Environmental management at Linde includes an examination of the potential impact of our business operations on ecosystems and biodiversity. When we plan new sites, we use globally standardised processes to evaluate the effects on the environment. We also follow internationally recognised guidelines, such as the Voluntary Guidelines on Biodiversity-Inclusive Impact Assessment issued by the United Nations. Our evaluation considers ecologically sensitive areas, bodies of water and the impact on plants and animals. Most of our sites are located in industrial zones or business parks. If these sites are directly adjacent to protected areas or other sensitive habitats, we seek to minimise any potential adverse impact we might have on such areas, for example by implementing noise-reduction measures.
When planning new plants, we also invest in measures to enhance the natural environment. When we built a new air separation plant in South America in 2014, for example, we spent around USD 45,000 on planting trees and on tree maintenance.