INVISTA recognized for environmental excellence
Employees at INVISTA’s Victoria site recently received international recognition for their contributions to wildlife habitat conservation and education at the Wildlife Habitat Council (WHC) Conservation Conference. INVISTA demonstrated its commitment to environmental stewardship and education by achieving Wildlife at Work and Corporate Lands for Learning recertification at its Victoria site.
“The companies we honor are environmental leaders at local, national and global levels, voluntarily managing lands to support sustainable ecosystems and the communities that surround them,” said Margaret O’Gorman, WHC president. “Congratulations to INVISTA for its successful conservation project to create habitat and increase biodiversity.”
As a subsidiary of Koch Industries, INVISTA’s Victoria site was part of the combined Koch companies conservation and education accomplishments recognized by Wildlife Habitat Council’s 2015 Conservation Education Award. This award was possible because of the sustained commitment of employees in the conservation and education programs at the site.
INVISTA’s Victoria site encompasses 4,500 acres in a predominately rural area approximately 10 miles south of Victoria, Texas. Roughly 1,000 acres are used for the nylon 6,6 chemical intermediates manufacturing facility. The remainder of the site includes a wide variety of habitat types, such as grasslands, rangelands, wetlands and riparian areas. The team at the Victoria site actively manages 2,565 acres for wildlife habitat through a Wildlife at Work program that has been certified since 1991.
Within the 55-acre constructed wetland, the team enhanced the habitat by installing seven wood duck nest boxes, which are inhabited by black-bellied whistling ducks every year. Bird observations are recorded and submitted to Cornell’s eBird as part of the ongoing effort to track biodiversity.
The Corporate Lands for Learning program at the Victoria site, certified since 2006, is carried out in collaboration with the Victoria Independent School District. Using the site’s wetlands as an outdoor classroom for students in grades 4-12, lessons are designed to accomplish goals outlined by the Texas state standards of learning and encourage students to use skills such as observation, inquiry and critical thinking and often focus on STEM (Science, Technology Engineering and Mathematics). The Wetland Education Experiments and Activities curriculum developed specifically for this habitat contains 27 lessons that visiting teachers select from prior to attending the "wetlands encounter."
“INVISTA is very pleased that our WHC programs have been recertified,” said Kevin Burke, Victoria site manager. “INVISTA has a relentless commitment to sustainability and protecting the environment. The WHC Wildlife at Work and the Corporate Lands for Learning programs are an extension of not only our commitment to conservation and the environment, but also our commitment to our community and science education.”
INVISTA’s Victoria site was one of 273 programs that received Wildlife at Work certification and one of 59 programs that received Corporate Lands for Learning certification. Certification requirements are strict and require that programs apply for periodic renewal. Wildlife at Work certification recognizes outstanding wildlife habitat management efforts at corporate sites, and offers third-party validation of the benefits of such programs. Corporate Lands for Learning certification provides programs with third-party recognition for educational programs.
About Wildlife Habitat Council
Wildlife Habitat Council promotes and certifies habitat conservation and management on corporate lands through partnerships and education. WHC’s programs take corporate sustainability goals and objectives and translate them into tangible and measurable on-the-ground actions. Through a focus on building collaboration for conservation with corporate employees, other conservation organizations, government agencies and community members, WHC programs focus on healthy ecosystems and connected communities. WHC-assisted wildlife habitat and conservation education programs are found in 45 states, the District of Columbia and 13 countries. www.wildlifehc.org