JM employees receiving a Green Apple Award.

Enhancing biodiversity through building a sustainable community

11th December 2017
We recognise, celebrate and report on the incredible work of the Johnson Matthey volunteers behind the Chilton Biodiversity Project. 


Last year at our internal annual awards, the Chilton Biodiversity Project was a joint winner in our ‘Sustainable Communities’ category, and the project is an exceptional example of how we continue to support, promote and enhance biodiversity. 

Taking control of undeveloped land owned by JM’s Chilton, UK site, a team of volunteers have exceeded expectations; so much so that they received a Gold Award at the ‘Green Apple Awards’ held at the Houses of Parliament in November 2017 - an award for ecological good practice. The event is run by the Green Organisation and has been taking place for over 20 years.

Volunteers at the Chilton Biodiversity Site.

Creating a sustainable future

The project began by planting hundreds of trees in efforts to cleanse the local air and reduce the carbon footprint of JM’s operation at Chilton. Not only does the project seek to benefit the local community, it also encourages employee volunteering and enhances the environment in a more holistic way.

Money well spent

For its win in 2016, the project received £5,000 to improve access to the site and make further improvements to the habitat alongside local non-profit organisation the ‘Industry Northern Conservation Association’.

In addition to the hard work carried out by the team themselves, the team hired Wildlife Gardening Services who began by improving the landscape, carrying out tasks such as building a boardwalk across a flooded area. Also, the addition of more plants last spring should future-proof the presence of new wildlife like white-letter hairstreak butterflies, while the purchase of a camera trap, which can operate in still or video mode and has night vision capability, now captures activity at all times.


Wildlife improvements

The work produced an instant buzz in the community and the team have already seen vast improvements. With 23 species of butterfly, the area now has the second highest butterfly species count in the Cleveland area. Other recent additions to the habitat include slow bugs, water boatmans and smooth newts. Bird numbers have continued to be healthy, and badger activity has been confirmed by the new camera trap.


A duck at the Chilton Biodiversity Site.

Looking ahead

We are always looking to move forward, continuously searching for ways to better our products, services and the environment, and the team behind the Chilton Biodiversity Project are no different. Among other things, in the coming months they want to allow more access to JM ‘non-volunteers’, inspect bird nest boxes for breeding activity and continue their habitat management. It’s projects like this that help to promote a sustainable world, for generations now and in the future.