Cummins Employees Improve Environment
Employees at Cummins Inc. are employing mussels and bees to assist the company fulfil its sustainability strategy and improve the environment.
Workers from the power technology pioneer convened in Columbus, Indiana, this fall to assist in the introduction of kidneyshell mussels into the Mississippi River basin. The Nature Conservancy professionals were in charge of the project, which was a component of Cummins Water Works.
The company’s initiative to address the global water shortage is called Cummins Water Works. The Mississippi River Basin’s water quality will be improved because to a relationship it developed with The Nature Conservancy.
Up to four hours of community service can be performed by Cummins workers on company time, and longer hours can be approved by their manager.
A LITTLE MUSSEL CAN GO A LONG WAY
A medium to big freshwater mussel with a kidney-like form is called a kidneyshell mussel. With some species surviving up to 100 years, they reach a maximum length of 12 cm (5 inches) and are excellent indicators of the health of the environment.
Aquatic environments become healthier as a result of the mussels’ consumption of algae and bacteria, which cleans and filters water of pollutants. Their intricate life cycle offers a useful overview of the state of the waterways.
One of the participants, Engine Optimization Senior Technical Specialist at Cummins Akash Desai, said, “Never having seen mussels before, it was eye-opening how important a role these tiny creatures, a seemingly passive organism, can play in local ecology.”
The mussels had small, flexible, coloured plastic tags attached to their shells that had a unique number on them so they could be counted and measured. Additionally, some mussels had Passive Integrated Transponder (PIT) tags attached to their shells.
These tags may be read by a bar code scanner to determine where a mussel is. A PIT tag assists researchers in locating a portion of the mollusk months or years after reintroduction because mussels have the ability to bury themselves in riverbeds.
The Nature Conservancy and the Indiana Department of Natural Resources deployed officials to Wildcat Creek in the Mississippi River Basin where they successfully tagged and planted more than 400 mussels.
The mussels will be recovered and measured once more to ascertain their growth and survival rates after spending six months in their new environment.
Bee populations have been falling globally in recent decades as a result of habitat loss, air pollution, altered weather patterns, and the over use of agrochemicals like pesticides and fertilisers.
According to studies, a shortage of honeybees in agricultural areas is reducing the availability of some food crops, indicating that the loss of these pollinators may soon have a significant impact on both the preservation of biodiversity and global food security.
Five bee colonies were established by Cummins employees in Germany behind the Cummins Emission Solutions (CES) plant in Marktheidenfeld. Three team members are also beekeepers who inspect hives, count the number of bees, and take out honeycombs.