• The Audi Environmental Foundation, BABOR, the Ferry Porsche Foundation, and the green startup everwave are spending five weeks cleaning the Olt River, a tributary of the Danube, near the city of Făgăraș
  • Rüdiger Recknagel, Director of the Audi Environmental Foundation: “For us, every day is Earth Day”
  • Tilman Flöhr, CTO everwave: “By deploying our technologies on rivers, we are stopping the problem right at its root.”
Danube cleanup mission in Romania

For the second year in a row, the Audi Environmental Foundation is working with the green startup everwave and German cosmetics manufacturer BABOR BEAUTY GROUP to collect garbage floating in rivers and help preserve biodiversity and protect natural environments for animals and plants. The Ferry Porsche Foundation is also participating for the first time this year as our fourth action partner. The quartet is using everwave’s garbage collection boat Collectix for five weeks to clear the Olt River around the city of Făgăraș.

The boat uses sensors to collect and assess data on the amount, type, and composition of garbage. It has alreay been in operation for eight days and has collected around 40 boatloads of garbage during this time, including mainly plastic bottles, bags and construction materials. “This garbage is a danger to animals, humans and nature. It depomposes slowly over time before finding its way into our oceans as microplastics. By deploying our technologies on rivers, we are stopping the problem right at its root,” says Tilman Flöhr, CTO (Chief Technical Officer) at everwave, who is accompanying the mission in Romania. Plastic garbage is particularly dangerous for the ecosystem. Plastics decompose slowly and drift in the water for hundreds of years as microplastics. Fish and other river-dwellers eat them, which causes irreparable damage to the natural world.

The action is being supplemented with educational and informational offerings. The four partners want to explain the consequences of environmental pollution to children and adults of all ages and encourage them to look into their own behavior. At the start of the cleanup mission on the Olt, the four partners hosted a joint plogging event – while jogging, participants collect garbage that is lying around or being blown by the wind in order to dispose of it properly. On April 28, the four partners will repeat the action in Ingolstadt, Stuttgart, and Aachen – the cities where their respective headquarters are located – to raise awareness about the consequences of environmental pollution there as well.

“Raising awareness and the further development of new technologies for environmental protection are what drives us,” says Rüdiger Recknagel, Managing Director of the Audi Environmental Foundation. “If everyone acts responsibly, a lot of problems will be recognized and prevented at an early stage. That’s why we’re banking on information and education and we're doing it every day of the year. For us, every day is Earth Day”.

About the Audi Environmental Foundation
The Audi Environmental Foundation is an active supporter of research into new technologies and scientific methods for a livable future. Its stated mission is to help protect the environment and to create and promote ways to act sustainably. The foundation particularly focuses on advancing and developing environmentally friendly technologies, environmental education programs, and efforts to protect the natural foundations of human, animal, and plant life. It was founded in 2009 by AUDI AG as a wholly owned subsidiary and is part of the company’s work in support of social and environmental causes.

The BABOR brand is the heart of the German cosmetics company BABOR BEAUTY GROUP. A family-run business based in Aachen, its name stands for skin care in the luxury segment and it is pursuing ambitious sustainability goals. The brand has already made itself climate neutral through its partnership with climate-protection service provider Climate Partner. Additionally, it plans to reduce its own carbon emissions by 50 percent by 2025. By 2023, it will use 30 percent less virgin plastic and avoid using liquid microplastics whenever possible.

About everwave
With the help of special cleanup technologies consisting of grounded platforms and garbage collection boats with artificial intelligence technology, everwave’s team of scientists, mechanical engineers, and marketing experts is ridding rivers around the world of plastic waste and hopes to make a crucial difference in the process. In doing so, everwave is oriented toward the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals. One important pillar, number 17, is establishing global partnerships for reaching those goals.

About the Ferry Porsche Foundation
Founded in 2018, the Ferry Porsche Foundation supports and initiates charitable projects in the fields of social affairs, environment, education and academics, culture, and sports. Through its social engagement, the Foundation wants above all to support young people at the company locations of Dr. Ing. h.c. F. Porsche AG. Its name comes from Ferry Porsche, who founded the Porsche sports car company in 1948.