Peatlands as economic powerhouses and superheroes in the fight against the climate crisis

Hamburg, 18 April 2024 – The Otto Group has recognized the importance of peatlands in combating climate change for years. Together with its Group companies OTTO, Bonprix, Hermes Germany, the Witt Group, Baur, and Systain Consulting, the globally active retail and services group supports the initiative toMOORow for the restoration and sustainable use of rewetted peatlands. Now is the time for the economy to recognize the power of peatlands as a crucial lever for climate and biodiversity protection and as a resource for sustainable economic practices. toMOORow officially launches the Alliance of Pioneers on April 30 to activate market forces and create alternative sources of income for agriculture with the help of paludiculture by working together with well-known companies.

Peatlands are superheroes in the fight against the climate crisis. Although they only cover three percent of the global land area, they store twice as much carbon as the biomass of all the world's forests combined. In Germany, around 95 percent of peatlands are drained; they are responsible for around seven percent of annual greenhouse gas emissions. By rewetting drained peatlands, climate-damaging emissions can be avoided, making an important contribution to the fight against climate change.

Wet peatlands also play a vital role in nature’s water balance and serve as effective natural flood protection areas. Preserving and restoring these natural ecosystems is invaluable in the face of climate change.

Green treasure troves as economic powerhouses

By cultivating wet peatlands, known as paludiculture, renewable resources can be obtained and used for the manufacture of products such as paper, packaging, chipboard, furniture, construction and insulation materials. This opens up new perspectives for the economy while reducing dependence on fossil resources.

"The restoration and sustainable use of peatlands is of crucial importance for climate protection and the economy. As the Otto Group, together with our Group companies, we have been supporting the initiative toMOORow from the very beginning, which is committed to creating new, nature-friendly peatland habitats through rewetting and thus making a contribution to combating the climate crisis," says Prof. Dr. Tobias Wollermann, VP Corporate Responsibility of the Otto Group.

"In order for paludiculture to provide the necessary income potential for agriculture, market forces need to be activated. To this end, we have established the Alliance of Pioneers - an association of strong, innovative companies committed to building scalable value chains with paludiculture biomass. The aim is to secure economic potential and create sources of income for agriculture if the previous cultivation with grassland or arable farming is no longer possible after rewetting," adds Claudia Bühler, Director of the Michael Otto Foundation for Environmental Protection.

Further information on the importance of wet peatlands can be found at ottogroup.com.

Event note
On 30 April 2024, the launch event of the Alliance of Pioneers will take place in Berlin, hosted by the toMOORow initiative (Michael Otto Foundation for Environmental Protection and Michael Succow Foundation, partner in the Greifswald Mire Centre). Together with Federal Ministers Cem Özdemir and Steffi Lemke, the initiators of toMOORow Prof. Dr. Michael Otto and Prof. em. Dr. Michael Succow, the responsible persons of the toMOORow initiative, and high-profile representatives from the business and agricultural sectors, the opportunities and challenges of using paludiculture biomass in the economy will be discussed and concrete practical steps will be outlined.

Media representatives interested in attending the event should contact Claudia Bühler, Director of the Michael Otto Foundation for Environmental Protection, at +49 40 6461-6700 or claudia.buehler@umweltstiftungmichaelotto.org.

Further Informations

Media Contact

Annette Siragusano
+49 40 6461 3982

Nicole Sieverding
+49 40 6461 3179

About the Otto Group

Founded in Germany in 1949, today the Otto Group is a globally active retail and services group with around 41,000 employees in 30 major company groups primarily active in the economic regions of Germany, the rest of Europe, and the USA. Its business activities span the Platforms, Brand Concepts, Retailers, Services and Financial Services segments. In the 2022/23 financial year (to 28 February) the Otto Group generated revenues of 16.2 billion euros. With online revenues of approximately 12 billion euros (financial year 2022/23), the Otto Group is one of the world’s largest online retailers. The Group’s particular strength is the broad market presence of its differentiated product assortments and service offers to diverse customer target groups in the world’s relevant economic regions. Numerous strategic partnerships and joint ventures provide the Otto Group with excellent opportunities to transfer know-how and leverage areas of synergy potential. Group companies demonstrate a high degree of corporate responsibility and willingness to collaborate with one another; at the same time this guarantees flexibility, customer proximity and optimal target-group appeal in their respective national markets.

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