Essity has been a home to Falcons since 2015, one year following Essity employees at the Menasha mill installing nesting boxes at the site to attract American peregrine falcons. The falcons were a listed endangered species from the early 1970's until delisting in 1999. The species is quite rare, with only 32 known successful mating pairs in the state of Wisconsin in 2017.
Tracey Driessen, Environmental Manager, Essity Midwest Operations, says the project is an excellent example of Essity’s care for and commitment to the environment. "Having the falcons at the mill has added to the sense of pride among employees," she says. "Several Essity team members are involved in the falcon effort, and having the falcons here fosters a sense of teamwork that goes beyond day-to-day operations," continues Tracey. "When you have something positive for people to rally around, it opens other conversation avenues, leading to better overall teamwork and engagement."
This year has been extra exciting for the employees! In the fall of 2017 video cameras were installed in the two nesting boxes. Earlier this spring, using the newly installed cameras, mill employees were able to view four falcons making claims to the nesting boxes – one returning male, “Thor,” and three females. “Victory” was the female who eventually nested with Thor in one of the boxes, producing three eggs. Two eggs hatched: one on May 14th and the other on May 15th. Thor and Victory were identified by viewing their leg bands using the new cameras.
Yesterday the babies were officially banded and their gender determined by Greg Septon from Peregrine Management & Research, LLC. Banding is important as it allows experts like Mr. Septon to study the success of the species. The 950 employees from all three of Essity’s sites in the region – paper mill in Menasha, converting plant in Neenah and corporate offices in Neenah – are invited to suggest names for the two female falcons. Menasha employees are looking forward to having the honor of deciding which names best suit the new little ones.