Recently, we added the pillar “our planet” to the overall icapps strategy, and decided to focus on three different focal points. One of them is Climate Action (SDG 13) because we want to become more aware of our impact and take action to reduce our carbon footprint. With a big heart for our planet, Hans van Dam, Team Lead and Chief Sustainability Officer at icapps, is the perfect person to watch over and improve our efforts toward a more sustainable way of working.
In the meantime, we're happy to say that we already kicked off the first initiative within this particular focal point. From now on, every icappser gets the chance to plant trees for his or her birthday and/or work anniversary.
Making a difference by choice
“One of the goals was to give icappsers the possibility to get extra happiness out of their birthday or work anniversary gift. We believe it’s better to give our employees the choice, make them reflect on the topic, rather than to force it on them. That’s why we kept the gift voucher as the default gift, with planting trees as the opt-in option.” so Hans says.
We believe it’s important to not push our employees into taking this option, as that would be counterproductive. Instead, we just make sure to highlight the fun parts of planting the trees, by sharing the best names other icappsers have given their tree and showing the way everything’s visualized in Treedom. Other than that, we wanted to let everyone experience Treedom firsthand and decided to give every icappser a tree for free on Earth Day this year. This way we want to encourage our employees to think about the environmental impact they have and the efforts they can make to reduce it.
Just a start
“We realize we won’t be making a huge impact with this single initiative. But that isn’t the goal. We want to achieve awareness, encourage some, or all, of our icappsers to have a big heart for our planet and create the opportunity to give something back. And by that, adding some extra work happiness to their lives.” says Hans.
We're on to bigger, more impactful things in the future, but every gesture we make counts.
A chat with some colleagues
We talked to Sjoera Roggeman, UX designer and product owner, and Niels Delporte, Android developer, two of our icapps colleagues who already made the choice to plant trees for their (work) anniversary.
What convinced you to opt-in on the “trees for your birthday” possibility?
Sjoera: Because every action counts, no matter how small. This is the first initiative that icapps is launching toward a more sustainable way of working, and since this is something that’s important to me, it was just a small effort to click that opt-in button. Eventually, this is an initiative that costs me neither time, money, nor effort. So I just thought, why not!
Niels: For me, it was the enthusiasm of my colleagues, in particular Hans and Tine, that convinced me to make the change. Their involvement is inspiring and this made me realize that I can make a difference, even if it’s small.
What impact do you want or believe to have?
Niels: Well, at the moment, our icapps forest is too small to really make an impact, but with every single tree we add, we make a difference. So at the moment, I don’t believe that my personal decision has an impact but I see this as the start of something bigger.
Sjoera: Yes, I agree, planting one tree doesn’t make a difference, but it’s the bigger picture that counts. With this initiative, we can inspire others to do the same, so in the end, that is the impact you want to make. Set the example, inspire, and together we’ll make a difference.
What’s your take on this initiative?
Sjoera: I think it’s great to see that icapps wants to make its employees aware of the environment by taking actions where the employees can actively participate. Making an effort to reduce your carbon footprint as a company is great, but convincing employees to do so and making them part of this process, that’s even greater!
Niels: With this initiative, we can make an environmental difference, but we also ensure a future for the local farmers. If me making this small decision results in a better future for others, then that’ll make me happy. And that is what presents are all about, right?
Sjoera already has a tree in Tanzania, a Grevillea Robusta that she named Kevin. She’s already looking forward to receiving the first picture of him.
Niels recently celebrated his work anniversary and got the chance to plant a few trees :
Eleodoro the mango tree, will be growing in Kenya. Panacea, named after the healing capabilities of the Neem species, also set to be planted in Kenya. Mina is a grevillea that will be reducing noise and protecting the soil in Tanzania while Chiron is a caoba that will help protect the environment in Colombia.
Niels is also looking forward to receiving the first baby photos of his newly planted friends.