Field of flowers in front of a Migros branch

Des espaces proches de la nature

Biodiversity? More than a variety of species

Natural areas for more biodiversity: we are committed to tangible environmental protection on site – whether on our buildings, company premises or golf courses.

Migros Ostschweiz, Franziska Frutiger
What we do

At the very top, where the customers can’t see them, they’re buzzing – insects. That is no coincidence, but intentional. The roof of the Migros Shoppyland in Schönbühl is greened: a rich variety of flowering and pollinator-friendly plants such as chives and grass attract small animals such as insects, birds and bees to its heights. Here they find food and shelter – a plus for the preservation of biodiversity.

“But biodiversity is more than having a variety of species,” says Anna Peters, Sustainability Project Manager at Migros Group. Above all, it was about protecting ecosystems such as forests, wild meadows, moors or bodies of water. Without the benefits that ecosystems provide to us humans, we could hardly exist and most businesses could not operate.

Diversity protects

 Field of flowers in front of a Migros branch
© Migros Ostschweiz, Franziska Frutiger

Biodiversity is therefore essential to our survival. Preserving it is a building block in the fight against climate change. Protection against environmental disasters such as floods or avalanches, purification of water and air, degradation of waste and pollutants: the more we preserve and promote biodiversity and ecosystems, the better they can cope with changing environmental conditions or counteract climate change.

Innovative approaches to nature-oriented environmental design are especially emerging in the property sector, says project manager Anna Peters: “It is known that properties with a green cover and natural areas around buildings achieve a cooling effect, which is becoming increasingly important in view of rising temperatures.” Migros’ company grounds also take advantage of this: Bischofszell Food Ltd (BINA), for example, has designed its surrounding company grounds to be close to nature and biodiverse. The Migros pension fund is also increasingly designing the housing estates it owns according to nature-oriented criteria, which is appreciated by the residents and the nature of the estates.

More habitat by 2030

Nature Area Suhr
© Migros Ostschweiz, Franziska Frutiger

As Migros, we have created around 3 million square metres (1) of living space to date. This is an area the size of about 400 football fields on our grounds, where biodiversity is promoted. But what does promoting biodiversity actually mean in this context? It means for instance:

  • flower meadows instead of lawns;

  • native and site-appropriate plants instead of exotics;

  • permeable paving instead of asphalt;

  • green flat roofs or wetland biotopes such as ponds instead of gravel beds;

  • deadwood piles for insects and reptiles instead of ornamental perennials.

This is pioneering work even away from our company grounds. We attach great importance to renaturation and the preservation of valuable natural areas when redesigning our branch environments.

Migros is on course with this: because at the 2022 UN Biodiversity Conference in Montreal, 200 countries agreed on the “30 by 30” target: by 2030, 30 per cent of the world’s land and sea area should be protected for biodiversity. An ambitious goal for Switzerland. Currently, 13 per cent are protected, half of the habitats and a third of the species are considered threatened.

(1) As at April 2022.

We are leading the way!

Good for the environment, beautiful to look at: 39 of our locations contribute to promoting biodiversity with their near-natural areas certified by Stiftung Natur und Wirtschaft. A prerequisite for certification is that at least one third of the site is designed in a near-natural way. Near-natural landscaped areas provide habitats for rare animals and plants. This applies not only to various M industrial operations such as Aproz, Micarna and ELSA, but also to the Migros distribution operations in Neuendorf and Suhr, the Gossau and Schönbühl operations centres and larger shopping centres.

In addition to areas in industrial zones, all six Migros golf parks are also certified. There is also a certified natural area on Monte Generoso, where Migros operates the railway and the mountain restaurant, there is a low-nutrient meadow. With the PIC 3 residential area of MPK in Allschwil, we have done pioneering work and certified the first residential estate in Switzerland. Further natural areas are already being planned.