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Promoting Biodiversity by Protecting Pollinator Populations

Promoting Biodiversity by Protecting Pollinator Populations

Published 07-14-23

Submitted by Covia

Bees and other pollinators are critical to protecting everyday life, sustaining food sources for humans and wildlife around the world. However, global pollinator populations are declining at a rapid and unprecedented rate due to ecological stressors such as habitat loss, prevalence of disease, extreme weather patterns, increased use of pesticides, and other factors. Because our operations are directly connected to land use, we are mindful of biodiversity and habit impacts. In addition to our responsibilities to care for the land when we close a site, we seek ways to promote stewardship among our Team Members and our communities.

Throughout the year, several Covia locations supported pollinator populations by organizing Team Member and community awareness initiatives, maintaining on-site hives and pollinator-friendly gardens, and engaging with apiaries and local organizations to protect these important at-risk species.

Our Jáltipan, Veracruz, plant established its flagship Community Beekeeping Initiative, focused on:

  1. Preserving the declining bee population;
  2. Developing beekeeping skills among neighboring communities to advance employment opportunities; and
  3. Increasing participant incomes, especially among women.

In 2022, the program sponsored the installation of two community apiaries with a total of 50 bee boxes, which are anticipated to produce a total of 2,000 liters of honey in the 2023 harvest season and generate $15,000 in additional income for the beekeepers in the community. Jáltipan Team Members either maintain these hives themselves after attending apiary training or outsource the management of these apiaries to trained members within the community.

For more information on our Jáltipan Community Beekeeping Initiative, please watch the video above.

Our Portage, Wisconsin, plant partners with a local apiary to maintain two bee colonies on the site’s reclaimed land. Additionally, Team Members at our Best Sand Chardon, Ohio, and Tunnel City, Wisconsin, locations maintain beehives in their free time. In Kermit, Texas, Team Members partner with Bee for Life to have swarms appropriately relocated when they pass through our site.

At our Junction City, Georgia; McIntyre, Georgia; and Black Lab Serena, Illinois, sites, Team Members maintain native plants, flowers, wild grasses, and trees that support local pollinator populations. Additionally, our Portage, Wisconsin, site participated in “No Mow May” on two acres of land to help spring pollinators and bug populations grow during the month.

Our Guion, Arkansas, site maintains the Monarch Watch Waystation Certification by providing resources necessary for monarchs to produce successive generations and sustain their migration. Our Tunnel City, Wisconsin, site has partnered with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Wisconsin Statewide Karner Blue Butterfly (KBB) Habitat Conservation Plan to create KBB habitats and help preserve this at-risk species. To date, 111 acres have been put into the Habitat Conservation Plan and planted with lupine seed. Team Members at the site regularly count the number of KBB sightings and report this information annually. Since 2019, confirmed sightings have increased by 35%.

“I am proud to work for a company that takes environmental stewardship seriously and gives us the support we need. When Tunnel City began operations, the endangered Karner Blue Butterfly did not really exist on our property. Through strategic measures, we were able to establish a population here and are delighted to watch as the number of Karners continues to grow year after year. During the peak season, you cannot visit Tunnel City’s front office without being greeted by Karners.” – Riley Layton, Mine Supervisor, Tunnel City, WI.

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At Covia, we are committed to being more than just a leading provider of high-performance mineral and material solutions – we believe that our company can make a positive difference in the world. This belief is what drives our environmental, social and governance (ESG) strategy, which is influenced by both our journey as an organization and the events in the world around us.

Our commitment to operating as a responsible corporate citizen has been embedded into every aspect of our business for decades and serves as the foundation for Covia’s ESG initiatives. From our operations to our Team Members and the communities in which we live and work, we continue to define WHAT WE’RE MADE OF as more than the materials we produce, but the impact we can make in every interaction.

In 2021, we enhanced our approach toward accelerating ESG performance by developing our formal GOALS THAT INSPIRE: ESG 2030. These 10 goals, broken into our three core areas - Environmental Stewardship, Positive Social Impact and Responsible Governance & Ethics - were developed by Covia Team members across the company and are designed to drive tangible and measurable progress in areas where we can make the most impact.

We have the commitment and strategy in place to drive meaningful progress and we are pledging to make a positive differences for our people, our planet and our communities.

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