Community | April 20 2018

Michigan High Schoolers ‘School’ FCA Employees for Earth Day

Earth Day at the FCA US headquarters often brings out the “wild” in our employees, but this year we were schooled on the ways in which we can do our part to help mitigate the effects of global climate change in our homes.

As part of an ongoing collaboration with FCA US, Avondale High School students were tasked with designing and building model homes with a system that uses chemical reactions of plants and other autotrophs, as well as pollinators, to help reduce the effects of human activity on the environment.

“(Avondale High School and FCA) both felt that this challenge would give the students the incentive to create a world-class project and they did not let us down. In fact, there were so many great designs that the judges chose an extra team to attend,” said David Jump, Chrysler Technical Center Environmental Health & Safety Department. “This is a day that these students won’t soon forget and many will probably tell their grandkids one day that they got to present their science project to the workforce here.”

For more than 15 years, FCA US Environment, Health and Safety (EHS) team members have served as mentors to Avondale High School students. Through the years, the young environmental enthusiasts and FCA employees have taken part in a number of projects, including preserving a southeastern Michigan river in partnership with the Clinton River Watershed Council and building bat houses that were mounted around the FCA campus.

This is the second year in which the Company has invited students to participate in its Earth Day celebration, share their innovations and interact with the thousands of employees who pass by their displays.

The annual Earth Day festivity brings more than 40 exhibitors, including various animals from local organizations and businesses to share information about environmental and conservation efforts. Held on April 18, 2018, the event featured displays highlighting how pollinators – bats, bees and butterflies – are vital to the production of healthy crops for food, medicines and other products.

FCA’s Wildlife at Work team also has their own projects to help support local pollinator populations. Here are some examples:

  • Scattered across the grounds are 10 bat houses, each having the potential to shelter and protect approximately 100-300 bats and their young.
  • The property also has a series of gardens to attract the pollinators and aviators, including a Monarch Butterfly Waystation that will be reinvigorated this summer.
  • New in 2018, the team is adding four Mason bee houses on the grounds to further help pollinate plants, flowers and trees.

This commitment to preserving the environment dates back to the design of the facility more than 25 years ago. The Auburn Hills headquarters includes a five-acre green roof and is surrounded by more than 100 acres of natural wetlands, walking trails and a plethora of animals and plants. It is also a ‘zero waste to landfill’ facility since 2010 and received Conservation Certification by Wildlife Habitat Council in April 2015.