Environmental Centre Kralupy nad Vltavou
Operates a telephone Green Line, organises seminars for primary school pupils. Cooperates with Spolana on restocking the River Elbe with fish and organises an environmentally-themed programme for children at the river. It also helps attend to the programme for the final of the Challenge for the Chemist chemistry competition, which Spolana organises every year (www.vyzvaprochemika.cz).
A female peregrine falcon settled at Spolana in 2015, being joined in 2019 by a partner and having their first offspring. The couple nested on the eighty-metre chimney of the former exhalation treatment plant and produced their first young in 2020. Three young falcons, in fact. The life of the family of falcons is monitored by ornithologist Václav Beran from the ALKA Wildlife non-profit organisation, with which Unipetrol has been working for ten years now.
The partnership built between Unipetrol and ALKA Wildlife has succeeded in increasing the number of birds of prey by 30 falcons since 2011. This species is one of few that entirely disappeared from our landscape during the past century, but was able to successfully return. They live for up to twenty years and return to their favourite nesting places their whole lives. In addition to the falcons at Spolana, there is a peregrine falcon living in the Unipetrol complexes in Záluží near Litvínov and in Kralupy nad Vltavou.
The peregrine falcon is able to build up a maximum dive speed of up to 350 km an hour and is probably the fastest animal on Earth. The falcon is a traditional species of bird in the Czech lands. The population of this predator, which hunts pigeons, ducks, and other smaller birds and bats, was most prevalent during the 1940s and 1950s, when there were up to sixty pairs within what was then Czechoslovakia. The falcons disappeared from the Czech countryside during the 1970s on account of excessive use of pesticides in agriculture. They began to reappear at the end of the 1980s. And by the turn of the millennium there were around 20 pairs in the Czech Republic. The strict protective measures now in place mean that there are around one hundred pairs of peregrine falcons in this country.
Czech Association of Beekeepers
Beekeepers have been bottling honey at the chemical plant in Neratovice for three years now. And high-quality honey at that, confirmed by expert tests carried out by the Beekeeping Research Institute and by the two gold medals awarded by the panel of judges in the Czech Honey competition in recent years. The company works with the local branch of the Czech Association of Beekeepers in Libiš.
Bees are important in ways other than simply producing honey and other substances, of course. They help monitor the quality of the environment and ensure the pollination of crops and vegetation growing in the wild. Their benefit to nature is therefore irreplaceable. “The successful breeding of bees shows that the environment at Spolana, at the chemical plant, has improved dramatically. The modern-day Spolana complies with all emission limits with room to spare, and the influence of production on the surrounding area is minimal, again proven by the quality of the honey. We would like to continue broadening our breeding in the years to come. We do not, however, intend to produce honey in bulk. We mostly use the honey from Spolana as a gift for company partners and work visits,” says Miroslav Falta, Managing Director of Spolana.
The fauna and flora in the area around the chemical plant in Neratovice is varied indeed, in part thanks to the River Elbe. Beekeepers from the local union therefore came up with the idea of breeding bees in places where chocolate and saccharine were originally made two years ago. The harvest was the highest ever back then, and it was possible to bottle almost one hundred and twenty kilograms of honey, twice. With a rating of 100 %, the honey won the gold medal of quality in the Czech Honey competition in 2018.
Czech Anglers’ Union, local branch in Neratovice
Spolana from Neratovice has been organising the release of fish into the River Elbe for seven years now. Restocking is designed to improve the ecosystem in the river. Primary-three pupils from the primary school in Neratovice joined the Czech Anglers’ Union and the Kralupy nad Vltavou Environmental Centre in releasing 500 kilos of fish into the river. The organisers of this environmental programme have now released 3.5 tons of fish into the Elbe over the course of their many years of cooperation.
“We release fish in Neratovice twice a year, in close proximity to the Spolana complex, in cooperation with the local angling union and environmental centre. The cleanness of the water in the surrounding area is witnessed by their fine condition and the level of the local fish population,” says Mirek Falta, Managing Director of Spolana, in praise of the project. Regular restocking is essential to be able to maintain the water ecosystem. Spolana takes part in the release of fish and in making sure of the very best environment for all water wildlife. The cleanliness of the water in the surroundings of the production complex is proven by the results of regular monitoring, and by popular angling competitions on the River Elbe.
Spolana is general partner to the main cultural and social event organised by the town of Neratovice every year - Salon Neratovice.