Fondation BNP Paribas Head Genève

Heures solidaires : 28 employees volunteer to help two associations

October 3, 2019

Since its launch by BNP Paribas Suisse in 2018, the Heures Solidaires initiative promoting employee engagement has been a resounding success. On this occasion, the Crédit-Wealth Management team volunteered its time with two associations. Activities were organised over two half-days, with the participation of 28 employees.

Raising awareness, work on the ground, team spirit: committed to a clean Lake Geneva.

Did you know that 50 tonnes of plastic of all sizes (from 5 to 0.001 mm) end up in Lake Geneva every year, and that the harmful and addictive substances in just one cigarette butt can pollute up to 500 litres of water?

The Sauvegarde du Léman association aims to raise awareness and take action against harmful pollution to the Lake Geneva flora and fauna.

With this goal in mind, on September 12 a group of 17 employees participated in a clean-up operation on the shores of Lake Geneva, in Versoix. During a debrief on the rubbish collected by the group, we learned that cigarette butts tossed into the sewers in town were finishing up… in the lake. That’s right. “Clear” rainwater is not treated. If you care about rubbish and recycling, download the Net’Leman app, which gets everyone involved in picking up waste along the lake. The information provided by participants, such as the type of rubbish and where it was collected, is used by scientists for practical purposes. The app also highlights recycling points near the user, as well as tips to help reduce waste.

The group collected around 3,000 cigarette butts, 1kg of food plastic, 15 glass bottles, about 20 cans and one unusual object: a satellite dish.

Doing good and feeling good: an intergenerational adventure.

On 19 September, 11 employees joined the guests of Geneva-based association Salon de Sylvia – which aims to help those suffering from cognitive impairment – on a walk in Le Salève, followed by a lunch.

The eight hosts aged between 73 and 89 years old, were supported by an educational team (an art therapist, a psychology student, a socio-educational assistant and a nurse).

Some of the hosts we had the pleasure of joining include: Michelle and Jean-Michel, a well-travelled married couple with a taste for adventure. Cultured and open to the world, Fatima is the widow of an international diplomat and has lived in a number of countries around the world. As some of the hosts live alone, the association gives them a social connection and helps form intergenerational bonds.

We gained insight into the hosts’ diverse backgrounds – into lives marked by some solitude, but also by richness. Talking with the hosts and listening to their experiences was a source of personal, collective and mutual enrichment.

The young may travel quickly, but the aged know the way!