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Created on 08.06.2023

Impact Days: helping sustainability ideas to break through

Sustainable from the inside out: at PostFinance’s Corporate Responsibility Impact Days, employees help their own sustainable ideas to break through. This post reveals what happened at this year’s workshops, why the musician Stress was on the jury and why the participants decided to get involved in the Impact Days.

On its path to greater sustainability, PostFinance is offering its employees space to champion sustainability ideas. One example is the company’s Impact Days. During this event, employees fine-tune solutions that they themselves put forward. The challenge: these ideas must contribute towards PostFinance’s sustainability goals.

How we’re making a difference: PostFinance’s sustainability goals

What is PostFinance doing to promote sustainable development in the company? These are PostFinance’s five sustainability goals:

  • Establishing a firm foothold for the topic of sustainability among employees
  • Reducing the carbon footprint
  • Providing a sustainable market service
  • Promoting sustainable innovation
  • Promoting gender equality

Good ideas for greater sustainability: from financial education to giveaways

The Impact Days were held for the second time in May 2023. “Over 20 ideas were submitted by employees from a wide range of different units. After a rough initial feasibility test, we sent nine of these ideas to the kick-off meeting, where they were presented to workshop participants,” explains Dominic Bodenheimer, a trainee in the PostFinance Corporate Responsibility team. These included suggestions with various focuses, such as:

  • A family solution for financial education with an app for children and parents
  • “Green” youth savings accounts whose funds are invested on a sustainable basis
  • A fully digital onboarding process for new customers to reduce paper consumption
  • Consistent transition from PET bottles to water dispensers at PostFinance branches
  • Integration of sign language into the PostFinance customer journey to make PostFinance accessible to people with hearing impairments
  • Sustainable giveaways to save on resources
  • An “eco-fund” where a certain percentage of all project budgets can be channelled, money from which could be used sustainably

From this pool, the 22 participants were able to select one idea to pursue in groups and with the support of mentors over the next day and a half. “It was impressive to see just how quick and committed the teams were when deep-diving into the ideas,” says Dominic, who organized the event. The aim of the workshops was to cast a critical eye on the ideas and, if necessary, to discard them and come up with new ones − quickly and in an agile manner. The participants were able to draw on the expertise of innovation experts from Impact Hub Bern and VNTR | Innovation & Venturing by PostFinance, who were ready to lend a helping hand.

A first-rate jury with the CEO and Stress

A total of seven teams presented their ideas to the jury at the end of the workshop, with the aim of being given the go-ahead for the next project stage. The decision-making committee this year not only featured PostFinance’s very own representatives Hansruedi Köng (CEO), Sandra Lienhart (Head of Retail Banking), Roland Spycher (Head of Real Estate Management) and Rahel Tanner (Head of Procurement), but also a famous face: Stress. The musician, who shares a commitment with PostFinance to “MTV Unplugged”, also has a personal interest in the topic of sustainability and was able to offer an outside perspective. And which ideas were given the thumbs-up by the jury? “Following the pitches, the jury decided to pursue the following ideas as concrete measures: ‘Sustainable giveaways’ and ‘Green savings for young people’. The other ideas will passed on to the relevant units, where they will be reviewed to see if they can be made into something more tangible,” explains Dominic. We look forward to the results.

Second time lucky

Speaking of implementation: one of the ideas given the go-ahead at last year’s Impact Days was an initiative to provide employees with refurbished smartphones instead of new ones. There is now an update on this project: after the pilot phase had to be put on hold due mainly to delivery bottlenecks, work is resuming on the initiative this summer. Other ideas that were created during last year’s event have already become a reality – for instance, a project to promote recycling at the PostFinance headquarters.

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