One of the tenets of successful corporate conservation programs is employee engagement. Employee participation in biodiversity conservation projects can help to enhance employees’ skill sets, improve internal communication, and create a culture of learning. In addition, employees become invested in a company’s sustainability goals, creating a sharing of values that contributes to job satisfaction.
When Owens Corning first implemented their conservation projects at their Granville Science and Technology Center, located on 524 acres in central Ohio, the team made a concerted effort to attract and engage employees through events and popular pollinator and avian projects.
The company’s annual Nature Day evolved out of an employee wellness initiative, and has become an invaluable way to involve employees and encourage their interest in conservation activities. The highlights of the event are the nature walks, led by experts from several of the active conservation projects and include visits to the site’s pollinator garden, prairie restoration, ponds and community garden. The path for the nature walks are also set up as a scavenger hunt, which allows employees that are not able to join the scheduled walks to still gain many of the educational benefits of the walks.
In addition to this annual event, the team provides employees with opportunities to learn about pollinators throughout the year, and employees are encouraged to take photographs of pollinators and other animals seen in the pollinator garden and submit them to the team.
One of the more successful endeavors of Granville’s conservation program has been an avian project focused on songbird nest boxes. The boxes were installed more than 20 years ago by local Boy Scouts. The team diligently ensures the boxes are cleaned and prepped for the birds each spring and then monitors the boxes every week, taking steps to prevent non-native, invasive house sparrows from using the boxes. These efforts have paid off with positive impacts. Approximately 90 percent of the boxes were used by native birds since 2015, and nearly 200 clutches (eggs produced at a single time) of bluebirds and other native birds have hatched successfully since monitoring began in 2008. Some breeding pairs are even laying more than one clutch each year.
“An impressive amount of young hatched and left the nest since we started tracking” said Lindsey Kauffman, Environmental Lead, Corporate Sustainability for Owens Corning. “It’s been a tremendous boost for the team, knowing they had an active part in bluebirds and other species breeding in our area.”
With the success of its program, the Granville team is also working with other Owens Corning sites to help develop corporate conservation programs at their facilities, sharing tips for success and lessons learned through nest box monitoring and other projects.
Overall, Granville has reaped the benefits of involving employees in biodiversity conservation projects on-site. As Ms. Kauffman noted, “It’s been a good way to get employees engaged with the sustainability work that Owens Corning does. It gets people involved in a tangible way that they can see and feel, no matter what their role is in the company.”
To learn more about the Granville Science and Technology Center’s involvement with WHC, watch this video:
|Site Name:||Owens Corning Granville Science and Technology Center|
|Categories:||Avian, Awareness and Community Engagement, Grasslands, Landscaping, Pollinators|
|Company Name:||Owens Corning|
|Site Location:||Granville, Ohio|
|Partners:||Boy Scouts, Keller Farms, Ohio Prairie Nursery|
|WHC Index Link:||Search for project|