Committed to Our Environment

Jun 7, 2022 - Insights

Inhabitants of the four new beehives at our Thann, France serve an important purpose: environmental monitoring.

We understand our operations are often in areas that are home to unique animals, plants and wildlife. Our mines and plants benefit from the land, so it is imperative that we protect this biodiversity. The first mission is to mitigate impacts as we operate, and then we rehabilitate these sites to protect and rehabilitate land and local ecosystems, so they can thrive long term.

Tronox’s Thann, France plant looked to bees and the many benefits they bring to people and the natural ecosystem, so they installed four new beehives onsite, in time for World Bee Day on May 20.

“The primary idea was biomonitoring our plant environment with bees. Monitoring our dust emissions is important for the plant as we are situated in the middle of a town,” said Jean-Michel Colin, environmental manager for Tronox’s Thann, France site. “There are several ways to do this, but using bees as a collecting vector for TiO2 dust is an ideal and innovative way, at least for us, and adds another technique to the environmental monitoring tools we already have in place.”

Installation of the hives is yet another example of how, at Tronox, we strive to be responsible stewards of the environment and have processes in place to understand how to minimize our environmental impact. And employees have a personal, vested in this, as well.

“I am interested in this project because it allows me to share my passion with my Tronox colleagues and with our community,” said Michel Palaticky, process control specialist and Thann’s resident beekeeper. “I am proud to participate in a project that commits me to a process of social and environmental responsibility.”

Incredibly, there are approximately 20,000 species of bees worldwide and they are all collectively essential to the health of people and the planet. Bees are the most dominant pollinator of wild crops and plants, visiting over 90% of the world’s top 107 crops. A third of the world’s food production depends on bees. Bees preserve ecological balance and biodiversity in nature and Tronox is proud to aide in their protection. 

Michel Palaticky, second from left, handles a panel with hundreds of bees so visitors can see.

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