The Quarry Life Award

A mining site provides a great variety of landscapes and habitats that present low disturbances from human activities. As a leading cement and aggregates producer, HeidelbergCement and its global affiliates commit to manage biodiversity during and after extraction. In more than 1000 quarries and pits worldwide we strive to promote the exceptional local flora and fauna. Through The Quarry Life Award and the participating projects we aim to raise the knowledge about the biological value of mining sites and thereby contribute to further enhancing it. You can help us reach that goal by joining the second edition of the Quarry Life Award!

Through this successful international scientific and educational competition we challenge you to share your ideas to boost mining ecology and biodiversity. And your reward will be…? Prizes from €1 500 up to €30 000, and most of all: a big thank you from Nature itself!

All young people, being a graduate, students or scientific researchers are invited to participate in The Quarry Life Award as a single person or as a team. By 1st March 2014 project proposals must be handed in via the The Quarry Life Award web site. From March to September 2014 our quarries will open their doors for your most interesting and selected projects. In November 2014 three winners per country and six international winners will be rewarded by expert juries. National awards will range from €1 500, €3 000 and €5 000. International awards of €10 000 will be given in five different categories and one grand prize of €30 000 will be attributed to the overall best project. To give every selected project a head start, HeidelbergCement participates in the project costs as determined by each country.

Competition Guidelines

There are ” Terms and Conditions” of entry which relate to these Competition Guidelines that we urge you to read. These cover the legal ins and outs of the competition. These Competition Guidelines are here to show you how to go about your entry. But please be careful, if you stray too far from them, your submission could be disqualified. If you are ever in doubt with the meaning of these guidelines, please contact your HeidelbergCement Quarry Life Award national coordinator for more clarification.

Admission criteria

In order to participate in The Quarry Life Award, contestants must conform to the following criteria:

  • Individuals or teams may participate (teams must designate a primary contact person).
  • An individual may only enter once, either in a team, or by themselves.
  • The Project Proposal must be realizable in the time frame from March to September 2014.
  • The Project Proposal must be submitted for selection by 1st March 2014 and conform to these Competition Guidelines and to the Terms and Conditions.
  • The Final Project Report must be submitted by 30th September 2014 and conform to these Competition Guidelines and to the Terms and Conditions.
  • If an individual or a team is already working on a biodiversity project that has been commissioned or commenced before the start of the contest, it may not be entered into the contest. However, if that same project subsequently expands or develops a new biodiversity aspect in 2014, then that new aspect may apply to be entered into the contest.
  • HeidelbergCement employees and HeidelbergCement’s affiliates’ employees cannot compete, however family of employees are permitted to enter.

Step 1: Pick a topic

Show the most (bio)diverse side of you. The Quarry Life Award offers a unique opportunity to add true ecological and educational value to a mining environment. Choose one of the selected mining sites on and build a project around it.

A proposal must revolve around one of the four following main topics:

  1. Discover biodiversity in mining sites:

    Through your project you want to increase the knowledge about biodiversity in selected mining sites.

    • Mappings
    • Surveys
    • Scientific studies
  2. Biodiversity and rehabilitation:

    Your project promotes biodiversity in mining rehabilitation (nature protection, forestry and agriculture, recreation and housing areas,...).

    • Rehabilitation concepts
    • Rehabilitation methods
    • Rehabilitation projects
  3. Biodiversity and education:

    You develop a concept for social and stakeholder activities focused on mining and biodiversity.

    • Events, nature trails
    • Cooperation between schools, universities and a quarry
    • Cooperation projects with NGOs and other stakeholder groups
  4. Biodiversity management during extraction:

    Your project optimizes the biodiversity value of the quarry during its extraction period.

    • Increase biodiversity on production sites
    • Creation of new living spaces/habitats for plants and animals on industrial land

Other project themes will be considered based on their enhancement of biodiversity value and their link with our companies and products (ex: Biodiversity in urban areas).

Step 2: Submit your Project Proposal (Deadline: 1st March 2014)

  1. Project Proposal: must be submitted on the form provided on
  2. Language: Local Language is permissible for the National Awards, English version is required for consideration of International Awards.
  3. Content must include:
    • Project title
    • Location (plant name, company, region, country, GPS coordinates mining or production site)
    • Contact persons (company and project partner; full address with e-mail and telephone)
    • Project description: objectives (what?), methods (how?), project timeline (when?), involved groups and persons (who?)
    • Expected added value for biodiversity and /or society and company
    • Implementation budget estimation

The Top Five Submissions in each country will be selected and all participants will be informed by 15th March 2014 if their proposal is accepted. The Top Five Submissions will simultaneously compete in both the National Competition and International Competition and subject to the Terms and Conditions.

Step 3: Research Work

If your Project Proposal is one of the Top Five Submissions in your country, you will receive a Financial Contribution towards project costs to help you carry out your research, and develop your idea.

These funds are to offset some costs associated with the research work. Research work must be completed during the March to September 2014 time-frame and the final project report should be submitted by 30th September 2014. During this research period participants will be able to upload photos and information on their progress to the Quarry Life Award website.

Contestants will receive a site specific health and safety briefing from site management before beginning any work at a Quarry. All Contestants must abide by the company’s site specific health and safety regulations and requirements delivered in that meeting. Any individual not following health and safety regulations will be immediately disqualified (in the case of a team, your whole team will be disqualified, so make sure you stay safe!).

Step 4: Final Project Report (Deadline 30th September 2014)

  1. Final Project Report should be of maximum 10 pages + Annexes (bachelor or master thesis, references, species lists, maps, drawings, pictures).
  2. Language: Local and English.
  3. Table of content:
    • Abstract (max 1 page; max. 2 pages for local language papers)
    • Introduction (max 0,5 page)
    • Objectives (max. 0,5 page)
    • Background information (site description, a summary of actions completed before March 2014 is required for ongoing projects).
    • Methods: For scientific projects, a detailed description of the methods used for mapping and surveying is required. For other kind of projects, a short description of actions done to elaborate the project.
    • Results: For scientific projects, the results of the mappings and surveys should be outlined properly and distinguished from the discussion. For other kinds of projects a detailed description of planned or implemented actions is required.
    • Discussion: For scientific projects the results have to be discussed with reference to region/country taking into account other publications. All other kind of projects should discuss pro and contra and illustrate experiences. There should be one chapter which outline the added value of the project for biodiversity, the society and the company.
    • Conclusions: Statement on outlook and on future implementation.

Evaluation of projects

Project ideas must be in line with the HeidelbergCement guidelines for biodiversity. The uniqueness of the project idea together with the creativity will be important factors in its evaluation. The project must also be feasible and realistic. The focus must be on the promotion of biodiversity, increasing the knowledge of biodiversity, increasing of habitats and species in mining sites and nature protection aspects. The project will also be evaluated for supporting education and training, involvement of stakeholders, and if the biological data are applicable for the HeidelbergCement database of indicator calculations and for development of Biodiversity Action Plans.

Who will evaluate my project?

There will be both a national and an international Jury. The national jury will evaluate all national Project Proposals and the final Project Reports. The international jury will only evaluate the Final Project Reports of the Top Five Submissions for each country.

More information?

Click here to contact your Quarry Life Award national coordinator