A Day of Work for a Good Cause – How SIX Employees Go to Bat for Our Environment and Society

A Day of Work for a Good Cause – How SIX Employees Go to Bat for Our Environment and Society

Employees of SIX trudge through a snowy winter landscape. What is this all about? It means that SIX Social Days are back after a lengthy hiatus caused by the pandemic. Read below how and where employees of SIX are getting involved all over the place.

SIX has been organizing volunteer assignments called SIX Social Days for its employees for over a decade. SIX Social Days give employees an opportunity once a year to help out on a social or an environmental project during their regular worktime. Through this engagement, SIX makes a valuable contribution to society and our environment while also promoting team spirit and dialogue between employees outside of office life. Social Days are posted online on an internal platform where employees can register directly to take part. A variety of Social Days and other charitable activities have recently taken place.

Information on Climate Change

The first item on the agenda this year was a winter hike with Protect Our Winters (POW) devoted to the subject of Alpine climate change. POW is a non-profit organization that champions climate protection and campaigns for advocacy, nutrition, mobility, and education.

The acute lack of snow and the warm temperatures this winter made climate change tangible. But snowfall was in the forecast for once shortly before the Social Day, so the winter hike nevertheless took place on a white terrain. On their trek through the winter landscape in Euthal, 22 employees of SIX learned more about Alpine climate change. Afterwards, the group cooked lunch together over an open fire using regional products.

Lending a Helping Hand in a Second-Hand Store

Another Social Day took place on the premises of the La Trouvaille second-hand store run by the Swiss Red Cross in Bern. Sustainability comes first at La Trouvaille. Approximately three-quarters of the donated goods stay in Canton Bern. A donated sweater can turn up for resale in one of the second-hand stores operated by the Swiss Red Cross within the very same week. Moreover, La Trouvaille pursues a social mission by creating workplaces for job seekers and facilitating resocialization in the work world.

During their deployment, the participants in the Social Day sorted plush toys, clothing, handbags, shoes, and an array of other small merchandise. The SIX employees sorted around five crates of textiles and 20 boxes of small items by the end of the day.

Cooking for People in Need

In March 2023, a number of cooking assignments took place at the Pfuusbus and Ur-Dörfli night shelters for the homeless operated by the Sozialwerk Pfarrer Sieber charity. The Sozialwerk Pfarrer Sieber Foundation dedicates itself to helping people in need and operates multiple healthcare and social assistance facilities in and around Zurich. The organization particularly provides assistance for disadvantaged people experiencing homelessness, drug addiction, or health or social problems. During their deployments, SIX employees pitched in as kitchen help or took over the entire planning, shopping, and cooking for the guests of the night shelters.

Beach Cleanups in the USA

Social Days resumed in recent months not just in Switzerland, but also in other SIX business locations, where employees of the company got involved in environmental and social projects.

A cleanup drive on a beach and in a park in the USA took place last autumn in collaboration with SoundWaters, an organization dedicated to the protection of the ocean inlet Long Island Sound. Employees of SIX collected trash and debris for three hours a day over a two-day deployment. The cleanup operation swept up a whopping 111 kilograms of rubbish, which SoundWaters afterwards disposed of or recycled.

Helping Out at the Madrid Food Bank

Employees of SIX in Spain got their first opportunity to take part in a Social Day in December. For four hours, they sorted 10,000 kilograms of food for the Christmas drive that the Madrid Food Bank organizes every year. The aim of the campaign is to improve the nutritional status of people living in poverty or social marginalization.

Additional corporate volunteering missions are planned for the future in Spain in both Madrid and at other business sites of SIX in Barcelona, Bilbao, and Valencia.

Christmas Gifts for a Ukrainian Family

In Poland, employees of SIX lent a hand to the Polish charity WIOSNA, which helps people in need. Each year ahead of Christmas, WIOSNA organizes a charity drive called Szlachetna Paczka (Noble Gift) to help families in Poland who find themselves in difficult financial circumstances and can’t afford to spend money on Christmas presents.

Employees of SIX assisted in preparing Christmas gifts for a family of six that fled the war in Ukraine and started a new life in Warsaw. A number of employees helped to box and gift-wrap the presents.

Cellphone Collection Drive for SOS-Kinderdorf

In addition to the Social Days, a cellphone collection drive was held at Christmastime. As part of this fundraising campaign for SOS-Kinderdorf in collaboration with Swisscom, employees of SIX in Switzerland were given an opportunity to donate their old mobile telephones. The total proceeds from the devices collected went to family-strengthening programs in Nicaragua, one of the focus countries for SOS-Kinderdorf. These programs give children, especially girls, in the focus countries a chance for a better future.

A blood drive takes place twice a year at SIX in Zurich. A blood drive will also be held in Madrid this year for the first time.

Mapping for South Sudan and Malawi

Two volunteer missions took place in collaboration with the Swiss Red Cross, an organization that provides humanitarian aid wherever people are suffering. Unfortunately, many regions of the world have not been mapped in detail yet, which makes it harder to deliver aid in emergency situations.

Virtual volunteer assignments called “mapathons” exist to combat this problem. Using satellite imagery, the mapathon participants created online maps of various regions of the world from their home offices, making an important contribution to providing more effective disaster relief.

The volunteer work of SIX employees supported a project in South Sudan and Malawi. South Sudan was contending with severe flooding at the time, and Malawi is currently facing a cholera pandemic. Forty-two employees of SIX mapped 7,013 buildings and, in doing so, became virtual disaster relief workers.