Did you know that moors are the most effective carbon reservoirs of all terrestrial habitats? Their peat soil is made up mainly of carbon which is absorbed in it for entire millennia. At the same time, the soil offers many plants and animals a unique habitat. Within the scope of the in-house corporate citizenship initiative WE CARE WE DO WE MOVE, Daimler AG supports the regeneration of the moors as part of the sponsorship of Kranichschutz Deutschland, a German organization that aims to protect cranes. After all, the marshlands and moorlands in Northern and Eastern Europe are also home to cranes. *
The soft soil yields under your feet, your boots sink deeply into the ground. Wafting fog over dark waters. A stillness that appears ghostly: To us, moors seem spooky, mystical and at best, unique. For our ancestors they were one thing above all: Inhospitable, useless wastelands. That is why they have been drained for centuries and transformed into agricultural or forestry land. To this day.
And that even though moors offer a unique habitat for many nowadays rare species of animals and plants. In this way, they play a major role in preserving the biodiversity. They also have another important function: They are the most effective carbon reservoirs of all terrestrial habitats. Their peat soil is made up mainly of carbon which is encased for millennia.
Moors are 95 percent water and play an important role in the water balance. Intact moors act like sponges that absorb precipitation. As a result, they protect against flooding when the waters run high. Moors also have an important function with regard to the formation of groundwater: They are veritable water filters. Plants absorb the nutrients and pollutants dissolved in the water. Thanks to the peat formation, they are permanently trapped in the peat.
When the water is drained from a moor, the peat chunks dry out and nutrients are released. The moor is no longer able to store or retain water; carbon dioxide (CO2) is released. The biodiversity also declines. Drained moors are estimated to account for two to three percent of the carbon dioxide emissions in Germany - more than all the wind turbines in Germany conserve.
Even though moors cover only three percent of the earth's surface, they store about 30 percent of the geologic carbon. According to the BUND (FRIENDS OF THE EARTH GERMANY association), moors even absorb twice as much CO2 worldwide as all forests taken together. One hectare of moor with a peat layer 15 centimeters thick contains about as much carbon as a hundred-year-old forest covering the same area.
When moors are destroyed, they release large amounts of greenhouse gases and unique species of animals and plants are wiped out. The drained moors in Germany alone release about 45 million metric tons of CO2 annually. "That represents about five percent of the total annual emissions in Germany and almost 40 percent of the emissions of the German agricultural industry," says Jochen Flasbarth of the German Federal Ministry of the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (German Source).
Some German federal states now have their own moor protection programs that help to finance local projects. The reason being that Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Schleswig-Holstein, Lower Saxony, Brandenburg, Bavaria and Baden-Württemberg are among the states with the most moors in Germany. These moors are up to 12,500 years old.
Cranes also have their breeding and resting places in moors. They inhabit marshlands and moorlands in Northern and Eastern Europe and thus form an important part of the ecosystem. To protect this habitat, the Kranichschutz Deutschland organization (Crane Conservation Germany) supports the restoration of moors: Together with the World Wildlife Fund, they applied for raising the water level at the Günzer See fen in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania as part of the project "Vernetzte Vielfalt an der Schatzküste" (Network of Diversity on the Treasure Coast). Daimler fosters the regeneration of the moors by supporting the Kranichschutz Deutschland organization.
The issue of environmental protection has a high priority as part of our corporate social responsibility. That is why we have been supporting the protection of cranes together with the NABU (Nature and Biodiversity Conservation Union) since 2019. Cranes are the epitome of mobility and individual freedom. They live in marshlands and moors, which absorb vast quantities of CO2. By protecting the cranes, we are saving their habitat at the same time and thus are investing effectively in climate protection.
The protection of the environment and of cranes is an important pillar of the Daimler initiative WE CARE WE DO WE MOVE, under which we combine our worldwide corporate citizenship activities. WE CARE, because we take on responsibility as part of our sustainable business strategy. WE DO, because our commitment to society is characterized by our active involvement. WE MOVE, because we want to achieve positive results in the world. We get impetus from society and give impetus back. We face current issues at our locations around the globe: climate protection and air quality, resource conservation, livable cities, traffic safety, data responsibility, and human rights.