Virunga hydropower project 

Green electricity for people, a protected habitat for mountain gorillas

Rethinking our approach in order to deal with climate change means greater use of efficient renewable energies as well as finding new ones in order to secure an environmentally friendly energy supply over the long term. To avoid an impending climate catastrophe, global warming must be limited. Even if this goal were to be met, one in four species in the world’s most significant natural regions would still be at risk of extinction. This includes gorillas. The new climate-neutral packaging of the Terra Canis snacks comprise 100% recycled material, meaning that no trees had to be felled for this paper. In addition, there was also a focus on carbon-neutral packaging. For this purpose, the carbon footprint of the whole packaging process was examined and analysed. In order to offset the total CO2 emissions afterwards, a so-called climate certificate is acquired. The purchase of this certificate supports the project ‘VIRUNGA, D.R. CONGO HYDROPOWER’ and therefore also the gorillas in the Congo, their habitat and environmentally friendly energy sources in the region. Our carbon-neutral packaging has been realised together with ClimatePartner, whose expertise helped us to calculate and reduce CO2 emissions, implement climate protection strategies and offset CO2 emissions through recognised climate protection projects – for climate-neutral companies and products. 

Gorillas are the biggest ape on Earth and an extremely fascinating species, not least because of their similarity to us humans. Around one third of the last mountain gorillas in the world live in the wild in the Virunga National Park in the Congo. It takes 600 rangers to protect their habitat from armed poachers. But it’s not just the animals themselves that are under threat from the poachers. Local mineral resources and above all the wood, which is a valuable commodity in charcoal trading, are also targets for the poachers and looters. This destructive exploitation in the areas in which the gorillas live is driven by pervasive poverty. 97% of the population has no access to electricity. The only accessible form of energy for many people is the charcoal from the trees in the Virunga National Park. The illegal depletion of these is a business worth millions and pays no heed to the plight of the rare gorillas and their habitat. The drive to establish a new source of energy that protects the trees in the Virunga National Park and thus also the gorillas’ habitat over the long term has led to the creation of the climate protection project ‘VIRUNGA, D.R. CONGA HYDROPOWER’. The run-of-river power station now in operation already supplies 5000 households and lots of new small companies with sufficient electricity. This ensures economic progress and thus also greater stability and peace in the region. It also preserves the mountain gorillas’ natural habitat.

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