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We can play a role within the workplace by getting the message out there

My name’s Fabrice Schott, I’m 39 and I have two sons. I’ve been a cross-border worker since 2006 and occupied various roles within the bank. I’ve been part of Corporate Trust Operations since 2012, which is the team that looks after issuers of international and structured debt.

"We are all individually responsible for changing our habits"

In 2015/2016, I was one of the first men to take part-time parental leave, which allowed me to complete a self-built wooden extension to my house. The end of this fantastic project in May 2016 led to us setting ourselves a family challenge of reducing our waste.

Having researched our environmental footprint, I was really struck by the fact that modern societies in the West consume and waste far too much. The existing linear economic model is no longer sustainable for our planet and we are all individually responsible for changing our habits.

Little by little, through a bit of trial and error, we went from filling a 100-litre bin per week to generating an average of 30 litres every three months. In the space of a few short lines, it would be impossible for me to sum up how we managed this, everything this challenge led to in the way of positive changes in our consumption patterns, and above all how it enriched our social and professional lives.

I firmly believed that this could only be a change for the better, making us happier and saving us money, so I was keen to sow the seeds with my family at first, and then with my wider circle and my company. Just as we can take on charity work or raise issues at a regional level, we can play a role within the workplace by getting the message out there and sharing best practices.

"Determined to take action within the company"

I first got involved at company level in 2017, when I came up with the idea of installing beehives. I’m not a beekeeper, but I was keen to learn, so I set up a working group to see whether or not the project was feasible. The CSR department and Facility Management got behind the idea and arranged for three hives to be installed by a professional beekeeper, who organized information sessions.

CSR afternoons, talks on social and environmental themes and the wide range of initiatives carried out by this dynamic department have made me even more determined to take action within the company.

Just as we can take on charity work or raise issues at a local and regional level, we can play a role within the workplace by getting the message out there and sharing best practices.

That was our aim in 2018 when we suggested reducing the size of the bins in use in our offices. It was a timely idea, coinciding with the launch of the Zero Single Use Plastic project by the IMS organisation. In May 2019, BGL BNP Paribas signed a manifesto aimed at eliminating single-use plastics from our institutions by the end of 2020.

For a family, getting close to zero waste is almost easy – it’s a far harder task for an organisation of more than 3,000 people.

Thanks to the support of IMS, organizers of workshops held over an 18-month period, feedback from other corporate signatories, and the measures introduced by the Facility Department and Sodexo to replace or eliminate certain items, the bank has managed to significantly reduce its plastic waste.

We definitely have plenty of work still ahead of us, and the health crisis has been a setback. Let’s stay engaged and remember the benefits these measures will have.

"Well-being at work only increases our productivity and motivation."

These charity initiatives and a willingness to follow and take part in events organised by the CSR department have had a positive impact.

None of this would have been possible without meticulous planning and flexible working hours. Well-being at work only increases our productivity and motivation.

The People’sLab4Good, Help2Help and Securities Services for Education programmes, as well as the Hope charity, are just some of the options open to staff members looking to develop new skills and help build a sustainable future. Investing time or money in not-for-profit organisations is something we can all do, and it’s something that helps us grow.