain.
Our work with the natural habitat also looks at expanding the diversity of our green spaces. We have identified over 30,000 sqm of green space that were previously lawns which are being converted into natural wildflower meadows. To date, 21,559 sqm have already been converted during the year, with the remainder to be completed in 2022. This is part of our plan to create spaces for pollinators and insects through a seed mix developed for use in urban areas, producing meadows that are both a protective habitat and food supply for insects and smaller animals.
Our work on our green spaces links to the third strand of our biodiversity programme which is the protection and promotion of bees. Working with Hektar Nektar, Sirius has sponsored ten bee colonies that have been placed in the most suitable habitats and are taken care of by beekeepers across Germany, with a further ten hives added post year end in April 2022. It is estimated that we have already enabled the bee population in these hives to have increased to 1,000,000 bees since the project commenced as of April 2022. This is part of our co-operation with Hektar Nektar to increase the overall bee population in Austria and Germany by 10% by 2028.