We’ve got new workers on campus: honeybees! For the last two months, Subway® Headquarters has been the happy new home of two hives with approximately 50,000 bees.
The pollinator program was created by our Global Sustainability team to raise awareness about the importance of honeybees to the global food supply and the Subway business model, while also involving employees in a fun and educational way.
The world and Subway wouldn’t be the same without bees, as the global food supply depends on pollinators. Nathan Gassmann, Manager of Global Sustainability at Subway, says, “Subway has a very veggie-forward menu, so pollinators are a critical part of our supply chain. Subway Sandwich Artists™ would have a pretty limited palette if pollinators disappeared, with many colorful veggies missing, including avocados, black olives, and red onion."
Nearly 75 volunteer employees maintain the hives. Volunteers take turns every other week, overseeing the bees with guidance from a local beekeeper, Ben Hurd, from Hurd’s Farm & Apiary in Middlebury, CT. In just two months, Subway employees have learned about important environmental issues impacting bees, while also learning how to maintain healthy hives. As time goes on, the employees will continue to maintain and keep a watchful eye on the bees to make sure they thrive.
John Scott, Chief Transformation Officer at Subway, says, "Everyone involved is taking a fresh look at the environment, and how factors such as lawn pesticides can impact these small creatures."
While we know our humble hives won’t save the whole world’s bee population, this project is making a difference on a local level. Campus landscapers have adjusted lawn maintenance procedures, and employees are encouraging others to plant pollinator-friendly flowers or limit pesticide use at home.
Ben Hurd says his biggest tip for being bee-friendly at home is to, “Plant more pollinator-friendly plants. Not every flower is pollinator-friendly, so be sure to read the packaging.” See our pollinator-friendly plant guide below.
At Subway, our Sustainability team works hard to ensure we’re reducing our environmental impact and preserving our planet. From reducing waste, to partnering with local farmers— you can find out more about our sustainability efforts on our website.
Top Image Credit: Subway